Author Topic: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions  (Read 5783 times)

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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« on: September 17, 2015, 03:49:02 PM »
I hope I got your attention by that subject title. The difference I am talking about is the differences between giving between the OCA/Antiochian Archdiocese on the on hand and the GOA on the other hand. It is not only the amounts and rates, but also the attitudes that are poles apart. How in the world are we ever going to have a local church when such a chasm exists!!!

See http://assemblyofbishops.org/news/2015/assembly-releases-new-study-on-orthodox-generosity-and-giving-to-the-church

Some telling factoids:

 Comparing the three main jurisdictions (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Antiochian
Archdiocese and Orthodox Church in America), members of the Antiochian Archdiocese and Orthodox Church in America made the highest contributions to their parishes. In both of these jurisdictions, an average household gave about $3,000 to a parish in regular contributions in 2014. By comparison, an average (median) GOA household contributed $1,500 to a parish in regular giving in 2014...

  Converts to Orthodoxy give almost twice as much annually to their churches as “cradle” Orthodox when measured in actual dollar amounts ($2,800 versus $ 1,500 per average household) and they give more than twice as much when donations are measured as a percentage of a household's income (4.9% versus 2.2%)....

  The culture of giving to the Church because of personal religious convictions and an internal "need to give" is the dominant culture in parishes of the Antiochian Archdiocese and the Orthodox Church in America. In GOA churches, the adherents of a pragmatic approach to giving—"I give because my parish has needs"—are as vocal as those who give because of religious reasons and an internal "need to give"...

 Nearly half of converts to Orthodoxy support the concept of tithing (10% of income given to the church) in comparison with less than one-third (30%) of cradle Orthodox who support this idea...

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2015, 03:51:21 PM »
Dang cradles always screwing it up. When will they learn!  :laugh:







just kidding
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Offline Amatorus

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2015, 03:51:57 PM »
Taking a guess but maybe the first-generation who come to America and other Western countries are less zealous because the most pious tend to also be patriotic and therefore stay in the homeland?

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2015, 03:54:37 PM »
Taking a guess but maybe the first-generation who come to America and other Western countries are less zealous because the most pious tend to also be patriotic and therefore stay in the homeland?
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Offline Amatorus

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2015, 03:56:37 PM »
Taking a guess but maybe the first-generation who come to America and other Western countries are less zealous because the most pious tend to also be patriotic and therefore stay in the homeland?


I didn't say I was right :)

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2015, 06:36:52 PM »
Converts are used to and still do after conversion, tithe.

Contrast this with a dues system where you feel -done- when you have paid your annual.


Payment membership vs membership regardless (with giving being a personal choice of how much)
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Offline Bob2

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2015, 06:47:48 PM »

Contrast this with a dues system where you feel -done- when you have paid your annual.


I agree this is a problem. I'm kinda glad ROCOR wasn't included in the study, I suspect the results would be embarrassing, which is so many of our priests need to have full time lay jobs.

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2015, 07:00:37 PM »
The area where I live is known for having a lot of retirees. Some of them have quite a bit of money. Many do not.

Recently we've had some more people move to the area, and church is a bit more crowded every week. The donations have been up, according to the parish bulletin. I think that's good news. :)

I am between jobs right now. If I get something new in the near future, I'll be able to give money again.

When I've been working and able to give, I usually chip in $10-$20 a week. Not to brag or something. When I lost my job, I had to stop paying my stewardship. I would like to start contributing again soon.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2015, 10:49:29 PM »
The area where I live is known for having a lot of retirees. Some of them have quite a bit of money. Many do not.

Recently we've had some more people move to the area, and church is a bit more crowded every week. The donations have been up, according to the parish bulletin. I think that's good news. :)

I am between jobs right now. If I get something new in the near future, I'll be able to give money again.

When I've been working and able to give, I usually chip in $10-$20 a week. Not to brag or something. When I lost my job, I had to stop paying my stewardship. I would like to start contributing again soon.

It is not really about how much you give. Do you remember the widow's mite?

"1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” Luke 21: 1-4.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 10:50:31 PM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) »

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2015, 11:26:56 PM »
Taking a guess but maybe the first-generation who come to America and other Western countries are less zealous because the most pious tend to also be patriotic and therefore stay in the homeland?


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Offline Sam G

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2015, 11:29:02 PM »
Aren't there much greater issues that divide jurisdictions than this?
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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2015, 11:37:09 PM »
I've complained about this before, but we make too much of a fuss about how much money a person gives to his parish while forgetting about the time and work that same person may give in place.  My church's demographics have done a bit of a shift over the past 10 years.  Though we still have many elderly, retired parishioners, we have had an influx of a lot more younger, 30 somethings with children, sometimes several kids each.  Such families generally experience economic hardships which would not allow them to contribute financially, but these people work their tales off for the church. They volunteer their time to clean the church, the hall, the classrooms; they teach Sunday School; they mend the priest's vestments; they do basic maintenance work in and around the property, etc.   It is really unfortunate that in my church, the amount of $ contributed is the only mark of good stewardship or the means by which one is considered a voting member of the parish.  My priest likes to talk a good game of both...and, except, it seems, when it comes to this.

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Offline Velsigne

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2015, 01:24:15 AM »
Where did you derive your numbers and what is the basis of the calculation? What sorts of assumptions are made on the numbers?

The Protestants have been taught that the base is 10% minimum. 

They gathered that from their reading of the Old Testament apparently.

The Jews think they are crazy for paying the Temple tithe.  There is no more Temple, there is no Levitical priesthood in the non-existent Temple, and we don't trade in agricultural produce anymore.  So no 10% tithe.  The tithe to the priest, btw, was 2/10th of 10%, not 10% and tithes also fed people and cared for widows and orphans.  Synagogues after the Temple are funded through buying seats and they give alms in the wider community or support causes personally important to them. 

Does the OCA and Antiochian parish support widows and orphans and provide other services to people?   By the Temple calculation, which is quite complicated, the parish should be giving back a minimum of 10% back to the parishioners.

There is no consensus among the Holy Fathers, and no history of consistent tithing in the Orthodox tradition that I can find.  I read an essay by an Antiochian priest that basically says the same thing.

So, according to you, the Greeks are very Orthodox and the OCA and Antiochians are Protestant hybrids.   :)

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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2015, 08:52:25 AM »
^
I have no knowledge of the financial assistance that our parish gives to its members, but I do know that they are very involved in our local food bank and also supporting IOCC. I don't personally give 10% to the parish, but I think it is admirable for those who do.
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2015, 10:47:33 AM »
Where did you derive your numbers and what is the basis of the calculation? What sorts of assumptions are made on the numbers?

The Protestants have been taught that the base is 10% minimum. 

They gathered that from their reading of the Old Testament apparently.

The Jews think they are crazy for paying the Temple tithe.  There is no more Temple, there is no Levitical priesthood in the non-existent Temple, and we don't trade in agricultural produce anymore.  So no 10% tithe.  The tithe to the priest, btw, was 2/10th of 10%, not 10% and tithes also fed people and cared for widows and orphans.  Synagogues after the Temple are funded through buying seats and they give alms in the wider community or support causes personally important to them. 

Does the OCA and Antiochian parish support widows and orphans and provide other services to people?   By the Temple calculation, which is quite complicated, the parish should be giving back a minimum of 10% back to the parishioners.

There is no consensus among the Holy Fathers, and no history of consistent tithing in the Orthodox tradition that I can find.  I read an essay by an Antiochian priest that basically says the same thing.

So, according to you, the Greeks are very Orthodox and the OCA and Antiochians are Protestant hybrids.   :)




Maybe you should go read the actual study which was linked if you want the details on how it was conducted.


and I was not saying anyone was a protestant hybrid....

I was saying that one's past history does play into how one thinks. 

All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline Amatorus

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2015, 10:51:41 AM »
Where did you derive your numbers and what is the basis of the calculation? What sorts of assumptions are made on the numbers?

The Protestants have been taught that the base is 10% minimum. 

They gathered that from their reading of the Old Testament apparently.

The Jews think they are crazy for paying the Temple tithe.  There is no more Temple, there is no Levitical priesthood in the non-existent Temple, and we don't trade in agricultural produce anymore.  So no 10% tithe.  The tithe to the priest, btw, was 2/10th of 10%, not 10% and tithes also fed people and cared for widows and orphans.  Synagogues after the Temple are funded through buying seats and they give alms in the wider community or support causes personally important to them. 

Does the OCA and Antiochian parish support widows and orphans and provide other services to people?   By the Temple calculation, which is quite complicated, the parish should be giving back a minimum of 10% back to the parishioners.

There is no consensus among the Holy Fathers, and no history of consistent tithing in the Orthodox tradition that I can find.  I read an essay by an Antiochian priest that basically says the same thing.

So, according to you, the Greeks are very Orthodox and the OCA and Antiochians are Protestant hybrids.   :)




Maybe you should go read the actual study which was linked if you want the details on how it was conducted.


and I was not saying anyone was a protestant hybrid....

I was saying that one's past history does play into how one thinks.

Are you Christian?

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2015, 11:43:06 AM »
Well, there are a lot of complications to this study.

First, I would say that most Greek parishes in our area are quite well-funded, whereas Antiochian and OCA parishes do struggle to some degree.  My own parish just barely slides into home plate each year, though we have ended up in the red more than a couple of times.

Second, lots of GOA parishes make huge amounts of money on 'Greek Festivals.'  Before you see it as an 'escape' from tithing or donations, let's not forget the immense amount of labor that goes into putting these on.  One local parish starts preparations roughly a month after the last one, and has enormous freezers to store their goodies until the next festival.  It is a year-round labor that does not show up on their 'contribution form' or IRS letter, yet it makes a huge difference.

Third, most immigrants come from a system where the government or central church pays clergy their salary.  They are used to 'paying' for Sacraments, and will stuff an envelope in the priest's pocket that is meant to pay for his living expenses.  Clergy in the Old Country often get a free house (if they are not farmers with their own plot and house on it), and so salaries are seen as 'extra.'  In Romania, I met a lot of priests who are farmers with a 'weekend gig.'  Good men with rough hands and big smiles.

Fourth, many from the Old World see donations as things done by the rich 'patron.'  Since most of them self-identify as 'poor,' they don't see themselves as being rich or having anything to contribute.  I recall meeting one of these folks who owned several apartment buildings and was a millionaire in property terms alone, but there were holes in the floor of the family home because "we don't have the money to replace the linoleum."

In my own parish, there are plenty of people from Bethlehem, and they assume that everything is 1,500 old and already paid off by the time of Theodosius II.  They are used to a cash box in the narthex that magically fills with pilgrim money, so the whole idea of tithing or giving is as odd to them as Kabuki theater is to an Iowa propane salesman.  Mind you, they are kind and generous when they feel like it, but consistency is a problem.

Lots of people from the Old World also are 'shame-driven.'  They won't commit to a pledge card and risk being shamed by being unable to give, and are also worried that their commitment might be too small and shame them that way.  Assessments and poll tax systems were designed to alleviate that form of shame, but they tend to be self-limiting, and are only really effective when everyone is in the same economic bracket.
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Offline Amatorus

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2015, 11:51:45 AM »
Well, there are a lot of complications to this study.

First, I would say that most Greek parishes in our area are quite well-funded, whereas Antiochian and OCA parishes do struggle to some degree.  My own parish just barely slides into home plate each year, though we have ended up in the red more than a couple of times.

Second, lots of GOA parishes make huge amounts of money on 'Greek Festivals.'  Before you see it as an 'escape' from tithing or donations, let's not forget the immense amount of labor that goes into putting these on.  One local parish starts preparations roughly a month after the last one, and has enormous freezers to store their goodies until the next festival.  It is a year-round labor that does not show up on their 'contribution form' or IRS letter, yet it makes a huge difference.

Third, most immigrants come from a system where the government or central church pays clergy their salary.  They are used to 'paying' for Sacraments, and will stuff an envelope in the priest's pocket that is meant to pay for his living expenses.  Clergy in the Old Country often get a free house (if they are not farmers with their own plot and house on it), and so salaries are seen as 'extra.'  In Romania, I met a lot of priests who are farmers with a 'weekend gig.'  Good men with rough hands and big smiles.

Fourth, many from the Old World see donations as things done by the rich 'patron.'  Since most of them self-identify as 'poor,' they don't see themselves as being rich or having anything to contribute.  I recall meeting one of these folks who owned several apartment buildings and was a millionaire in property terms alone, but there were holes in the floor of the family home because "we don't have the money to replace the linoleum."

In my own parish, there are plenty of people from Bethlehem, and they assume that everything is 1,500 old and already paid off by the time of Theodosius II.  They are used to a cash box in the narthex that magically fills with pilgrim money, so the whole idea of tithing or giving is as odd to them as Kabuki theater is to an Iowa propane salesman.  Mind you, they are kind and generous when they feel like it, but consistency is a problem.

Lots of people from the Old World also are 'shame-driven.'  They won't commit to a pledge card and risk being shamed by being unable to give, and are also worried that their commitment might be too small and shame them that way.  Assessments and poll tax systems were designed to alleviate that form of shame, but they tend to be self-limiting, and are only really effective when everyone is in the same economic bracket.


Interesting how it's always the traditions that are most harmful to society are the most stubborn to be removed, while the good ones seem to dissipate off the boat.

Offline Bob2

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2015, 12:02:55 PM »
First, I would say that most Greek parishes in our area are quite well-funded, whereas Antiochian and OCA parishes do struggle to some degree. 

I think the ratio of parishioners to priests is part of the reason Greeks tend to be "well funded" they often tend to large parishes with only one priest. A similar sized parish of some other jurisdictions would usually have 2-3 priests.


Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2015, 12:04:12 PM »
I think all studies are flawed.

But that doesn't mean they are not worth doing...if only to know how things are and come up with ideas.


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Offline juliogb

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2015, 12:18:04 PM »
Do you guys think that jurisdictions with more protestant converts are richer than a jurisdiction with craddle orthodox, RC convert or any other religion convert? Protestants usually have a strong tradition of tithing and giving to the church.

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2015, 12:21:15 PM »
First, I would say that most Greek parishes in our area are quite well-funded, whereas Antiochian and OCA parishes do struggle to some degree. 

I think the ratio of parishioners to priests is part of the reason Greeks tend to be "well funded" they often tend to large parishes with only one priest. A similar sized parish of some other jurisdictions would usually have 2-3 priests.

That's true, though we have some pretty large Antiochian parishes/cathedrals with most of the same problems you see in the smaller ones.
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2015, 12:23:39 PM »
Do you guys think that jurisdictions with more protestant converts are richer than a jurisdiction with craddle orthodox, RC convert or any other religion convert? Protestants usually have a strong tradition of tithing and giving to the church.


Richer? Not necessarily.

I would only state that I think the 'mechanics' of giving are very different in convert parishes/jurisdictions than in historically Ethnic ones.

Father G. has pointed out a few of the ways that Ethnic parishes raise money that wouldn't show up as 'straight donations' etc...

I do however -personally- think that continuing to 'emulate' the old country model 4 generations later, sometimes doesn't do the Church in general any favors.
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Offline Velsigne

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2015, 01:26:16 PM »
Where did you derive your numbers and what is the basis of the calculation? What sorts of assumptions are made on the numbers?

The Protestants have been taught that the base is 10% minimum. 

They gathered that from their reading of the Old Testament apparently.

The Jews think they are crazy for paying the Temple tithe.  There is no more Temple, there is no Levitical priesthood in the non-existent Temple, and we don't trade in agricultural produce anymore.  So no 10% tithe.  The tithe to the priest, btw, was 2/10th of 10%, not 10% and tithes also fed people and cared for widows and orphans.  Synagogues after the Temple are funded through buying seats and they give alms in the wider community or support causes personally important to them. 

Does the OCA and Antiochian parish support widows and orphans and provide other services to people?   By the Temple calculation, which is quite complicated, the parish should be giving back a minimum of 10% back to the parishioners.

There is no consensus among the Holy Fathers, and no history of consistent tithing in the Orthodox tradition that I can find.  I read an essay by an Antiochian priest that basically says the same thing.

So, according to you, the Greeks are very Orthodox and the OCA and Antiochians are Protestant hybrids.   :)




Maybe you should go read the actual study which was linked if you want the details on how it was conducted.


and I was not saying anyone was a protestant hybrid....

I was saying that one's past history does play into how one thinks.

Hi,

Are you also "Carl" on this forum?

My post was in response to his observation that there can't be church unity on these blessed shores because those dastardly Greeks won't give money the way he likes it to be given.

The GO priests are extremely well compensated, more so than ROCOR, OCA, and probably Antiochian.

They also tend to have support staff.

Does that also make unity too far a mountain to climb?

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Offline Elisha

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2015, 01:27:56 PM »
Well, there are a lot of complications to this study.

First, I would say that most Greek parishes in our area are quite well-funded, whereas Antiochian and OCA parishes do struggle to some degree.  My own parish just barely slides into home plate each year, though we have ended up in the red more than a couple of times.

Second, lots of GOA parishes make huge amounts of money on 'Greek Festivals.'  Before you see it as an 'escape' from tithing or donations, let's not forget the immense amount of labor that goes into putting these on.  One local parish starts preparations roughly a month after the last one, and has enormous freezers to store their goodies until the next festival.  It is a year-round labor that does not show up on their 'contribution form' or IRS letter, yet it makes a huge difference.

Third, most immigrants come from a system where the government or central church pays clergy their salary.  They are used to 'paying' for Sacraments, and will stuff an envelope in the priest's pocket that is meant to pay for his living expenses.  Clergy in the Old Country often get a free house (if they are not farmers with their own plot and house on it), and so salaries are seen as 'extra.'  In Romania, I met a lot of priests who are farmers with a 'weekend gig.'  Good men with rough hands and big smiles.

Fourth, many from the Old World see donations as things done by the rich 'patron.'  Since most of them self-identify as 'poor,' they don't see themselves as being rich or having anything to contribute.  I recall meeting one of these folks who owned several apartment buildings and was a millionaire in property terms alone, but there were holes in the floor of the family home because "we don't have the money to replace the linoleum."

In my own parish, there are plenty of people from Bethlehem, and they assume that everything is 1,500 old and already paid off by the time of Theodosius II.  They are used to a cash box in the narthex that magically fills with pilgrim money, so the whole idea of tithing or giving is as odd to them as Kabuki theater is to an Iowa propane salesman.  Mind you, they are kind and generous when they feel like it, but consistency is a problem.

Lots of people from the Old World also are 'shame-driven.'  They won't commit to a pledge card and risk being shamed by being unable to give, and are also worried that their commitment might be too small and shame them that way.  Assessments and poll tax systems were designed to alleviate that form of shame, but they tend to be self-limiting, and are only really effective when everyone is in the same economic bracket.


A lot of good points here.

A couple more that are related (and I don't mean to entirely pick on the GOA, but to contribute food for thought):
- Festival Income/Work:  Good point by Scamandrius/Fr. G, but want to elaborate.  My OCA parish's annual festival is this weekend.  This will be the 26th year and it has steadily grown throughout it's history.  While being an OCA parish and of course started by "Russians", really, the parish is very mixed convert/cradle/ethnicity and the festival more "Greek" in nature and our temple sure looks more Greek.  We have over 3000 guests and revenue (not "profit") is $70K+.  While still kinda small compared to the big Greek festivals, I think we're at least on the spectrum.  Bottom line for our festival though?  We don't NEED to have it to run our parish....and people STILL put in the many hours of work.  You should not need to have a festival to fund your parish, but it has become so in many parishes from what I hear.
- giving/Old Country:  Our parish council secretary (on the council) up until recently used to be the parish secretary for the nearest GOA parish as her full time job (as a policy, they want someone NOT a member of the parish for the position).  While there are wealthy people in that parish, the "typical" family she says gives $200 a year "because that's what yiayia did".  That parish is struggling to fund a priest and so the bishop is withholding a full-time priest, and also experiencing declining membership/attendance.  And yes...the whole "but I thought the priest got money from Saydna/Despota/Vladika?" thing.
- Demographics:  a huge challenge.  Some parishes, the money is out there - just need to explain the points above, others (e.g. old Rust Belt) there many not be much hope without a huge infusion of young blood with more financial means.  It's a huge mixed bag of parishes with different situations and needs.

Offline Velsigne

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2015, 01:34:31 PM »
Well, there are a lot of complications to this study.

First, I would say that most Greek parishes in our area are quite well-funded, whereas Antiochian and OCA parishes do struggle to some degree.  My own parish just barely slides into home plate each year, though we have ended up in the red more than a couple of times.

Second, lots of GOA parishes make huge amounts of money on 'Greek Festivals.'  Before you see it as an 'escape' from tithing or donations, let's not forget the immense amount of labor that goes into putting these on.  One local parish starts preparations roughly a month after the last one, and has enormous freezers to store their goodies until the next festival.  It is a year-round labor that does not show up on their 'contribution form' or IRS letter, yet it makes a huge difference.

Third, most immigrants come from a system where the government or central church pays clergy their salary.  They are used to 'paying' for Sacraments, and will stuff an envelope in the priest's pocket that is meant to pay for his living expenses.  Clergy in the Old Country often get a free house (if they are not farmers with their own plot and house on it), and so salaries are seen as 'extra.'  In Romania, I met a lot of priests who are farmers with a 'weekend gig.'  Good men with rough hands and big smiles.

Fourth, many from the Old World see donations as things done by the rich 'patron.'  Since most of them self-identify as 'poor,' they don't see themselves as being rich or having anything to contribute.  I recall meeting one of these folks who owned several apartment buildings and was a millionaire in property terms alone, but there were holes in the floor of the family home because "we don't have the money to replace the linoleum."

In my own parish, there are plenty of people from Bethlehem, and they assume that everything is 1,500 old and already paid off by the time of Theodosius II.  They are used to a cash box in the narthex that magically fills with pilgrim money, so the whole idea of tithing or giving is as odd to them as Kabuki theater is to an Iowa propane salesman.  Mind you, they are kind and generous when they feel like it, but consistency is a problem.

Lots of people from the Old World also are 'shame-driven.'  They won't commit to a pledge card and risk being shamed by being unable to give, and are also worried that their commitment might be too small and shame them that way.  Assessments and poll tax systems were designed to alleviate that form of shame, but they tend to be self-limiting, and are only really effective when everyone is in the same economic bracket.


Thanks Father for that.

Also, in addition to tithe there are the needs of the parish that are above and beyond basic costs:  donations in the  form of baptismal gifts, helping with burial costs, funding schools, helping the monastery,  funding missios, funding overseas humanitarian relief, bringing food for potluck and Feasts, oil for the vigil lamps, flowers, benevolence fund, special pur hases for priests of vestments or altar items, paying for one's photo to be in the directory, candles, gas to get to church for the plethora of services, just for starters.

This is not a cheap undertaking at all. 
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2015, 01:39:14 PM »
Well, there are a lot of complications to this study.

First, I would say that most Greek parishes in our area are quite well-funded, whereas Antiochian and OCA parishes do struggle to some degree.  My own parish just barely slides into home plate each year, though we have ended up in the red more than a couple of times.

Second, lots of GOA parishes make huge amounts of money on 'Greek Festivals.'  Before you see it as an 'escape' from tithing or donations, let's not forget the immense amount of labor that goes into putting these on.  One local parish starts preparations roughly a month after the last one, and has enormous freezers to store their goodies until the next festival.  It is a year-round labor that does not show up on their 'contribution form' or IRS letter, yet it makes a huge difference.

Third, most immigrants come from a system where the government or central church pays clergy their salary.  They are used to 'paying' for Sacraments, and will stuff an envelope in the priest's pocket that is meant to pay for his living expenses.  Clergy in the Old Country often get a free house (if they are not farmers with their own plot and house on it), and so salaries are seen as 'extra.'  In Romania, I met a lot of priests who are farmers with a 'weekend gig.'  Good men with rough hands and big smiles.

Fourth, many from the Old World see donations as things done by the rich 'patron.'  Since most of them self-identify as 'poor,' they don't see themselves as being rich or having anything to contribute.  I recall meeting one of these folks who owned several apartment buildings and was a millionaire in property terms alone, but there were holes in the floor of the family home because "we don't have the money to replace the linoleum."

In my own parish, there are plenty of people from Bethlehem, and they assume that everything is 1,500 old and already paid off by the time of Theodosius II.  They are used to a cash box in the narthex that magically fills with pilgrim money, so the whole idea of tithing or giving is as odd to them as Kabuki theater is to an Iowa propane salesman.  Mind you, they are kind and generous when they feel like it, but consistency is a problem.

Lots of people from the Old World also are 'shame-driven.'  They won't commit to a pledge card and risk being shamed by being unable to give, and are also worried that their commitment might be too small and shame them that way.  Assessments and poll tax systems were designed to alleviate that form of shame, but they tend to be self-limiting, and are only really effective when everyone is in the same economic bracket.


Thanks Father for that.

Also, in addition to tithe there are the needs of the parish that are above and beyond basic costs:  donations in the  form of baptismal gifts, helping with burial costs, funding schools, helping the monastery,  funding missios, funding overseas humanitarian relief, bringing food for potluck and Feasts, oil for the vigil lamps, flowers, benevolence fund, special pur hases for priests of vestments or altar items, paying for one's photo to be in the directory, candles, gas to get to church for the plethora of services, just for starters.

This is not a cheap undertaking at all.


and its not like the parishes in the study with higher giving don't cover these things out of pocket too......;)

Trust me, its not as if just because a particular parish 'pledges to tithe' that it covers everything.

So it is no 'cheaper' either way you do it.....
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Offline Elisha

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2015, 02:03:36 PM »
Where did you derive your numbers and what is the basis of the calculation? What sorts of assumptions are made on the numbers?

The Protestants have been taught that the base is 10% minimum. 

They gathered that from their reading of the Old Testament apparently.

The Jews think they are crazy for paying the Temple tithe.  There is no more Temple, there is no Levitical priesthood in the non-existent Temple, and we don't trade in agricultural produce anymore.  So no 10% tithe.  The tithe to the priest, btw, was 2/10th of 10%, not 10% and tithes also fed people and cared for widows and orphans.  Synagogues after the Temple are funded through buying seats and they give alms in the wider community or support causes personally important to them. 

Does the OCA and Antiochian parish support widows and orphans and provide other services to people?   By the Temple calculation, which is quite complicated, the parish should be giving back a minimum of 10% back to the parishioners.

There is no consensus among the Holy Fathers, and no history of consistent tithing in the Orthodox tradition that I can find.  I read an essay by an Antiochian priest that basically says the same thing.

So, according to you, the Greeks are very Orthodox and the OCA and Antiochians are Protestant hybrids.   :)




Maybe you should go read the actual study which was linked if you want the details on how it was conducted.


and I was not saying anyone was a protestant hybrid....

I was saying that one's past history does play into how one thinks.

Hi,

Are you also "Carl" on this forum?

My post was in response to his observation that there can't be church unity on these blessed shores because those dastardly Greeks won't give money the way he likes it to be given.

The GO priests are extremely well compensated, more so than ROCOR, OCA, and probably Antiochian.

They also tend to have support staff.

Does that also make unity too far a mountain to climb?

HE?  (as in Carl)

Again, as DeniseDenise said, try reading the article first.

As he pointed out, the disparity is an impediment to unity, but he's not saying it is insurmountable.

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2015, 02:07:01 PM »


HE?  (as in Carl)

Again, as DeniseDenise said, try reading the article first.

As he pointed out, the disparity is an impediment to unity, but he's not saying it is insurmountable.


He just didn't want anyone OTHER than Carl to answer him, and was thus offended I replied.

Unfortunately unless one sends a PM, others respond, due to this being a forum and not email.

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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2015, 05:48:15 PM »
Where did you derive your numbers and what is the basis of the calculation? What sorts of assumptions are made on the numbers?

The Protestants have been taught that the base is 10% minimum. 

They gathered that from their reading of the Old Testament apparently.

The Jews think they are crazy for paying the Temple tithe.  There is no more Temple, there is no Levitical priesthood in the non-existent Temple, and we don't trade in agricultural produce anymore.  So no 10% tithe.  The tithe to the priest, btw, was 2/10th of 10%, not 10% and tithes also fed people and cared for widows and orphans.  Synagogues after the Temple are funded through buying seats and they give alms in the wider community or support causes personally important to them. 

Does the OCA and Antiochian parish support widows and orphans and provide other services to people?   By the Temple calculation, which is quite complicated, the parish should be giving back a minimum of 10% back to the parishioners.

There is no consensus among the Holy Fathers, and no history of consistent tithing in the Orthodox tradition that I can find.  I read an essay by an Antiochian priest that basically says the same thing.

So, according to you, the Greeks are very Orthodox and the OCA and Antiochians are Protestant hybrids.   :)

I hope by now, you have read the study and have found for yourself the answers to your questions. Before I respond to your other observations, would youplease advise if you have done your homework? Thanks, Carl

Offline Opus118

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2015, 01:44:12 AM »
Where did you derive your numbers and what is the basis of the calculation? What sorts of assumptions are made on the numbers?

The Protestants have been taught that the base is 10% minimum. 

They gathered that from their reading of the Old Testament apparently.

The Jews think they are crazy for paying the Temple tithe.  There is no more Temple, there is no Levitical priesthood in the non-existent Temple, and we don't trade in agricultural produce anymore.  So no 10% tithe.  The tithe to the priest, btw, was 2/10th of 10%, not 10% and tithes also fed people and cared for widows and orphans.  Synagogues after the Temple are funded through buying seats and they give alms in the wider community or support causes personally important to them. 

Does the OCA and Antiochian parish support widows and orphans and provide other services to people?   By the Temple calculation, which is quite complicated, the parish should be giving back a minimum of 10% back to the parishioners.

There is no consensus among the Holy Fathers, and no history of consistent tithing in the Orthodox tradition that I can find.  I read an essay by an Antiochian priest that basically says the same thing.

So, according to you, the Greeks are very Orthodox and the OCA and Antiochians are Protestant hybrids.   :)

I hope by now, you have read the study and have found for yourself the answers to your questions. Before I respond to your other observations, would youplease advise if you have done your homework? Thanks, Carl

I did glance through the 136 page report. The use of median values is perfectly appropriate for the purpose of this study, but it seems to get confused with mean values here.  I do  have some problems with what I noticed or did not notice. There are potential recommendations based on correlations that are not analyzed in terms of significance. The other problem is that the demographics of this sample is highly divergent from Krindatch's overall demographics of the churches in the US. There is a clear bias in the respondents that does not appear to be addressed. I might have missed an explanation, but without, it the data are questionable.

Also, I do not understand why you find this so interesting other than trying out new ways to increase donations to the Church.
If you cannot remember everything, instead of everything, I beg you, remember this without fail, that not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our own wealth but theirs.  If we have this attitude, we will certainly offer our money; and by nourishing Christ in poverty here and laying up great profit hereafter, we will be able to attain the good things which are to come. - St. John Chrysostom

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #31 on: September 20, 2015, 09:10:37 AM »
Apples and oranges when comparing old line century old parishes in the northeast and Midwest with parishes in other, more dynamic and growing regions. "Ethnicity" has less than meets the eye to do with this issue. There is no one size fits all response. But boasting or bemoaning about one method and putting old school against new school as goes on here and elsewhere online has much to do with the growing LACK of enthusiasm for "unity" as any other factor.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2015, 02:59:41 PM »
Where did you derive your numbers and what is the basis of the calculation? What sorts of assumptions are made on the numbers?

The Protestants have been taught that the base is 10% minimum. 

They gathered that from their reading of the Old Testament apparently.

The Jews think they are crazy for paying the Temple tithe.  There is no more Temple, there is no Levitical priesthood in the non-existent Temple, and we don't trade in agricultural produce anymore.  So no 10% tithe.  The tithe to the priest, btw, was 2/10th of 10%, not 10% and tithes also fed people and cared for widows and orphans.  Synagogues after the Temple are funded through buying seats and they give alms in the wider community or support causes personally important to them. 

Does the OCA and Antiochian parish support widows and orphans and provide other services to people?   By the Temple calculation, which is quite complicated, the parish should be giving back a minimum of 10% back to the parishioners.

There is no consensus among the Holy Fathers, and no history of consistent tithing in the Orthodox tradition that I can find.  I read an essay by an Antiochian priest that basically says the same thing.

So, according to you, the Greeks are very Orthodox and the OCA and Antiochians are Protestant hybrids.   :)

I hope by now, you have read the study and have found for yourself the answers to your questions. Before I respond to your other observations, would youplease advise if you have done your homework? Thanks, Carl

I did glance through the 136 page report. The use of median values is perfectly appropriate for the purpose of this study, but it seems to get confused with mean values here.  I do  have some problems with what I noticed or did not notice. There are potential recommendations based on correlations that are not analyzed in terms of significance. The other problem is that the demographics of this sample is highly divergent from Krindatch's overall demographics of the churches in the US. There is a clear bias in the respondents that does not appear to be addressed. I might have missed an explanation, but without, it the data are questionable.

Also, I do not understand why you find this so interesting other than trying out new ways to increase donations to the Church.

The demographics is simply those of the lay folks who voluntarily responded to the survey. That said, the sample size of the first survey is large enough to draw some conclusions for the GOAA, OCA, and AOCANA in answering the three main goals of the study:

 To examine patterns and trends in religious giving among Orthodox Church members: both to their home parishes and to wider religious causes;
 To explore differences in giving between members of various Orthodox jurisdictions and between various categories of parishioners (in particular, between various generations and between cradle Orthodox and converts to Orthodoxy);
 To learn what might be done to increase ʺgenerosityʺ of Church members  (page 3)

The question of "mean" vs "median" is addressed on pages 24-25 (very nicely, IMHO).

The only thing that I would have done differently would have been not to combine the respondents of the following questions into cradle and convert.

The survey asked:  ʺWhat best describes your religious upbringing?ʺ The respondents could choose between four responses:

 ʺI was raised and have always been active in Orthodox Church;ʺ was combined with
 ʺI am a  ʺreturned Orthodox:ʺ I was raised in the Orthodox Church, but was inactive in Church for a period of time;ʺ to be placed in the "cradle" category

and

 ʺI am a convert to Orthodoxy: I was raised in other religious tradition and become Orthodox in later stage of life;ʺ was combined with
 ʺI grew up in a non‐religious family and became a church‐involved Orthodox Christian in later stage of life.ʺ to be placed in the "convert" category.

I suspect that many returned Orthodox would be more generous than those who never left. Thus, I think the generosity of the cradles is inflated in this study. Put another way, cradles are far less generous. The question remains whether they give below that imaginary line that represents their commitment to God and Church. I think that line is different for most folks, depending on their cultural context, and that to give "sacrificially" or in a way that befits a disciple of Christ will mean different amounts/ratios for different folks. But, the fact remains that almost all of the respondents were born and raised in the States and they are not fresh off the boat. I think that this study should prick the conscience of many Orthodox in this country. To paraphrase St John Chrysostom, if Jews and Baptists give at least 10%, it is a scandal for Orthodox Christians to give less.

To directly address the implied criticism, "I do not understand why you find this so interesting other than trying out new ways to increase donations to the Church, " I will say this. I am trying to figure out what it means to be an Orthodox Christian. Among other things, I do agree with Apostle James that faith without works is dead. And, one of those good works is being a good stewart of one's time, talents and income. Thus, it saddens me to see that such Christian stewardship is not emphasized or practiced in the Orthodox Church. It is simply boils down to: who do you put first? Granted that giving financially is only a part of the many things that we should be doing. Nonetheless, it is a very important part.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 03:08:37 PM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) »

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2015, 03:05:55 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of just forking over 10% to your parish as a rule. The Jews were instructed to do it because the social welfare programs of the nation went through the temple. If I am going to give a full 10% to my parish, they had better be doing lots of stuff besides putting up new icons and building additions. Certainly the parish needs to be funded and giving should not be neglected, but I don't think it is any less honorable if you are also giving to OCMC, IOCC, or even non-Orthodox charities who are meeting social needs.
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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2015, 03:11:33 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of just forking over 10% to your parish as a rule. The Jews were instructed to do it because the social welfare programs of the nation went through the temple. If I am going to give a full 10% to my parish, they had better be doing lots of stuff besides putting up new icons and building additions. Certainly the parish needs to be funded and giving should not be neglected, but I don't think it is any less honorable if you are also giving to OCMC, IOCC, or even non-Orthodox charities who are meeting social needs.

Well given that most parishes don't see your W-2 for the year.....proportional giving is still up to the Giver.....

and where that 10% (or whatever % it is that you pledge)  goes...honestly I would say that's going to depend on parish size, number of families, and bills....some parishes might be able to do 'extra' things with it.....where another might only get enough to keep the lights on and the Priest paid.

All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2015, 03:14:12 PM »
'we hear you got a big raise this year, Denise.......so your pledge is now 5% higher'

yea....that would be comedy


where as a 'Your membership dues are being raised 5% (whether or not you can afford that'
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2015, 03:14:45 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of just forking over 10% to your parish as a rule. The Jews were instructed to do it because the social welfare programs of the nation went through the temple. If I am going to give a full 10% to my parish, they had better be doing lots of stuff besides putting up new icons and building additions. Certainly the parish needs to be funded and giving should not be neglected, but I don't think it is any less honorable if you are also giving to OCMC, IOCC, or even non-Orthodox charities who are meeting social needs.

Well given that most parishes don't see your W-2 for the year.....proportional giving is still up to the Giver.....

and where that 10% (or whatever % it is that you pledge)  goes...honestly I would say that's going to depend on parish size, number of families, and bills....some parishes might be able to do 'extra' things with it.....where another might only get enough to keep the lights on and the Priest paid.
I'm not saying the church is requiring that, I mean that I think each person can make decisions on where they give their money without being pressured to give 10% to the church. Some parishes don't really need that much money, others do. It doesn't make sense to make a blanket statement that everyone should be giving 10% to their parish.
God bless!

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2015, 03:15:57 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of just forking over 10% to your parish as a rule. The Jews were instructed to do it because the social welfare programs of the nation went through the temple. If I am going to give a full 10% to my parish, they had better be doing lots of stuff besides putting up new icons and building additions. Certainly the parish needs to be funded and giving should not be neglected, but I don't think it is any less honorable if you are also giving to OCMC, IOCC, or even non-Orthodox charities who are meeting social needs.

For sure! I disagree with just one part of your post: where you expect certain things as a result of your full tithing. My idea of stewardship is that I am responsible for my part and the Parish Council, the rector and the bishop are responsible for the spending of it. That said, I would be more at home in a parish that tithes to the diocese; makes regular donations to charitable causes in the community, state, nation and world; and support various specifically Orthodox causes (seminaries, missions, etc.). Thus, I would never agree that we should give just enough to fund the church; we should give enough to satisfy ourselves that we are good stewards.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2015, 03:19:09 PM »
'we hear you got a big raise this year, Denise.......so your pledge is now 5% higher'

yea....that would be comedy


where as a 'Your membership dues are being raised 5% (whether or not you can afford that'

I will be bold and state that I find two things to be abhorrent: (a) the idea of dues or assessments and (b) passing the plate during the Liturgy. We are supposed to be enlightened adults and should shoulder the responsibility for stewardship as part and parcel of being Orthodox Christians. When the state or just the wealthy folks support the Church, that means that the rest of us are reduced to serfs or slaves, or children incapable of doing the right thing. I hope y'all understand that I am not agitating for a particular amount or rate. I am agitating for folks to act responsibly; giving of their time, talent and funds after reflection and prayer and in accord with the (many) examples in the Holy Bible. Now, if you want to tell me that you have done that and you choose not to give any of your time, talents or money, then may God have mercy on you and enlighten you because you are living a "faith without works (that) is dead."

There are many percentages thrown about. !0% was the temple tithe in the OT times, but Jews gave even more for social services. 10% is touted as the standard by some Protestants, while a Roman Catholic worthy calculated the rough value of our taxes that go to social services (=alms) to be roughly half of the tithe. So, it may be that you could determine that stewardship on your part would be 5% of your gross income (or 10% of your take home pay), plus regular attendance and active participation in the various services (time); and helping out in the Choir, kitchen, altar, Parish Council and committees, Church school, etc...(talents).
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 03:41:05 PM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) »

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2015, 03:25:16 PM »
'we hear you got a big raise this year, Denise.......so your pledge is now 5% higher'

yea....that would be comedy


where as a 'Your membership dues are being raised 5% (whether or not you can afford that'

I will be bold and state that I find two things to be abhorrent: (a) the idea of dues or assessments and (b) passing the plate during the Liturgy.


*nods* not disagreeing...

just saying the idea that people perhaps not tithe brings a mental picture of someone knowing how much i make.....to mind.

I belong to a pledge your proportional giving at the start of the year....parish.  That facilitates the Treasurer making a budget that we can deal with.  After the budget is approved then not another word is said about your pledge during DL or anywhere else.   

There is however a once a month collection AFTER DL for Charity (sometimes its IOCC, sometimes its more local, etc.)
All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #40 on: September 22, 2015, 03:39:26 PM »
'we hear you got a big raise this year, Denise.......so your pledge is now 5% higher'

yea....that would be comedy


where as a 'Your membership dues are being raised 5% (whether or not you can afford that'

I will be bold and state that I find two things to be abhorrent: (a) the idea of dues or assessments and (b) passing the plate during the Liturgy.


*nods* not disagreeing...

just saying the idea that people perhaps not tithe brings a mental picture of someone knowing how much i make.....to mind.

I belong to a pledge your proportional giving at the start of the year....parish.  That facilitates the Treasurer making a budget that we can deal with.  After the budget is approved then not another word is said about your pledge during DL or anywhere else.   

There is however a once a month collection AFTER DL for Charity (sometimes its IOCC, sometimes its more local, etc.)

We do almost the same thing. IOCC is a special Great Lent collection; we support our Youth Group's service projects in the community; all of our "profits" from our annual festival goes to local charity; and we have an account for the rector to use to help folks who knocking at the door.

Offline Maria

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #41 on: September 22, 2015, 03:48:20 PM »
Greek Orthodox priests have explained that in Greece, the people pay taxes that are used to support the State Church.

When they come to the USA, it takes them a long time to realize that the Church is not supported by the State or by their taxes.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 03:48:42 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #42 on: September 22, 2015, 03:56:54 PM »
Greek Orthodox priests have explained that in Greece, the people pay taxes that are used to support the State Church.

When they come to the USA, it takes them a long time to realize that the Church is not supported by the State or by their taxes.

Would one, two or three generations of living in the USA make them realize that they are no longer living in Greece?

Offline Maria

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #43 on: September 22, 2015, 04:02:14 PM »
Greek Orthodox priests have explained that in Greece, the people pay taxes that are used to support the State Church.

When they come to the USA, it takes them a long time to realize that the Church is not supported by the State or by their taxes.

Would one, two or three generations of living in the USA make them realize that they are no longer living in Greece?

Parents teach their children, so if Daddy and Mommy are not putting money into that basket, then how do they expect that their children will?

The priests and the Greek Parish Council explained it this way:

When parents put a dollar in the basket, and then give a quarter for their children to put in the basket. That may total $3.00 per family ($2.00 donated by the parents, and 4 quarters by the four children).

$3.00 X 52 Sundays/year = $156.00/year

That $156.00 is the amount that a family of six might spend going out to the movies and to a restaurant for ONE DAY.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Unbelievably vast difference between jurisdictions
« Reply #44 on: September 22, 2015, 04:15:51 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of just forking over 10% to your parish as a rule. The Jews were instructed to do it because the social welfare programs of the nation went through the temple. If I am going to give a full 10% to my parish, they had better be doing lots of stuff besides putting up new icons and building additions. Certainly the parish needs to be funded and giving should not be neglected, but I don't think it is any less honorable if you are also giving to OCMC, IOCC, or even non-Orthodox charities who are meeting social needs.

For sure! I disagree with just one part of your post: where you expect certain things as a result of your full tithing. My idea of stewardship is that I am responsible for my part and the Parish Council, the rector and the bishop are responsible for the spending of it. That said, I would be more at home in a parish that tithes to the diocese; makes regular donations to charitable causes in the community, state, nation and world; and support various specifically Orthodox causes (seminaries, missions, etc.). Thus, I would never agree that we should give just enough to fund the church; we should give enough to satisfy ourselves that we are good stewards.
Perhaps. I've not seen mismanagement in my parish, so it is more of a hypothetical at this point in time, but when I was non-denominational, large chunks of money went to the latest sound systems, new guitars, and other silliness. I suppose my tendency to take a critical eye in giving comes from those experiences.
God bless!