Membership in the parish is, above all, a spiritual relationship among all those who make up the "Body of Christ" in the area served by the Church of the Holy Cross in Belmont. In this sense, it implies membership in the Orthodox faith - whether one was born and baptized Orthodox, or was received into the Orthodox Church through Chrismation. For a marriage to be recognized, it must be blessed by the Orthodox Church, and in the case of divorce, an ecclesiastical divorce is necessary. Membership has two further dimensions.
Participate in the Life of the Church Community
First, it means participating in the Church's life : applying its teachings to everyday life; worshiping regularly with the body of the faithful; taking part in the religious, social and educational life of the Parish; sharing in its programs and serving in whatever way one is best able.
Second, it means assuming a fair portion of the responsibility for meeting the parish's financial needs. In keeping with the New Testament ideal, we at Holy Cross try to meet all our budgetary needs through the Stewardship Program, that is, each household, or each individual over 18, pledge annually an amount freely and voluntarily decided upon, an amount compatible with the ability to give. "Dues" may be appropriate for a club or similar organization, but a Church is not just another organization. Rather, it is an organism, living and life-giving. It draws its financial support from the free-will giving of its individual members as they are guided by conscience and an understanding of the Christian concept of stewardship. Certainly, it is easy for us to share equally the financial goals of our community. Yet everyone is blessed differently and enjoys a different level of material wealth. The Lord teaches us to give according to the abundance we have received.
Stewardship Pledges and Online Giving
Stewardship pledges are made beginning in November of the preceding year for the coming year. This is vital, as it enables us to plan, as any responsible household must, for the year ahead. At the Church of the Holy Cross, we encourage an open pledge based on no measures or minimum. A guide to follow is one dollar per week for each thousand dollars of annual income. Thus, your gift to the church is based upon your income according to the degree that Christ has blessed you. Payment of the pledged amount may of course be made in any schedule the family finds most convenient - weekly, monthly, quarterly, lump sum, etc. All pledge information is kept confidential. Your pledge and the offering of your monetary gift can be brought every week to church, mailed, or offered through the OnLine Giving program on our parish website at www.goholycross.org.
The Stewardship Committee, made up of dedicated lay men and women, are happy to answer any questions regarding our Stewardship Program. All questions should be directed to the church office.
Stewardship documents and forms are available in the Downloads section (see Stewardship 2017) of our website.