Giving in Gratitude

Giving in Gratitude

General
As I have listened to African American preaching, I have been impressed with how frequently I have heard the theme of gratitude that God has given this one day that we are alive. The heart of Christian faith is gratitude. The heart of Christian hope is gratitude. The heart of Christian love is gratitude. The heart of Christian life is gratitude. That gratitude is rooted in a sense that life is a gift, that life is good, that life is worth living. God’s goodness is the reason to be generous. That conviction does not come from a Pollyanna view of life, from overlooking the difficulties or pretending they do not exist. That conviction comes from a sense that God gives us what is really important, what really matters, what we really need: the sense that life…
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2011 ESC Leadership Seminar Focuses on Generosity

2011 ESC Leadership Seminar Focuses on Generosity

General
Not your average "Hark the Herald": Jeff Raught of Ted & Company Theaterworks portrays the angel Gabriel in a condensed presentation of "Just Give 'Em The News". Story and photos by Mandy Garcia On November 28, 2011, more than eighty steward leaders gathered at the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida for the Ecumenical Stewardship Center 2011 Leadership Seminar. This year’s theme was “Creating Congregational Culture of Generosity in the twenty-first century”. Representatives from nearly twenty denominations heard presentations on the subject by plenary speakers Carol F. Johnston, Jill Schumann, and Paul Johnson. Attendees participated in lively discussion, sharing of ideas, and mutual encouragement. Between plenary and worship sessions, conversations abounded. In the foreground, plenary speaker Jill Schumann chats with a Leadership Seminar participant. On Tuesday morning, Associate…
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