Stewardship

Human beings have a natural potential for generosity.  Unfortunately, our imperfect world can erode that potential, and create a culture of scarcity.  It is a responsibility of the church to re-awaken our generosity, and to reward it in kind.  My ultimate vision is a church that tithes 10% of its income to charitable efforts, because it has more than enough to sustain itself, because its members all tithe to it, because they find its worship, its community, and its generous vision of itself to be more valuable than anyplace else they could invest their money.

Experience:

I have participated in successful capital campaigns at three congregations: as Senior Minister at the UU Congregation of Grand Traverse; as the Intern Minister at the UU Society of Geneva; and as a Trustee at First UU of Columbus.  At UUCGT, we expanded our building (with an RE wing and a basement for storage) and added a new sign out front; at UUSG, we repaired the historical building (with time-appropriate materials) and enhanced the front garden and walkway; in Columbus, we purchased land and expanded the building.  I helped to complete the campaign and dedicate the new wing at UUCGT; I participated only in the beginning phases of the previous two campaigns.

I have participated in successful stewardship campaigns at four congregations—the above three (UUCGT, UUSG and First Columbus) and Countryside Church UU.  I served as a face-to-face canvasser at UUCGT and in Columbus.

I preach about stewardship and generosity multiple times per year—during the Stewardship Drive, in consultation with the Stewardship committee, and at other times throughout the year.

I have attended a variety of stewardship functions, and spoke at them as requested.

From my Ministerial Record:

Hospitality is a core concept in my faith; I think that humans are naturally generous—-to each other and to the world. However, a “culture of scarcity” can creep into a church community from the society outside. Part of my ministry is to note such a culture, and to help the congregation to reclaim its natural generosity and joy. For congregations who already embody a culture of generosity, my call is to challenge the membership to further expand that generosity in healthy ways.

I see my main role in the congregation’s financial affairs is that of an advisor. Budgets are theological documents—-our spending reflects our values. Issues such as fair compensation, charitable outreach, and socially responsible investing all appear in our financial statements. I will preach about stewardship, social justice and the annual canvass, and I will certainly share my opinions—-persuasively, with clarity and grace, I hope.

Money can be a taboo subject in our culture. Ideally, it is safe and acceptable to talk about stewardship. We can talk about generosity at times other than at canvass, and we can discuss it candidly with incoming members. I model generosity by mentioning it frequently in sermons, and by donating generously myself.

so may we categorize: