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Dissolution Announcement

Dissolution Announcement

General
Sharing God's message of hope and equipping Christian stewardship leaders is needed now as much as ever before. So it is with great regret that the Ecumenical Stewardship Center Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to dissolve the Ecumenical Stewardship Center corporation in 2021. Ecumenical Stewardship Center ministry programs will continue until the end of March 2021, including planned events, professional group gatherings, and access to resources. The Ecumenical Stewardship Center Board and staff are grateful for your engagement. We will hold you in prayer at this time as together we navigate multi-dimensional challenges in ministry. It will be our joy and privilege to continue to serve you for the next six months. Most Sincerely, Marcia Shetler, Executive Director/CEO Ecumenical Stewardship Center
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Keeping the Lights On

Keeping the Lights On

General
If you decided to read this blog post, it may be for one of two reasons. You may be thinking, “I can’t believe I see this on the Ecumenical Stewardship Center website! We’ve been trying for years to get our church to think differently about stewardship than just keeping the lights on!” Or you may be thinking, “Yes, we often say this in church when we talk about stewardship.” Truth is, “keeping the lights on” is a phrase that has been inferred, spoken, or written as part of many a church stewardship emphasis. I even heard a story recently about a church in the US Northeast who held worship without heat on a cold Sunday morning to make the point about the importance of church utilities. But for much of…
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October News: generosity365 Academy Looks at People-Focused Stewardship

October News: generosity365 Academy Looks at People-Focused Stewardship

Former Newsletters
generosity365 Academy generosity365 Academies are virtual events that focus on essential topics to help churches and their leaders create a culture of faithful generosity.  The theme for the October 2020 Academy is “People-Focused Stewardship.” Participants will hear from: Catherine Malotky, Grant and Project Manager for the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, on “Donor-Focused Stewardship”; Gretchen Colon, Senior Consultant at Cramer & Associates in Columbus, Ohio, on “Cheerful & Creative Sparks – Engaging New Stewards”; Tim Schuster, creator of the digital course and group study 6 Weeks on Money, on “3 New Approaches to Cultivating Generous Givers”; Tom Berlin, Lead Pastor at the Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, on “Faithful Generosity in Uncharted Waters”. The 3.5-hour Academy will take place on Saturday, October…
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September News: 3 Ways to Learn More About Faithful Generosity This Fall

September News: 3 Ways to Learn More About Faithful Generosity This Fall

Former Newsletters
generosity365 Academy generosity365 Academies are virtual events that focus on essential topics to help churches and their leaders create a culture of faithful generosity.  The theme for the October 2020 Academy is “People-Focused Stewardship.” Participants will hear from: Catherine Malotky, Grant and Project Manager for the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, on “Donor-Focused Stewardship”; Gretchen Colon, Senior Consultant at Cramer & Associates in Columbus, Ohio, on “Cheerful & Creative Sparks – Engaging New Stewards”; Tom Berlin, Lead Pastor at the Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, on “Voices of Stewardship”. The 3.5-hour Academy will take place on Saturday, October 10, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. The registration fee is $29.99. Registration closes on Thursday, October 8. Learn More & Register Generosity NEXT 2020:…
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August News: 3 Essential Money Values & More

August News: 3 Essential Money Values & More

Former Newsletters
The COVID-19 pandemic has made church life difficult for large, small, and medium-sized churches; rural, urban, and suburban churches; and churches with endowments, diverse income streams, and economic challenges. These challenges are real for their members and attenders too.Churches are trying to adapt as best they can. Designing ministry programs to encourage faithful generosity and preaching sermons on money may seem more formidable than ever. Here are three focus points that can make it possible.  Hold On To Your Hope While right now the amount seems more than manageable, it is important to remember that change has always been with us. The North American twenty-first century church is not the church of the first century—nor the fifteenth, the eighteenth, or even the twentieth. We are the "stewards of God's mysteries" (1 Cor 4:1)…
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Hold On To Your Hope

Hold On To Your Hope

General
A global pandemic. Civil unrest. A society divided. A church struggling to find its place. These seismic shifts make us feel like we are on shaky ground. Our familiar church lives have been disrupted. Many of us don’t know when we will be able to participate in face-to-face worship again. Camps and conferences have been canceled. Sunday school and youth groups are meeting online, if at all. The routine elements of pastoral ministry such as meeting with parishioners in homes, hospitals, and the church office are different or nonexistent. Face-to-face board and committee meetings are not happening or are cautionary tales. How do we prepare a way forward when we don’t know exactly what to prepare for? While right now the amount seems more than manageable, it is important to…
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During the Pandemic, Values Matter More Than Ever

During the Pandemic, Values Matter More Than Ever

General
During the Pandemic, Values Matter More Than Ever -Tim Schuster The COVID-19 pandemic has made church life difficult for large, small, and medium-sized churches; rural, urban, and suburban churches; and churches with endowments, diverse income streams, and economic challenges. These challenges are real for their members and attenders too. Churches are trying to adapt as best they can. Designing ministry programs to encourage faithful generosity and preaching sermons on money may seem more formidable than ever. Here are three focus points that can make it possible. #1 Values over advice Don't start with budgets. Start with values. Every day, our actions and decisions flow from our values. Wherever we are on the wealth spectrum, giving space and time to reflect on values and align decisions with those values is a gift that churches and ministries…
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StewardShift: An Economia for Congregational Change

StewardShift: An Economia for Congregational Change

Holistic, Resource Review, Stewardship
252 pages StewardShift: An Economia for Congregational Change by Bob Sitze is more than a breath of fresh air; it’s a much-needed alternate viewpoint on the practice of stewardship. Full of descriptive suggestions and reflective questions, it points to “stewardship wisdom” currently being explored and experienced outside the church. God’s revelation is open-ended, the book says, and is not limited to insights within religious institutions. Many stewardship experts teach about “holistic stewardship” employed in every dimension of life. But instead of the more common look at life through a stewardship lens, Sitze points out specific stewardship practices in different secular arenas: individual areas of human enterprise where we can find “stewardship wisdom.” He provides glimpses into seven aspects of secular discovery. These are invitations for the reader to reflect on them in light of our scriptural norm for living. Stewardship is richer and fuller than we ever thought it…
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55 and Counting: A Guide for Pre-Retirement

55 and Counting: A Guide for Pre-Retirement

Case Studies, Holistic, Resource Review
by Gerald W. and L. Marlene Kaufman 176 pages There is more to planning for retirement than your financial nest egg. When preparing for the transition to retirement many focus their attention on fund balances in individual retirement accounts and 401ks. With the question of “Will I have enough saved to retire?” looming large in the foreground, many forget to ask additional important questions about how they will navigate the transitions that are ahead of them. Authors Gerald and Marlene Kaufman are not financial advisors. The Kaufmans have each been family therapists in a joint family practice. With the specialty areas of family issues, aging, and end-of-life conversations this resource on preparing for retirement is decidedly different than other resources you may have encountered about the topic. 55 and Counting: A Guide…
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Reflections on Faith and Finances

Reflections on Faith and Finances

Biblical, Giving, Resource Review, Stewardship
by Charles Lane 40 pages In this brief and tangible guide, Lane shares practical and helpful tools on understanding our relationship between our faith and finances. He pulls from his book Ask, Thank, Tell and cuts to the chase in this small, yet poignant reflection. Beginning with a universal definition of “gift”, he explores how by its very definition, our ability to have feeling or judgment of how gifts are to be used is removed once we relinquish ownership. Quickly he moves to clarify that it’s not that way with God … at all. In fact, “God continues to own everything.” Lane goes on to biblically make the argument for the importance of Christian stewardship. He wastes no time drawing modern day parallels and raising questions on how we choose to use our resources. He closes with the Portrait of…
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