October 4 - 10, 2004




Two years later, what do you think?


When the SOLI website debuted in October 2002, I likened it to a “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” – scraggly, not much to look at and in obvious need of TLC.


From that sapling start the site has grown steadily. The website now has hundreds of free stewardship resources available at the click of a mouse, and we get tens of thousands of hits every month from thousands of users around the world.


As the third year dawns, I have a number of ideas for improving the website, including making it easier to sort through the resources, but would appreciate guidance and feedback from you, the ones who use it most.


Please do me a favor and drop me an email if you have any comments, including:


What do you love about the website?

What do you hate about the website?

What do you think of the overall content and tone?

What would you like to see more of? Less of?

What would make the site better?

Any general targets we should aim for?


Thanks for helping us make this a better site.


-Rob Blezard, Editor and Webmaster (webmaster@stewardshipoflife.org)


 New this week, Oct. 4-10:


NEW FEATURE: The recycling bin
In the two years since we've been up and running, our website has featured hundreds of resources, some of which are wonderful but buried deep in our archives. The recycling bin will bring back one of those resources anew each week. We premiere this week with:
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.



A Category 5 attitude
"Many congregations are faced with Category 4 and 5 storms every year. Not the storms that bring bad weather but rather the severe storms that bring problems of lack of interest and involvement by their members. ... These folks are faced with a category 5 catastrophe unless they can turn their decline around." Good advice from Tuck Aaker, stewardship specialist, in the monthly newsletter from ELCA Stewardship Resources.



 Rediscovering God's Mission:
A Challenge for 21st Century Christians

Here is a free study designed to help you and other members of your church to think anew about what the "mission of God" means to you. The study features two lessons. The first takes a look at the total context for mission today. The second explores the levels in which mission is carried forth. Each section concludes with a brief set of questions to consider as an individual or in a class. From Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat. Click here for your free copy of Acrobat.



 Charity's most valuable gift: Hope
 "We who talk stewardship and those who would give need first to be sure in the hope of a better world.  We need to see what Jesus saw when he laid hands on a leper or fed hungry people with little.  We need to see strong healthy people caring for each other." In Dana Reardon's weekly reflection.



Joke of the Week!

Weekly Gleanings, a sampling of articles with stewardship implications from the popular press.