Pastor Gary Hedding writes:

Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, IA is committed to talking about financial stewardship as a faith practice that encourages growth in faith rather than a tedious way to raise money for the congregation. We look for inspiration for generosity rather than financial need or a hefty helping of guilt. Rediscovering Macedonia has been a tremendous resource for our congregation to inspire generosity and growing giving. We used it in October 2012 and will use it again this fall. 

The resources for Rediscover Macedonia have been developed by people within the ELCA who are excited about whole life stewardship as a faith practice.

The place to start is

http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Macedonia_Brochure.pdf Here you will find resources that are centered on Paul’s appeal to the Corinthian church found in 2 Corinthians 8:1-15. He holds up the Macedonians as people who were so full of God’s grace, that even in the midst of affliction and poverty, they gave generously for ministry. They are positively inspiring.

Here you will find resources that are centered on Paul’s appeal to the Corinthian church found in 2 Corinthians 8:1-15. He holds up the Macedonians as people who were so full of God’s grace, that even in the midst of affliction and poverty, they gave generously for ministry. They are positively inspiring.

The resources are extensive, way more than a congregation can use in the typical four-week financial stewardship emphasis. In fact, Bethlehem is going back to the resources again this year because we could not use them all for one series.

We focused on the seven guiding principles exhibited by the Macedonian congregation: Gratitude, Abundant Joy, Generosity, Commitment, Sacrifice, Share, and Give Freely. Each was accompanied by a bookmark, a Bible study, learning activities for all ages, stories that captured the principle, and guided conversations.

We found the information on building a case for supporting what God is doing in our church to be very helpful for people to see the value of giving to God through our congregation, and through the synod and churchwide expressions of the church. More than half of the “giving units” in Bethlehem increased their giving, not as an obligation, but as a response of faith to practice that faith. They were positively inspiring.

Pastor Mark A. Anderson

Assistant to the Bishop

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.

Category

Leadership

Tags