It Is a Blessing to Volunteer

 Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles

Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

"As each has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good steward of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10).

Whatever gifts God has given to His people are to be used for the glory of God and in a spirit of love (see Romans 12:4-10; 1 Corinthians 12-14). Our Almighty God and Father blessed us with gifts and talents to benefit others.  

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will reward us. A lot of people balk at the idea that a volunteer would be the one to benefit from serving, but Saint Paul writes, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive an inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:23-24). Our fellow Christians will tell you that often, they are the ones who feel that they've been the most blessed by serving in the various parish ministries. Not only is there personal satisfaction in serving others, the Holy Scripture teach that we'll be rewarded by Our Lord and Savior because it's actually Him we're serving.

Every Orthodox Christian in our parish should be engaged and be a contributing member of the church, in other words a steward of the parish. All of us together comprise the Church, the body of Christ. "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all" (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

Saint Paul explains very clearly how we must function as one body, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,' is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,' is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you'; nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.' ...there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually" (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

Every member of Christ's body is important to the overall life and work of the Church.

I ask each and every one of you to be an active member of our beloved church and parish, i.e., Parish Council, Saint Andrew's Renovation and Endowment Fund (SAREF), Parish Stewardship, Chanting, Youth, Philoptochos, Church School, Fund-raising, Sunday fellowship and Coffee, visiting the sick and those homebound, Library, Annual Festival, Prosphora (Bread of Oblation), Orthodox Christian Fellowship (Campus Ministry), Adult Catechism/Bible Study, Acolytes, Greek Language Program (Greek School), Hellenic Dance Troupe, etc.  

With sincere agape in Christ,

+Father George