A Step at a Time: Growing Givers through Stewardship Letters

A Step at a Time: Growing Givers through Stewardship Letters

Congregations, Leadership, Resource Review, Stewardship
by Glenn L. Borreson (Lima, Ohio: CSS Publishing Company, Inc., 2001), ISBN: 0-7880-1847-7, 55 pp., $10.95US/$16CDN. Review by Michael Meier, director for leadership development with the Stewardship Team of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's Division for Congregational Ministries and Giving's resource review editor Glenn Borreson has written a short, practical guide for a stewardship response program using personal letters from pastors to congregational members. The program targets various levels of giving and tailors letters to each group of givers. The letters are further personalized based on the pastors' personal knowledge of the persons to whom they are sent. The book includes sample letters that are gracious and invitational along with a clear straightforward explanation of the structure of each letter. It also provides follow-up letters, a timeline, and a…
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Afire with God: Spirit-Ed Stewardship for a New Century

Afire with God: Spirit-Ed Stewardship for a New Century

Resource Review, Stewardship, Theology
by Betsy Schwarzentraub (Nashville, TN: Discipleship Resources, 2000), ISBN: 0-88177-273-9, 96 pp., $13.95US/$20CDN. Review by Michael Meier, director for leadership development with the Stewardship Team of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's Division for Congregational Ministries and Giving's resource review editor Betsy Schwarzentraub gives us a short, eminently readable book that is a good theological resource for pastors and other stewardship leaders. In addition to its solid theological grounding, it provides practical helps in the form of questions, activities, and guided reflection at the end of each of the four chapters. I recommend it for its practical helps and its fresh theological perspective. The author begins by connecting the reader to the Hebrew experience as aliens in Egypt. She invites us to recognize that we are often reluctant stewards in…
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Growing Up Generous: Engaging Youth in Giving and Serving

Growing Up Generous: Engaging Youth in Giving and Serving

Children, Giving, Leadership, Resource Review
by Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Elanah Dalyah Naftali, and Laura Musegades (The Alban Institute, 2000), ISBN: 1-56699-238-9, 197 pp., $17.95US/$26CDN. Review by Michael Meier, director for leadership development with the Stewardship Team of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's Division for Congregational Ministries and Giving's resource review editor This positive and encouraging study examines giving and serving in a broad range of Jewish and Christian traditions. It has several graphs and charts that help the reader visualize what is being described. It begins by discussing the importance of nurturing generosity as a way of life, particularly among young people during adolescence. It emphasizes that nurture is the responsibility of the whole congregation, not just youth workers, and deals directly with the opportunities and challenges of such work. Two significant chapters delve…
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How Much Is Enough? Harness the Power of Your Money Story and Change Your Life

How Much Is Enough? Harness the Power of Your Money Story and Change Your Life

Money management, Resource Review
by Pamela York Klainer, (New York City: Basic Books, 2001), ISBN: 0-465-03748-8, 336 pp., $26US/$37.70CDN. Review by Michael Meier, director for leadership development with the Stewardship Team of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's Division for Congregational Ministries and Giving's resource review editor Pamela Klainer has written an outstanding book. It is a money book aimed at the person who knows how to make, invest, and use money. It assists such a person in discovering how his or her experiences with money relate to personal happiness, meaningful relationships, spiritual fulfillment, and professional success. In the author's own words, This is the money book for successful people seeking to move from anxiety and ‘the game of relentless pursuit’ to lives that are connected, passionate, vibrant, and meaningful. This is not another work/life-balance…
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The Mystery of Capital

The Mystery of Capital

Holistic, Resource Review
by Hernando de Soto, (New York City: Basic Books, 2000) ISBN: 0-465-01614-6, 276 pp., $27.50US/$40CDN. Review by Lita Brusick Johnson, director of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, World Hunger Appeal. If you want to learn about the unseen, taken-for-granted systems that give you an advantage in the global economic game, read Hernando de Soto's The Mystery of Capital. Don't be put off by ringing book jacket endorsements from free market capitalists Milton Friedman, Margaret Thatcher, and William Buckley—but no leftist luminaries! Both left and right should pay attention to de Soto's thesis: that the key to the economic advancement of poor people in developing and post-communist countries lies in ending the apartheid of formal law—the systems of property law that force millions of them to live ‘extra-legally.’ The poor possess $9.3…
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