Stewardship Leaders—A Valentine for You!

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Dear Ones Who Raise and Steward the Funds~

We may not tell you every day how much we appreciate all that you do to raise (and give!) the money to sustain us. We realize that much of what you do is for our success and benefit, but it often goes unnoticed with everything else going on around our faith community.

We know that you put your heart into your effort, because you love this congregation–what we believe in and value and stand for in this world. And, you have formed meaningful relationships with the givers among us—those who choose to generously support our ministries and programs.

On this occasion of Valentine’s Day, we take the time to express our admiration and affection to you, for you enable our congregation to make a difference. We can remember that the very origin of the word Valentine means strong and healthy. This is what you do for us: keep our community strong and healthy.

Your efforts are worthy and we thank you!

To express our love and gratitude on this occasion of Valentine’s Day, we pledge our generous financial support and partnership in the venture and responsibility of stewardship.

With grateful hearts,    

                Your Congregation

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Women, Giving and Religious Affiliation

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A new study by Women’s Philanthropy Institute has found that young, single women without ties to religion are giving more to charitable organizations than their peers with religious affiliations. And, these Millennial and Gen X women are giving two-and-a-half times more than single women in the Baby Boomer and older generations.

This represents a marked change in the historical trend in giving that has been the basis of our assumptions up to now. While there is a clear correlation between religious affiliation and giving…

Religious affiliation is no longer the basis for charitable giving decisions–particularly among young, single women.

Giving data show that young, single and religiously unaffiliated women give twice as much to secular organizations than to faith-based organizations. Clearly younger women’s giving choices are influenced by factors worth exploring and understanding.

So, how might religious and faith-based organizations respond to this trend?hand-holds-flower-spill-many-flowers-and-butterfly_fydbgcr_

  • Learn about the interests and needs of Gen X and Millennial women to structure worship experiences and programs that appeal to them.
  • Provide meaningful opportunities for community service and volunteer engagement that connect with mission and values.
  • Seek input and ideas from young women–learn what matters most to them in life and community.
  • Encourage social interaction with peers and across generations–nurture relationships.
  • Affirm the leadership and generosity of the young adults who are making a difference in your organization.

 

Let your Giving Speak, this day and every day~

 Laurel 2012

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Resources:

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/millennials-charity/

Next Gen Donors:  http://www.nextgendonors.org/

NPR All Tech Considered:  http://n.pr/11fWRRw

A Prayer for Remembrance and Thanks

Spirit of Life, fall afresh upon our community today. Make us a people who remember, who give thanks, who bless and are blessed, and who dare to dream the beautiful dream of justice, healing, and peace that our hearts long for.

We remember our mothers and fathers in faith who listened to your call and worked to build this faith community with a wide and loving heart. We remember those whose generosity built our churches, whose vision saw beyond their own horizons, whose hearts and hands toiled in the vineyard of good works, works of justice and peace.

Make new, we pray, our practice each day of compassion and justice close to home and around the world; renew our hunger for peace in a world marked by violence and grief; strengthen the commitment of our leaders to speak truth to power and to work with those who shape our public life so that together we will build a more just society for all of your children.

We give thanks for the gifts of ministry and for ministry. Lift up and inspire the shepherds who care for our flock and the leaders who serve faithfully, quietly, joyfully, day in and day out.

Give us the energy and foresight of the gentle but persistent gardener who sees the rich harvest in the smallest of seeds: may our churches flourish, large and small, old and new.

Prosper the work of our hands, so that, moment by moment and day by day, in every generation and every age, we will be salt, we will be light, we will be leaven in this world you love so well.    Blessed Be.

Adapted by Laurel Amabile from a reading by The Rev. Kate Huey, United Church of Christ, with permission generously granted by the author.      Sept 21, 2011

Ecumenical Stewardship Center:  http://www.stewardshipresources.org/