Almsgiving-The Practice of Love


LOVE (Agape) – The foundation of the Early Church

What is striking from the very beginning of the life of the Church is the emphasis on “AGAPE” (Love or charity). Agape permeates every aspect of human relationship among the early Christians. Although, in the Old Testament the most central and significant concept with regard to human relationships was justice or righteousness, in the New Testament this is transcended by LOVE. Christ becomes the personification of God’s love as he puts into action His own call for love even for one’s enemies. His redemptive act on the cross and His resurrection embrace all human beings, men and women, Greeks and Jews, slaves and freemen, rich and poor. Christ’s love extends to all humanity and becomes a model for all human beings.

The early Christians were too close to the self-sacrifice of the Lord to ignore it. Self-sacrifice becomes a mode of existence for them as they are compelled by the persecutors to deny their Lord. Not only are they willing to suffer and die for Christ, but, in imitation of Him, they are even ready to suffer and die for each other. Clement of Rome offers a surprising piece of information with regard to this. In his first Epistle to the Corinthians he writes that “many among ourselves have given themselves up to chains in order to redeem others; many have surrendered themselves to slavery and provided food for others with the price they received for themselves.” Although this kind of sacrifice may not be widespread, it still reveals a very personal approach to philanthropy.

In the Early Church, the new Christian was transformed by the love of the redeemer Christ. Wealth and possessions seemed to no longer be central in his/her life. Justin the Martyr (mid. 2nd cent.) in his First Apology points to this transformation: “We, who loved above all else the ways of acquiring riches and possessions, now hand over to a community fund what we possess and share it with every needy person.”

We, in the Orthodox Church, as those who continue the ancient tradition of Christianity are called to follow the call of Christ and the example of the early Christians and practice AGAPE (Love) for the people around us.

As we prepare to experience the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, let us practice Agape (charity) and offer generously to the philanthropic work of the Church and help those in need around us.


This is the reason why we are commanded to give our goods away, namely, so that we may not be deprived of them.
For Christ is telling us: “Give your goods to someone in need so that no one may steal them from you — for example, no calumniator, no devil, no thief, nor, after all the others, death.  For as long as you hold on to it yourself, you are not safe in holding on to it.  But if you give your goods to me through the poor, I will guard them all carefully for you and, at the fitting time, I will restore them to you with an abundant increase.  I do not receive your goods to take them away from you.  Rather, I receive them to increase them, to guard them more carefully, and to save them for you until that time when there is no one who lends at interest or can be moved by pity.”  (St. John Chrysostom, Homily 7 on “Romans”)

Almsgiving Opportunities

Note:If your favorite charity is not listed below, please contact

Michelle Broussard-Hanes at esouthernbelle@hotmail.com .

The Joy of Fasting Project wishes to represent the Orthodox

charitable interests of our parishioners, and expand our awareness

of those in need.


Stewardship – Please support the operation of  Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church

Building Fund – for Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church

Donate an Icon – for Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church

Philoptochos Society – Donate to the Panagia Chapter of Holy Transfiguration or

the National Philoptochos Society – http://www.philoptochos.org/

Soup-kitchen – consider making a donation or preparing the food

Local contact is Athena Burke

American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA)


Diakonia Center for Metropolis of Atlanta


International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)


Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle-Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

(Supporting religious freedom for the Mother Church by helping the Order to continue its advocacy)


SCOBA (Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas)


Orthodox Church Mission Center(OCMC)

Official mission and evangelism agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).


OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship)


(College ministry)

St Basil’s Academy


Paracletos Greek Orthodox Monastery (Abbeville, South Carolina)


Loaves & Fishes Program at St. John the Wonderworker, AtlantaGA