The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
I am so sick of hearing the word "unprecedented"—how about you? However, it truly does articulate the situation we find ourselves in thanks to COVID-19. In listening to leaders in this synod it is clear to me that there is a level of anxiety around finances and stewardship as the weeks continue to go on of this pandemic. People are losing jobs and the idea of talking about money simply seems like it makes little sense. I hear that. However, I do believe that now is a vital time for our churches to think about stewardship —not just in money —but in how we live out our life of faith in response to the gift of the Gospel. Money is part of that. And that’s what I want talk about quickly.
The Stewardship Committee is excited to offer two programs in addition to what is already going on. One is the Congregational Stewardship Mentoring Program that is designed to provide guidance to congregations that wish to grow their stewardship ministries. The mentors for this program are seasoned parish pastors who have a deep understanding of stewardship ministry and a successful fundraising track. Most importantly, they have a passion to help others experience that. The cost for this program is $250. For more information contact Pastor Ryan Brodin at email@example.com.
In addition, in this year of great uncertainty, we will partner with GSB Fundraising to offer a six-session process entitled “Beginning a Culture of Generosity.” (GSB leads our popular Stewardship for All Seasons program, which many of our congregations have participated in.) This new offering will help congregations financially stabilize ministry while looking to the future. Ending 2020 with a strong annual appeal will allow congregations to move forward in hope, positively impacting their ministry decisions for the coming year. In the midst of a pandemic, strong congregations are needed more than ever as they proclaim words of hope, community, service and resurrection. Beginning a Culture of Generosity will provide a road map for congregations to follow, with a consultant meeting regularly with the cohort to clarify the process and ensure the greatest impact. We are recruiting congregations now for this with the plans to begin later in summer. The cost for this program is $450. Learn more.
— The Rev. Justin Grimm
Director for Evangelical Mission, Assistant to the Bishop for Next Generation Ministries