Why Church Membership?

From the Parish PriestFr. Romey Rosco

Probably the main reason some Orthodox Christians do not pay dues to their church is that it costs something they think they can’t afford. Others tell me they really don’t know how long they will be living in the area. But our relationship with the Lord requires being part of (and supporting) His community, offering worship and sacrifice to Him. It may be cheaper, but it’s not enough to pray “in your closet.” God also expects us to build temples and to gather in public worship of Him. If that were not true, He would not have told the Jews in the Old Testament just how to build a temple and to furnish it. If it were not true, Christ Himself would not have visited the temple “regularly, as was His habit” for worship and to discuss Scripture with the elders. If it were not true, He would never have said to Peter “on this rock (meaning the “rock” of Peter’s confession that Christ is the Son of God) I will build My Church.”

There are a few who tell me they do not wish to pay dues because some of the money will go to the diocese and they would rather have their donations remain here where it is needed. But, just as every priest is responsible to his bishop, so is every parish responsible to its diocese. And just as you would have no problem in understanding the needs of your priest and his work in the parish, so must we together be willing to support the diocese that represents us in the Orthodox world and does far greater works in making Orthodoxy known in a secular world that sorely needs the True Faith.

The Church makes us and our children to be better persons; it gives to us far more than we can ever give in return; the Church brings Christ’s salvation to all who commit themselves to the Lord through His Holy Church; the Church brings us love, hope, grace and inspiration.

Yes, the church doors are open to everyone; we welcome everyone to worship, and we encourage them to be involved in church life and sacraments – regardless of dues – that’s Christ’s complete love and commitment to you.

Now, where is the expression of your complete love and commitment? Why not through worship, sacraments AND parish membership?

From The Weekly Bulletin, Vol. XLII No. 6, 8 February 2015

Sts. Peter & Paul Romanian Orthodox Church, Dearborn Heights MI

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