Stewardship of Ecumenical Stewardship Center Educational and Programmatic Resources

Stewardship of Ecumenical Stewardship Center Educational and Programmatic Resources

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The Ecumenical Stewardship Center Board of Directors has voted to dissolve the Ecumenical Stewardship Center corporation in 2021. Since that announcement, several informal inquiries regarding ongoing stewardship of ESC’s educational and programmatic resources have been received. For complete transparency and equity, the Board is implementing a process to receive proposals. Proposals must be submitted in writing to Marcia Shetler, Executive Director/CEO, no later than Friday, January 22, 2021. Proposals that indicate a commitment to serving an ecumenical, bi-national (US and Canadian) constituency will be given the highest consideration.
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Dissolution Announcement

Dissolution Announcement

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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

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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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Hold On To Your Hope

Hold On To Your Hope

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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

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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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July News: generosity365 Academy EXTRA on August 1, More

July News: generosity365 Academy EXTRA on August 1, More

General, Newsletter
generosity365 Academy Extra generosity365 Academies focus on essential topics that help churches and their leaders create a culture of faithful generosity. The generosity365 Academy EXTRA on Saturday, August 1 will consider current issues impacting the church and how they inform best practices related to faithful generosity. “Faithful Generosity: Moving Forward” will include presentations on new ideas for stewardship, resourcing, and engagement. Participants will hear from: Joe Park, CEO of Horizons Stewardship and Lisa Greenwood, Vice President for Leadership Ministries for the Texas Methodist Foundation and Executive Director of the National Association of United Methodist Foundations; Sidney Williams, CEO of Crossing Capital Group, Pastor of the Bethel AME Church in Morristown, New Jersey, and author of Fishing Differently: Ministry Formation in the Marketplace; Meredith McNabb, Associate Director for Educational Programming for…
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What Does Faithful Generosity Look Like?

What Does Faithful Generosity Look Like?

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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…
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Faithful Generosity, Practically Speaking

Faithful Generosity, Practically Speaking

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Effective generosity in faith communities is a mix of knowledge and best practice. Ecumenical Stewardship Center events allow you to explore both. Generosity NEXT features cutting-edge topics related to faithful stewardship and generosity in the North American cultural landscape. Our new generosity365 Academies explore best practices through keynote speakers and workshops. generosity365 Academies are 1+day, fast-paced events that inspire, engage, and inform steward leaders from congregations, judicatories, and denominations as they practice faithful generosity. In less than a year, your congregation and its leaders can benefit from 12 workshops with practical ideas and applications for all church leaders: Leadership, Money, and the Church Engaging New Stewards The Offering as Worship New Channels for Giving Engaging Younger Stewards Financial Transparency & Accountability Creating a Narrative Budget Stewardship Teams Year-Round Stewardship Annual…
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Maybe It’s More than a Wedding Text

Maybe It’s More than a Wedding Text

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The thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians is most often associated with weddings, not with stewardship. But could there be a generosity message here also? While a traditional definition of stewardship is time, talent, and treasure, some thought leaders are encouraging adding temperament to this list. Generosity is indeed a matter of the heart and attitude. A good steward has a faithful, hopeful, and loving heart. Faithfulness—not size, status, wealth, or heritage—is God’s measurement for Christians and congregations. All of Christ’s disciples and all of Christ’s congregations are called to be faithful to God’s mission and purpose. Generosity is a faithful act of discipleship, wrapped in trust in God and God’s purposes, whether we see them clearly or in a mirror dimly. Hopefulness is a basic Christian characteristic. Despair and hopelessness…
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Upcoming Author Chat: Chick Lane

Upcoming Author Chat: Chick Lane

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This Tuesday, January 21, Rev. Chick Lane will be presenting an Author Chat on his new book, Reflections on Faith and Finances, which is a guide to accompany Chick’s popular stewardship book Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation, Reflections on Faith and Finances which provides individuals and congregations with conversation and study tools to discover how the biblical message of stewardship intersects with life today. You can register for the Author Chat with Rev. Chick Lane to be held at 2:30 pm Eastern time (1:30 pm Central time, 12:30 pm Mountain time, 11:30 am Pacific time).
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