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Vanity, Thy Name is Mortal

Lectionary Reflection for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, July 31, 2016
Let’s challenge one another to take up a countercultural course of action and drop the vanity that costs us so much and yields so very little. Let us seek our wealth in faith, in relationship, and in service to God and one another. In doing so, we will indeed have enough—and then some. (Photo: daily sunny, Creative Commons)

Photo: Bert Haymans, Creative Commons

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Giving

When a stroke caused aBrazilian man to become (in the words of his neurologist) “pathologically generous,” doctors found evidence that human beings are hardwired to feel happiness in giving things away. What is it that blocks the drive to be generous, and how can we become givers more naturally? (Photo: Bert Haymans, Creative Commons)

Hernan Pinera

Bold

Lectionary Reflection for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, July 24, 2016
Dear friends, it’s time we get really bold in our conversations with God, time that we prayed like we believed it, time that we expect God to respond. The world needs the church to show up and start with bold prayer followed by faithful action. (Photo: lel4nd, Creative Commons)

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Try a Vision-Based Budget Retreat

How about planning and leading a “vision-based budgeting retreat” this year? Here are some thoughts from David Putman and Todd McMichen of Auxano, as well as a link to a more in-depth resource. (Photo: taxcredits.net, creative commons, http://taxcredits.net/)

Photo: Garry Knight, Creative Commons

Encouraging Attitude Change in the Congregation

Why is it that lots of churches and their leaders work hard and pray fervently for a better future, yet never seem to get anywhere? The determining factor in congregational flourishing often comes down to attitudes. Change initiatives can grind to a halt when prevailing attitudes impede movement. But attitudes can change, and leaders who have an understanding of the anatomy of an attitude can help congregants reconsider and revise them. (Photo: Garry Knight, Creative Commons)

Photo by Takver, used by Creative Commons license.

Emergency Mode: A New Strategy for the Climate Movement

The climate crisis is an unprecedented emergency. Humanity is careening towards the deaths of billions of people, millions of species, and the collapse of organized civilization. How we react to the climate crisis will shape centuries and millennia to come. Given the stakes, and the extremely short timetable, it is imperative that we strive to maximize the efficacy of our actions. We need to enter “emergency mode.” Faith-based organizations can help. (Photo:Takver, Creative Commons)

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People, Passion, and Possibilities

What does it mean to lead a Stewardship Ministry? I have come to understand ithe varied cultures in which we serve. What meets the needs of one church may not meet the needs of another congregation. What works in the culture of a large congregation may not fit into the culture of a smaller congregation. I find three steps to be an effective way for us to design a stewardship ministry.

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Embracing Stewardship

“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.

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    The Weekly Joke

    Every week we dish out a fresh scoop of humor. Who says stewardship is no fun?

    Click here to go to the joke  page

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    Free e-book: ‘How much is enough?’

    Some of the brightest minds of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have collaborated for this collection of essays exploring “How Much is Enough: A Deeper Look at Stewardship in an Age of Abundance.” Each author looks at one aspect of what it means to be a well-formed stewardship leader — the basic competencies needed.

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    Free Ebook: A Theology for Christian Stewardship

    T.A. Kantonen’s classic book “A Theology for Christian Stewardship” is still considered one of the best explorations of the topic and a go-to resource. Download a free PDF copy, posted on LC-MS’ FaithAflame website.

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    Free E-Book: Stewardship Under the Cross

    LC-MS Pastor H.R. Curtis calls his book, “the experience and advice of one pastor struggling to remain faithful to God’s Word while leading his parish through a rough financial patch. … It is a book about how to think about and teach stewardship as a Lutheran; a book about Law & Gospel, vocation, and liturgy.”