Planting Seeds of Generosity

Date posted: Tuesday 16 October 2018

This past summer, rostered ministers new to service in our church were invited to attend a stewardship retreat, "Love Let(s) Go". Recognizing that generational attitudes toward money and the church have shifted, the retreat discussed the need to re-examine existing models for stewardship. After the retreat, each participant was given $300 to steward in a way of their choosing. In a series of blogs, each participant will write about how they invested the impact of that money. Today, the Rev. Betsy Hoium of Prince of Peace, Roseville reveals how her $300 planted a seed of generosity.


When I was gifted $300 at the Love Let(s) Go stewardship retreat for new pastors, I wanted to share the gift with others to inspire ministry among people of all ages. Thus I divided the money five ways:


8-year-old Eric gave his money to the Ronald McDonald house. He writes:


Dear Ronald McDonald House,


The money is for you. My name is Eric and I am 8 years old. This $50 donation is for you. I got this money from my Aunt Betsy. She is a pastor. She gave me the money for a pay-it-forward mission. Thank you for taking care of families with sick kids.


From, Eric


When asked how he picked the Ronald McDonald House, his mom said, “We talked about several ideas and he thought it was awful that kids might be in the hospital alone if their families lived too far away.”


13-year-old Claire went on her first mission trip this summer and she had no hesitation decided to give her money to Elderhaus Adult Daycare in Fort Collins, CO where she had volunteered.


Callie, a graduate student in her twenties, is doing an internship in music therapy at the Minnesota State School for the Blind where she works with students ages 5-21. She used her money to support work with her students, many of whom have a number of disabilities. Following her internship, she hopes to become a music therapist who works with children.


Residents of Ridgway, CO came up with the idea of Spirit Fest three years ago to further explore faith and spirituality. This year one day of their 3-day conference was dedicated to the intersection of art and faith. A sculptor, an actor, a theater director, a musician/composer, and a poet/storyteller shared their art with conference participants and talked about how using their artistic gifts is a way of living out their faith. A portion of the money went to support their endeavors.


Alma, who is a recently retired educator, has discovered a passion for studying petroglyphs and the culture of the Ute Indians who lived in the region of Colorado where she grew up. Her curiosity about the petroglyphs on land that belonged to her family led her to a seminar on the meaning of petroglyphs and later becoming an interpretive guide giving tours of this area and sharing her passion with others.


What I learned through this stewardship cohort project is that money is a human creation and a means, but not an end. In the best of circumstances money can be used to love God and love neighbor — doing God’s work in the world, thinking of others before ourselves and providing opportunities to develop our God-given gifts. Thank you for the opportunity to participate.


The Rev. Betsy Hoium

Prince of Peace, Roseville