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Generous Thinking 
He who allows his day to pass by without practicing generosity and enjoying life's pleasures is like a blacksmith's bellows. He breathes but does not live.

     ~Sanskrit proverb
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ESC New Stewardship Resource
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June 2016
"Now I am revealing new things to you
Things hidden and unknown to you
Created just now, this very moment.
Of these things you have heard nothing until now.
So that you cannot say, Oh yes, I knew this."
                                    ~Isaiah 48:6-7
I am often asked, do you think the church will survive?  Do you think the church is dying?  Not easy questions to ask or answer, but I have a better one.  What in the world is God doing?  This is one of my favorite questions to ask.  When we are confused and scared and frustrated, we ask it with a tinge of sarcasm, God, what in the world are you doing?!?  Other times the question is a gateway to gratitude.  Take a look at your life, your community, the world...what in the world is God doing?  Can you recognize the power and presence of God in this moment?  Look a little deeper at the things that confuse you and, using my daughter's new word, "confuddle" you-can you respond with Isaiah's truth that God is somehow doing something new in the world?  Something so unique, so creative and powerful that we have to confess we "cannot say, Oh yes, I knew this."  That is when we need the eyes of faith.  Eyes that are open to the power of God in ways we have never seen, expected, or imagined.  Try your best not to say, "But we've never done (or seen) it that way before."  Just be open.  The church will survive and thrive if we keep up with what God is doing in the world.  But the thing is, the Holy Spirit is for sure calling you into a brand new dance in this brand new day, created just now, this very moment.  Grace and peace to you in the trying to discern it and in following the Spirit's leading. 

~Rev. Stacy Emerson
Stewardship Facilitator, Mission Resource Development
American Baptist Churches USA
New Book: Beyond Stewardship: A Church Guide to Generous Giving Campaigns
Beyond Stewardship helps churches to re-frame the usual concepts of stewardship which have tended to be budget-centered versus giver-centered, focused on a scarcity versus abundance mindset, and emphasizing fundraising versus growing generous disciples.  Behring and Jagger offer a thoughtful and practical guide to help congregations transform their "stewardship campaign" to a "generous giving campaign" with biblical wisdom, clear suggestions, and examples.  With an eye toward God's abundance, this book helps congregations renew their understanding and practice of a generous giving ministry.

Judson Press DISCOUNT
Judson Press is providing stewardship resources at a DISCOUNT while supplies last!  Check out the link below for theme resources: Live Free, Fearless Generosity, Abundant Joy/Overflowing Generosity, New Love/New Mercy, I Have Called You Friends, and Dessert First: Celebrating God's blessings.

Check it out now while supplies last!

Live Simply
Live Simply, based on Philippians 4:11, is the theme for the stewardship resources published by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center. The Ecumenical Stewardship Center offers resources that together provide a creative, comprehensive, and thought-provoking approach to encourage faithful stewardship that leads to generous giving. Live Simply is the second of four planned themes that focus on 1 Timothy 6:18-19 and the phrase "take hold of the life that really is life."  Other themes are Live Free, Live Generously, and Live Courageously. Live Simply includes four sub-themes: Live Simply, Follow Jesus; Live Simply, Face the Truth; Live Simply, Act Together; and Live Simply, Share Enough.

Click here for ESC Live Simply


Rev. Stacy Emerson, Stewardship Facilitator
Mission Resource Development
American Baptist Churches USA

American Baptists serving as the hands and feet of Christ

© 2014 Mission Resource Development, American Baptist Churches USA 
This resource is provided to you as a ministry of American Baptist Churches USA
 because American Baptists are united in mission through United Mission. 
Thank you for your gifts to United Mission!