Our Synod Stewardship Table members have worked to equip congregations and offer ongoing resources. Here are some stewardship essentials for you to know:
Synod Stewardship Mission Statement “Delight in the giving; moved by the extravagance of God” From 2 Corinthians 9:7 God loves it when the giver delights in the giving (The Message)
EWAID Synod Purpose statement: Equip God’s people for ministry Vision Stewardship leaders across the EWAID Synod will be trained and supported so as to provide year round stewardship education and resources to clergy and lay leaders.
Synod Stewardship Guiding Principles Everything belongs to God (Psalm 8:3) Entrusted: God’s creation is for the good of all (Genesis 2:15) Educate: promote healthy stewardship (1 Cor 4:1-2) Equip: train steward leaders (2 Cor 8:7) Expand: grow synod leaders (2 Cor 8:6) Empower: speak, inspire and challenge (Acts 2: 43-47) Encourage generous giving. (2 Cor 8:1-2)
Stewardship is about gratitude and generosity Stewardship is a mark of discipleship. Stewardship is everything I do after I say ‘I believe’
2 Corinthians 8: 1-7 is the scriptural basis for Macedonia grant given to our synod and other synods by a partnership between Thrivent and the ELCA. The churches of Macedonia in St Paul’s day overflowed in generosity and begged to share in the privilege to give to the saints. 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 God loves a cheerful giver
Have open conversations about our trust in God’s abundance, stewardship journey, health, relationship with money and generosity.
Educate your congregation about stewardship practices such as “first fruits giving”. Our EWAID Synod has chosen to use this practice demonstrating our trust in God’s provision and our value for ministry beyond ourselves.
10-10-80 Principle: Give 10% – Save 10%- Spend 80%
Stewardship of creation. We affirm and encourage the development and use of community gardens around the synod, and thank congregations for sharing the fruits of their labor with the community. Please send in any photos of your community garden for the synod website. Pastors or lay leaders are encouraged to preach one sermon a year to on the topic of “stewardship of creation”.
Resources available to all
A fabulous free online ELCA resource for congregations Make It Simple assists in stewardship education and annual response programs. Click on www.elca.org/stewardship
Ventures in Growing Stewards Three Pastors have been trained by ELCA staff to lead this 4 part workshop program. It is designed for clusters but can be brought to your congregation. 4-6 congregational leaders and the Pastor from each congregation attend and there is a small fee. If you want to know more about this program and what it offers see www.elca.org/ventures The synod website and newsletter will inform you about the schedule for upcoming workshops.
Mission Interpreter training is offered by four coordinators across the synod. Sharing stories of God’s ministry helps people to see how God is at work. This inspires, encourages and helps people to use their imagination so they can be drawn into and participate in God’s future. Mission Interpreters receive ongoing resources to share how God is changing lives through the generosity of others. They are encouraged to be on the lookout for stories of God in action and to use creative ways to share these in their congregation or other churches. For more information about Mission Interpretation go to http://soulcafe.org/document/mission-interpreters or http://ewaidsynod.org/stewardship/missioninterpreters.html
Congregations and clusters are encouraged to invite the Director for Evangelical Mission for stewardship consultation, presentations, preaching and workshops. firstname.lastname@example.org phone: (509) 380 7122
Explore the use of Electronic Transfers for the congregation www.simplygiving.org Make it simpler for congregation members who cannot attend worship every Sunday to give. Young people don’t carry much cash or their check books these days.
Other tips: • Most churches separate their Financial Stewardship program from Time and Talents. • People respond to incentives and a plan: “If every family gave $50 then we could…” • Thank people for their giving - take time to acknowledge their gifts. • Quarterly statements with a thank you helps members keep track of their giving. • Lay people say they have not received enough communication about the need for Mission Support to the Synod and Church-wide; they do not know about what goes on and the work of the synod.