November 29, 2023 by Aline Sun

What are active and passive investing?

The question of active or passive investing – which to use, which is better? – may have begun decades ago but remains a hotly debated topic today. What is active investing? It is an investment method that relies on skilled managers to research and select investments that are expected to generate higher returns than the broader market. By contrast, passive investing seeks simply to replicate a market index, often at low cost, gaining returns comparable to that of the broader market.

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Topics: Finance, Endowments
November 22, 2023 by Sandy Webb

“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away” might work for God, but congregational leaders need to give something new whenever they take away something old.

Church of the Holy Communion recently started receiving concerning reports about the health of the iconic tree in our memorial garden – the tree under which we have buried people’s ashes for decades. (Dealing with this tree was one of several things that I had hoped to make The Next Rector’s Problem, but that I have had to address more urgently!)

Recognizing its obligation to ensure the physical safety of our campus, the vestry knew that it had no choice but to begin planning for the tree’s removal. But, the vestry also knew that taking down this particular tree and grinding its stump would be a painful sight for the families with loved ones buried in that area. So, we asked ourselves: If the tree has to go, what can we put in its place? If we have to take, what can we give? If we have to know the grief of loss, how can we also know the joy of resurrection?

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November 16, 2023 by Sandy Webb

“Shock and Awe” is not a good strategy for church communications.

Some church traditions have a custom of announcing staff transitions and other timely information during Sunday morning worship. I understand the logic: Everyone is together, and everyone gets the same information at the same time. But, there are more pastoral and effective ways to share breaking news.

Any surprise announcement will evoke a diverse set of responses: Some people will be disappointed by the news while others will be pleased by it. Some people will be anxious about the future while others will be excited about new adventures. Each person needs space to process her own emotions, and each needs an appropriate outlet for her emotions. Sunday morning worship offers neither.

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Topics: Communications
November 9, 2023 by Sandy Webb

A nationwide increase in violent crime has most congregations asking questions about the security of our buildings and the physical safety of the people in them. We are all struggling to balance our commitment to openness with our obligation to keep everyone safe.

The following questions have been useful guideposts for me as our congregation has sought to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves…

What are the objective risks that we face?

Fear overwhelms objectivity. When we are afraid, we can lose the capacity to assess our situation objectively and the worst-case scenario can start to seem like the most likely outcome. A church shooting anywhere can make us feel like there will be church shootings everywhere. A vehicle break-in can make us feel like no vehicle is ever safe.

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November 2, 2023 by Josh Anderson

Unlocking the potential of young donors in your faith community demands a multifaceted approach. In this insightful infographic, we explore five powerful strategies proven to engage and inspire the next generation of philanthropists.

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Topics: Finance