This post will act as a compilation of the various resources and plan created to train disciples on giving at Grace during the emphasis that occurred in fall 2014.
The majority of the ministry emphasis was shaped by the book by Kristine Miller and Scott McKenzie (M & M) called “Bounty: Ten Ways to Increase Giving at Your Church”, Abington (c) 2013, ISBN 978-1-4267-6597-1. Each member of the team read and meditated on the book and it was decided by the Team to expanded this reading to the Staff, Vestry (Church Council), and Finance Committee of the Parish as required reading. As much as possible we implemented the plan and suggestions in the book. It is highly recommended that any church leadership should read this book, take it to heart, and implement it into your ministry.
“Stewardship is a journey that is grounded in gratitude, revealed in prayer, lived in faith.” (page 5) definition by M&M became our theme for the emphasis. The reading of the book became the outline for our reflection and implementation of giving in the parish.
One of the main benchmarks we set for the emphasis was to increase giving by increasing pledging and encouraging movement toward tithing. We used the categories they developed as definitions throughout the emphasis. Click here.
Calendar of Activity – Click here
We also “piggy backed” on World Gratitude Day on September 21st which was on a Sunday, where we asked our parish members to fill out a gratitude card that was then pasted to a wall on the Parish Hall for everyone to see during the Fall.
Our Parish Newsletter Grace Notes is now on-line and was used to tell this ministry story.
On August 10 – What are you thankful for? – article – click here
We have used Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to train members on faith-based personal finances – Click here.
Part of the emphasis was to create a devotional guide on gratitude written by congregational members – here is the intro article telling about that – click here
We mailed the World Gratitude Day cards out to the parish on September 15.
Our “kick off” was highlighted by an article by one of our team members – click here. Also on this page are downloadable copies of the bulletin inserts – a 4 page publication speaking to a different aspect of giving.
Week one – Gifts of Grace – showed all the ministries of Grace – reflection by Rector Richards- devotional for morning and evening prayer. Here is Daniel’s announcement
Week two – Journey into Grace – reflection by Rector Daniel – auto biography by Ericka Shenk-Tessin, devotional for morning and evening prayer.
Week three – Thankful Heirs of Life – reflection by Rector Daniel – Reflection by Jeff Tibbits, devotional for morning and evening prayer.
Week four – Self Examination – reflection by Rector Daniel – Testimonial by Keith and Susan Bonner, devotional for morning and evening prayer.
A mailing by team member Bill Montgomery with letter, growing in giving chart and breakdown of giving was mailed to the parish. It also included a pledge card. Click here
The Grace Devotional called Growing in Grace written by members of the Stewardship Team and others was released on November 2 for prayer and devotional use. Click here to download.
Pledge Sunday happened over the worship weekend on November 22 & 23, 2015. There was a follow-up mailing to non-pledgers in December.
There was a team of people that wrote individual thank you notes to all givers and pledgers.
We had eight less pledgers from 2013 but increased pledges to the ministry of the church of $43,000.
We were amazed by this giving as there was a special appeal also held for a parish food pantry that yielded giving of over $100,000.
Thanks be to God!