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Author Topic: How Priests Live  (Read 4402 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #45 on: April 04, 2012, 10:40:20 AM »

Maybe some of these priests who drive Mercedes come from a family who had wealth.  Maybe their great aunt Dorothy died and left them a large chunk of change.

Quite true, I remember my grandfather would always see to it that my dad had enough cash to buy a nice black Buick sedan back in the day! Other priests are good with the markets and investments. Gosh - just like real people - some are good with money and others are like a leaky pail. .....BTW, they also put their pants on one leg at a time.
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« Reply #46 on: April 04, 2012, 02:17:17 PM »

One other comment I want to make on this thread.

I knew the highest paid priest in the OCA back in the 1980's.   The entire congregation tithed, and he was able to be a full time priest.  He did not have any other jobs on the side at all.

I do not know the exact figure he made, but I do know that he was the highest paid priest in that time for the OCA.

Anyway, he lived pretty much middle class as far as wealth goes.   He had several children and they were all dressed just fine for church.   The children outside of the church were not in the latest fashions of the day, but they wore regular duds....  Their home was nice, but nothing extravagant.   Their vehicles were mediocre, one older, one "middle aged".

They certainly were not banking it, but certainly not poor.   I thought it was moderate and fine.  They were not taking advantage of the congregation at all and the congregation had no complaints.  I certainly cannot see those figures being accurate on the charts posted, but I guess I don't know.

According to those charts, a GOA priest in Texas with 35 years would be making 109k a year.  That is pretty much "banking it" for most of Texas.
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« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2012, 06:48:23 PM »

To add some actual figures to the conversation.
According to the official GOA Clergy Compensation Plan for 2009, for priests with service up to:
 

five years the salary range is $47,232 – $63,960;
 from six -10 years, $63,960 – $71,280;
 11-15 years, $71,280 – $81,672;
 16-20 years, $81,672 – $90,792.
 21-25 years, $90,792 – $97,224.
 26-30 years, $97,224 – $103,464.
 31-35 years, $103,464 – $109,464.
 For more than 35 years the range is $109.464 – $115,512.

Some Priests make over $200,000 per year. My own parish priest with 20 years of service receives $115,000.

Certainly thess figures are one thing for a married priest trying to pay for their children to go to college. But $115,000 for an Archimandrite makes me wonder where all the money goes?
Charity?

Charity is best done in quiet and I can attest to at least one departed Archimandrite and later a hierarch who did just that - quietly. He paid his own way to mandated visits to Europe for example.

I don't think that serb meant that if he has a parish on the Gold Coast somewhere that the priest should belong to the club, drive an Infinity etc.... I think he meant that part of the parish's obligation to their married clergy and their families is to ensure that they can live with a degree of dignity and self-reliance.

I painfully remember the old days - not that long ago - when ill or elderly priests and their widows were forced onto public assistance or medicaid in order to survive. That is neither dignified nor particularly Christian on the part of the faithful to allow that to occur. This was particularly galling in those jurisdictions where celibacy was the supposed straw that broke the camel's back with the Greek Catholics.

I think part of this as well is that classic distinction of ministry in the world, vs. monasticism.  Just another thing to think about in this entire conversation.  Most priests are working out their salvation through their wives, not through a complete & unrequited commitment to Christ like in monasticism.  This means, that sacramentally speaking, we are supporting our priests in their own personal salvation, through the church of the family, as St. Paul explains it.  All of these aspects of our orthodox theology must be taken into account. 

As for the millionaire parish paradigm, I have an idea:  what if the priest there was also a millionaire b/c the people payed him so.  What if he is a truly blessed man, who can find a way to bring these people through the eye of the needle?  But he needs that clout in order to do it? 

I think nothing is impossible with God, which is the true moral of that story.  Either we take that seriously, or we don't.  That's up to us, no matter how much we earn. 

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« Reply #48 on: April 05, 2012, 08:56:08 AM »

To add some actual figures to the conversation.
According to the official GOA Clergy Compensation Plan for 2009, for priests with service up to:
 

five years the salary range is $47,232 – $63,960;
 from six -10 years, $63,960 – $71,280;
 11-15 years, $71,280 – $81,672;
 16-20 years, $81,672 – $90,792.
 21-25 years, $90,792 – $97,224.
 26-30 years, $97,224 – $103,464.
 31-35 years, $103,464 – $109,464.
 For more than 35 years the range is $109.464 – $115,512.

Some Priests make over $200,000 per year. My own parish priest with 20 years of service receives $115,000.

Certainly thess figures are one thing for a married priest trying to pay for their children to go to college. But $115,000 for an Archimandrite makes me wonder where all the money goes?
Charity?

Charity is best done in quiet and I can attest to at least one departed Archimandrite and later a hierarch who did just that - quietly. He paid his own way to mandated visits to Europe for example.

I don't think that serb meant that if he has a parish on the Gold Coast somewhere that the priest should belong to the club, drive an Infinity etc.... I think he meant that part of the parish's obligation to their married clergy and their families is to ensure that they can live with a degree of dignity and self-reliance.

I painfully remember the old days - not that long ago - when ill or elderly priests and their widows were forced onto public assistance or medicaid in order to survive. That is neither dignified nor particularly Christian on the part of the faithful to allow that to occur. This was particularly galling in those jurisdictions where celibacy was the supposed straw that broke the camel's back with the Greek Catholics.

I think part of this as well is that classic distinction of ministry in the world, vs. monasticism.  Just another thing to think about in this entire conversation.  Most priests are working out their salvation through their wives, not through a complete & unrequited commitment to Christ like in monasticism.  This means, that sacramentally speaking, we are supporting our priests in their own personal salvation, through the church of the family, as St. Paul explains it.  All of these aspects of our orthodox theology must be taken into account.  

As for the millionaire parish paradigm, I have an idea:  what if the priest there was also a millionaire b/c the people payed him so.  What if he is a truly blessed man, who can find a way to bring these people through the eye of the needle?  But he needs that clout in order to do it?  

I think nothing is impossible with God, which is the true moral of that story.  Either we take that seriously, or we don't.  That's up to us, no matter how much we earn.  



Well said Father, I would also point out that even on the GOA chart, a married priest with a family is not getting rich - he is living like a firefighter or a school teacher at first and like an administrator in latter years. Is he 'worth' less to you all? Doesn't size of parish come into play as well as to the ability of a smaller parish to pay?

Unlike the typical Slavic rust belt parish, the Greek priest must provide all living expenses as far as I know for living, including buying a home, furniture, utilities etc...

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« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2012, 11:04:12 AM »

five years the salary range is $47,232 – $63,960;
 from six -10 years, $63,960 – $71,280;
 11-15 years, $71,280 – $81,672;
 16-20 years, $81,672 – $90,792.
 21-25 years, $90,792 – $97,224.
 26-30 years, $97,224 – $103,464.
 31-35 years, $103,464 – $109,464.
 For more than 35 years the range is $109.464 – $115,512.

Some Priests make over $200,000 per year. My own parish priest with 20 years of service receives $115,000.

I may have to rethink my career path here... and change jurisdictions to the GOA...
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« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2012, 11:17:48 AM »

There are two aspects to this; (1) how much should our priests be compensated and (2) how should we support the church, regardless of the clergy support issue. The first one can be discussed with some degree of competence and will result in a budget, which may or may not drive how much parishioners give to the Church. While this approach makes sense economically, it cannot be the Christian approach to the question of how much we give to the our Lord and His Church.

If we are to give of our time, talents and riches (and we are called to do just that as disciples of the Lord), then we need to consider what the Holy Scriptures and the Church Fathers say about it.  I do not intend to quote chapter and verse unless I am challenged, but I was involved in a discussion on another blog and the following points came out.

- The Lord calls us to give everything--that is 100%..

- The Scriptures talk about tithing as a minimum level of giving--that is 10%.

- The Early Church Fathers, to include Saints Gregory the Theologian, Basil the Great and John Chrysostom all support tithing.

It is quite unfortunate that the Orthodox jurisdictions on this continent are not on a tithing system. Actually, even in my own jurisdiction, tithing is the norm in only two dioceses. I do not think that we are going to be taken seriously by seriously minded Christians if we overlook, disregard and even condemn tithing as a Protestant practice. I will break my promise not to quote and verse to illustrate this point by quoting Saint John Chrysostom:

"For what did not they of old do? They gave tithes, and tithes again upon tithes for orphans, widows,and strangers; whereas some one was saying to me in astonishment of another person, `Why, such an one gives tithes?’ What a load of disgrace does this imply, since what was not a matter of wonder with the Jews has come to be so in the case of the Christians? If there was danger then in omitting tithes, think how great it must be now!” (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, volume XIII, First Series, page 69).

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« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2012, 11:43:19 AM »

There are two aspects to this; (1) how much should our priests be It is quite unfortunate that the Orthodox jurisdictions on this continent are not on a tithing system. Actually, even in my own jurisdiction, tithing is the norm in only two dioceses.

My own Diocese, the Diocese of the South, is one of those dioceses and we're doing fine, thank you very much. Also, GOA is trying but old habits are hard to break.
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« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2012, 12:29:54 PM »

In our parish, they have been trying to emphasize stewardship a lot. I am not sure what our priest is paid. However, I am trying to chip in a little more to the plate. Every little bit helps.
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« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2012, 03:41:36 PM »

five years the salary range is $47,232 – $63,960;
 from six -10 years, $63,960 – $71,280;
 11-15 years, $71,280 – $81,672;
 16-20 years, $81,672 – $90,792.
 21-25 years, $90,792 – $97,224.
 26-30 years, $97,224 – $103,464.
 31-35 years, $103,464 – $109,464.
 For more than 35 years the range is $109.464 – $115,512.

Some Priests make over $200,000 per year. My own parish priest with 20 years of service receives $115,000.

I may have to rethink my career path here... and change jurisdictions to the GOA...

Actually, I can think of more than a few Slavic priests who have done just that.....But it is not as 'easy' a transition for some as one might think...
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« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2012, 03:57:07 PM »

five years the salary range is $47,232 – $63,960;
 from six -10 years, $63,960 – $71,280;
 11-15 years, $71,280 – $81,672;
 16-20 years, $81,672 – $90,792.
 21-25 years, $90,792 – $97,224.
 26-30 years, $97,224 – $103,464.
 31-35 years, $103,464 – $109,464.
 For more than 35 years the range is $109.464 – $115,512.

Some Priests make over $200,000 per year. My own parish priest with 20 years of service receives $115,000.

I may have to rethink my career path here... and change jurisdictions to the GOA...

LOL.  The scale is not followed exactly.  Of all the priests I am related to (by blood and by sacrament), only two are "paid to scale," and the one is because he's at the bottom of the scale.  Everyone else is paid below scale, and some painfully so.

The parish's size, location (i.e. region, cost of living), and stewardship are taken into account when determining remuneration.  One priest I know has been a priest for 20+ years but is making the bottom number on the scale ($47k) and hasn't received even a cost-of-living adjustment from his parish in the over 7 years he's been there.  He is married and has children in college and H.S.

I can also attest to something: it's harder to have a 2-income household in the clergy family, with our unpredictable (and long) hours.  We can't do that, with my schedule frequently including 60+ hour weeks, and the occasional days when I'm out of the house from 7am to 11pm.  This week is a great example: I'm in the office or Church every day this week.  Even on my so-called "off day" Monday I was here for 4 hours.  By the time we're done with Vespers Saturday, I will have logged 70+ hours at the Church.  With young kids, we would have to use a lot of day care if Pres. worked, and her salary would largely (if not entirely) go toward that bill.

I'm never going to dictate what I'm to be paid to a parish that I'm serving (that's a subject for another thread, about the relationship between presbyter and flock) but I do support what our Archdiocese is attempting via the scale, because it makes up for a lot of the difficulties that we have to go through.
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« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2012, 04:15:55 PM »

There are two aspects to this; (1) how much should our priests be compensated and (2) how should we support the church, regardless of the clergy support issue. The first one can be discussed with some degree of competence and will result in a budget, which may or may not drive how much parishioners give to the Church. While this approach makes sense economically, it cannot be the Christian approach to the question of how much we give to the our Lord and His Church.

If we are to give of our time, talents and riches (and we are called to do just that as disciples of the Lord), then we need to consider what the Holy Scriptures and the Church Fathers say about it.  I do not intend to quote chapter and verse unless I am challenged, but I was involved in a discussion on another blog and the following points came out.

- The Lord calls us to give everything--that is 100%..

- The Scriptures talk about tithing as a minimum level of giving--that is 10%.

- The Early Church Fathers, to include Saints Gregory the Theologian, Basil the Great and John Chrysostom all support tithing.

It is quite unfortunate that the Orthodox jurisdictions on this continent are not on a tithing system. Actually, even in my own jurisdiction, tithing is the norm in only two dioceses. I do not think that we are going to be taken seriously by seriously minded Christians if we overlook, disregard and even condemn tithing as a Protestant practice. I will break my promise not to quote and verse to illustrate this point by quoting Saint John Chrysostom:

"For what did not they of old do? They gave tithes, and tithes again upon tithes for orphans, widows,and strangers; whereas some one was saying to me in astonishment of another person, `Why, such an one gives tithes?’ What a load of disgrace does this imply, since what was not a matter of wonder with the Jews has come to be so in the case of the Christians? If there was danger then in omitting tithes, think how great it must be now!” (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, volume XIII, First Series, page 69).

Tithing is the elephant in the room.  If we all tithed, then our parishes would not only be able to support the appropriate number of clergy, but the parishes themselves would be major charitable forces in their local communities - i.e. what they're supposed to be.

Think of it: The median (2006) household income is $50,000.  Say the average Orthodox household makes $40,000.  The tithe would be $4,000.  If the average parish had 200 families, then the average parish would make $800,000 just by stewardship! 

Our parish has 2 full-time priests, a full-time hall manager, full-time custodian and a night/weekend sexton, a part-time secretary, makes all its donations and assessments, and has a budget of approx. $800,000, and we serve 650 families (of which 500 or so give in stewardship).  A 200 family parish could easily have a full-time priest, deacon, secretary, custodian and sexton, and have tens or hundreds of thousands to local charities.  A parish like ours with 500 stewardship families would make $1.2 million more than we currently do if everyone tithed; we could hire an additional full time deacon, and then still give over $1 million to charities both in the area and around the world (or operate a soup kitchen and transitional housing and still give hundreds of thousands away).
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« Reply #56 on: April 05, 2012, 04:46:40 PM »

five years the salary range is $47,232 – $63,960;
 from six -10 years, $63,960 – $71,280;
 11-15 years, $71,280 – $81,672;
 16-20 years, $81,672 – $90,792.
 21-25 years, $90,792 – $97,224.
 26-30 years, $97,224 – $103,464.
 31-35 years, $103,464 – $109,464.
 For more than 35 years the range is $109.464 – $115,512.

Some Priests make over $200,000 per year. My own parish priest with 20 years of service receives $115,000.

I may have to rethink my career path here... and change jurisdictions to the GOA...

Actually, I can think of more than a few Slavic priests who have done just that.....But it is not as 'easy' a transition for some as one might think...

Why?  What makes it hard to do?
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« Reply #57 on: April 05, 2012, 10:11:02 PM »

five years the salary range is $47,232 – $63,960;
 from six -10 years, $63,960 – $71,280;
 11-15 years, $71,280 – $81,672;
 16-20 years, $81,672 – $90,792.
 21-25 years, $90,792 – $97,224.
 26-30 years, $97,224 – $103,464.
 31-35 years, $103,464 – $109,464.
 For more than 35 years the range is $109.464 – $115,512.

Some Priests make over $200,000 per year. My own parish priest with 20 years of service receives $115,000.

I may have to rethink my career path here... and change jurisdictions to the GOA...

LOL.  The scale is not followed exactly.  Of all the priests I am related to (by blood and by sacrament), only two are "paid to scale," and the one is because he's at the bottom of the scale.  Everyone else is paid below scale, and some painfully so.

The parish's size, location (i.e. region, cost of living), and stewardship are taken into account when determining remuneration.  One priest I know has been a priest for 20+ years but is making the bottom number on the scale ($47k) and hasn't received even a cost-of-living adjustment from his parish in the over 7 years he's been there.  He is married and has children in college and H.S.

I can also attest to something: it's harder to have a 2-income household in the clergy family, with our unpredictable (and long) hours.  We can't do that, with my schedule frequently including 60+ hour weeks, and the occasional days when I'm out of the house from 7am to 11pm.  This week is a great example: I'm in the office or Church every day this week.  Even on my so-called "off day" Monday I was here for 4 hours.  By the time we're done with Vespers Saturday, I will have logged 70+ hours at the Church.  With young kids, we would have to use a lot of day care if Pres. worked, and her salary would largely (if not entirely) go toward that bill.

I'm never going to dictate what I'm to be paid to a parish that I'm serving (that's a subject for another thread, about the relationship between presbyter and flock) but I do support what our Archdiocese is attempting via the scale, because it makes up for a lot of the difficulties that we have to go through.

Cost of living is a huge factor too.  Here on the West Coast, the COV is much higher than most other areas of the US.  My wife has to work for us to pay the bills, and I'm not even going to get into how unbelievably crazy our lives would be if we had children.  I average 60-80 hours a week, the wife averages 40-50, so between the two of us who knows when we'd have time to be parents. Also, we have a church with at least 2x the volume of Fr. George's, and cover an area probably 5x the size.  There's multiple factors to all of this, the bottom line is that we need to support our churches, whether it's through tithing or stewardship. 

A small example.  in our church, we have 66% of our stewards giving $300 or less per year.  If every single one of those people gave $560 a year (so +$260), we'd be able to have a positive operating budget, hire 2 more priests, and pay down our debt. 

(p.s. I know 2 other priests who you can add to your "top of the scale" list.  but it may not count as they're still at the bottom of the ladder)

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« Reply #58 on: April 05, 2012, 10:42:27 PM »

five years the salary range is $47,232 – $63,960;
 from six -10 years, $63,960 – $71,280;
 11-15 years, $71,280 – $81,672;
 16-20 years, $81,672 – $90,792.
 21-25 years, $90,792 – $97,224.
 26-30 years, $97,224 – $103,464.
 31-35 years, $103,464 – $109,464.
 For more than 35 years the range is $109.464 – $115,512.

Some Priests make over $200,000 per year. My own parish priest with 20 years of service receives $115,000.

I may have to rethink my career path here... and change jurisdictions to the GOA...

Actually, I can think of more than a few Slavic priests who have done just that.....But it is not as 'easy' a transition for some as one might think...

Why?  What makes it hard to do?

Grads of Slavic seminaries are typically trained in Slavic liturgics which do differ to some extent from Greek liturgics. There are also language and cultural issues that have to be dealt with in many parishes. I am not saying it is impossible, I know as many who have done well as have failed, but it is not a 'slam dunk' to go from the Slavic to the Greek or vice-versa. (honestly, I don't think that there are as many examples of priests going in the latter direction as their are from the Slavic to the Greek, but I may be wrong on that.)
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« Reply #59 on: April 08, 2012, 10:07:24 PM »

There are two aspects to this; (1) how much should our priests be compensated and (2) how should we support the church, regardless of the clergy support issue. The first one can be discussed with some degree of competence and will result in a budget, which may or may not drive how much parishioners give to the Church. While this approach makes sense economically, it cannot be the Christian approach to the question of how much we give to the our Lord and His Church.

If we are to give of our time, talents and riches (and we are called to do just that as disciples of the Lord), then we need to consider what the Holy Scriptures and the Church Fathers say about it.  I do not intend to quote chapter and verse unless I am challenged, but I was involved in a discussion on another blog and the following points came out.

- The Lord calls us to give everything--that is 100%..

- The Scriptures talk about tithing as a minimum level of giving--that is 10%.

- The Early Church Fathers, to include Saints Gregory the Theologian, Basil the Great and John Chrysostom all support tithing.

It is quite unfortunate that the Orthodox jurisdictions on this continent are not on a tithing system. Actually, even in my own jurisdiction, tithing is the norm in only two dioceses. I do not think that we are going to be taken seriously by seriously minded Christians if we overlook, disregard and even condemn tithing as a Protestant practice. I will break my promise not to quote and verse to illustrate this point by quoting Saint John Chrysostom:

"For what did not they of old do? They gave tithes, and tithes again upon tithes for orphans, widows,and strangers; whereas some one was saying to me in astonishment of another person, `Why, such an one gives tithes?’ What a load of disgrace does this imply, since what was not a matter of wonder with the Jews has come to be so in the case of the Christians? If there was danger then in omitting tithes, think how great it must be now!” (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, volume XIII, First Series, page 69).

Tithing is the elephant in the room.  If we all tithed, then our parishes would not only be able to support the appropriate number of clergy, but the parishes themselves would be major charitable forces in their local communities - i.e. what they're supposed to be.

Think of it: The median (2006) household income is $50,000.  Say the average Orthodox household makes $40,000.  The tithe would be $4,000.  If the average parish had 200 families, then the average parish would make $800,000 just by stewardship! 

Our parish has 2 full-time priests, a full-time hall manager, full-time custodian and a night/weekend sexton, a part-time secretary, makes all its donations and assessments, and has a budget of approx. $800,000, and we serve 650 families (of which 500 or so give in stewardship).  A 200 family parish could easily have a full-time priest, deacon, secretary, custodian and sexton, and have tens or hundreds of thousands to local charities.  A parish like ours with 500 stewardship families would make $1.2 million more than we currently do if everyone tithed; we could hire an additional full time deacon, and then still give over $1 million to charities both in the area and around the world (or operate a soup kitchen and transitional housing and still give hundreds of thousands away).

I wonder if tithing is considered "after taxes" or before.  Of course taxes can vary greatly depending on the state you are in (state income taxes). 
The $50k could actually turn out to be $35k.  Dunno if it matters unless one follows the 10% rule.
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« Reply #60 on: April 08, 2012, 10:31:36 PM »

five years the salary range is $47,232 – $63,960;
 from six -10 years, $63,960 – $71,280;
 11-15 years, $71,280 – $81,672;
 16-20 years, $81,672 – $90,792.
 21-25 years, $90,792 – $97,224.
 26-30 years, $97,224 – $103,464.
 31-35 years, $103,464 – $109,464.
 For more than 35 years the range is $109.464 – $115,512.

Some Priests make over $200,000 per year. My own parish priest with 20 years of service receives $115,000.

I may have to rethink my career path here... and change jurisdictions to the GOA...

Actually, I can think of more than a few Slavic priests who have done just that.....But it is not as 'easy' a transition for some as one might think...

Why?  What makes it hard to do?

Grads of Slavic seminaries are typically trained in Slavic liturgics which do differ to some extent from Greek liturgics. There are also language and cultural issues that have to be dealt with in many parishes. I am not saying it is impossible, I know as many who have done well as have failed, but it is not a 'slam dunk' to go from the Slavic to the Greek or vice-versa. (honestly, I don't think that there are as many examples of priests going in the latter direction as their are from the Slavic to the Greek, but I may be wrong on that.)

Thank you!
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« Reply #61 on: April 10, 2012, 10:08:39 AM »

There are two aspects to this; (1) how much should our priests be compensated and (2) how should we support the church, regardless of the clergy support issue. The first one can be discussed with some degree of competence and will result in a budget, which may or may not drive how much parishioners give to the Church. While this approach makes sense economically, it cannot be the Christian approach to the question of how much we give to the our Lord and His Church.

If we are to give of our time, talents and riches (and we are called to do just that as disciples of the Lord), then we need to consider what the Holy Scriptures and the Church Fathers say about it.  I do not intend to quote chapter and verse unless I am challenged, but I was involved in a discussion on another blog and the following points came out.

- The Lord calls us to give everything--that is 100%..

- The Scriptures talk about tithing as a minimum level of giving--that is 10%.

- The Early Church Fathers, to include Saints Gregory the Theologian, Basil the Great and John Chrysostom all support tithing.

It is quite unfortunate that the Orthodox jurisdictions on this continent are not on a tithing system. Actually, even in my own jurisdiction, tithing is the norm in only two dioceses. I do not think that we are going to be taken seriously by seriously minded Christians if we overlook, disregard and even condemn tithing as a Protestant practice. I will break my promise not to quote and verse to illustrate this point by quoting Saint John Chrysostom:

"For what did not they of old do? They gave tithes, and tithes again upon tithes for orphans, widows,and strangers; whereas some one was saying to me in astonishment of another person, `Why, such an one gives tithes?’ What a load of disgrace does this imply, since what was not a matter of wonder with the Jews has come to be so in the case of the Christians? If there was danger then in omitting tithes, think how great it must be now!” (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, volume XIII, First Series, page 69).

Tithing is the elephant in the room.  If we all tithed, then our parishes would not only be able to support the appropriate number of clergy, but the parishes themselves would be major charitable forces in their local communities - i.e. what they're supposed to be.

Think of it: The median (2006) household income is $50,000.  Say the average Orthodox household makes $40,000.  The tithe would be $4,000.  If the average parish had 200 families, then the average parish would make $800,000 just by stewardship! 

Our parish has 2 full-time priests, a full-time hall manager, full-time custodian and a night/weekend sexton, a part-time secretary, makes all its donations and assessments, and has a budget of approx. $800,000, and we serve 650 families (of which 500 or so give in stewardship).  A 200 family parish could easily have a full-time priest, deacon, secretary, custodian and sexton, and have tens or hundreds of thousands to local charities.  A parish like ours with 500 stewardship families would make $1.2 million more than we currently do if everyone tithed; we could hire an additional full time deacon, and then still give over $1 million to charities both in the area and around the world (or operate a soup kitchen and transitional housing and still give hundreds of thousands away).

I wonder if tithing is considered "after taxes" or before.  Of course taxes can vary greatly depending on the state you are in (state income taxes). 
The $50k could actually turn out to be $35k.  Dunno if it matters unless one follows the 10% rule.

Honestly, I don't think that one matters. Most parishes would take your donation with a joyful heart either way!
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