Stewardship includes offering of our “time,” our “talents,” and our “treasure.”
St. Timothy’s Stewardship Committee is charged to encourage awareness of the many ways we can be good stewards of God’s gifts. They coordinate the annual stewardship campaign, usually in the fall, along with other activities which raise awareness of needs and provide opportunities for members to use their time, talents, and treasures in support of the many ministries both within the community and around the world.
Bottom line: LIVE GENEROUSLY! We can never do too much, give too much, or love too much.
- Working in the Food Pantry (see Rob Cunningham or Joan Hanson)
- Helping with Emma’s Backpack (see Lisa or Jim Somerville)
- Serving as an Assisting Minister, Lector/Lay Reader, Acolyte, Communion Server, Greeter, or Nursery Attendant (See Brenda Conway for scheduling)
- Serving as an Usher (see Eileen or Lee Stouter)
- Serving on the Altar Guild (see Dolores Ruth)
- Helping with the Sheltering Program
- Teaching Sunday School (children and adults) or Vacation Bible School (see Gail Penman)
- Serving on the Church Council (voted on by the Congregation)
- Chairing one of the church committees: Youth Ministry, Finance, Stewardship, Christian Education, Worship and Music, Social Ministry, Evangelism, Congregation Life, and Church Property
- Singing in the Choir (see Carole Curtis)
- Helping out in the Church Office
- Taking Home Communion to Shut-ins
- Caring for the landscaping around the church
- Providing IT/computer assistance (for the “techies” in the congregation).
In addition, there are special ad hoc projects that arise throughout the year which require leadership and committee members. These are usually limited-term commitments.
If you are interested in participating in any of the above or would like further information on what’s involved, please contact Pastor David or one of the Congregation Council persons listed on the back of our weekly church bulletin.
– Approximately 90% of your weekly offering goes to support regularly occurring commitments to our many ongoing ministries: salaries for Pastor David, our secretary, and our organist; Christian education programs; evangelism outreach; property upkeep; utilities; worship and music supplies; and other administrative costs.
– St. Timothy commits 10% of your contributions to “benevolence” – or mission support. These gifts, estimated at $18,000 for 2016, are our congregation’s “tithe” to support ministries beyond our congregation. They are used by the Virginia Synod and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) where the need is greatest. These gifts enable God’s work to continue and grow around the world.
Below are some of the many ministries, supported by our benevolence, in which the VA Synod is directly involved. For a broader look at the Synod’s mission support, check http://www.vasynod.org/ministries.
- Lutheran Camps and Retreat Centers
- Lutheran Family Services of Virginia
- Lutheran theological Southern Seminary
- National Lutheran Communities and Services
- Roanoke College
- Virginia Lutheran Homes
Some of your benevolence also goes to the ELCA, supporting many ministries both at home and abroad. Take a look at this web site to see how active the ELCA is in all aspects of life: http://www.elca.org/en/Our-Work
Your benevolence offerings, along with gifts to special appeals like the Malaria Campaign and World Hunger, enable the church to carry out ministries together in ways that no individual congregation or synod can do alone.
There are a number of St. Timothy ministries which rely on contributions beyond our basic operations budget discussed above, e.g., the Food Pantry and Emma’s Backpack. Gifts to these programs are in addition to your regular pledge or giving.
- We pledge or commit our resources as an intention to support the mission of our church throughout the year. This helps form the financial baseline upon which the Congregation Council and members plan for each coming year.
- Pledging reflects your active involvement as a “member” of our Christian community. We will accomplish more, and be more effective, if we have an idea of what to expect financially.
- Pledging also becomes a “weekly reminder” of our priorities and whose we are.
- And we certainly understand that individual circumstances may cause one to adjust a pledge.
There are four words which reflect our response to committing our resources:
Priorities – what we value most in our lives. What we choose to support with the gifts God has given us.
Happiness and Joy – the feelings we have as we choose to help others. The attitude with which we do our good works. How wonderfully free and content our lives become when act in this way.
Sacrifice – We are called by God to sacrifice. I think we can all relate to how we feel when we make the decision, often hard, to sacrifice our needs for those of others.
While a tithe, or 10% of our resources, should be our goal in giving, members are encouraged each year to increase their giving by at least by 1%.
- Will we still have offering envelopes? Yes. Members who wish to continue to use their regular offering envelopes with checks or cash will be able to do so. Members who have opted for e-giving can just check the box “giving electronically” on the front of their offering envelopes.
- What do I put in the offering plate each Sunday if I don’t have an offering envelope? You will have a laminated card indicating that “I have given electronically.” These will be available in the Narthex. Just pick one up as you enter the sanctuary.
- What does it cost? There is a minimal charge for this service which will be assumed by the church. However the increase in giving will significantly outweigh the cost of this program.
- Can I use my credit card? Procedures for Credit Card Giving are forthcoming.
- What are the benefits of “e-giving”? It provides a convenient, worry-free way to manage your own regular giving online. You can also easily arrange for special donations to specific ministries such as the Food Pantry or Emma’s Backpack. For St. Timothy, it greatly enhances our financial stewardship by providing consistency in weekly offerings
Further questions about this new electronic alternative for giving? Please see Pastor David or Rick Corliss.
1. The Beginnings of American Stewardship 1890 – 1918
- This first period linked stewardship with law and connected it with the tithe.
- Churches were not supported by taxes and needed to find their own way of gathering funds.
- Early methods of fundraising included renting or selling pew space, subscription lists, church suppers, church socials, raffles and lotteries.
- Special collections were taken in support of missions in the rapidly expanding West and for other parts of the world.
- At the turn of the century, envelope giving offered privacy.
2. The Flowering of Stewardship 1945 – 1965
- The second period connected stewardship with the Gospel and began to see money as only a part of a broader understanding of stewardship.
- After World War II, there was a religious boom. The United States entered an era of unprecedented and increasing affluence.
- American life was changed by suburbia, the interstate highway system, better automobiles and television.
- In contrast to the atheism of communist nations, Americans were “God-believing church goers”.
- A renewed interest in stewardship brought forth the three “T’s” – Time, Talent and Treasure.
- Denominational loyalty was strong. In 1957, 96% of Americans cited a specific religious affiliation.
3. The Globalization of Stewardship 1980 – present
- The current period links stewardship with the care of this world. It often does not mention money.
- A broader definition of stewardship includes a lifestyle of working for the environment, justice, peace and the integrity of creation.
- The word “stewardship” became more popular in secular circles than it was within the church.
- Christianity does not play as important a role in the establishment; secularization is taking over society.
- Focusing stewardship on just the finances of the church is not legitimate because the emphasis should be on the needs of the whole world.
- In the words of Douglas John Hall (1990),
“Now the church can assume its proper place as a servant to the world, rather than trying to maintain its own power and position within society. It has an opportunity to act as a steward (servant) and can now take stewardship seriously.”
- We are not masters living in a world that we own and control, but we rather are stewards of what has been entrusted to us.
- Christian stewardship is rooted in God’s gift of Jesus Christ to us, and we are entrusted with sharing this gift.
- Through God’s grace, we freely receive God’s gifts and have permission to use these gifts.
- Stewardship has to do with every aspect of living out personal faith, including creation, lifestyle, gifts, finances and callings/vocation.
- Churches are increasingly dependent on lay members to assume their rightful place of servant leadership, using their gifts to participate in God’s work in the world today.
- Item text 6
(This brief history is summarized from “A History of Stewardship” by Dr. William O. Avery of Gettysburg Seminary, and was published by the Lutheran Laity Ministries for Stewardship)