Category: Stewardship

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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June 5, 2017

Stewardship Tip: Half Empty or Half Full?

Generosity logo SEPA Pastor Blair Morgan, Director for Evangelical Mission in Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod, has done a good job of talking about how we look at what we have, based on a workshop he attended with The Rev. Dr. Marty Stevens of Gettysburg Seminary: One of the recurring themes that Dr. Stevens covered was the difference between God’s...

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May 5, 2017

Stewardship Tip: 10-10-80

Pastor Blair Morgan, Director for Evangelical Mission in Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod had an article that can be helpful for our congregational members as they think about managing their personal finances.  It has also been lifted up by Thrivent, and if you want to have a congregational program that helps teach children (and adults) about responsible...

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April 4, 2017

Stewardship Tip: Quarterly Reports

The first quarter of the calendar year is over and in many congregations the Financial Secretary sends out a “quarterly report.”  As you think about your congregation’s practices in this area of stewardship, consider some of the following: If you don’t send quarterly reports to your members, reconsider it. It is NOT a bill It...

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March 2, 2017

Tip: Other Stewardship Topics

Year round stewardship enables us to lift up consistent themes about generosity and stewardship as a management function for the gifts and blessings entrusted to us by God. Two of the important areas of stewardship will be highlighted by our country in April and it is a good way for our congregations to be in...

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February 6, 2017

Stewardship Tip: Maximize Your Mission

Lent is just around the corner and it is a perfect time to maximize your mission with a specific mission project.  When people know that their generosity has made a difference they not only feel good, but are inclined to continue to support your other ministries.  Here are some ideas: Use mid-week, Holy Week and...

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January 6, 2017

Storytelling: Stewardship’s Bottom Line

When people know that their generosity has made a difference they not only feel good, but are inclined to continue to support those ministries.The bottom line is to tell your story Tell it creatively Succinctly (bulletin insert, short newsletter blurb, short video online or during worship) Tell it often and in a variety of ways...

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November 30, 2016

Stewardship Tip: Embrace Generosity this Advent/Christmas

How do we provide practical programs that help our members embrace generosity and alert them to the dangers of our culture’s “spend, spend, spend” mentality? The Advent/Christmas season is one of the times of the year that lends itself to lifting up the economic tensions of these dual messages.  Many congregations encourage generosity with multiple...

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October 13, 2016

Stewardship Tip: 10-10-80 Principle

The 10-10-80 Principle of money management has been lifted up in different contexts over the years.  The principle itself is pretty basic.  It encourages each disciple to prayerfully embrace an approach to their incomes around these three percentages: 10% is offered to the work of God’s kingdom in the world through the church and other...

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September 28, 2016

Money, Mission, and Media: ‘Generosity Is a Learned Virtue’

“We are in a (new) Pentecost moment,” the Rev. Ruth Santana Grace, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, told more than 200 church leaders gathered at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia for Money, Mission, and Media, a conversation about the challenges and opportunities for 21st Century digital ministry. In changing times, the church...

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May 16, 2016

Balanced 2017 Budget Approved

The Assembly approved a balanced budget for fiscal 2017 that reflects the continuing decrease in Mission Support contributions from churches. In 2015 Mission Support totaled $1.97 million, a decrease of $180,000 from 2014, reported Treasurer Janet Neff, CPA. The Synod has been responsible managing with diminishing resources, she said. Since 2010, Mission Support has declined...

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June 11, 2014

Convocation Explores Generosity, Generations

For the first time in history, six generations are living and worshipping in our congregations simultaneously. To thrive congregations must find ways to relate to all of these cohorts, even though they respond to very different approaches to faith formation and institutional support. Join us at the 2014 Bishop’s Convocation as we explore the connection...

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