The Stewardship Group

What is The Stewardship Group?

Born out of the New England Synod’s previous efforts toward bolstering generosity, The Stewardship Group is a year-long training emphasis in developing generosity. Modeled on the Synod’s highly successful Forward Leadership Community, this is a program for pastors and lay leaders of congregations designed to help them be more effective stewards and generous leaders. It involves a series of four Saturday sessions.

Session Leaders

Bishop James Hazelwood | New England Synod

Jonathan Hendrickson | Financial Consultant, Thrivent

Rev. Robert “Rip” Hoffman | The Macedonia Project

Rev. Renée LiaBraaten | New England Synod Associate to the Bishop for Generosity

Rev. Kathleen Reed | Pastor, University LC, Cambridge, Mass.

Rev. Julie Reuning-Scherer | Pastor, Our Savior’s LC, Newington, Conn.

Mr. Jeff Swanberg, CPA | Treasurer, Immanuel LC, Holden, Mass. / New England Synod

Rev. Steven Wilco | Pastor, Immanuel LC, Amherst, Mass.

Rev. Daniel Wilfrid | Pastor, Immanuel LC, Holden, Mass.

Ms. Patricia Wood | Lay leader, St. Luke LC, Gales Ferry, Conn.; “Financial Peace University”

The Schedule

Session 1: Stewardship and the church – Saturday, November 5, 2016

The opening session will address the basic question, “What is stewardship?” From cultivating generosity in a congregation to practical and spiritual resources for understanding the practice of giving, participants will explore where the church has been, what hasn’t been working, and how to move forward. This session will also explore the role of pastor and the role of lay leaders in congregational stewardship.

Session 2: Understanding our own attitudes toward money – Saturday, January 7, 2017

Stewardship is a counter-cultural ministry: we are called to be stewards in a culture that tells us we are owners, and in which talk of money is a taboo. In this session we will learn how to talk about money in open and respectful ways. We will look at our own personal histories with money and giving, and how that affects the way we view generosity now.

Session 3: Habits of Generous Congregations – Saturday, March 4, 2017

What are the practices of generous congregations? Treasurer/Pastor partnership, sound financial record keeping, raising expectations in non-threatening ways, expressing gratitude. We’ll go over how to implement these and other practices.

Session 4: Ask, Thank Tell – Stewardship as 12-month ministry – Saturday, May 6, 2017

Inspired by Charles Lane’s book “Ask, Thank, Tell,” this session focuses on building a year-round plan for cultivating generosity. Participants will have an opportunity to integrate all the sessions as they begin developing concrete plans for their own congregations.

How to Participate

To get started, we ask congregations for:

  • A team consisting of the Pastor and at least 3 lay people to commit to attending 4 sessions over a 1-year period.
  • Church council support to participate in the program
  • Commitment to follow through with a homework assignment with the congregation between sessions
  • Assess the percentage of the congregational budget going to mission support and consider committing to growing their congregational giving by 1 percent with a plan to move toward at least 10 percent
  • A willingness to be a resource for other congregations after the completion of the program
  • $250 enrollment fee
  • Congregations that have not administered the CAT (Congregational Assessment Tool) in the last three years will need to participate in and receive an interpretation of this instrument.

Facilitators

Rev. Steven Wilco

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rev. Dan Wilfrid

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to Participate

To get started, we ask congregations for:

  • A team consisting of the Pastor and at least 3 lay people to commit to attending 4 sessions over a 1-year period.
  • Church council support to participate in the program
  • Commitment to follow through with a homework assignment with the congregation between sessions
  • Assess the percentage of the congregational budget going to mission support and consider committing to growing their congregational giving by 1 percent with a plan to move toward at least 10 percent
  • A willingness to be a resource for other congregations after the completion of the program
  • $250 enrollment fee
  • Congregations that have not administered the CAT (Congregational Assessment Tool) in the last three years will need to participate in and receive an interpretation of this instrument.

Facilitators

Rev. Steven Wilco

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rev. Dan Wilfrid

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.