"Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant" (Matthew 25:23).
Dear Beloved Parish Family,
Jesus gave us the Parable of the Talents to teach that we are responsible to use God’s gifts – to develop them, to grow them, and then to offer them back to Him. Although we all receive different gifts, we see in this parable that there is no difference in God’s reward for what we accomplish with them. If you want to be a faithful servant, then take whatever you have and offer it faithfully to the Lord. It is not about how much you have; rather it is what you do with it.
We then bring these different gifts and share them with our Parish Community, as each one of us is a vital member of the body of Christ. Building a healthy, functioning community requires hard work from everyone as well as each person’s unique talents. At the same time, being part of a community also moves us away from being alone and becoming our own silo and towards unity in Christ’s name. Community thus becomes the vehicle in which we grow and partake in our spiritual formation. Within the community, we learn how to practice spiritual virtues such as patience, gentleness, and self-control because we are in the presence of other people. Think about a jagged rock in a river that, after colliding with other rocks, ends up downstream smooth and polished—this is how Christ forms us and we form each other in a Christian community.
Please take a moment to reflect on the God-given talents and gifts you can offer as a steward of the Ascension. On behalf of our entire Ascension Family, I offer my gratitude for your dedication as well as your participation in bringing your talents to our Parish in order for us to grow together in God’s name.
Rev. Fr. Sotirios P. Malamis
Download and print the 2024 Stewardship Pledge card, HERE.
A Stewardship Prayer
Gracious God, giver of all we have and hold as stewards;
grant the people of this church a deep and abiding awareness that all things come from you –
our health, our incomes, our jobs, our talents and our generous impulse.
Send your Holy Spirit to help us as we swim against the rising tides of materialism, envy, individualism and greed in our culture.
When we are tempted to think of money as a private matter, remind us that you have asked for part of what we are given,
to be returned to you as a symbol of our awareness that you give all we have.
And further, help us to help each other in this grace of giving,
for you are the lover of our souls and call us to nothing less than transformation in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thank you for your support as we help our parish build strong momentum going into 2024! To learn more about Stewardship within our Ascension community, contact our Stewardship Committee Chair, Frank Kazas by email at email@example.com, or by calling the church office at 847.482.1200.