We believe that stewardship is living all of life while keeping Jesus at the center. This means our team sees stewardship and discipleship as synonymous terms and our goal is to help the congregations and disciples of Upstate New York faithfully live out their discipleship every day.
When thinking about financial stewardship specifically, we understand that at its heart is learning to trust God’s generosity and, in turn, being generous with what God has given us. One of the primary ways this team supports congregational generosity is leading half day, interactive events called Generations of Generosity. Its purpose is to gather the generations in a congregation together to learn and grow in being generous children of God by reading Bible stories, playing games, and talking to one another about what being a baptized child of God is all about. One of the favorite small group conversation questions is, “what’s the best part about being your age? What’s the hardest part?” and then older adults getting to tell their story right alongside the youngest disciples.
The Generosity Team is also committed to visiting every congregation in the synod on a regular cycle (at least once every three years) to hear their stories of generosity, learn how God is working through them and offer support and encouragement.
To schedule a Generations of Generosity event or request a visit from the Generosity Team, contact Rev. Norma Malfatti, Director for Evangelical Mission.
Resources for Generosity Team
Here are some great websites for holistic stewardship:
The Stewardship of Life Institution: Headquartered at United Lutheran Seminary: Gettysburg Campus, this ELCA affiliated nonprofit is devoted to inspiring, educating and equipping Christians to see stewardship as a key element of their discipleship. They curate resources and links for congregational and personal use.
Center for Stewardship Leaders: This is Luther Seminary’s stewardship center. Their website is full of articles, sermons, study guides and other resources to help nurture holistic stewardship and generosity in your congregation.
ELCA Stewardship Resources: Our denomination’s stewardship resources for education, inspiration and practical use.
Lutherans Restoring Creation: Here’s how they describe themselves: “LRC is a grassroots movement promoting care for creation in the ELCA.” You’ll find a lot of ideas for sermons, discussion, worship, education and more.
Here are some free or low-cost financial stewardship resources:
Because of God's Great Mercy Stewardship Kit: Charles “Chick” Lane is an ELCA pastor, author and stewardship expert. Rev. Lane has become a trusted source for congregations looking to nurture generosity and grow financial giving. This is a newer, relatively low-cost program that provides all you need for a financial stewardship pledge campaign. This resource helps leaders of a congregation make a direct, respectful and faith centered request, along with a simple way for people to calculate an increase of ½-1%of household income.
Embracing Stewardship Book: This book from the Rev. Charles “Chick” Lane and Grace Duddy, “Embracing Stewardship” addresses the age-old question of “why is stewardship so difficult?” by offering theological grounding and practical, down-to-earth approaches for making stewardship part of a congregation’s everyday life together.
Giving Magazine: A resource from the Ecumenical Stewardship Center made available for free through your congregation’s mission support, this magazine is packed with resources to support stewardship in your congregation. Articles explore the intersection of faith and giving, offers practical information on Christian stewardship for all generations, along with a center section that outlines a simple response method for an annual congregational stewardship emphasis which can be used “as is” or supplemented with additional materials from ESC.