Good and Faithful Servant: Stewardship in the Orthodox Church

(Anthony Scott). St. Vladimir's Seminary, 2003.

This volume endeavors to develop an Orthodox Christian model of stewardship by drawing on scriptural, patristic, historic, dogmatic, and liturgical foundations. The contributing authors explore the links between wealth and poverty and remind the reader to measure stewardship in terms of self-giving, not merely contributions of wealth. (from Resource Guide)

Believing that the past informs the present, this editor has gathered eleven writings that consider stewardship issues in historical contexts. It begins with an examination of the early church’s approach to giving, as well as the basis for giving as expressed in the Old and New Testaments. One chapter explores the Syriac theme of church as the body of Christ which commits time, goods, and energy to make the healing work of Christ happen. Another chapter traces the social mission history of the church as it was manifested in the Church of Constantinople. It modeled intentional, personal relationships in compact communities where needs were known and spontaneous provisions were made. These grew out of agape love rather than a sense of social welfare. Looking at an historical perspective of Orthodox stewardship in America, one finds that generosity, accountability, and vision inform giving that models God’s plan for salvation. Stewardship is also derived through liturgy where participating in Eucharist is receiving Christ and doing what Christ would do. Written by the editor, the final chapter draws conclusions about stewardship and philanthropy in America based upon recent studies of congregational giving and what factors both encourage and discourage faithful giving. This source would appeal to clergy who would like to find in one source writings that examine stewardship from an historical perspective.