Nov. 14 - 20, 2005



Happy birthday! A website turns 3

Three years ago this month the Stewardship of Life Institute began its website as a way to inspire, challenge and equip Christians to see stewardship beyond financial support of the church; to embrace stewardship key discipline in our walk of faith, a way of seeing the world.

In that time, total web usage has increased exponentially -- doubling from the end of the first year to the end of the second, and then doubling again from last year to this year. It's been a joy to see the website catch on, especially because it has come mostly by word of mouth, as pastors and congregational leaders pass along this newsletter and other items from the site. 

In addition to celebration, a birthday also occasions reflection, introspection and planning to meet the future afresh. With that in mind, I'm asking feedback about what you think of the website and what we can do to make it better. Drop me a note -- Here are some things on my mind:

--What do we need to know about the website and newsletter?
--What do you like most website and newsletter? What do you dislike most?
--If you could change one thing, what would it be?
--How has the material been useful to your ministry? How could it be more useful?
--What else would you like tell us?

Thanks for your help!

--Rob Blezard, editor and webmaster

New This Week:

Douglas John Hall:
Stewardship of the Mysteries of God
In this second talk given last month at Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary, Douglas John Hall looks at the strengths of Mainline theologies against the rise of the newer biblicistic and fundamentalistic strains of Christianity that our Reformation forebears would neither recognize nor endorse. Insightful and prophetic, must reading for Mainline Protestant leaders.  Click here for "Stewardship of the Mysteries of God. (PDF file requires Adobe Reader. Click here for a free download.)
Click here for Hall's address, "Steward as a Human Vocation," featured last week.

Hunger no more: Faces behind the facts
Look for this documentary at noon Sunday, Nov. 20 on the Hallmark Channel. Produced by Mennonite Media in partnership with the National Council of Churches, this film not only looks at the problem of persistent hunger, it also offers solutions! Great material for study group or workshop.  Click here for information on "Hunger no more," including how to order a copy on video or DVD or to access free study guides.

Sermon! Consecrate: Set aside for God
"Contrary to popular opinion pastors donít enjoy preaching about money. They would rather preach about Godís love and grace and the spiritual resources that come from God that help us live from day to day. That is why I appreciate the approach of the Consecration Sunday program." By The Rev. Daniel Mangler, pastor of Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church, Estes Park, Colo. Click here for "Consecrate." This week's Treasure Chest offering.

An incomplete plan
ELCA stewardship columnist Tuck Aaker recalls starting out as a young businessman whose enthusiasm led him to overreach. "With congregations, I see this same mistake made time after time. One of the most damaging mistakes is to plan a Capital Campaign that focuses exclusively on raising funds without laying the groundwork and adequate plans for follow-up."  Click here for "An incomplete plan," from ELCA stewardship resources.