By Rev. Ozzie Herlong

Has your congregation struggled to grow basic stewardship?
Do you need assistance with your annual response?
Is maintaining the momentum of year round stewardship a challenge?

Ventures in Growing Stewards is a four part workshop series that develops a foundation for stewardship education, planning and year-round stewardship in the congregation. Congregations receive guidance on developing a Missional Spending Plan (Narrative Budget). Ventures focuses on the work that a Stewardship Committee or Team is doing in a congregation to grow well formed steward leaders and grow generosity. The pastor(s) and lay persons responsible for stewardship are invited to be workshop participants. Leadership for these sessions is provided by trained Stewardship Specialist using materials provided by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Office of Stewardship. Pastor Angela Jennings, Pastor, St. Timothy, Camden, serves as Ventures Leader.

In Ventures you will:

  • Build a foundation for stewardship education and response.
  • Train leaders to carry out a thorough financial response effort.
  • Equip leaders to develop and implement a year round stewardship ministry.
  • Create enthusiasm and excitement for stewardship.
  • Foster stronger faith relationships within and between congregations.

At the first workshop, congregations receive the cornerstones for stewardship including faith, prayer, education, mission interpretation and giftedness. During this three hour workshop, participants build on this foundation with an introduction to seven financial response methods and tools to develop a Missional Spending Plan.

The second workshop provides resources and assistance to plan specific stewardship activities. The third workshop reviews progress and addresses challenges. The fourth workshop evaluates performance and initiates planning for the coming year. The last three workshops are designed to be two to three hours long and are usually held on a weeknight or weekend within a 9 to 12 month period. A stewardship consultant is available during and between workshops. Upon completion of the workshops continued stewardship consultation is available.

Each participant receives a Ventures notebook, and each congregation receives materials for a financial response method of their choice and year round stewardship planning material. The fee includes leadership, travel costs, a meal and most participant resources. A congregation can participate for $200. A partial grant can also be provided upon request.

Ventures In Growing Stewards, building on the concept of year-round stewardship, helps build excitement about stewardship and challenges congregation members to consider “What does God want me to do?….participation in the Ventures helps any congregation get their stewardship efforts off to a great start.” —Philip C. van Leeuwen, St. Paul, Aiken—-

An interest meeting is scheduled on Sunday, May 28, 2017 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, Prosperity. There is no cost to attend the interest meeting. If your congregation or a cluster of congregations in your area is interested contact Rev. Ozzie Herlong, Director for Stewardship, South Carolina Synod, at ovherlong@aol.com or Call: (803) 360-1877. The date and time of the initial workshop in the four-workshop series will be planned by participating congregations.

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