May 2022
  • Register for upcoming webinar: Proclaiming Your Mission!
  • Tips and Tools for compassionate, effective stewardship campaigns
  • Review your own motivations for giving
  • How You Can Support Stewardship at General Convention - Resolution A070

I have the privilege of visiting many churches every year. Any time I walk into an Episcopal Church I am observing: who is there and who isn't; is this a name-tag congregation or not; what materials are on the display table or the tract rack? Almost always, shoved into a corner, sometimes partially covered, is last year's stewardship campaign brochure or flyer, maybe even some old pledge cards, the corners slightly crushed.

Ah, it's last year's campaign. Still there. Sending the same message as it sent six, nine, twelve months ago. Or is it older? Did this brochure get designed by an eager high school student who has now graduated college? Does it talk about programs that are no longer being run? Has time forgotten this church?

Let's get one thing straight from the beginning: your annual campaign is about your mission, not your budget, right? We raise money for mission, not for line items in a spreadsheet; we share our wealth, works, and wisdom to grow the reign of God, not just to swell our reserve accounts. Our campaign materials should reflect this hopeful and hope-filled truth.

Each year our mission changes as the needs of our communities change; maybe not in huge swings, but in small ways. If you are running last year's campaign, but expecting new results, I am afraid you will be disappointed. Make this the year -- and every year hereafter -- that you create materials, develop themes, and employ creativity that tell the story of how your church will seek and serve your neighbors. Expect new results.

In Abundance,

J. Davey Gerhard III
Executive Director
Proclaiming Your Mission: Making the Case for Stewardship

Join us for this essential webinar on creating materials, brochures, and case statements that communicate your values and showcase your ministry. Your members are most inspired by the mission - how you take the Gospel into a needful world. Help them connect their pledges and their giving to the mission of your church in this free webinar.

Saturday, May 14, 9:00 AM Pacific | Register Today

This webinar is offered at no cost to all who register as a gift to the Church from TENS donors and participating dioceses and congregations.
Download New Seasonal Reflections for 2022!

The theme for our 2022 Stewardship Campaign Resources is More Than Enough. As we emerge from this period of disruption and isolation in our congregations, we have felt the pain and frustration of distance, of diminished resources, and of our ability to connect in the ways to which we are accustomed. However, as we take inventory of our spiritual resources, the strength of our community, and our capacity for generosity, we realize that there is now, and always has been, More Than Enough

Log in today to access the Seasonal Reflections for 2022. You may download the Pentecost reflection today for your bulletin insert
Connect Your Stewardship with Thanks

This short article provides you some easy pointers to help you frame your faith-based fundraising in the language of gratitude. When we have thankfulness at the heart of our mission, we are glad to do the work, happy to participate in our fundraising, joy-filled to contribute our ideas and wisdom to church. Check out our free Resource Library for more tips and tools!

Giver, Know Yourself!
by Julia McCray Goldsmith

There’s a wisdom among preachers that we are always preaching to ourselves: that is, preaching the good news that we need to hear. And this is no bad thing! Other people are always more likely to be persuaded by a message that we ourselves believe. And the same is true for the messages of generosity we offer. So every year as I prepare for pledge season, I like to take a moment to revisit my own motivations for giving.

I take my commitment to pledging seriously, and I’m a planner so I generally have my giving “figured out” a year in advance, with careful attention to the causes I care about. But in recent years I’ve found myself increasingly called to give in more spontaneous ways. Not long ago, I made a Lenten commitment to give to everyone who asked—mostly people I encounter walking on urban streets—and never less than the cost of a sandwich. This was far less costly (in financial and personal terms) than I expected, and far more graceful than I could have hoped for. I received so many heartbreaking and heart-opening stories as I paused to dig a few dollars out of my pocket. I couldn’t quit after Easter! So it became a discipline of giving relationally, without counting the cost, that is now an intentional part of my practice.

That’s my giving style: planner, learning to be spontaneous giver. That’s been good news for me in my personal pilgrimage of generosity, but I can’t assume it’s the same for my parishioners and community of givers. However, being aware of my own motives and practices makes it easier to listen attentively to the stories and motivations of the people I serve. And especially as we begin to build the “case” for our pledge season, it’s really important for me to know the giving priorities of my congregation, so I can help them to tell a story that’s true to them as generous people, as well as representative of our congregational ministry priorities.

The Very Reverend Julia McCray Goldsmith is Dean of Trinity Cathedral in San Jose, California, and serves on the TENS board of directors.
Support Stewardship Teaching and Training at General Convention

Vote YES for A070: Creating an Online Stewardship Collaborative

What will the Church look like moving forward? How do we adapt to the changing landscape? Where do we look for support for our ministries?

As the Church continues to change and adapt to address the challenges of the moment, the Taskforce for the Theology of Money was charged with understanding how money was taught and talked about in the Episcopal Church. Questions like “What does God think of money” or “What does God think about people who do/don`t have money” impact the work of Stewardship at large. 
After a wide scale survey, translated in Spanish and French, the Taskforce both published its findings for this year’s General Convention and drafted a series of resolutions to address the findings of the report. 

Specifically, in the spirit of partnership, it resolved a collaboration develop between TENS, Project Resource, and The Office of Ethnic Ministries to create an online set of resources for stewardship that is contextually based. Additionally, the taskforce further resolved that the collaborative expand existing offerings by facilitating the creation of stewardship materials by people of color and the development of online courses and virtual workshops on topics such as post-pandemic congregational stewardship and culturally appropriate theologies of giving in English, Spanish, and other languages. 

An endorsement of Resolution 70 will allow the General Convention to both affirm the resolutions as well as fund the development of an online tool and culturally based resources by people of color specifically for people of color. While none of the partners named in this collaborative would see funding as a revenue stream for support, affirmation of these resolutions would clearly say that is a moment where, instead of securing individual fiefdoms, we want to show up for and with each other. The time has come to work across institutional boundaries and carve out new partnerships together.

Thank you to Erin Weber-Johnson for this summary of the work and spirit of A070! Erin currently serves as Senior Consultant for the Vandersall Collective and is part of the Primary Faculty for Project Resource.

Upcoming Webinars
We have built out our webinar calendar for 2022 with a new suite of trainings to deepen your skills and theology of stewardship. Please consider registering for these upcoming webinars.
Creating Your Year-Round Stewardship Plan

It takes intention and planning to create a formation program that emphasizes the spiritual discipline of stewardship. Learn some great skills and tools to make, and stick to, your plan!

  • Book studies and small-groups on generosity
  • Liturgical actions that underscore abundance
  • Preaching and teaching tips to round out your formation program

Saturday, June 11, 9AM Pacific. Register today!
The Church in the Endemic: Sustainable Practices and Strategies

What will we become? What are we becoming? Who will come back? These are questions we are all asking as we reemerge from our isolation and our pandemic practices. Learn strategies for adaptation and sustainability in our stewardship

  • Welcome virtual newcomers in person
  • Normalizing hybrid worship and fundraising
  • Rethinking our buildings
Saturday, September 24, 9AM Pacific. Register today online!
Deepening Your Legacy and
Planned Giving Program

Every congregation was built from planned gifts - the founding gifts and ideas that planted our churches have sustained us for many years. Learn how to build or rebuild your legacy giving program and promote planned giving.

  • Tax-wise strategies for your assets
  • How to help members create legacies that look forward
  • Learn about the power of planned giving

Saturday, October 8, 9AM Pacific. Register for this webinar today!