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Training about ‘Creating a Congregational Culture of Generosity’

The Conference Stewardship Committee is offering a training event, “Creating a congregational culture of generosity,” July 21 to 22 at Sunnyslope Church, 3330 School St., Wenatchee.

Two years ago, Ron Patterson, Wendy Blight, Tara Barber and Roberta Rominger attended a national stewardship training event in Orlando, delivered by the UCC and Disciples national teams.

“It was news to me that the paradigm of financial giving has completely changed, from a generation that supported the church as a matter of principle, commitment and loyalty to a new world in which people need to be convinced,” said Roberta.

The treasurer used to be able to say, “We’re short this month, could you all please dig a little deeper?” and people would respond, she said.

“Now that kind of message would be counter-productive. Scarcity and failure don’t attract donations,” she said.  “We need to put our mission priorities front and center and communicate our enthusiasm for what we’re doing. We have to talk about faith.”

The July event is a condensed version of Orlando, two days instead of four. The trainers come from the Lilly Foundatiwon’s Lake Institute, recognized for cutting-edge expertise and training excellence. Churches are encouraged to send at least two people, their pastor and stewardship chair—ideally three or four.

The weekend will begin with a description of the altered giving landscape. Then there will be sessions on theological underpinnings, generosity as a key to church renewal, donor sensitivity as pastoral care, transparency and accountability, and making plans.

The national UCC is footing the bill. The PNC is only responsible for local costs.

United Church of Christ, and Lake Institute on Faith and Giving offer this seminar experience to help change the way individuals and congregations approach giving and generosity.

“Creating congregational cultures of generosity” is a two-day interactive seminar, demonstrating how pastors and ministry leaders can unearth and energize congregational generosity by exploring the significant and necessary steps to creating lasting cultural change within a congregation.

This course is intended for those who 1) believe in their congregation’s capacity for greater generosity; 2) have a desire to become more comfortable with money; 3) are willing to redefine giving in their congregation, and 4) understand giving to include service, social networks, and sharing ideas and professional expertise.

Leaders are the Rev. Andrew DeBraber and the Rev. Marc Kirchoff.

Andy believes that when people give us their money, they are giving their hearts, and it’s important to treat it as such.

This principle has guided Andy, who lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., as a local church pastor, community organizer, nonprofit executive director and now as a major gift officer for the United Church of Christ. He believes the local church is more important now than ever.

Marc, an ordained American Baptist minister, is a development officer for International Cooperating Ministries. Bringing 37 years of ministry experience, his expertise is in stewardship, including strategic planning, personal and organizational financial management, administration and fundraising.  He often speaks at churches and in other public settings, providing workshops, Bible studies and sermons to churches, congregational groups and nonprofit organizations.

The $115 registration fee for the seminar includes lunches both days, Saturday dinner and a copy of the participant workbook.

Register by June 25 at www.pncucc.org.  For information, call 239-253-1512 or 206-232-7800.

 

Pacific Northwest United Church News © April-May 2018

 

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