One of Christian theology’s most prophetic voices offers a challenging biblical analysis of the role of money in our culture. Wealth in America, Brueggemann says, acts as a narcotic, numbing us. “The great contradiction is that we have more and more money and less and less generosity — less and less public money for the needy, less charity for the neighbor.” (Photo: Prisoner 5413, Creative Commons)
This year help your congregation make the connection between God’s creation and something very near and dear to them — their food! A worship service that celebrates and gives thanks to God for the bounty of the earth will also remind parishioners of the seasons of the year, the cycle of life, the value of farms, the need for sustainable care of creation, and the source of our nourishment. What local agriculture can you bring in? Here are some planning resources. (Photo: StJohn’sFlowerGuild, Creative Commons)
It’s the question you frequently hear about tithing — do you base it on gross income? Or after-tax income? This feature presents different viewpoints from three writers — Frederica Mathewes-Green, David A. Croteau and Steve Stewart. Which viewpoint resonates with your own view? (Photo: Tax Credits, Creative Commons)
Because the church has always funded its ministry through small gifts from a large number of people, crowdfunding is not too much of a stretch for congregations. Crowdfunding has gained a respectable status among the many ways to fund new ventures, whether business-related or charitable. Crowdfunding presents a clear opportunity for church-related giving to expand its focus, audience, vision, and reach. (Read more in this free download!) (Photo: James Cridland, Creative Commons)
“Why is stewardship so stinking difficult?” That’s a question you hear many congregational leaders ask, and it’s also a chapter in the new resource offered by Charles R. Lane and Grace Duddy Pomroy. “Embracing Stewardship” addresses that age-old question by offering both a solid theoretical/theological grounding and practical, down-to-earth approaches for making stewardship an everyday part of a congregation’s life together. An accessible, affordable resource.
There’s something wonderfully renewing about autumn, especially as it begins a new school year. It’s all about new beginnings. Maybe it has something to do with new classrooms, new teachers, the great smell of brand new shoes and the smooth touch of that new backpack, says this meditation from the International Catholic Stewardship Council. (Photo © Bonniemarie – Fotolia.com)
Keep your mind and heart focused on stewardship with this weekly Stewardship Bible Devotion from Crosswalk.com. Using the exampe of Paul in Acts 26:1-23, this week’s lesson explores the role of storytelling in faith formation and education. (Photo: Alvanman, Creative Commons)
Here’s a compendium of good resources for pet blessings from our friends at ECF Vital Practices. We are called to be stewards of creation, and pet blessings can help set the tone for those who enjoy the companionship of all God’s creatures. (Photo: Tony Lanciabeta, Creative Commons)
It’s not hard to understand why talk about money and giving might make a congregation uncomfortable, and maybe even guilty and resentful. So how do we move to healthy ways of talking and preaching about money in our churches? This post from The Episcopal Network for Stewardship has some great ideas. (Photo: Fallonyates, Creative Commons)
Here’s a handy article from Joshua Becker referencing 17 staggering statistics about American consumer habits. You’ll find these stats fascinating, sad, and great fodder for preaching and teaaching about stewardship. (Photo: Rob Holland, Creative Commons)
Give people a line-item budget and either their eyes will glaze over or they’ll become obsessed with the bottom line. Many congregations are finding that they can better talk about their financial priorities with a narrative budget. The Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island has some good ideas. (Photo © trotzolga – Fotolia.com)
Everything is a choice, and leaders choose the financial culture they create. Every conversation can be both a vision and discipleship conversation, including planning the annual budget. Invite congregants to invest in a vision rather than simply approve a budget. (Photo: © Artur Gabrysiak – Fotolia.com)
Here’s a harvest liturgy resource from Green Christian that also includes ideas for incorporating the abundance of the harvest and care of creation into autumn parish life. Be sure to check out the other worship and prayer resources on this excellent website. (Photo: eden pictures, Creative Commons)
When it comes to stewardship, why do we do what we do? Where do we get the guidance and authority from God? Well, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod has got some excellent answers to those questions, all contained in their handy document “Bible Stewardship Principles.” It is available in a variety of forms for various audiences and occasions. Good stuff!
With school and faith formation on the horizon, here’s a resource trove for educating children and youth about climate change and creation care from Operation NOAH, an ecumenical Christian charity in the UK. You’re sure to find something useful here! (Photo: rambojan iphoneography, Creative Commons)
Here is a real gem! This 50-page resource includes a leader guide and participant materials for use in a faith-based small group context: adult or older youth Sunday school, Christian Education classes, women’s circles, men’s groups, congregational “Green Team,” or in a retreat setting. (Also can be ordered for $5 from the ELCA Resource Catalog.)
A how-to booklet for congregations to develop a Planned Giving ministry. Includes sections devoted to establishing and promoting a Planned Giving program, congregational endowments, wills emphasis, how life-income gifts work, and more. Free download from the United Church of Christ! (Photo: Tracie7779, Creative Commons)
Here’s a free online course on biblical stewardship that you can really sink your teeth into. “Four Gospels” pays attention to the stewardship-of-life underpinnings of the four Gospels as it provides a scholarly overview. From Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.