Stewardship is the intentional care of the resources given by God for God’s Kingdom. Stewardship includes care of financial, human, and creation resources. In the Florida-Bahamas Synod, a renewed attention to financial stewardship is beginning with a desire to strengthen the partnership and participation of ministries, leaders, and congregations in the shared work of mission.
Stewardship in the Florida-Bahamas Synod: where does our mission support go?
46% of mission support dollars are sent to the ELCA Churchwide office as our mission support to the churchwide expression
43% of mission support dollars go to Partners and Programs (this includes grants for new ministries, Assemblies and events, NovusWay, Region 9, and more)
11% of mission support dollars are spent on administration
Bishop Suarez offers a word of ‘thanks’ and shares about the impact of generosity on mission and ministry.
The Florida-Bahamas Synod remains committed to growing Stewardship and is again offering Stewardship for All Seasons (SAS). This program helps you grow stewardship money for your congregation to increase giving and additional money for mission growth. As we work together to bring Bishop Suarez’s vision for Vitality into our congregations and the Synod, SAS will guide us through face-to-face sessions and continued support.
We have started our second round of Stewardship for All Seasons in Florida with the Synod setting aside $40,000 for first and second-year participants. Currently, the average increase in giving is 10-20%. Every church that has been involved has seen results over and well-above the initial investment cost of the program. Churches that currently have solid giving will see increased giving. Churches that struggle with giving, cannot afford to miss participating in this program.
In North Carolina, Stewardship for All Seasons is in its third year with 26 churches participating. In 2018, they have giving at 1.1 million. By building on the culture of stewardship, they have had measurable success from the dynamics of the program.
We welcome you to join us in our learning journey with Stewardship for All Seasons. To join, or learn more, please review the material below. To apply for a $2000 grant towards this program, please fill out the covenant and grant application then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 24, 2019.
We look forward to having you join us in our learning journey and to share the story of your congregation. Certainly, God is up to something good in Florida.
Check back for information about Financial Peace University and opportunities for rostered ministers in their first call to receive assistance towards debt reduction.
Check back for information about how LSS MN (Lutheran Social Services Minnesota) can help with financial counseling.
Who can I talk to about Stewardship in my congregation/context?
The Stewardship Table will work with the DEM’s to develop a synod strategy to create a culture of generosity in the Florida Bahamas Synod. As the chair of the Stewardship Table, Tom O’Reilly is available for conversation, coaching, and resourcing around all aspects of financial stewardship in your congregation. You may contact Tom at: email@example.com
Other members of the Stewardship Table will be listed soon.
Stewardship Stories from the Florida-Bahamas Synod
Watch here for stories and examples of stewardship ministry throughout the synod.
- Stewardship for All Seasons — a stewardship training and coaching program and resource
- ELCA Stewardship Resources — a variety of stewardship resources available from the ELCA (including the StewardNet newsletter)
- Biblical Stewardship: Our Duty and Delight, by Dr. Mark Allan Powell — this DVD-based series can be used as a small group study or as the basis for a congregational campaign
- Stewardship of Life Institute — a variety of reflections and resources about stewardship
- Leaving a Legacy of Ministry & Mission: A Resource for the Closing of a Congregation
- Guide for developing a narrative budget — this guide walks you through the process for developing a budget that tells the story of God’s faithfulness and vision in your context
The vision of the Stewardship Table of the Florida Bahamas Synod is to invest in, inspire and equip steward leaders and congregations, creating a culture of generosity for the sake of God’s mission.