Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B, April 26, 2015
The 23rd psalm may be to the life of faith what mac and cheese is to comfort food, but it’s certainly no promise of a four-lane highway. The good news is that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is with us all the way–guiding, goading, loving, and equipping each and every one of us for the journey. (Photo: Joan Campderros i Canas, Creative Commons)
This is your quintessential Planned Giving resource! This is free, online guide for congregations is designed to aid pastors and lay leaders in developing a congregational 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. (Photo by Ken Mayer, used by Creative Commons license)
This April 22 marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Why not celebrate the occasion with a special Earth Sunday or Creation Sunday worship on the April 19 or April 26? You can make it a celebration of the natural environment, or possibly a blessing of the seeds, farms, orchards, gardens and fields. Why not preach on how we must take better care of God’s good earth. Here are some places to get ideas and resources.
Every church should have an endowment. Sometimes congregations have more than one. And that can be confusing, especially if the policies and guidelines governing each aren’t clear. But an endowment can play an important role in your congregation’s overall financial management strategy. This article can help you plan. (Photo by DanielSTL, used by Creative Commons license)
Mired in debt despite having a good job? Tired of living to work rather than working to live? Here’s a practical Top-10 List of things you can do right now to get started on the path to financial freedom, from LifeWay. (Photo (c) tanawatpontchour – fotolia.com)
When people see a poor or unemployed neighbor struggling to maintain a normal life, they often resort to harmful judgment rather than seeking to understand and find compassion, Caryn Rivadeneira writes in her-meneutics magazine. (Photo by Stuart Pilbrow used under Creative Commons license)
Whether it’s the lay leaders of the 19th-century Mainline congregation on Main Street, the evangelists of the megachurch near the mall or the bureaucrats in the denominational offices, Christians are realizing they have to help people go deeper, says Thom Ehrich for Religion News Service.
Lots of churches aren’t just talking about creation care, they’re living it! This video from National Geographic highlights how congregations are raising awareness about environmentalism by modeling good practices.
Throughout history, Christians have swung the pendulum in two opposite directions as far as humor and laughter are concerned — acting on the one hand as if faith and laughter are contradictory, or embracing and seeking it on the other. What’s a Christian to think? From Cheryl Taylor.
Giving is a heart issue, not a money issue. Tithing is a grace issue, not a guilt issue. Check out author Mike Holmes vision for what the tithing church could do. (Photo: Cheddar, Creative Commons)
Your church has been thinking about electronic giving but still has issues and questions? This FAQ download by stewardship consultant David S. Bell may help clarify the issues. From the United Methodist Church. (Photo by Creativity 103, used by Creative Commons license)
Signalling that Francis intends to make climate change a top issue of his papacy, the Vatican is set to host a major conference on climate change this month that will feature leading researchers on global warming and an opening address by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. From Religion News Service. (Photo by Semilla Luz, used by Creative Commons license)
So what can you tell folks about stewardship that they haven’t heard before? These 12 talking points offer some great ideas! From the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. (Photo © mangostock – Fotolia.com)
Bring this resource to your next council meeting or gathering of the finance or stewardship committees — provocative ideas about stewardship in our lives and in God’s church. From the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts. (Photo by Bill Hillegas, 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 September 15 for the next funding round. See details inside! (Photo by Steven dePolo, used by Creative Commons license.)
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.
Photo © Katerha, used by Creative Commons license
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.