Narrative Lectionary for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year One
Tell Joseph’s unlikely story of dreams, of decisions, and of righteous intentions. Invite us all to dream a little dream of Christmas—not of sugarplums and reindeer clatter but rather of peace, of justice, and of salvation. Set the stage for the real work of Christmas to begin. (Photo: Ted, Creative Commons)
Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B, December 21, 2014
“…let it be with me according to your word,” says Mary. Let it be. What a statement of radical assent! What an affirmation of faith, a declaration of trust, and a testament to courage! This week we once again remind ourselves that we stand with Mary, with Peter, and with all the faithful witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ. (Photo: Paukrus, Creative Commons)
Climate scientist and evangelical Christian Katherine Hayhoe discusses climate change, why our faith demands action, and the reasons why we must move beyond politics and ideological arguments in this recent interview with Ann Neumann in Guernica. (Photo: John LeGear, Creative Commons)
Congregational leadership involves seeing the holy in the congregation’s members and the quotidian activities of the church and trying to bring that holiness out in partnership with God and others. But in the business of congregational life, it is easy to lose our way, focus on product rather than persons, become overwhelmed by the tasks of ministry, and forget that we are always on holy ground as we interact with God’s beloved children. What can we do? Here are some ideas. (Photo by Lel4nd, used by Creative Commons license)
Good stewardship habits are good for both your life and your wallet, according to Consumer Psychologist Kit Yarrow, who includes sharing, gratitude, and contentment among her twelve tips to streamline one’s life and budget. Dr. Yarrow’s suggestions are particularly timely for this season of Advent when we are bombarded with messages to overspend and overbuy. (Photo: Rubbermaid Products, Creative Commons)
Here is a manual for those who would work on building an endowment or seeking planned gifts in their local church, “Achieving Your Dreams Beyond the Budget” is an exceptional tool for local church stewardship. This publication outlines a timeless process for congregational planned giving that is still relevant today. Beginning with a theological foundation for planned giving, the booklet walks you through the steps to implement a planned giving program in your congregation.
This article, written by Pastor Todd Nelson, is one of many valuable weekly newsletter offerings from the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary. Be sure to visit their website for this and other resources, as well as recordings from past Renewing Stewardship events.
This resource outlines the six most popular financial response models used by ELCA congregations. An easy-to-follow guide for new stewardship leaders. Available through the ELCA Resource Catalog or 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.
Check out Faith Aflame from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a free comprehensive offering with a broad assortment of downloadable resources for congregational leaders. Click here or above to explore the Faith Aflame site.
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.)