July 24, 2012

Faithful Budgets, Stronger Stewardship

As stewardship season in the Episcopal Church draws near, we decided to explore the groundwork for a successful stewardship campaign. The following series of articles explores a whole range of topics, including the connection between a transparent budget and increased pledges. Please check these articles out and share widely.

Tough Talk on Budgets and Pledges
In this article, Dick Kurth of St. Luke's, Darien, CT, explains why his church had to address confusion over the budget prior to being able to increase pledges. "We learned that there was a widespread assumption that there was a lot of slush in the budget, only that it was going to some program other than their own." This article first appeared in the Vestry Papers issue Church Budgets in a Bear Market.

Show Them the Money
With stewardship season right around the corner, we are revisiting Laurel Johnston's six practices for Modeling Intentional Giving. One of these practices - "Show Them the Money" - explores the need to demonstrate how pledges fuel the ministry of the congregation, and how expenses are connected to the mission of the church. This article first appeared in the Vestry Papers issue Pledging.

Blog Posts:
Helpful Tools:
Dream Budget: Rector Peter Strimer shares why he asks his staff to submit dream budgets, where resources are no limit, year after year.

L.E.A.D.E.R. Budget: A helpful tool for showing how your budget fuels the mission of your congregation.
Simple Giving: Lisa Meeder Turnbull explores the modern tithe and offers ways for individuals to prayerfully increase their pledges.

Year-Round Stewardship Ads: Did you know the Episcopal Church offers free monthly ads highlighting year-round stewardship?
Beyond Time, Talent, Treasure: Bishop Claude Payne speaks of stewardship in ways that go beyond the three T's. Pledge Card Prayer: A prayer in both English and Spanish by Bishop Greg Rickel of the Diocese of Olympia.
Innovative Stewardship Ideas
St. David's in Austin, TX is funding their ministries through a wide variety of ways including a consignment shop, a cafe for nearby office workers, a day school, parking garage and more. Jeanie Sablatura writes "We have found new ways to lead our congregation and grow, spiritually and numerically, in mission in the community and to increase our financial stability." This article appeared in the Vestry Papers issue Innovative Stewardship.