FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a Parishioner or Member?
Anyone who has been Baptized and Chrismated in a canonical Orthodox Church AND is in some way affiliated or connected to our Parish. Those converting to Orthodoxy from select few Christian denominations, need only be Chrismated in the Orthodox Church.
Who is a Steward?
Any adult who has filled out a Stewardship Pledge Form for the current year. All parishioners are strongly encouraged to offer of their Time, Talents, and Treasury by filling out a Stewardship Pledge Form every year. Catechumens, non-Orthodox spouses, etc. can also fill out a Stewardship Pledge Form, but cannot become Eligible Voters until/unless they are Chrismated Orthodox.
Who is an Eligible Voter?
According to the Archdiocesan Regulations and our Bylaws, a parishioner will be eligible to vote at Parish Assemblies if he/she:
1. is an adult who is in good canonical standing with the Orthodox Church,
2. has met any previous year(s)' unfulfilled stewardship financial obligations at least thirty days prior to the Parish Assembly,
3. has submitted a Stewardship Pledge Form for the current year,
4. AND has paid the corresponding financial obligations for the current year (25% for Spring Assembly and 75% for Fall Assembly) prior to the Parish Assembly.
Why is filling out a Stewardship Pledge Form important?
From a logistics perspective, filling out the Stewardship Pledge Form will enable our church leaders to administer the church and ascertain the functionality of all of its ministries. Even more importantly however, as faithful believers, we are called to love God with our whole being. Choosing to offer of our Time, Talents, and Treasury by filling out the Stewardship Pledge Form is a
voluntary, external and concrete manifestation of the inner love we have for God and Christ's Church. Filling out the Stewardship Pledge Form is the initial stepping stone of becoming active participants in the life and ministries of our Parish.
How can I donate to the Church?
1. Cash donation. Please place your donation in an envelope and write your name and purpose of the donation on the envelope if you want to be credited for it.
2. Personal check. Please indicate on the memo line the purpose of the check.
3. Bank Check. Use your banks bill pay system and setup the church as a payee. For most banks there is no charge and you can arrange for automatic weekly, monthly, etc. payments or you can initiate them at your convenience. Please indicate on the memo line the purpose of the check.
4. Non-Cash Donation. You can also donate an item to the church like communion wine, oil, office supplies (contact the Parish Priest for current needs). Please turn in a copy of your receipt that shows your cost for that item if you want to be credited for the donation.
5. Stock transfer to the church. See the Parish Treasurer for details.
What happens to my donations?
Our operational income (about $140,000) will be collected in thousands of small donations. The time consuming task of receiving, crediting and tracking all income (and expenses) is done by the Parish Treasurer and the Accountant who generously volunteer their time for this great task. To help them ensure proper crediting please CLEARLY INDICATE WHERE YOU WOULD LIKE EACH DONATION TO BE APPLIED, especially if you are paying for multiple things with one check. In most cases, the late (after-the-fact) reassignment of a single (or multiple) donation(s) to different categories or to multiple persons becomes a very time consuming task. Donations without a designation will be applied to existing stewardship financial obligations.
What is considered a Stewardship Donation?
Any cash or check donation marked 'stewardship' or 'pledge' will be applied toward your existing pledged stewardship balance. Please note that special donations for Archdiocesan or other Pan-Orthodox ministries, Easter flowers, Christmas offering, etc. are not applied toward your stewardship balance. In addition, as mentioned at the Fall 2009 Parish Assembly, as of January 1st, 2010 we will apply, unless otherwise noted, any stewardship donation first toward your existing prior year pledged stewardship balance/obligations (if applicable) and then toward your current year balance.
Does the offering of my time and services count toward my Stewardship Commitment?
Yes, it does count toward your Time & Talent (not toward your Treasury) Stewardship Commitment. When filling out the Stewardship Pledge Form, you commit to offering of your Time, your Talents, and your Treasury. A year-end receipt of all your financial contributions (the Treasury part of your pledge) is issued every January according to tax laws. We are, however, just as
much or more appreciative for the offering of your Time and your Talents to serve the Church. We do NOT monitor your offering of your Time and Talents as we believe that such offering is unquantifiable and can be appropriately rewarded only by our Lord.
Can I give you Postdated Checks?
Please do not. Our policy is to promptly deposit checks as they are received. Safely storing, keeping track, and applying postdated checks to the appropriate Sunday collection deposits may cause us to potentially mismanage some of these funds and we would prefer to always avoid such a thing.
I forgot to bring my donation to church or I can’t make it to church on Sunday. What can I do?
You can mail your donation to the church or use your personal banks' online bill pay system to issue a one-time check or recurring checks (every week, month, etc.) to the church.
What is my existing/outstanding pledged stewardship balance for the current (or prior) year(s)?
In addition to tracking your own donations we assist you by sending each year a preliminary donation report in November or early December and a final donation report in January the following year. These mailings always include prior year balances and other financial information. Your inclusion on the Voters List will serve as confirmation that you have NO prior year balance and that
you have paid the 25% (for Spring) or 75% (for Fall) Parish Assemblies obligation. However, if you would like to know your exact financial status with the church at any given time throughout the year, please ask the Parish Treasurer.
I am having a hard time fulfilling my (prior or current) financial pledge to the church. What can I do?
We would NEVER want your love of God and your commitment to your financial pledge to become the cause of undue financial burden on you or your family. Thus, please do not hesitate to contact the Parish Priest and all necessary adjustments will be made to your convenience. Your conversation with him, of course, will be strictly confidential.
Can I make a Stewardship Payment (or any other donation) on behalf of someone else?
Yes you can, but please indicate that person's name with your donation. If this is a recurring payment please make sure you indicate that with every payment. Keep in mind also that credit for tax purposes will go to you only.
Can I pay for multiple things with a single check?
We prefer that you do not, but if you do please make sure that you clearly indicate how your payment should be split. If this is a recurring payment please make sure you indicate that with every payment.
I noticed an error in my donation report, year-end receipt, or other financial document. What should I do?
We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact the Parish Treasurer as soon as possible and the error or discrepancy will be resolved promptly.
Do you issue donation envelopes?
We do not issue donation envelopes to individual parishioners but have them available for those that want to use them. When using the donation envelopes, please be sure to print your name on the envelope legibly.
Can I make a donation with a credit card?
Sorry, we cannot accept general donations via credit card at this time, but hope to make this a reality in the future.
What are the general guidelines regarding Spring/Fall Dinner tickets?
Our parish has two major fundraising events every year to help meet our financial needs. We distribute tickets to parishioners to sell for those events (10 per family for the spring dinner and 10 per adult parishioner for the fall dinner) in the hopes that they will all be sold. We are, of course, more than happy to issue more tickets to those who can boost the successfulness of these fundraisers. If you choose to buy some (or all) issued tickets but not sell or use them (as a way to support our church), we can apply ONLY the face value of the returned tickets as a tax-deductible donation. Therefore, you are encouraged to return promptly not only the income from your ticket sales but also ALL unsold tickets.
Why is my name not included in the List of Eligible Voters for the upcoming Parish Assembly?
We compile a List of Eligible Voters BEFORE each Parish Assembly based on the conditions listed in the question “Who is an Eligible Voter?”. If all those conditions have been met, one of two things is possible: either you sent a donation that we have not yet received and deposited since the printing of the list or there is an error in the recording. We desire that all parishioners be
Eligible Voters; thus, we encourage EVERYONE whose name is NOT on the list to contact the Parish Priest or the Parish Treasurer immediately. Most often, this list serves as a good reminder to us all that we are (or are not) up-to-date with our pledges.
If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact the Parish Priest, the Parish Council President or the Parish Council Treasurer.
...more questions will be added as necessary