STEWARDSHIP FOR ALL SEASONS
As we move into 2021, it’s important to think about your congregation’s stewardship ministry.
· Is your stewardship ministry—as it should be—a foundational ministry in moving your congregation forward in mission?
· Is it growing your congregation’s sense of congregational vitality?
· Is it helping both leaders and members to better understand your congregation’s purpose in God’s mission in your community?
· Is it helping you to articulate your congregation’s mission and vision so that everyone knows where your faith community is headed?
· Are you effectively stewarding your leadership and people resources as well as your financial ministry?
· Are you taking effective steps now to plan for your congregation’s financial future?
Thanks to Thrive!, fifteen SOS congregations have or are taking their stewardship ministry to the next level, addressing all of these questions through Stewardship for All Seasons, a two-year program offered by GSB Fundraising under the expert guidance of Pastor Mike Ward. We continue to receive rave reviews from participants who are delighted by the combination of small group training with individual consultation (especially with the design of each congregation’s annual appeal). While some were at first hesitant at the cost ($2000 for each of the two years), all our participating congregations (both small and large) agree that this investment is rewarded by positive results, starting in the very first year.
The 2021 cohort is forming now and will begin in May. Reach out to Pastor Katie Kerrigan if your congregation is interested or if you’d like further information about this amazing program.
Southern Ohio Synod Gift Policy
The Southern Ohio Synod Finance Team encourages churches to use this policy as a starting point for your own congregation gift policy. We also encourage you to designate a portion of major gifts for the Synod. Such gifts are welcome and needed in addition to regular mission support since the SOS routes 40% of our Mission & Ministry receipts to the ELCA.
End of Year Generosity Workshop 2020
Made possible by the generosity of donors to the Thrive Campaign.
Online Stories of Faith materials from the ELCA
Please explore and share these resources with your congregation.
2019 Southern Ohio Synod Stewardship Campaign
What is the synod? What do they do? Why should I care? Watch these short videos to find out!
Transitions can make or break an organization. With the guidance and assistance of the Synod, congregations make plans for their future that include God's vision for them and the leader God has prepared to lead them into that future.
In four years a lot can change...our campus ministries' goal is to change hearts and minds to seek & find Jesus.
Our multi-cultural congregations come together because of their commonality--language and the Gospel. The word of God is spoken here and the message is clear...we love because He first loved us.
When you're bold enough to seek, prepare to be guided in a direction you never expected. God makes us stronger and better together.
“Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things. Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts: our selves, our time and our possessions. Use us, and what we have gathered, in feeding the world with your love, through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.”
Thus goes one of the offering prayers in the Evangelical Worship book. For me it lifts up some key insights about good Christian Stewardship:
1. Everything we have comes from God. We are caretakers of God’s stuff, which he has blessed us with to meet our needs and to allow us to partners with him in meeting the needs of others.
2. Stewardship is more than just what we do with money. Money is an important part of it, but it goes beyond how we use money to how we use our very lives in gratitude to God for His gracious love.
3. Good Stewardship is not about getting the most for the least, or finding the cheapest way to do things. God gave his very best to us, his only Son Jesus Christ, who willingly gave his very best, his life on the cross, for us.
Good Stewardship therefore doesn’t look for the “least” I can do, but rather the best I can do, in gratitude for God giving his best to us.
To the left are some links to resources to help you and your congregation develop an effective Stewardship ministry. In addition we have our Synod Stewardship Team, which focuses on increasing Mission Support to strengthen our partnerships with one another throughout the ELCA; and our Mission Interpreters who help tell the story of the lives that are changed through your financial gifts.
Click on the link below to read demographic reports compiled by the ELCA Churchwide Organization regarding the Southern Ohio Synod:
To order a demographic report for your zip code or county, click on the link below:
Census Report from the United States Government:
American Religious Identification Surveys:
The ELCA Stewardship webpage provides numerous resources in the following categories to help you with developing, promoting and maintaining a strong stewardship culture in your congregation. Those categories are:
- Care for Creation
- Spiritual Gifts
To access these resources go to: http://www.elca.org/Resources/Stewardship
“What are We 'Offering' at the Offering?” from Rethinking Stewardship conference at Luther Seminary:
Mission Support: The lifeblood of the ELCA article and study guide from Living Lutheran Oct 2018
Stewardship of Life Institute -- http://www.stewardshipoflife.
United Methodist Stewardship Foundation Resources -- http://www.umstewardship.org/lewis-center-resources
Mission Interpreter Ministry
We have a story to tell
Mission Interpreters tell the stories of how God is changing lives through our giving and we thank our members for their faithful giving that makes these stories possible!
These stories connect you, the members of the ELCA, to the mission and ministry of our Southern Ohio Synod and of our ELCA Churchwide organization. These stories are abundant! They tell how your mission support dollars and your designated giving are being used by God to make a difference in the world.
Very simply, Mission Interpretation is about telling and thanking!
If you do not have a Mission Interpreter in your congregation you should! Good candidates are people who are passionate about the work of the wider church, who are good communicators, and who use a computer and have email.
To learn more about the Mission Interpreter Ministry please contact Josselyn Bennett, Mission Interpreter Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consider joining our team!
Resources for telling the story
Resource document-Various sites -- Mission Interpreter Resources On The Web
None at this time.