Second Sunday in Lent, Year B Lectionary Reflection
March 1, 2015
The way of the cross is not about self-flagellation, destructive behaviors, or irresponsible actions. Following Jesus is about publicly proclaiming with your life’s witness that Jesus matters—more than anything else—and in him is the source and wellspring of abundant life. (Photo: Doug 1021, Creative Commons)
Author Nancy Sleeth, who along with her husband founded the non-profit organization Blessed Earth, invites all of us to reconsider how we are (or are not) keeping Sabbath. For Sleeth’s family, keeping Sabbath has been a true blessing. (Photo: Pawel Pacholec, Creative Commons)
It may seem like a “no-brainer,” but we all need to be reminded of the ways we can cultivate generous hearts in children today so that they will be good stewards as adults. Check out Ron Edmondson’s 10 suggestions in this churchleaders.com article. (Photo: © Vibe Images – Fotolia.com)
In interviews with congregations in a variety of settings, we discovered that the most effective stewardship formation occurs in the context of worship, in open and frank discussions about money, faith and giving, and in the ability to help people understand how their giving funds the various ministries of the church, including social outreach. Read our findings. (Photo © ashumskiy – Fotolia.com)
Robert Schanse, author of Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, explains why its important to move your church culture towards generosity, and he offers a list of “dos” and “don’ts” that will guide your path. From Ministry Matters. (Photo © laurent hamels – Fotolia.com)
ELCA congregations and outdoor ministry sites are invited to participate in the Energy Stewards Initiative, a one- to two-year program to help lower their energy usage, which not only is good for the planet but it also frees up money for mission. Deadline is May 15. Check out the details at Lutherans Restoring Creation. (Photo © Mopic – Fotolia.com)
It’s time to start asking new questions. Better answers to the same old questions about the church will not get us through the tumultuous times in which we live. This is a time for out-of-the box thinking. Old questions keep is in the box. New questions invite us to move outside, writes Jeffrey D. Jones in a blog of Alban at Duke Divinity School. (Photo by Raymond Bryson, used by Creative Commons license)
Leaders of small churches know how hard stewardship can be in their contexts. Here are six simple steps that, implemented consistently and faithfully, can help develop a generosity culture in your congregation. From the Hinton Center, a Methodist retreat.
Pastors and church members hear about financial news all the time. Money is a frequent topic of discourse in the daily news. So why do we sometimes hesitate to talk frankly about money in church? Ken Sloane of the United Methodist Church explores. (Photo © BortN66 – Fotolia.com)
Saying thank you promptly and regularly is one of the simplest and most effective things a congregation can do to reinforce good stewardship and enhance giving. This article from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership helps show you how. (Photo by Orin Zebest, used by Creative Commons license)
For Brandon Hilgemann, dieting and exercising not only helped him shed 40 pounds and improve his physical health, it also worked wonders on his ministry. In this essay from Pastors.com he explains how. (Photo © Saje – Fotolia.com)
Here’s a brief video that will make you laugh, but also make you think! It includes interviews with folks from the Episcopal Church. How would YOU answer their questions? (Photo by Bev8200, used by Creative Commons license)
Be sure to read this article by Matt Morris. Online giving goes hand-in-hand with your worshiping community’s digital presence–something many folks feel is no longer an option. (Photo: © momius – Fotolia.com)
Even the best of us can get tongue-tied when it comes to engaging others in a discussion about money. So the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada has crafted this handy discussion guide to help us along. Includes talking points, prayers and scripture. (Photo © mangostock – Fotolia.com)
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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 March 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.