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2003 Chronological Index of Content

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Dec. 29
For Me, January and Diets Go Together Pastor Jim Bliss of Resurrection Lutheran Church (ELCA), Dublin, Calif., notes that New Year's is a great time to make decisions, including those that will deepen discipleship. "Giving is also indispensable to the Christian life. Many people believe that tithing, giving 10 percent of your income to God, is only an Old Testament thing. When Jesus speaks of tithing though, he assumes that it is being practiced."

Dec. 15
Response: Gift-Giving Catalog of the ELCA. Stuck on what to buy Uncle Charlie and Grandma, who seem to have everything? The ELCA has ideas. Make a donation in their name to a ministry of the ELCA. $2 feeds an AIDS orphan in Africa for a day. $65 supports a medical clinic in a Palestinian village for a day. Or support seminarians, low-income retired clergy, emerging ministries, ex-offender support. (For other suggestions, see ELCA World Hunger's Alternative Gift-Giving Ideas Catalog.)

Dec. 1
Article: Time and Money: When either one runs low, you've got a problem. Are you prepared?  Most pastors are not formally trained in financial management. Yet in many churches, it is the pastor who assumes responsibility for properly managing church finances. Is the pastor aware of the monetary risks that can threaten a ministry? From Your Church magazine.

Nov. 24
Aricle. Entrusted with much.  "Just giving money is not enough if we are to be good and faithful stewards. ... Through our lifestyles the world may witness God’s loving character in action by our effective and proper use of talent, position, and power." From

Nov. 10
Stewardship Messages. Where does your church say about stewardship? How do you let members know? At University Lutheran Church of Hope (ELCA), Minneapolis, members find clear, thoughtful, educational, inspiring messages from the Stewardship Committee. They range from the practical to the biblical and

Nov. 3
Stewardship: Sharing the Abundance - Here's a wonderful congregational resource for novice stewardship leaders and veterans alike. Broad in its approach and deep in its detail, Sharing the Abundance is useful and practical. From the Resource Center of the Eastern North Dakota Synod.

Oct. 28
Article - Christian History Corner: Serving God with Mammon. John Wesley's wisdom for hard economic times: earn all you can, save all you can, and give all you can. Insights from Wesley, the 18th century founder of the Methodist Church, reported in an article on

Oct. 20
Digging Deeper: Money and Your Heart  Why is it harder for a rich person to go to heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle? This piece from Moody Magazine offers some valuable insights. "Money can make it hard for an independently minded person to admit his need and dependently trust Christ for eternal salvation."

Idea Booklet for Special Giving A very insightful congregation put together a sort of menu of gift ideas for families and other donors who wanted to give something to the church. It was a simple matter of matching a wish list of church needs -- everything from new lights in the parking lot to new pew cushions --  with estimated prices. Available in HTML or in RTF for easy editing for your own congregation's needs. From First Lutheran Church, ELCA, Eau Claire, Wis., and made available through the Association of Lutheran Resource Centers.

Oct. 13
Article: The Art of Giving Well Moody Magazine covers the biblical and theological basics of good stewardship and the challenge it poses for Christians living in America.

Making Christ Known 2003 PowerPoint presentation and publication available for free download from the ELCA. Professional, colorful presentation outlines the domestic and global ministries of the ELCA that a member's pledge supports. Brochure available for publication in whole or in part. Articles can be reprinted in your congregational newsletter, used in an educational forum or posted on the bulletin board. For free printed copies, call Augsburg Fortress at 800/328-4648 and request item 6-0001-6786-5; pay only postage

Oct. 6
Article: Where does the church's money Go? Your Church magazine polled its subscriber congregations and came up with some interesting trends and shifts in spending. How does your congregation compare?

Stewardship Training. Here's a wonderful PowerPoint presentation you can adapt to educate your congregation about the stewardship this year. Pastor Sue Eidahl and the folks at Zion Lutheran Church (ELCA), Stratford, Wis., created the presentation for a past campaign and are making it available through the Association of Lutheran Resource Centers. You can also access the material as a QuikTime movie.

Sept. 29
ELCA Stewardship Resources. Wondering what to do for this year's response? Nancy Snell, director of Stewardship and Mission Giving for the ELCA Division for Congregational Ministries, has a guide to help you decide. While you're at the ELCA site, check out the great resources DCM is making available.

Sept. 22
Online Course and Resources. New Testament professor Mark Vitalis Hoffman at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg recently presented a daylong workshop exploring stewardship in the four gospels. Now he has made his Powerpoint presentations online available and invites guests and participants for his online course beginning next week.

Sept. 15
Successful Fundraising: Professional help may be the best choice for reaching your financial goals. A fund-raising consultant lists pitfalls of the "do-it-yourself" approach. From Your Church magazine.

The Great Permission. This book provides an asset-based process for stewarding your congregation’s maximum potential. Includes theological background, case studies and how-tos for leaders — all directed toward an asset-based approach to congregational life. Produced by ELCA's Division for Congregational Ministry, which sent one copy to ELCA churches last year. Now available for all purchase through Augsburg Fortress.

Sept. 8
What Does Stewardship Mean to You? "For me, it is my relationship with the Lord and what I do with all of the resources that I have been given. It is not a program; it is not a concept; it is not a one-time-a-year presentation. Like prayer, stewardship is a part of my daily faith journey." Inspirational message from Kathy Lemmerbrock, Administrator and Stewardship Liaison for the Northwest Ohio Synod, ELCA.

July 13
Link of the week: The Tithing Foundation, a source for affordable, authoritative congregational stewardship resources. Founded in 1916, it's now headed by a semi retired ELCA pastor.

Article. Preaching Past the Fear Factor: Surprise! People are eager to hear about joyful giving, if you approach it in the right way. Bold insights from

June 8
Free A-Z Resource. How To Improve Financial Stewardship: A Guide For Congregations - This guide is a practical, soup-to-nuts how-to guide for planning and executing a successful stewardship program. From the ELCA Divsion for Congregational Ministries.

June 1
Free Booklet. How To Create a Mission Endowment Fund: A guide for Congregations - Such a fund can be a vehicle to support and enhance ministries.  This vision attracts planned and future gifts as people desire to Leave a Legacy for Ministry: Gifts that Nurture the Whole Church. From the ELCA Foundation, free PDF download.

May 18
Stewardship Program: "Follow Your Heart." is the program Faith Lutheran Church, ELCA, West Fargo, N.D., devised to teach its members about giving generously. It's available in full -- handouts, instructions and all, through the Association of Lutheran Resource Centers.

May 4 - Stewardship program: A Shower of Blessings Stewardship Thrust -- "What can we do to motivate members about their response to God's blessings?" That was the question stewards from Grace Lutheran Church, ELCA, Eau Claire, Wis. Asked. The answer is this full stewardship program, part of the archives of the Association of Lutheran Resource Centers.

April 20 - Essay: Being Kept -- Michael C. Rehak of Deerfield Lutheran Church, Deerfield, Wis., explores our giving to God. "It is not about keeping the tithe. It is that tithing will keep you. As you increase your giving and approach giving 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 percent or more a change will occur in your life. A new realization will develop that all that we have ultimately belongs to God."

March 30
Christian Giving in God's World answers some the fundamental questions. "Is giving money to God optional? Absolutely not! Christians are commanded by God to give of their possessions to the work of God," writes the Richard Bucher, pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, LCMS, Lexington, Ky.