In a recent letter to the clergy and faithful of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, the Church’s Primate, emphasized the importance of the work of the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards in realizing the appropriate level of support for the Church’s outreach ministries and departments.
“The Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards supports the Orthodox Church in America’s numerous departments, boards, and commissions,” Metropolitan Herman writes. “And the 2003 budget of the Orthodox Church in America provides for FOS members to contribute $470,000.00 in support of these vital Church outreach efforts - each hour of every day, $54.00 is required to fund the outreach ministries of our Church.”
Established in 1980, the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards has offered the free will support of thousands of OCA members and friends to directly fund the departmental work of the Church above and beyond the old minimum assessment income method.
In 1995, the 11th All American Council mandated that all outreach departmental work be funded by voluntary gifts—and that the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards be the primary source of such voluntary gifts. Subsequent Councils have reaffirmed this decision and the principle of voluntary funding by FOS. This has now become a central part of the vision of the Fair-Share method of support for the work of the Orthodox Church in America.
“What a joy it would be if each member of our Church were moved by the Spirit of the Lord to sponsor just one hour of outreach ministry,” Metropolitan Herman writes. “A gift of just $54.00 would translate into an abundant harvest so great and marvelous that our Church could do so much more to bring the joy and love of Christ across North America and around the world!”
Among the numerous ministries supported by FOS donations are those conducted by the OCA’s departments of Communications, Chaplaincies, Christian Education, Evangelization; External Affairs and Interchurch Relations, History and Archives, Christian Witness and Service, Liturgical Music and Translations, Pastoral Life and Ministry, Stewardship, and Youth, Young Adults and Campus Ministries. Several boards and commissions also depend on FOS for funding.
“Our Lord teaches, ‘Freely you have received, therefore freely give’ [Matthew 10:8],” Metropolitan Herman concluded. “I pray that, as a supporter of the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards, your life as a good steward will reach a new level of commitment to Jesus Christ and witness to the Good News of the eternal life we are called to proclaim.”
Contributions to FOS may be sent to:
Orthodox Church in America
P.O. Box 675
Syosset, NY 11791