Category: Stewardship

June 4, 2019

Save the Date for ‘Extravagant Generosity’

Save the dates — January 10-11, 2020 — for a can’t miss learning event. “Extravagant Generosity: A Stewardship Extravaganza” features keynotes by Clif Christopher, author of It’s Not Your Father’s Offering Plate, Whose Offering Plate Is It? and The Church Money Manual, and Aimee Laramore, author of Pathways to Generosity: Year-round Giving and Gratitude. Workshop leaders include: Scott Schantzenbach, Rob...

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April 8, 2019

How to Be an Effective Small Church

Generosity logo SEPA Some years ago, David Ray traveled across the United States, west to east and north to south, and back north, visiting twenty-one smaller faith communities that were noted for the quality and faithfulness of their life together. He asked probing questions and listened carefully, looking for the common denominators, the faithful and exceptional qualities that...

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February 19, 2019

New Online Giving Option for Congregations

CHICAGO (Feb. 19, 2019) – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has formed a preferred vendor agreement with Vanco, an eGiving software developer and payment processor serving more than 20,000 churches across the country. The agreement offers Vanco’s GivePlus suite of eGiving solutions to ELCA congregations. The ELCA churchwide organization has sought new working...

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February 7, 2019

Hospitality: The Warm Heart of Generosity

Generosity logo SEPA ELCA staff member Steve Oelschlager writes in the most recent issue of Stewardnet, “How might our life together regularly teach and encourage people to want to be part of something bigger than themselves, sacrificing self for the benefit of others?” I think the answer has everything to do with creating remarkable cultures in which hospitality...

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January 3, 2019

Generosity: Yours for the Asking

Generosity logo SEPA Clif Christopher (who will be our Keynote Speaker at the January 10-11, 2020 Stewardship Extravaganza) shares the following story: Recently I talked with a pastor about how to fund a $6,000 need beyond the resources of the church budget. I felt he had an excellent case for the funds. The ministry sounded important. I asked,...

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October 22, 2018

Are You Leaving Money on the Table?

Generosity logo SEPA The Synod Generosity Team and the Delaware Conference invite you to a workshop on generosity and planned giving on Saturday, November 10, 8:30 am to noon, at Reformation Lutheran Church, 102 W. Rose Tree Road, Media. You’ll learn about: Five common ways congregations leave money on the table, and how to get money off the...

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October 3, 2018

Generosity Tip: Telling the Story

Generosity logo SEPA People, especially millennials, support those causes  that have compelling stories that show how money is spent and what outcomes been realized. This is true for our congregations as well as the Synod and the ELCA.  Telling your story at the congregational level is the easiest (though not all congregation’s do this intentionally).  But what about at...

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September 12, 2018

Generosity Tip: It’s About Time

Generosity logo SEPA As we enter a new program year, families and the church face an important issue – how do we manage (steward) our time? Summer is over, weekend trips to the shore or mountains are memories, school is already in full swing and with school come all of the school and extracurricular activities, and your children...

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July 11, 2018

Generosity Tip: Legacy Gifts

Generosity logo SEPA Yvonne Lembo, a member of our Synod Generosity Team, also works with the ELCA as a regional gift planner.  Our ELCA gift planners are a resource that we under-utilize but can be an extra asset for congregations that want to develop or expand their Endowment Funds.  Here’s  an article that Yvonne wrote for this month’s...

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June 5, 2018

Generosity: The Narrative Offering

Generosity logo SEPA For the past year we have had six congregations in SEPA Synod and eight congregations in NEPA Synod participating in a pilot program to Create Congregational Cultures of Generosity.  Teams from each congregation of the Pastor(s) and four to six lay leaders attended a two day intensive training program to help them understand what to...

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March 26, 2018

The Pros Use Coaches. Shouldn’t You?

Generosity logo SEPA Did you ever notice how many coaches professional athletes use?  These are the best in the world in their sport, and yet all of them use coaches on a regular basis.  In fact, in team sports like football or baseball (Go Phillies!!!) there are even specialized coaches for quarterbacks or pitchers; linebackers or a hitting...

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March 5, 2018

New Online Giving Option for Congregations

CHICAGO (March 1, 2018) –The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has reached a preferred vendor agreement with Tithe.ly, a company that offers mobile and online tools to enhance financial giving to ELCA congregations and ministries. As a national organization working with many congregations and denominations, Tithe.ly offers a cost-effective way to increase congregational giving. Congregations...

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January 31, 2018

Model Self-Giving During Lent

Generosity logo SEPA Lent is just around the corner and for many congregations it is an opportunity to encourage members to follow practices of self-denial, self-sacrifice and other practices to more fully follow the example of our Lord Jesus. At the same time, I have seen changes of emphases with regards to “giving something up” in Lent.  While...

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January 4, 2018

Stewardship: Pope Francis and Money

Generosity logo SEPA When I talk to congregational leaders about stewardship, I like to remind them that money is mission.  I was interested to see that Pope Francis agrees with me.  A recent article by Margaret Marcuson applauds Pope Francis not only for talking about money, but working to align the practices of the Vatican Bank with its...

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December 6, 2017

Tip: December is Generosity Month

Generosity logo SEPA December is the most generous month of the year.  Churches and other Not-for-Profit organizations receive more contributions than in any other month.  “Giving Tuesday” has now joined “Black Friday,” “Small Business Saturday,” and “Cyber Monday” in the pantheon of officially designated categories for spending/donating money. We need to applaud this addition and celebrate generosity as...

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November 29, 2017

Give Gifts that Keep Giving

“It’s better to give than to receive.” The saying rings true for many of us as we begin Christmas gift shopping, especially when we consider that it comes from Jesus himself. When considering gifts this Christmas season, Kevin L. Strickland, ELCA assistant to the presiding bishop and executive for worship, suggests, “In this strange new-old...

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November 1, 2017

Stewardship Tip: It’s About Giving Thanks

This is the month when we are focused on Thanksgiving, the end of the calendar year and holidays.  Yet, one of the areas that we do not use as systematically or effectively as we might, is giving thanks. We miss a HUGE opportunity.  A recent stewardship thought from Margaret Marcuso of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center...

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October 16, 2017

The Story is Right in Front of You

Generosity logo SEPA People will often ask me what the Synod and ELCA do with our mission support dollars.  An example just came to my door – and your door – a treasure trove of resources – if you opened it. The cover told about ELCA Good Gifts.  What better way to help children and adults see the...

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August 1, 2017

Stewardship Tip: Practicing What We Preach

Generosity logo SEPA The list of biblical passages that deal with generosity would be longer than your arm, and the number of sermons preached or heard about trusting God to provide are more than we can remember. The key, of course, and our challenge, is to practice what we preach.  That’s what our synod does. In the face...

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July 1, 2017

Stewardship Tip: Handling the Summer Slump

Generosity logo SEPA Here we are in July – the fullness of lower worship attendance, members vacationing and enjoying their weekends at the shore or the mountains – and with it, lower offerings!  How do you handle the summer slump? As always, let’s begin by looking at the principal values that build strong stewardship and motivate generosity all...

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