March 2023
  • Lifting up Diversity as we Celebrate Abundance
  • Register for our next webinar on recruiting a stewardship team

On the First of March, the Church remembers St. David of Wales. My own name comes from an Anglicized spelling of the Welsh name for David, Dewi, and so I feel a kinship with this Twelfth Century saint.

His feast day has many traditions, and many of them are about plants with deep roots. Often daffodils are associated with the day (Daffs for David, we say in our house), and meals prepared with root vegetables. In some parts of Wales, folks fashion necklaces of leeks, spring onions, carrots on the day. I mark the occasion by preparing a pot of potato leek soup.

I'll leave it to you and Wikipedia to learn why plants with hard roots and bulbs are associated with the saint - it's one of those particularly medieval stories. But this year, as I encounter the Feast of St. David I have the mindset of our theme Rooted in Abundance.

A generation before me, much of my mother's family farmed sugar beets in central Michigan. As a kid, walking through the fields, seeing these dirt-covered roots pulled out of the rows was fascinating to me. How could something so dirty and brown and smelling of decay produce some of my favorite foods? At the end of the season, piles of sugar beets, as high as my great-uncle's house, would line the side of the field. An abundant harvest, for sure!

It takes a lot of work to make a sugar beet into something that we can use for nutrition, Recognizing abundance asks us to dig deeper into what we observe in order to celebrate the gifts that are offered.

All good gifts,

Cn. J. Davey Gerhard III
Executive Director

Diverse voices on Rooted in Abundance

In January our Board met in retreat in New Orleans. We do most of our work on zoom as we are from across the Episcopal Church, but once a year we get together to go deeper. This year we had a great conversation about how TENS seeks to provide its materials in both Spanish and English, but acknowledged that we have more work to do in terms of deepening the cultural sensitivity to different contexts where stewardship happens.

Our theme for this year is Rooted in Abundance and our mission is to “help people live generously.” We want these things for everyone, whatever their cultural background. At the same time know that there are different ways to understand generosity and stewardship.

We invite you to watch a short video in which our board President, Dean Matthew Woodward from Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento and our Vice President, The Rev Debra Bennett of The Church of our Saviour in Akron Ohio discuss a project we developed at our board retreat that will help us to deepen and explore cultural diversity in generosity.

We love providing materials for all to use in their stewardship campaigns, and part of that are newsletter inserts for every week in the fall. These have often been reflections by board members and other church leaders on the lectionary readings for each week. This year they are going to be interviews with partners from across a variety of cultural contexts. Board members are going to talk to Sierra Leonean, Hispanic, Haitian, Sudanese partners, and others, and ask them what it means to live generously in their culture, and what Rooted in Abundance means to them. 

We are excited about this project, it is part of our ongoing learning about cultural relevance and diversity. We think you will love the interviews.

In faith and abundance,
The Rev. Debra Q. Bennett
The Very Rev. Matthew Woodward
The 2023 Webinar Calendar is uploaded - fill out your training plan today!

We are revisiting some favorite trainings and offering some new ones this year as we combine materials for annual campaigns with practical teaching on stewardship topics. See our Webinar page to learn about and register for all our webinars this year!
Recruiting and Training a Stewardship Committee

A well-run campaign needs a well-trained and prepared stewardship committee to lead it. Learn best practices on how to identify and recruit the right members to serve on this essential committee, and help form them into a community of volunteers who will support each other and the work of generosity in your church.

We can help you develop a cheerful, effective, well-prepared committee with this webinar, a TENS tried-and-true favorite.

Sign up for our free webinar on March 4 at 9AM Pacific / 12PM Eastern
Motivations for Intergenerational Giving

This webinar was so popular last year, that we have been asked to run it again. Our members are savvy donors and have many motivations for making gifts to fund our church budgets. Learn some key distinctions between generations so that you may fine tune your stewardship campaigns for the best impact.

We will spend a lot of time on how to attract and retain younger members, as well. Learn what trends appeal, and don't appeal, to Millennials and Generation Z members and donors.

Sign up for our free webinar on April 1 at 9AM Pacific / 12PM Eastern
Making the Case: Effective Materials for Successful Campaigns

The ways that you message your annual pledge campaign make a difference in how much impact it has on your members. If you are running the same program year after year, using the same theme, the same logo, the same words, the same timeline, you might also be getting the same results.

Consider changing up your materials, getting new pictures, stories, metrics, and methods. Reach your members in a new way and make sure every member knows how to make their best gift to support your operating budget and your ministry to the community. Learn our best practices on great campaign materials and story-telling techniques.

Sign up for our free webinar on May 13 at 9AM Pacific / 12PM Eastern
Breaking Through the Pledge Plateau

There comes a time with each congregation when the campaign plateaus: when members make the same gift year after year; when the pledges are on autopilot. What can you do to shine a new light on your programs and ministries to help your members make their best gifts?

Right as you return from your summer break, learn best practices for breaking through the plateau and increasing the impact, gift size, and cheerfulness of your members so that your ministries can flourish.

Sign up for our free webinar on August 26 at 9AM Pacific / 12PM Eastern
Are you going to be in Jacksonville at EPN?

Come find TENS board members and staff at the Episcopal Parish Network conference March 7-10 in Jacksonville, Florida! As you see us in sessions, meals, workshops, and social hours, come find us and tell us how we can create tools that help you and your congregations raise money for mission and engage stewardship formation! Among the TENS family represented this year in Jacksonville, you'll find:

  • Davey Gerhard, Executive Director
  • Matthew Woodward, President
  • Karen Davis-Lawson, Board Member
  • Glenna Huber, Board Member

We look forward to seeing you soon!