February Stewardship Thoughts and Resources for You! (just cut and paste!)

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February 2018
Faith Simonieg,
Assistant to the Bishop for  Stewardship and Generosity 

Why do you give? Givers are people of dreams, aspirations, and hope. People love to give to those things close to their hearts. Regularly sharing your church’s vision will connect the heart of the giver, as well as their dreams, to the vision of the church. 

Vision answers the question, “Why should I give to your church?” Sometimes people will give marginally out of guilt, obligation, or even loyalty. Connection to the vision allows radical giving to occur based on a real heart-connection. Something in the heart has to shift. 

Stewardship is not about money, it’s about the decisions you make regarding all the resources God has entrusted to you. Something in the heart has to shift before we get to the money part. Stewardship is about responding to the question: what will you do because of that God has done, will do and continue to do for you? 

Thoughtful communication and education will develop a deeper awareness in the congregation you serve and open eyes to see all that God is up to in our midst. 

Here are some resources to help you: 

Bulletin Blurbs: put a stewardship bulletin blurb in your weekly bulletin. Just cut and paste. It’s from the week’s Revised Common Lectionary lessons, followed by a brief reflection. Please include copyright notice. 

Stewardship Snippet
February 4, 2018 Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B)
Isaiah 40:31 — “Those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” 

God entrusts us to be good stewards of all we have, but especially our strength, our vision, our courage, our life-energy. And in using these gifts, we are not alone. Isaiah reminds us that God renews us, fills us with power and focus. How do you “wait” for God’s renewal?  Copyright © 2018, Rev. Robert Blezard. Reprinted by permission. Pastor Blezard serves as an assistant to the bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod and also works as content editor for www.stewardshipoflife.org 

Stewardship Snippet
February 11, 2018 (Transfiguration Sunday, Year B)
2 Corinthians 4:6 –- For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

When do feel dim, more in darkness than in light? Everyone does once in a while. Here we are reminded that God’s eternal light always shines in our hearts. As stewards of the mysteries of God, in prayer and faith we draw close to the light.  Copyright © 2018, Rev. Robert Blezard. Reprinted by permission. Pastor Blezard serves as an assistant to the bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod and also works as content editor for www.stewardshipoflife.org 

 Stewardship Snippet
February 18, 2018 (1st Sunday in Lent, Year B)
Psalm 25:4-5 – Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. 

As steward-disciples of God, how do we keep our lives focused and on track? Only with God’s help. Daily we pray for the Almighty to teach us, guide us, lead us, correct us. How do you “wait” for God? Copyright © 2018, Rev. Robert Blezard. Reprinted by permission. Pastor Blezard serves as an assistant to the bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod and also works as content editor for www.stewardshipoflife.org 

 Stewardship Snippet
February 25, 2018 (2nd Sunday in Lent, Year B)
Exodus 20:8-11 – Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work – you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. 

Take one day off per week – God’s orders! God spends FOUR verses to tell us to keep the sabbath day holy. It’s that important! Holy stewardship of our lives means we take time to refrain from work. So chill out! It’s literally a sin not to! Copyright © 2018, Rev. Robert Blezard. Reprinted by permission. Pastor Blezard serves as an assistant to the bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod and also works as content editor for www.stewardshipoflife.org 

 Newsletter Article: Publish something every month on stewardship, money and faith. Just cut and paste into your newsletter. Please include the source. Reprint permission granted for local congregational use. Other uses please inquire@ faith@wndsynod.org. 

Faith and Finances Intersect 

What is stewardship to you? Often, when people hear the word, “stewardship” they immediately think about money. A simple definition is: “Stewardship is what you do with all the gifts God entrusts to you.”  Stewardship is a way of life.  It is what we do every second, minute, hour and day of our life.  It isn’t just about writing a check once a year.  It’s about demonstrating every day that we understand what our responsibility is with respect to ALL of the gifts we have received.  We teach our children to say “thank you” when they receive gifts, but do we do the same to our Father who blesses us every moment of our lives?  Thankfully, it’s not too late to walk the talk.    

What have we done lately with the gifts God gave us?  Not just your talents, but including your talents.  Not just your time, but including your time.  Not just your money, but including your money. Everything we have is a gift from God, entrusted to us to care for and manage, and that includes our money.  In the Bible, we read that what we do with our money and our possessions impacts our faith.  

Thank you for the many ways you use all that God has entrusted to your care, for the ways you share gifts with your family, this congregation, our community and our church. Source: Faith Simonieg, Assist. To The Bishop WND Synod. 

General Stewardship Resource Websites 

 Stewardship of Life Institute– Headquartered at United Lutheran Seminary, this site has a trove of resources on stewardship in areas of congregational finance, individual finance, discipleship, education, preaching, creation care, and more. 

Center for Steward Leadership – Luther Seminary’s excellent website with lots of resources. 

The ELCA Foundation has resources at its website, as well as consultants who can meet with your congregational leaders to develop ideas and plans for long-term financial stability.  

Wndsynod.org – you’ll find a selected group of great resources.  

Having trouble copying text? Click here for a Word Document :  February.docx

 

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