April 17, 2018

Bold - Passionate - Faithful
  • Resourceful Servants
  • Stewardship for All Seasons
  • StewardCast 2018

  Events Coming up:
  • Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conference
  • Stewardship Workshops at Assembly
  • Conference Spring meetings

For Your Information:
  • Online/mobile giving option
  • Reminder: Portico Wellness Dollars
Has your congregation invited young people to be part of this year's Assembly? Each congregation is invited to bring one youth voting member (age 16-22). Here's what last year's youth voting members had to say.
Click the calendar above for more information about these events
April 18-20 - "True to Myself" Retreat by Portico (at Lutheranch)
April 21 - BIC Training, All Saints, Lutz
April 21 - Installation of Pr. Terry Courter, Living Lord, Bradenton
April 22 - First Coast Conference Gathering (4pm, St. Mark's, Jacksonville)
April 24 - Boundaries Workshop, Emmanuel, Naples
April 27-29 - God's Spa for Women, Luther Springs
May 5 - Heart of Florida Conference Spring Gathering
May 10 - Caloosa Conference Spring Meeting
May 18-19 - New Facilities Dedication, Luther Springs
May 19 - Caloosa Conference Golf Outing
May 19 - Tampa Conference Spring Meeting
May 19 - Pinelands Conference Spring Meeting
This issue of E-Spirit is focused on stewardship ministry, stewardship resources, and stewardship opportunities. Please share this information with your stewardship committees, congregational councils, and others in your communities.
Resourceful Servants
Dear Friends in Christ,
We often speak of the many dimensions of wellness in our lives – spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social and physical, for instance. Financial well-being is another vital component in our endeavor to live well.

The ELCA churchwide organization will focus on this concept in the months and years ahead through “Resourceful Servants,” an initiative to encourage habits that strengthen and sustain individual and congregational financial wellness and growth.

According to cross-denominational research on communities of faith, the financial health of a congregation and its overall vitality are often related. Although there is a strong desire among many ELCA congregations to be financially healthy, it is common to wrestle with budgets, resource allocation and sustained growth.
Through the Resourceful Servants Congregational Certificate Program , your congregation will have the opportunity to follow a roadmap to greater financial stability, using behaviors and resources which focus on five key areas: Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Risk Management and Stewardship. You can access this content at resourcefulservants.org/congregations .

The goal of the program is for your congregation to deepen its financial knowledge, begin or enhance conversations about congregational finances and, if necessary, improve its financial behaviors.

Ultimately, by implementing and maintaining a set of financially healthy behaviors and tracking them through the website’s Congregational Portal , your congregation will receive a certificate, indicating its focus on financial health.

If you are interested in tracking your congregation’s behaviors and working toward a congregational certificate, send an email including your congregation’s name, city, and ID number (if you know it) to resourceful.servants@elca.org . You will then receive your log in information over email.The first ten congregations who log in will receive a copy of Church Finance from Resourceful Servants. Church Finance is a book which we refer to a lot on the website. It is a valuable resource for congregations.

Now is the perfect time for your congregation to improve its financial wellness. Take advantage of the resources available at resourcefulservants.org/congregations .
God’s blessings in your ministry,
Adam DeHoek, ELCA Churchwide Organization
Congregational Vitality Linked to Financial Health

The hope is that every congregation can easily find a way to participate in the Congregational Certificate Program. One of the intended audiences for the program is leaders of ELCA congregations who are interested in improving the financial...

Read more
StewardCast 2018
Keith Mundy, ELCA Director for Area Ministry Stewardship, leads a discussion on giving with ELCA members from across the country. Find out more at  elca.org/stewardship.

This webinar (1 hr 15 mins) covers topics like:
  • Congregational Vitality
  • Mission Interpretation Ministry
  • Stewardship Coaching
  • congregational cultures of generosity
  • ELCA Generosity Project
  • Caring for Creation
  • Ventures in Growing Stewards
  • and more
Stewardship for All Seasons
Grow your stewardship response by 10-25% next year.
The Synod Council is partnering to bring stewardship resources to your congregation. The attached flyer provides some information.

The program is Stewardship for All Seasons and is currently being conducted in South Carolina, North Carolina, SE Minnesota, South Dakota, Southeast Michigan, Rocky Mnt Synod, and other synods. Most congregations participating increase giving by 10%-25% in the first year in the program.

We are looking for nine congregations in Florida to join this “pilot” program here this year and we are looking for a diverse range of congregations for this program, as the program works for small, large, medium, rural, suburban, urban and other types of congregations.  Mike Ward, Partner with GSB and the leader of Stewardship for All Seasons will be partnering with us in this effort.

The purpose of Stewardship For All Seasons (SAS) is to guide pastors and congregation leaders to learn tried and true basic principles and effective methodologies to carry out productive stewardship programs. Learn how to do year-round, on-going stewardship resulting in more money for ministry, more energized stewards, and a culture of generosity. THIS IS MORE THAN STEWARDSHIP. IT IS

  • Prepare your congregation’s story
  • Educate people to tell that story
  • Focus attention on your congregation’s mission
  • Inspire people to give generously
  • Learn tools and methods that really work
  • Build a team that enjoys leading stewardship efforts
  • Become confident and skilled in stewardship development

Florida/Bahamas Synod
Congregations participating in the SAS will sign a covenant that outlines responsibilities and expectations of the congregation and the Synod.

A portion of the fee is being covered by the Synod. Each congregation is asked to contribute $1,975 to cover the manual, graphic design, and a portion of the fee. In addition, congregations are asked to contribute back to the Synod 10% of the increased revenue generated to further assist with the implementation of this effort.

For more information about Stewardship for All Seasons, or other ways you can strengthen your congregation's stewardship, contact Pr. John Mocko (john.w.mocko@gmail.com).
Upcoming Events
Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conference
September 24-26, 2018
Stewardship Kaleidoscope is an annual conference offering excellent plenary speakers, informative workshop leaders, provocative worship experiences, and incredible networking opportunities for all who are passionate about stewardship and generosity. Drawing leaders from across the Lutheran Church (ELCA) and the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) and beyond, Stewardship Kaleidoscope is designed to help participants explore stewardship, in its many colorful dimensions!
Our mission is to create an annual event that:
  • Ignites generosity among Lutherans and Presbyterians
  • Gives practical tools for cultivating generosity in congregations
  • Expands the leadership capacity of those who lead stewardship initiatives
  • Cultivates adaptive approaches for funding Christ’s mission
Venues vary annually, and you can count on Stewardship Kaleidoscope to provide Real Tools for Real Ministry!

Assembly Workshops:
Some workshops at Assembly will be considering different aspects of Stewardship. Below are a few of these workshop descriptions.
Money Doesn't Buy me Love (Or Does It?): Re-imagining Stewardship in the Age of Endless Consumption: Pr. David Lose
Each day, the average American is exposed to 5000 media images, most of which are designed to make you feel a sense of lack and, in response, buy more. How do we not simply combat this negative messaging but invite folks into a vivid sense of the abundance with which they have been blessed. Stewardship, from this point of view, is not about fundraising to keep our congregations going but about liberating our people to live lives of abundance and generosity.

“Can our Church Afford a Pastor”: Pr. Dell and Diane Shiell
We are convinced you don’t need an advanced degree in order to grasp your church’s financial position. You need accurate financial records and worship attendance records—and you need to know how to interpret them. Now, add to common sense a set of calculations and guidelines—and you have a handbook to help you understand your church’s ability to afford a full-time pastor.

Spring Conference Gatherings
Attention Deans and Conference Chairs: if your conference is gathering for a spring conference gathering, please email Sr. Michelle Collins (michellec@fbsynod.org) with your conference gathering date and location for the synod calendar. Thank you! The dates below are what the office is currently aware of. Please let Sr. Michelle know if this information is not accurate.
Pinelands Conference --date change to May 19
Heart of Florida Conference --May 5 (Salem, Orlando)
Tampa Conference --May 19 (St. Paul, Tampa)
Caloosa Conference --date change to May 10
First Coast Conference --April 22
For Your Information
Online/Mobile giving option: Tithe.ly
Enable members of your congregation to give in seconds using Tithe.ly's suite of giving tools. Online, mobile and text giving are quick and easy. The ELCA churchwide organization has negotiated special pricing for ELCA congregations using these giving and engagement tools. Learn more about  Tithe.ly  and the special ELCA offer today.
Reminder: Portico Wellness Dollars
Rostered leaders and others receiving benefits through Portico Benefits have access to wellness dollars each year. These wellness dollars can be used to supplement health, dental, or prescription costs. This benefit is not available for those with Medicare.

This year, Portico changed what must be done to receive wellness dollars. Instead of a series of different tracking, record-keeping, or reflection activities, wellness dollars are easily earned in two steps:

  1. Complete your biometric screening through a blood test (scheduled through the Portico web site, administered at a local Quest Diagnostics center in your area)
  2. Review your retirement financial plan (tool for reviewing, beginning or adjusting a retirement savings plan through Portico is available on the web site)

After these two steps, $400 in wellness dollars is deposited into the member's HSA account.

If you have questions about Portico Benefits or about these wellness dollars, contact Portico directly through their web site .
Formation of a Stewardship Table
With the help and support of Pr. John Mocko, a Stewardship Table is being formed to help support and promote healthy stewardship ministry in the Florida-Bahamas Synod.

The vision of the Stewardship Table of the Florida BahamasSynod is to invest in, inspire and equip steward leaders and congregations, creating a culture of generosity for the sake of God’s mission. Stewardship programs that could help us, among other options, fulfill the vision include:
  • Stewardship For All Seasons – a year-round stewardship program with mentoring from Pastor Mike Ward
  • Generosity Project/Macedonia Project– a way of teaching stewardship across generational lines
  • Financial Peace University - Program by Dave Ramsey that help people pursue finacial wellness
  • Resourceful Servants - ELCA program to equip congregation leaders to put in place best practices for financial matters
  • Ventures - ELCA Stewardship program for year round stewardship
  • Make it Simple - ELCA program for stewardship in congregations
  • Asset Mapping - discovering the gifts present in a congregation
  • Stewardship Coaching - using coaches to help congregation move forward in Stewardship.
  • Creating A Congreation Culture of Generosity - A Lake Institute program intended to help clusters of congregations increase their capacity ofr generosity
The stewardship table will work with the DEM's to develop a synod strategy to create a culture of generosity in the Florida Bahamas Synod.  

Office of the Bishop
Bishop's Schedule
April 17-May 1, 2018

  • Tampa Office
  • Living Lord, Bradenton (installation of Pr. Terry Courter)
  • Naples (Boundaries Workshop)
  • Emmanuel, Naples
  • St. John, Winter Park
Florida-Bahamas Synod 813-876-7660