Category Archives: Stewardship

Saturday Wine and Cheese, Sunday Ice Cream Social

This weekend at Church of the Good Shepherd we are winding up our Spring Stewardship Campaign!

“Many Gifts, One Spirit”
We have many gifts and we are of one spirit!

On Saturday, May 6, after the 5:30 PM service, we are offering a Wine & Cheese Thank You Reception in the Parish Hall.

On Sunday, May 7, after the 10 AM service, our Sunday School is offering their Teacher Appreciation Celebration Featuring a Beautiful Sunday School Video!

And Then We Will Share in a Delightful Thank You Ice Cream Social!

Come to one or both celebrations!

Please prayerfully consider your commitment to Good Shepherd then return your Pledge Card to the Offering Plate in Church or the Parish Hall.

Let us Praise God for our many Blessings!

Pledges made in 2017 (either Spring or Fall) are intended for the calendar year 2018. If you want to begin your pledge commitment earlier, thank you! But we do not ask you to pledge twice. Please know that your fellow parishioners welcome and appreciate your commitment and support.

Fall 2016 Stewardship Letter

October 2016

To Our Good Shepherd Family Members,

To kick off our Fall Stewardship Campaign, we must first say “Thank you!” for your continued support of our parish and its ministries. Together, we have accomplished many works within and outside of our parish to the greater glory of God. In the past twelve months, we have remodeled many of the rooms used by our youth, completely rehabilitated the bathrooms downstairs, brought Christmas joy to impoverished children in Camden, supported the local food pantry, and many other missions that “make things happen” throughout the region.

We are a parish of “doers.” Why do we do these things? The answer is often “because they need to get done.” We see this in 2 Timothy, God gave us “a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” We ask that you think of these words as you consider your gifts to Good Shepherd. These three ideas of power, love, and self-discipline can inform our gifts of time, talent and treasure. You decide how you can best support the parish and its mission. You decide what to give, how to give it, and where you can best contribute toward the future of this parish we love.

One of the aspects of stewardship is finance. During this Fall Stewardship Campaign we are asking you to consider how you can contribute in this aspect. An Estimate of Giving card is enclosed. We ask that you prayerfully examine your gift. Our combined gifts empower the Vestry to build our budget for 2017 and decide what projects we can accomplish. The Fall Campaign will close the last weekend of October with Wine and Cheese following the evening service on Saturday, October 29th and our traditional Soup Lunch after the morning service on Sunday, October 30th. The Vestry is hosting and everyone is invited! Please return your card by mail or email, bring it with you to one of the celebrations, or simply leave it in the offering plate by October 30th.

This letter is specifically for those of you who prefer to consider and make your pledge in the fall. If you have already pledged for next year, this committee, your Vestry, and the rest of your fellow parishioners are very grateful. Thank you!

At Good Shepherd our “spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline” provides great joy as we come together to give our time, use our talents, and gift our treasure to do God’s work.

Together in Christ,

The Stewardship Committee and Vestry of the Church of the Good Shepherd

Fall Stewardship Campaign

The Vestry and Stewardship Committee
announce the
Fall Stewardship Campaign
October 2016

To those parishioners who chose to pledge in the Spring:
Thank You!

Those who prefer Fall and did not pledge in the Spring
are now receiving letters with an Estimate of Giving Card
(aka Pledge Card)
Please let us know if you do not receive yours!

Estimate of Giving Cards will also be available at the back of the church during October

During services we will hear from parishioners and Mother Susan
with thoughts on stewardship
and what Good Shepherd means to them

Prayerfully consider your gift to support the work of Christ at Good Shepherd

Please return your card before or during the events celebrating Good Shepherd at the close of the campaign on the last weekend of October:

Wine & Cheese Sat Oct 29 after the 5:30 service
Traditional Soup Lunch Sun Oct 30 after the 10:00 service
hosted by the Vestry in thanks for the entire parish
Everyone is invited!

Fall Mini-Stewardship Campaign

Fellow Parish Members,

As the fall season approaches, there are exciting times coming at Good Shepherd with the beginning of a new year for Sunday School, the return of the choir, the start of Confirmation Classes and all of our ministries resuming a full schedule.  Before you know it, the leaves will be falling, and we will be preparing for several events – Crop Walk, Holly Fair, Christmas Pageant, Bishop’s Visitation… It is just an awesome time of anticipation to serve and celebrate our Lord!

This year is particularly special, in that our Discernment Committee – who has been working very diligently all summer – is getting ever closer to presenting a Rector Candidate to the Vestry.

This past late-Spring, the Stewardship Committee did something unprecedented in the Diocese of New Jersey, and held the Annual Stewardship Campaign early in the year. The themed Temple Talks of “It’s God’s Money”, “Stewardship is not fund Raising”, and “First-Fruits Giving”, were well received by many. We received responses from several who had never pledged before, and many others who prayerfully increased their annual giving to our church. However, there were also many regular givers that, for whatever reason, did not respond during the Transformational Stewardship campaign. The Vestry and Stewardship Committee received about 20 responses from the survey that was conducted in August, and each response was read and discussed in the Vestry Meeting – We thank you for that feedback.

Stewardship is not about fund raising, however, the Vestry has an obligation, both to the Parish and to the Diocese, to develop a realistic and responsible budget (a bit earlier than usual this year) as part of preparing for the Presentation of Candidates by the Discernment Committee. For this purpose, the Vestry and Stewardship Committee are called to hold an additional “Mini-Campaign”, during services on October 3-4, giving those parish members that have not yet provided an Estimate of Giving (Pledge Card) another opportunity to do so.

If you have already turned in an Estimate of Giving card either during or following the spring campaign – Thank You!

But if you have not done so, we ask that you prayerfully consider providing an estimate of your offering to the church for 2016, and return the enclosed Estimate of Giving Pledge Card either in the offering plate at services during the weekends of October 3-4 and October 10-11, or to the Parish Office by October 12th.

Together in Christ,
The Stewardship Committee and the Vestry of the
Church of the Good Shepherd

Stewardship Committee: Lee Braidwood, Jack Daugherty, Sue Dixon, George Funk, Rich Harrington, Connie Parent, Jeff Snodgrass

Vestry: George Funk (Sr. Warden), Art Dilworth (Jr. Warden), Patti Fortney, Sue Dixon, Ellie Dunn, Cindy Taglienti, Deb Prieto, Rich Harrington, Connie Parent, Chelsea Richmond, Wayne Szalma, Chuck Lezenby (Clerk), Lee Braidwood (Treasurer)

Transformational Stewardship Temple Talk #2

Transformational Stewardship Temple Talk #2…Stewardship is NOT about Fundraising!

Before we begin, let’s review from last Sunday! 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!

So, building on that Foundational Principle #1…is Foundational Principle #2…Stewardship is NOT Fundraising. In the old paradigm of Transactional Stewardship…stewardship was all about fundraising…it was about raising the funds required to keep the doors of the church open and the lights on…it was about raising the funds needed to pay the priest’s extraordinary compensation package and the parish assessment to the Diocesan Stewardship, in the old way of thinking was all about fundraising…which is why the annual campaign was usually done in the fall…the time when the annual operating budget was being created. And the question parishioners were asked was, “will you assume your fair share of the responsibility for providing the financial resources to keep the ministry of the church going”. But Transformational Stewardship is the exact opposite way of thinking…Stewardship is N about raising the funds needed to operate the church…stewardship is about growing in your relationship to God and to His Son, Jesus Christ…stewardship, in this new way of thinking, is about your formation and growth in Christian discipleship…it is about the health of your relationship to God.

Let me be clear…there is absolutely nothing wrong with fundraising…every church does it to a greater or lesser degree. But Stewardship is NOT about fundraising. Let me try to explain it this way. Suppose when I come into the office on Tuesday evening (for Bible Study) I find a check on my desk from an anonymous donor for five million dollars (that is a 5 and six zeroes behind it), As a result of this gift, the Church of the Good Shepherd would be set financially for years to come…we would never have to worry about money…we could comfortably live off the interest we would earn each year from investing that money…but we would still need to do an annual stewardship campaign…we would still need to preach/teach about the principles of Transformational Stewardship. Why??? Because stewardship is NOT about fundraising…stewardship is about our growth and our development as disciples of Jesus Christ!

So that is Foundational Principle #2…next week, Foundational Principle #3…

Transformational Stewardship Temple Talk #4

May 2 and 3, 2015

Before we talk about Foundational Principle #4, let’s review what we have presented the last three weeks. The most foundational of the four foundational principles of Transformational astern ship is that everything belongs to God and everything we have comes from God…we are not owners of the things we have we are stewards and a steward is someone who manages and cares for someone else’s property. Foundational principle #2 is that stewardship is Not about Fundraising…it is not about raising the financial resources needed to keep the doors of the church open. Stewardship is about our formation and growth as disciples of Jesus Christ…it is not about the church’s need for money…it is about our need to give. And last week we discussed the third Foundational Principle of Transformational Stewardship which is the idea of Proportional a Giving…that what is important is not the size of our gift, but what are gift reprints in terms of our total wealth…out total assets, and the Widow’s Mite is the best Biblical illustration of Proportional Giving.

So with the three Foundational Principles as a kind of platform, let’s talk about Foundational Principle #4: the idea of First Fruits Giving. This principle is related to Foundational. Principle #3 because both are about “how we give” not about “how much we give”! If you search the scriptures you will see this principle running through both the Old and New Testaments. For me the key verse is Proverbs 3:9…”Honor The Lord from your wealth and from the First Fruits of all your produce, so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine“. The practice of many church people is to pay all the essential hills ( mortgage, utilities, car payment, insurance, credit card debt, child care, entertainment) and then to calculate their gifts to the church based on what is leftover ( what some describe as discretionary income). This is what I call “Leftover Giving”, and my guess is that if I asked for a show of hands this morning, and if people were totally honest, that many (perhaps most) would acknowledge that this is exactly how they calculate their gifts to the church. BTW, there is a wonderful YouTube video called “My Money” (there is a link to this video on our website). It is a humorous illustration of what so often happens when folks calculate their gifts to the church in this way. First Fruits Giving is an entirely different way of giving our financial gifts to the church. In First Fruits Giving, the first check that is written each month (or week) is the gift to the church (before the mortgage, utilities, car payment, insurance, credit card debt, child care and entertainment). First Fruits Giving is an acknowledgement…a putting into practice Foundational Principle#1…that everything we have comes from God and belongs to God , and therefore. God is entitled to more than just leftovers…God is entitled to the first and the best of what we have to give! A personal testimony…Susan and I have been practicing First Fruits Giving for 37 years (since 1978) and I can honestly say that in all those years we have never experienced significant financial trauma ( we have faced challenges along the way, but we have never deviated from our commitment to practice First Fruits Giving ), and I think that God has honored that commitment, and our desire to get our financial priorities in proper alignment. If I were to share one word of pastoral advice to anyone who is experiencing serious financial difficulties, it would be to begin to practice First Fruits Giving…I promise that it will not only change your financial reality…it will change your life!

So, there they are…the four Foundational Principles of Transformational,Stewardship. If you are interested in learning more about these principles, plan to attend the workshop on Saturday, May 16th from 9:00am until noon!!

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!

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/ .