Welcome to the March 2015 Edition of By Word and Example, where we are Proclaiming Good News, about the spirituality of meaningful stewardship ministry.
Our Word article shares information about the Year ‘Round Stewardship Conference set for April 11 at Lindenwood Retreat Center in Donaldson. We hope you read the article, but if you want to hurry and register for this free resource, you can do so right now, here!
Our Example article is just plain fun. It includes a link to an example of how the Cathedral of Saint James in Chicago used a video to enhance a combined annual giving and capital campaign. Fun, but also meaningful.
By Linda Buskirk, Chair, Faithful Stewards Commission
Stewardship ministry is a special calling, but you may feel like you’re in it because you drew the short straw. Whether you are fulfilled or fearful about stewardship, the Faithful Stewards Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana is here to help!
That’s why we are hosting a Year ‘Round Stewardship Conference on Saturday, April 11. Your congregation is invited to send representatives to this 3-hour workshop at Lindenwood Retreat & Conference Center in Donaldson. Vestry members, Stewardship Committee Chairs and Clergy are especially encouraged to attend. You will learn from some great speakers, and learn from each other.
Workshop topics are inspired by the book Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation, by Charles R. Lane. All who attend the workshop will receive a free copy! Workshop sessions will bring the book to life with topics such as:
· Biblical and theological approach to stewardship
· Year ‘round congregational stewardship ministry
· Annual giving campaign strategies
The workshop will include plenty of time for discussion and idea-sharing. Our aim is to inspire you to enhance your stewardship ministries with messages and activities that deepen people’s spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ and increase their understanding of the link between that relationship and how they consider and use the resources God has given them.
Space at this FREE workshop is limited, so please register as soon as possible. Lunch following the workshop is also free, if you make a luncheon reservation.
The purpose of the Faithful Stewards Commission is to promote, explain, and celebrate the spiritual growth and ministries that result from honoring God as faithful stewards of His abundance.
The Commission strives for all of us to have a deeper understanding that the important benefits of stewardship ministry have nothing to do with your parish budget. They have to do with deepening personal relationships with Jesus Christ.
Do you ever feel that no matter how much you try to share important information with your parish, many people just don’t hear the message?
The Cathedral of St. James in Chicago experienced that same frustration as leadership launched a combined (usual) fall annual-giving campaign with a capital need: renovating the offices of the diocese. In a November 14, 2014, post on the Episcopal Church Foundation’s Vital Practices website, author Erin Weber-Johnson explained, “This meant that potential donors would be asked to give to not only the regular campaign but also to consider making an additional gift to their diocese. If the foundation of fundraising is relationships, then this presented a challenge, as potential donors may not feel as strong a connection to the special appeal.”
Terri Mathes, Episcopal Church Foundation Senior Program Director and Consultant, said that initial attempts were made to gather people for special presentations on Sunday at the church or in “cottage” meetings in people’s homes, but attendance was disappointing.
So, according to the Vital Practices article, the Cathedral tried a different approach, bringing the message right to parishioners electronically.
“They created a short video parody of the Book of Mormon’s song ‘Hello,’” according to Terri.
“Every other day they sent out a new installment, and later posted it on Facebook where various parishioners shared it. The first installment has 475 hits – note, this is a congregation with 170 pledging units.”
The entire video was eventually featured in an e-newsletter and was very popular on Facebook. A link for you to watch is found below.
You can have FUN with stewardship!
The point of this example is not that a big video production is needed for successful stewardship campaigns. The point is, you can have FUN with stewardship, while reminding people about the blessings they receive from God through their church. Proclaim Good News!
Register for the Year 'Round Stewardship Conference of the Diocese of Northern Indiana here!