We believe that building a positive culture of stewardship in a congregation must be an on-going part of its life. Stewardship most often is defined as financial support of the congregation. We understand that it is that and more. It's about how a congregation and its members care for all that they have been given. Wayne Clark, author of Beyond Fundraising, defines stewardship as "the growing, nurturing, promoting, and building of the gifts, call, and spiritual vocation of the congregants of a faith community." The focus needs to be on creating a culture of ever increasing generosity. The shift must be away from simply conducting a successful annual budget to inculcating a sense of commitment to generosity of spirit.
Our responsibility is to do this broader work with your congregation: looking at generosity, increasing hospitality, welcoming, and clarifying mission and vision. We can help you understand where you are, and where you want to be. When you are ready to look more specifically at financial stewardship, we work in partnership with the UUA's Congregational Stewardship Network. They can help you develop best practices to complete successful projects.
The UUA’s Congregational Stewardship Consultants offer regular blog postings on stewardship topics: http://www.stewardshipforus.com
In our MidAmerica Region, Dori Davenport Thexton has been studying stewardship and generosity resources. She completed a course in religious fundraising in 2014 and has developed a workshop on Creating a Culture of Generosity, which has been offered around the region for congregational teams. In the workshops, she encourages teams to think about generosity as a spiritual practice. She helps them explore ways to deepen relationships and connections among members as a foundation for developing a generous culture across the congregation. Dori also focuses on the importance of a mission-based congregational culture.
Watch a recorded Webinar which has a condensed version of the workshop.
If you’d like to schedule a workshop in your area, please contact Rev. Sharon Dittmar firstname.lastname@example.org 513-823-3535.
by the Stewardship for Us Team
Passing the Baton: Continuity in Leadership Transitions
(Presented jointly with the Southern and Central East Regions).
E-Giving: Contributions for the 21st Century
Year-Round Giving: The Next Big Thing?
(Presented jointly with the Central East Region and Lay Leadership from the First Unitarian Society of Denver).
You are welcome to download the slides.