2000 - THE PLEDGE SYSTEM
“We offer unto Thee, o Lord, Thine own of Thine own,on behalf of all, and for all”
First of all we wish to thank you very much for your generous contributions you have sent to the Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church throughout 1999. We pray that the Almighty Lord rewards you hundredfold.
Attached, you are cordially invited to accept this package with some 53 weekly envelopes, one per each Sunday, marked individually, from Jan.1 through december 31, 2000.
Hereinafter, we will try to once-again explain to you our “Pledging Program”, to the fullness of our ability:
Since 3 years ago, our parish replaced the customery “parish membership system” (which was a set annual amount of donation to the church by each member of the parish) with a voluntary weekly donation by all the members and supporters of the church, as they will individually find proper to pledge.
Because we, as faithful, should return back to God, some portion of what He blessed us with, as a thanksgiving for everything He provides for us: good health, spiritual and material prosperity, our family, our children and grand-children, a place of work or a happy retirement, protection in the uncertain society we live in, blessings upon our children and grand-children at school, in marriage and the place of work, etc., etc.
Because it has been proven as the way of the future for THE CHURCH. The majority of American Churches, Catholic and Protestant alike, fulfil their budget almost exclusively by the “pledge participation” of their membership.
Because it was unequivocally proven that, in order to contemplate the building of a new church, we have to get first hand knowledge who is participating, and with what amount, towards the building project, to budget for it.
Herewith below are some of many other reasons which the Parish General Assembly carefully considered at the January 30th- 2000 Meeting, reafirming unanimously ints committment in favour of the “pledging method” vs “membership”:
· By the “pledging method”, the church extends real help, especially to the retired members, whose monthly revenue is very limited, thus easier affording to make a weekly donation of some $2.00-$5.00/per week in place of an annual lump-sum of $ 100.00 or more, which is quite a substantial expense that could seriously affect their limited budget;
· By bringing to church the weekly pledge donation, the faithful offer back to God: “Thine own of Thine own, on behalf of all, and for all”, as we pray during the most essential moments of the Divine Eucharist. In the Old Country, the faithful get in line in front of the Holy Altar, presenting to the Lord their weekly “offering”: a candle, a dyptic-list of all the living and the departed to be remembered, a prosphora (prescura), and their monitory donation. We should do like-wise here in America.
· By the weekly pledge, the faithful always remember the commandment of God to offer Him, at least once a week, on Sunday, together with “ourselves” (our participation in the service) also our material blessings, according to our financial abilities and love for His Holy House (the Church).
· Those of us who, for blessed reasons, can not attend the Church Services on a regular basis could at least, by contributing to the church through our weekly “pledge”, offer our “thanksgiving” to God our Creator, Governor and Sustainer of All. Even if we do not go to Church that Sunday, we could send our offering pledge by mail, or bring it to church the following Sunday when we attend;
· Remembering to send our pledge to Church on a weekly or monthly basis, we always aknowledge, like an intimate confession directly to God, the role our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church have deep in our souls, hearts, and our daily lives.
· Involving the whole family in taking care of the “Church’s administrative business” by contributing on the weekly basis, we teach our children and grandchildren their present moral duty, if they are over 18 years of age, and their financial obligations towards their church. If we do not teach them now, by our actions, deeds and example, they will never learn; they will never have any interest in the church. Otherwise, there will be no Church there for them when they will really need it.
· By your enrollment in the pledging system, our church could establish a more accurate budget, knowing how to budget realistically for different programs, especially those the church has its divine calling for (Sunday School, youth and adult religious education, spiritual retreats, special services during Lents, seminars with guest speakers, consistent religious services, held in both Romanian and English Languages, counselling for marriage, baptismal instructions, etc.), the implimentation of “spiritual endeavors” throughout the current year.
· By the “pledging experience” of 2000, the church will have a clearer image if our community is able financially to support the building of the over 3.5 million dollars project, proposed for the Sunland location.
Surely, there are many other reasons in favour of this endeavor.
It is my anticipation that the New Pledge Committee will be made out primarely of women of the council, therefore, in the next 3-4 weeks you will be contacted by your area representative, a council-woman, further explaining to you how the system works, ready to help you with the understanding of this new council endeavor. Please have patience with her when she will call you.
If for any objective reasons you can not attend the church, on a regular basis, then, please send your pledge donation to church on a monthly basis, in the self-addressed envelope herewith enclosed. Your account, which is the Pledge Package Number, will be credited monthly. If you need additional self-addressed envelopes, please let us know. Call the parish office (323/255-8583), leave your name, and Pledging Number/which is in the upper-right hand corner, and the quantity of the self-addressed envelopes you are in need of, and we will send them to you within one week.
You are reminded that all your donations to the church through the “Pledging Program”, are Tax-deductible and you are urged to use this status for your tax-purposes.
In the spirit of the Episcopate Constitution, all the members of your family (18 years of age and older) should pledge individually.
Thanking you in anticipation for your cooperation and generous donations;
Remaining your’s faithfully,
Very Rev. Fr. Constantin Alecse,
Parish Priest (on behalf of the parish Council)