For many churches the word stewardship has long been associated with the annual pledge season that parishes rely on to fund their annual operating expenses. It can be a time of uncertainty and trepidation with regard to raising enough funds and keeping the campaign fresh and relevant in ways that will ensure success. In this webinar we will explore how a return to the biblical and theological understanding and practice of stewardship as the “care of the soul of the other” offers a path for addressing these uncertainties.
We will explore how framing annual giving as a structured process of discernment, refection and formation provides parishioners with a platform from which they can explore the practical meaning of faith in their lives through their experience of God, its influence in their relationships, the ways in which their parish nurtures that understanding, and their roles as both faithful stewards and beneficiaries of God’s grace and the generosity of others.
At each stage in this progression a transformational event occurs. The benefits of living a life of faith within the context of a parish community become increasingly clearer, as does the willingness to provide financial support that is commensurate with their faith experience.
Joe Merlino serves as an ECF consultant based in Albuquerque, NM. Joe brings over 30 years of executive, business and organizational development to ECF, having worked in leadership, consulting and coaching roles throughout his career. Joe is an advocate of lay leadership, building relational communities, and establishing cultures of advocacy that place the needs of parishioners and those of their community as their ultimate concern.
Joe is a member of Saint Michael and All Angels where he has served on vestry and remains active in stewardship development, parishioner engagement and adult formation. Based on his own spiritual journey, Joe remains passionate about connecting the relevance of the Episcopal tradition with each parishioner’s search for meaning and purpose as a Christian disciple. He holds a BS in Systems Analysis and Design from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA and an MA in Practical Theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. Joe’s passions lie in pastoral ministry, lay Christian leadership, reflective practice, and integrating spiritual practices in the workplace.