June News: Spirited Generosity Resource for Virtual or In-Person Study, More

June News: Spirited Generosity Resource for Virtual or In-Person Study, More

Newsletter
Spirited Generosity Spirited Generosity explores the history and theology of the offering, its spiritual significance, and best practices for the offering in 21st-century culture. View the videos and selected clips and use the study guides for a virtual or in-person four-week study. Learn More What Does Faithful Generosity Look Like? What does faithful generosity look like in this season of uncertainty and anxiety? In some aspects, it looks like it always has: first steps and lasting commitment to the journey are essential. Now, we need to emphasize the faith of longtime faithful generosity: continuing to be generous even when all that we have learned and known feels like it has been turned upside down. We also need to encourage those important first steps in creative ways that we never considered…
Read More
Faithful Investing: The Power of Decisive Action and Incremental Change

Faithful Investing: The Power of Decisive Action and Incremental Change

Investing, Resource Review
People of faith and entire faith communities alike must consider how the dollars they have been tasked with managing are at work in this world. But the world of investment portfolios and asset management can be an intimidating one to enter. James W. Murphy has assembled a resource to help introduce and guide individuals and communities alike through the potentially complex language and considerations related to managing our money in a way that is aligned with our faith and values. Faithful Investing: The power of Decisive Action and Incremental Change is a collection of essays written by a number of financial professionals from faith-based organizations who work in the area of financial and investment services. This ecumenical collaboration walks the reader through the complexities of faith-rooted investing with approachable and…
Read More
What Does Faithful Generosity Look Like?

What Does Faithful Generosity Look Like?

General
If you were asked to name a faithfully generous person, who would you choose? In the congregational realm, your thoughts might lead to a long-time member or attendee. It’s a quiet, humble, gentle soul who displays kindness, gentleness, and hospitality. Many in your faith community think of her or him as a generous financial supporter, but no one really knows for sure because those kinds of recognition don’t happen in churches very often. The truth is, somewhere along the way that faithfully generous person had to take a first step into their calling. They may have been motivated to take that step because of the generosity expressed in the lives of their parents or a respected church member. They may have been inspired by biblical illustrations or sermons or stories…
Read More
May News: Latest Giving Magazine Looks at Faithful Generosity, More

May News: Latest Giving Magazine Looks at Faithful Generosity, More

Newsletter
Latest Issue of Giving Magazine Looks at Faithful Generosity As an accompaniment to the Faithful, Hopeful, Loving stewardship resource, the latest issue of Giving Magazine focuses on faithful generosity. Stewardship thought leaders and practitioners from across the Christian community share educational, practical, and inspirational articles to grow faithfully generous givers. Subscribe Blog Post: 7 Ways to Transition Your Church Giving Moment & 6 Things You Should Do When You Use Them In the next few months, your church may transition back to in-person gatherings. During this social-distancing hiatus, you may have added new ways to worship and give. Now is the time to think about how you carry those new ways back to your worship space. Read More Resource Review: Six Weeks On Money Six Weeks on Money is a digital…
Read More
7 Ways to Transition Your Church Giving Moment & 6 Things You Should Do When You Use Them

7 Ways to Transition Your Church Giving Moment & 6 Things You Should Do When You Use Them

Newsletter
In the next few months, your church may transition back to in-person gatherings. During this social-distancing hiatus, you may have added new ways to worship and give. Now is the time to think about how you carry those new ways back to your in-person worship. Every church is different. Not all of these transitions will apply to you. But every church can and should consider what lessons they have learned and what practices will serve them best as we move to the next stage of this global pandemic. Follow legal, ethical, safety, and spiritual guidance when considering whether or not to resume in-person worship. Faithful generosity includes care and respect for one another. Consider your attendee and your community demographics. If you do re-open, make sure you are doing all…
Read More

Six Weeks on Money

Congregations, Giving, Resource Review, Workbook
In the field of stewardship education, a growing number of resources are being written and disseminated. This is a good thing. Enter Six Weeks on Money, a resource for individual or group use developed by Tim Schuster, most recently a Strategic Development Consultant for Thrivent Financial. He describes his program as a financial education program. This online resource is perhaps better described as an experience designed to help folks dig deeper into their personal money stories: how they relate to their personal financial resources. The six topics—Values, Scarcity, Agility, Integrity, Options, and Giving—are organized a bit differently from other popular financial stewardship courses, but contain all the vital components of an effective financial stewardship plan. Biblical truths serve as a foundation for all content, but the principles included are spiritual,…
Read More
The Shepherd’s Guide through the Valley of Debt and Financial Change

The Shepherd’s Guide through the Valley of Debt and Financial Change

Leadership, Resource Review
By Flora Williams This volume, which does seem as long and big as its title, is a reference book. It deals with almost any financial question that a pastor or other counselor might meet in dealing with a parishioner or client. The author—a retired Purdue University professor, counselor, and Church of the Brethren pastor—has observed that many—perhaps most—pastors are not equipped, and do not feel equipped, to deal with financial issues when counseling. (A recent Pew Research Center survey indicates many parishioners agree). Flora Williams wants to change that. I see two reasons why some pastors might raise questions about this book. First, Williams is theologically conservative, and some paragraphs are close to preaching. Some pastors prefer to keep their theology and their financial counseling separate. But this should not…
Read More
April News: generosity365 Academy New Workshops, Fees Waived & More

April News: generosity365 Academy New Workshops, Fees Waived & More

Former Newsletters, Newsletter
The April 25, 2020 generosity365 Academy will take place as planned via live streaming. The generosity365 Academy Planning Team has decided not to cancel the Academy, but in the spirit of innovation and stewardship of resources, proceed with the event using the remote attendance option already in place. Workshops have been adjusted to be more relevant to the current situation related to COVID-19. Marcia Shetler, Executive Director/CEO of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, will share "Yeast, Salt, and Light: Adaptive Stewardship Ministry". Rev. Dr. Clayton Smith's workshop has been changed to a presentation on his most recent book: Growing Through Disaster: Tools for Financial and Trauma Recovery in Your Faith Community. Other workshops, including "New Channels of Giving", will be presented as previously scheduled. Along with the uncertainty about meetings and…
Read More
Giving Beyond the Offering Plate

Giving Beyond the Offering Plate

Newsletter
9 Ways to Give Beyond the Offering Plate & 6 Things You Should Do When You Use Them For all of us, this is a time of unprecedented challenge. For many churches, it is also a time of financial anxiety. In the non-profit world, churches had an advantage because they gathered together and an invitation to give was shared every week. At the moment, churches have lost that advantage. If you have been putting off thinking about giving beyond the offering plate, you probably aren’t doing that any more. Every church is different. Not all of these 9 ways to give will apply to you. But every church can and should consider giving options beyond the offering plate. Cash and checks are still OK: find a way for your givers…
Read More
March Newsletter Special Edition: Now is the Time for Faithful Generosity

March Newsletter Special Edition: Now is the Time for Faithful Generosity

Newsletter
Now is the Time for Faithful Generosity Churches, clergy, and laypersons across North America and around the world are navigating uncharted waters as they struggle to deal with the effects of COVID-19. Some are scrambling to implement new technologies related to connecting and giving. Others are advocating for a time of Sabbath rest. Still others are mourning losses of in-person liturgies and practices that have always been essential to their  worship experience. Certainly times such as these can be the impetus to adapt and adopt practices that we perhaps should have done long before now. However, I invite you to consider these other aspects of faithful generosity. Now is the time to consider best practices for keeping your community connected. And if your faith community includes multiple generations, that means…
Read More