Transformational Stewardship Temple Talk #3…Proportional Giving!

Before we begin, let’s review from the last two Sundays! Can anyone tell me the most foundational principle of the four foundational principles of Transformational Stewardship?? That’s right…Everything we have…absolutely everything we have comes from God and it belongs to God…we are not OWNERS of the stuff we have…we are STEWARDS! And what about Foundational Principle #2…can anyone remember? That’s right…Stewardship is NOT about Fundraising. If we received a $5 million gift we wouldn’t need to do anymore fundraising…but we will still need to think about/talk about/preach about and teach the principles of Transformational Stewardship.

So, building on these first two foundational principles…let’s consider Foundational Principle #3…Proportional Giving! In the old paradigm (what I call Transactional Stewardship)…what was most important was the size of the gifts that were given. Not all gifts had the same value…the larger gifts were valued more because they were able to pay for a larger chunk of the annual budget. But in the new paradigm…the Transformational Stewardship paradigm…the size of the gift is not what matters most. What matters most is what the gift represents in terms of the giver’s total income…what matters most is not the size of the gift, but what the gift actually costs the one who gives it. And this is what we call PROPORTIONAL GIVING. And the Biblical model of proportional giving is the wonderful story of the Widows Mite (found in the 21st chapter of Luke and the 12th chapter of Mark). In this story, jesus recognizes and congratulates the stewardship of a poor widow who puts two small copper coins into the offering plate (two coins worth about one penny). And Jesus makes the astonishing claim that she actually put in more than the other donors who put in large and impressive gifts…why? Because they gave out of their abundance but she gave out of her extreme poverty…everything she had! You see, it’s not the size of our gifts that matter most, but it is what those gifts represent in terms of your total income.   In a few weeks you will be asked to think about your response to the 2016 annual stewardship campaign, and you will be ask to calculate your gift not in terms of the dollars you gave last year, but in terms of what percentage of your income that your gift represents…so, if last year you gave 2% of your income (which is what the average Episcopalian gives), you will be asked to prayerfully consider giving 3%…or 5%…or perhaps 10% of your income in 2016…and that’s called Proportional Giving and that is the third foundational principle of Transformational Stewardship. Next week…the 4th and final foundational principle…First Fruits Giving…stay tuned!

Parish Profile

During our transition, we at Good Shepherd are praying, worshipping, and working together to discover who God has called to be the next Rector of our beloved parish. If you are a priest seeking a new parish family, we invite you to get to know us by reading our Parish Profile and exploring the rest of our website. If you are not a priest, but are also seeking a new parish home, we welcome you as well to explore our profile and website, and invite you to join us for worship.

Good Shepherd Parish Profile

April 2015 Discernment Committee Update

April will mark the turning point in our transition process. We will completely finalize the two documents that will describe our church to prospective rectors: our Portfolio for the Office of Transition Ministry (OTM) website will be sent to Canon Alvarez at the Diocese, and our Parish Profile will be added to our own website. The OTM Portfolio has already been approved by the Vestry and the Parish Profile is currently under Vestry review. Praise God!

We have been blessed with the help of parishioners outside the Discernment Committee to create the Parish Profile. Claude Coulson wrote a description of our Rectory and buildings. Lee Braidwood provided the financials. Len Fedullo and Kelly Lynd created a gallery of wonderful photographs. The Vestry wrote and adopted a Mission Statement for Good Shepherd. The Discernment Committee tackled the rest of the writing, which included open discussions about the challenges our parish faces and the goals we have for the future. Finally, Jeff Bathurst is putting everything together as our Parish Profile designer/editor. Jeff is creating a beautiful “picture” of Good Shepherd in an engaging and professional format. We will soon share it with the whole congregation!

Our fabulous new website is live! The website is a collaborative work in progress, as such it will never be finished. All of us are now part of this collaboration: our Webmaster, Website Committee, and Parish Administrator will depend on input from the entire parish to keep it updated and fresh. Many thanks to the hardworking website team: Maureen Wynkoop (Webmaster), Rich Harrington (Chair), Sue Dixon, Len Fedullo, Tom Rigg, Chelsea Richmond, and Deb Prieto.

We have reached the end of the self-description phase of our transition. We have been blessed with great teamwork, open discussion, and welcome support from the parish. All of this is testimony to God’s presence among us at Good Shepherd! We are about to enter the next phase of the search when we will begin to consider who God has called for our next rector. Thanks to all for your help and prayers, and thanks be to God!

The Good Shepherd Discernment Committee
Mark Nicolle, Chairman
Roger Baker, Aimee Burgin, Pat Braidwood, Len Clark, Becky Goff, Stuart Lynd, Elizabeth Nelson, Deb Prieto, Chelsea Richmond, Tom Rigg, Chris Southwick, Jeff Snodgrass, Wayne Szalma, Diane Wall, Jim Wynkoop

Stewardship Temple Talk #1

Stewardship Temple Talk #1

(April 11/12, 2015)

Everything we have belongs to God

I can imagine some of you are asking yourself this question: “Why is Fr. Dave talking about Stewardship on the Sunday after Easter…we’ve never done that before here at Good Shepherd.  We usually talk about stewardship in the fall (after the World Series and before Thanksgiving)…so why are we listening to a Temple Talk on stewardship on this Sunday after Easter??”.    Well, it is a legitimate question and an important question.  So let me quickly respond.  Your Stewardship Committee has decided to hold the annual Stewardship campaign during the Easter season to send an important message: This is a new day and we are embracing a new approach to stewardship education here @ GSEC.  The paradigm is changing.  We are embracing an exciting new way of thinking about and talking about and doing stewardship here @ GSEC…it is called TRANSFORMATIONAL STEWARDSHIP and, beginning today and continuing for the next three weekends) I (or someone from the Stewardship Committee) will be presenting some of the foundational principles of this new way of thinking about and talking about and doing stewardship.

So this morning, I want to speak to you about the most foundational of the four foundational principles of TRANSFORMATIONAL STEWARDSHIP, and that is the belief that everything we have…absolutely EVERYTHING we have belongs to God!  Do you believe that?  I believe it with every fiber of my being…the house I live in is not mine…the car I drive is not mine…my savings account is not mine… my 401K is not mine! In fact, I am not an owner of anything that I have!  Everything I have (or ever will have) comes from God and belongs to God.   We are not OWNERS…we are STEWARDS.  And the difference between an owner and a steward is critically important to our understanding of Stewardship!  Owners manage and control their own stuff…STEWARDS, on the other hand, manage and control someone else’s stuff!  And if you believe this foundational principle, then the new paradigm of TRANSFORMATIONAL STEWARDSHIP will make sense to you.  If you don’t believe it (and I am sure there are those listening to me who do not believe it) that is ok…all I ask is that you prayerfully consider that it may be true and that you listen with an open heart and an open mind, and that you allow God the Holy Spirit to speak to you regarding your individual “Stewardship of Life”.   So that is foundational principle #1…EVERYTHING WE HAVE BELONGS TO GOD…we are not OWNERS…we are STEWARDS! Next week: Foundational Principle #2: STEWARDSHIP IS NOT FUNDRAISING!…Stay tuned!

Temple Talks in April

Beginning April 11/12 and continuing for the next three weekends, Fr. Dave will present a series of very brief (no more than 5 minutes) Temple Talks before the dismissal at each service regarding the four foundational principals of Transformational Stewardship. A special workshop will be held on Saturday, May 16 from 9 am to noon that will explore, in detail, these foundational principles. Watch the website – the talks will all be featured in the Stewardship category, under MinistrieL

Learn more about Transformational Stewardship at The Episcopal Network for Stewardship: http://www.tens.org/ .