Faithful Stewardship: A Pathway to Community A Workshop for the St. Lawrence District, UUA April 2011Laurel Amabile, Stewardship & Development, UUA
Objectives• To broaden awareness of the scope of stewardship among congregation leaders.• To identify ways to create and sustain cultures of generosity among our families and in our congregations.• To offer experiential learning opportunities through modeled application, reflection, and idea sharing.
Our Learning Community Faith in Action: Articulating faith Community embraces values: and integrates mission giving and generosity, and values. UU principles, raise Individuals live out awareness at the and teach others. individual level. Faith Identity Sharing the stories of Formation: the Faith Community:Inspired by relationship to the shared values, role models and stories, and mission of experiences that the faith community. reinforce the values and inspire. Relationship Personal reflection: Development: Experiences and story To the faith, its values, message. and to one another in Identification with the community. A faith values and communal sense of community. mission develops.
National Giving Data• Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely to donate money and 23 percentage points more likely to volunteer time than secular people.• Families with higher incomes give more money, but the percentage given decreases as income rises.• Teenage youth who attend religious services regularly volunteer twice as much as those who don’t attend.
Spending Statistics• Young people, newborn to age 22, represent a $1 trillion market in the U.S. marketplace, through their direct spending and influence over family purchases.• Children and youth, ages 8-21 spend approximately $175 Billion a year of their own money.• More children go shopping each week (52%) than read (42%), go to church (26%), play outdoors (17%), or spend time in household conversations (32%).
The pathway from scarcity to abundance is called community. -Parker Palmer Please join me on the pathway….
You & MoneyWhat one word or phrase would you use to describe your relationship with money? (past or present) How does money relate to your faith and spiritual life? How comfortable are you with regard to money in your professional life?
Giving is personal. When we givea gift of money we are giving partof ourselves. Money is associated with worth, both self-worth and the worth we place on our relationships. ~Faith & Fundraising Handbook
Holistic Stewardship in Our CongregationsTransforming the culture of giving…. one step at a time.
Holistic Stewardship is……Wise and visionary management of all our resources: – Money – Possessions – Land & facilities – Time – People How might we best assess our congregation’s culture of stewardship?
The Theology of StewardshipCentral to the Judeo-Christian traditions isthe idea that God is the source of everythingthe world has to offer.This relationship between God and the worldIs referred to as oikonomia, or the “divineeconomy.” Our concept of economy isderived from this root word.
Religious Giving Traditions• The offering From the earliest times, the offering was considered the central act of worship. Sacrifices were made by the people in many cultures to express gratitude to the gods, the earth, and a supreme God or Creator, as the source of all life and abundance. What awareness of religious stewardship might we reclaim and put into practice in our lives and congregations?
Stewardship & Generosity WisdomHow might we reframe the miracle story of the Loaves and Fishes in ways that could shift the culture of giving in our Unitarian Universalist congregations?
Sharing our Stories We have 52 Sundays a year to share thestories of how our Unitarian Universalist faith and congregation makes a difference in peoples’ lives and the world. What stories come to your mind?
Stewardship is aboutconversion, not budgets and income . ~C. K. Robertson
Transforming Our Thinking About Stewardship• Stewardship is about relationships.• Stewardship is a ministry.• Therefore every conversation about money is potentially pastoral in nature.• Every experience of giving is a matter of faith and a reflection of one’s values.
Transforming Our Thinking About StewardshipPractices for Transformative Stewardship Leaders:• Personal reflection• See yourselves as role models• Articulate the congregation’s compelling mission and vision, clearly and consistently.• Tell the stories and invite others to share theirs.
You must regularly cast a clear , compelling vision for the church . The key to cultivating donors for your church’s ministry is vision. ~Aubrey Malphurs & Steve Stroope Money Matters in Church, 2007
Casting the VisionDoes your congregation have a clearlyarticulated vision?If so, does the congregation understandthe connection between their giving andthe fulfillment of the vision?If not, it is time to do that work!
Stewardship does indeed deal with money, but it must be far bigger, far more holistic than that.For money is the symbol, the powerful symbol, ofour ongoing need for control. But as we begin tothink of life in terms of what we have instead ofWhat we lack, then we can dare to let go of thethings that hold us back and strategize togetheras faithful stewards instead of fearful owners. ~Faith and Fundraising Handbook
Creating Cultures of Generosity- How?
Generational Differences in Charitable GivingUnderstanding generationaldifferences helps us to frame our stewardship and giving messages and expectations effectively and appropriately.
Celebrate Generosity!• Express gratitude when accepting the offering.• Prepare a budget that represents the mission and priorities of the congregation and honors relationships with wider UU community.• Give joyfully to the surrounding community by giving away all or part of the offering to .• Play “We’re in the money” when announcing the results of Stewardship Pledging.Do any other ways of celebrating come to mind?
Do what you can.Want what you have. Be who you are. Love fearlessly. ~Forrest Church
Our Covenant andSupport System
Our UUA Covenant Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen ourunderstanding and expand ourvision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.
UnitarianOur Interconnected UniversalistCommunity Association The Wider My World District My Unitarian Universalist Congregation My town My region
A Nested View of My UUMy UU Congregation Congregation My town My region My District My UUA I belong to my church and my church belongs to me. I belong to District and our District belongs to me. I belong to our UUA and our UUA belongs to me.
The Mystery Structure
$ IN Undesignated Designated Income Income • Capital Campaigns• Congregations (APF) • Grants from Veatch Program• Friends of the UUA • Relief Funds & International•Gifts/Bequests • Ministerial Aid Funds• Program Fees • Scholarship & Ed. Grants• Investment Income $ OUT • Restricted donor gifts Includes: • Services to Congregations • Ministry & Professional Leadership • Lay Leader resources & training • Publications & curricula • Website & electronic resources • District services and grants
The Unitarian Universalist Association: A Covenantal Partnership Our Purposes The Unitarian Universalist Association shall devote its resources to and exercise its corporate powers for religious, educational and humanitarian purposes. The primary purpose of the Association is to serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions, and implement its principles.
Why Should We Give to Our District and Association?• People who give generously in our congregations act upon their religious beliefs and values.• Givers align their lives with the higher purposes of Unitarian Universalism.• Our giving in support of our UU values makes a positive difference in the world.
Let’s Stay Connected!Laurel Amabile, Director, Annual Program Fund • Email: LAmabile@uua.org • Phone: 207-239-7162 • Twitter: http://twitter.com/givingspeaks– Stewardship and Development Office, Unitarian Universalist Association.– Focus is relationship-building throughout the UUA and strengthening funding of our mission at the local and national levels.
Your Thoughts & Feedback• What concepts will you take back for use in your ?• What questions or needs linger?• Any parting thoughts or feedback?