14th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B Lectionary Reflection
August 30, 2015
Sometimes disciples have to get their hands dirty to do God’s work, and that may not always be the popular choice. Today’s lessons lift up the importance of seeing beyond a little surface dirt to the work of ministry and the love of neighbor. (Photo: St0rmz, Creative Commons)
As I work with congregations in their stewardship ministry, I’m always surprised how few annually ask members and friends of the congregation to increase their giving. Most people won’t increase giving if you don’t ask them to. “Because of God’s Great Mercy” is a complete program that provides everything a congregation needs to make a direct, respectful request, along with a simple way for people to calculate an increase of 1/2 of 1% of household income.” (Photo by Artotem, used by Creative Commons license)
Got a creative idea for stewardship eduction? The Stewardship of Life Institute is offering grants to help fund projects to advance stewardship in the ELCA. Applications are submitted online and due on Sept. 15 for the next funding round. See details inside! (Photo by FrankieLeon, used by Creative Commons license.)
In light of Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and the effects of our consumer culture on the planet and particularly on the poor, author Tom Beutel examines small ways we can choose to make a bigger difference. He also provides links to excellent resources. (Photo © Dmitry Rukhlenko – Fotolia.com)
You’ll find wonderful, thoughtful prayers for any kind of stewardship occasion, thanks to the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane in Australia. (Photo © JcJg Photography – Fotolia.com)
Check out Dr. Greg Carey’s reflection on feeding the hungry. There’s a strong stewardship component here–and feeding others is something we can do. How is your congregation working to eradicate hunger? (Photo: Rob Blezard)
Thousands of young adults have dropped out of church because of what author Reba Reiley calls “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.” PTCS comes because Millennials experience the church as clashing with their worldview and values, she tells Religion News Service in an interview. (Photo by Ken Teegardin, used by Creative Commons license)
Struggling with what to do about stewardship and how to do it? Here is a free 34-page booklet from the United Methodist Church that will get you on your way! It covers the nuts and bolts of establishing a congregational stewardship team and making plans.
Far too often, stewardship has been relegated to a Sunday school class, a special offering, or an annual church emphasis. Churches would benefit by considering stewardship a departmental ministry, appropriately staffed and budgeted to serve the local church, says this article from Enrichment Journal. (Photo © Alfredo Müller – Fotolia.com)
John Wesley understood that he was accountable to God for the way he used each and every penny he had to spend. He devised four questions to guide him, and they merit our consideration as well, says a writer in Christianity.com. (Photo © shotsstudio – Fotolia.com)
As obesity grows in epidemic proportions, the church needs to begin to examine its teachings and practices on a number of issues, including feeding the poor, health, well being, gluttony and sufficiency, says a writer in Her-menutics. (Photo by Rob_Rob_2001, used by Creative Commons license)
Nowadays you’re more likely to see somebody bring a Bible to church on a cell phone or tablet than a Bible printed on paper. And yet the paper check is still the primary currency in many churches. Ministry Matters offers some ideas for updating to e-giving. (Photo by Jhaymesisviphotography, used by Creative Commons license)
Having dealt with the roles and relationships of men and women, elders and deacons, employers and employees, in 1 Timothy 6:9-10 the Apostle Paul addresses with the Christian’s relationship with money and issues eight warnings about why we should not turn it into an idol. From David Murray. (Photo by Liz West used by Creative Commons license)
The Bible’s wisdom, “It is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35), goes against all our intuitions and instincts. So to help you believe it and act upon it, here are 10 reasons why it is more blessed to give than to receive. From Christianity.com. (Photo © momius – Fotolia.com)
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.)
This resource outlines the six most popular financial response models used by ELCA congregations. An easy-to-follow guide for new stewardship leaders. Available in PDF as a free download.
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.
Got a creative idea for stewardship eduction? The Stewardship of Life Institute is offering grants to help fund projects to advance stewardship in the ELCA. Applications are submitted online and due on September 15 for the next funding round. See details inside! (Photo by Steven dePolo, used by Creative Commons license.)