Stewardship – Emphasis 2015 for 2016 giving

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The Grace Episcopal Church Stewardship Ministry Team has at its base that the giving of time, talent and financial resources is a gift from God to us and the world to fully participate in God’s ministry of relationship to all things in the Creation. This giving is a learned spiritual discipline that needs to be ever growing as our relationship with God is ever growing.

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The Team’s work continues to be informed by the clarion work of Kristine Miller and Scott McKenzie in their book Bounty: Ten Ways to Increase Giving at Your Church, (c) 2013 by Abington Press, ISBN: 978-1-4267-6597-1. Click here for ways to purchase.

Miller & McKenzie state that Stewardship is a journey that is grounded in gratitude, revealed in prayer, lived in faith. (Bounty, p.5).  We continue to use their giving categories to shape how we create communications and education materials to help people at varies stages of giving to grow in this spiritual discipline. Click here for summary chart.

The Team noticed something odd occurred in giving for 2015 in that there were less pledgers but each of them gave more financial resources to the life of the Parish. Giving to the general ministry of the Parish continues at record levels. In addition some $135,000 in additional giving from all sources helped to fund renovation and renewal projects for the Jubilee House and the Food Pantry. These projects opened more space for ministry to the homeless and the hungry in our community.

Given that the Team felt the need to do the following emphasis toward 2016 giving:

  • Continue its emphasis on Gratitude pointing disciples in acknowledging God as the source of all things for our lives. We continued to “piggy back” on the United Nations 1971 declaration of September 21 as being World Gratitude Day and encourage Grace’s disciples to declare what they are thankful.
  • Emphasize the need for disciples to identify and actively pursue their calling by God to participate in the ministry of the Kingdom. The Team decided it was time to have a Ministry Fair and create a Grace Ministries Opportunities booklet to inform disciples on the work we share at Grace bonded in Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world.
  • Continue its emphasis and education on increased giving through pledging and tithing through its Fall Stewardship Emphasis.
  • Work with the Vestry to consider a capital campaign that “cleans up” old/current physical plant projects including the debt on those projects to give the Parish a “cleared path” to setting a new vision.

Updates:

  • The Very Rev Daniel P. Richards announced his accepting a call to another church just prior to the mailings of the stewardship letters.
    • We delayed the launch of the educational program by a week as other letters needed to be sent out to the parish.
    • We decided to cut a speaker for 1 November 2015 for the parish celebrated 6 baptisms on that Sunday.
    • The 15 November 2015 worship became one unity worship for the weekend with Rector Daniel’s Godspeed and Commitment Sunday.
  • The Vestry has formed a Master Planning Committee to review and recommend short term capital projects and long term vision for ministry. Women are being sought to serve on the Committee. They have met several times already during the fall.
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Key Dates for implementation:
Team 2015 Calendar as of 26 October 2015 – Click here.
Gratitude Sunday – 19/20 September 2015
Ministry Fair – 26/27 September 2015
Commitment Sunday – 14/15 November 2015
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Below will link to the resources created for this purpose.
Gratitude Sunday – 19/20 September 2015
  • Letter to Parish and posting – Click here
  • Green Card post – Click here
  • Article in Grace Life and posting – Click here
  • Articles in Gracevine on Gratitude and Green Card – Click here
  • Article in Gracevine on Green Card – Click here
  • Mary Pierce shares her gratitude story – 800 am            
  • Marti Alverez shares her gratitude story  – 1000am       
dreamstime_m_14155814Ministry Fair – 26/27 September 2015
  • Article by Barbara Klugh, “Come to the Ministry Fair”, Grace Life 19/20 September 2015 – Click here
  • Article by Laura Odenburg on Fair – Click here
  • Article in Gracevine on Ministry Fair – Click here
  • PDF of Ministry booklet developed from the individual ministry cards given out at the Fair – click here
Commitment Sunday – 14/15 November 2015
  • Article by Barbara Klugh, “Grace Happens during Transition”, website article  – Click here
  • Stewardship Team Mailing – Sending the Pledge Card – 19 October 2015
    • Letter from Team – Click here
    • Current giving patterns of GEC and need for people to step one up – click here
    • GEC Tithling Chart for people to be inspired to move to a tithe – Click here
    • Pledge Card – Click here
  • Grace Happens Here in Worship and Prayer – Insert #1 – click here
  • Grace Happens Here in the Stewardship of God’s Kingdom – Insert #2 – click here
  • Grace Happen Here in Sharing God’s Abundance – Insert #3 – click here
  • In Worship and Prayer – Stewardship Mediation – James Deaton     

  • Today is the Day! – Article announcing Commitment Sunday – Click here

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Updated: 13 November 2015 by Dave Eitland

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