In the months since the pledge drive this year, I’ve had the opportunity to take a few classes and seminars on church stewardship via Stewardship for Us, a company that focuses on helping Unitarian Universalist congregations “envision, plan, and implement stewardship programs.”
Based on these classes, and some brainstorming sessions, we have some exciting new ideas that will help us to grow our church’s resources in 2019:
- Building a Stewardship Team — not just for the pledge drive, but to function year round
- Exploring budgeting/money relations workshops to provide to the congregation
- Creating a multi-year Stewardship Plan
- Cultivating a culture of generous giving and receiving in our church
What exactly is stewardship, you might be asking? Stewardship can be defined in many ways — and, as a congregation, we should work on defining precisely what it means to us here at Tahoma UU. One example I recently read struck a chord:
“Stewardship connects what we have been given and inherited, with what we have earned. Stewardship is the way we track and account for those resources, what we decide to do with them (according to our beliefs/values), and how we ensure that they are skillfully used to those purposes”.
Or, more succinctly, stewardship is about taking care of something we value and enabling it to grow.
In one sense, it is about the church’s finances — how we as a group are called to steward them:
- by growing and choosing responsible board and finance committee members,
- by diligently and intelligently reviewing, considering, and voting on the budget,
- by making wise investment decisions for our funds,
- by communicating openly, and nurturing relationships with pledging members and friend,
- by running annual pledge campaigns and other fundraising events.
But it is also about how we as individuals take care of something we value and enable it to grow: our church, our mission, our congregation, and ourselves. As good stewards of our individual resources, we can share more with the world around us.
We all know many ways in which we are hopeful for our church to expand: social justice work, music, and growing our congregation. During the next few months, I ask each one of you to take some time to reflect on what you care about at Tahoma UU, and how can you help to enable it to grow.
This church belongs to each of us – what gifts of time, talent, and treasure can you share in our upcoming year?
PS: Mark your calendars! 2019 Pledge drive kicks off with a Celebration Sunday on March 31, 2019!
If you are interested in helping with either the 2019 Pledge Drive or the Stewardship Team, please contact Tori Brewster.