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Generosity – Energy!

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 1, 2013

When we live generously, the “E” stands for energy: an interior energy that comes from God, and the mutual energy of giving to and receiving from others as part of a faith community. The Greek word for energy means “effective activity.” It describes being vividly alive, productive and in active service. In the New Testament,…

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Generosity – Gratitude

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 1, 2013

When it comes to spelling out “Generosity” with our lives, the “G” is definitely gratitude. It’s easy to feel gratitude to God in this season of Epiphany, when we celebrate in worship all the ways God has shown God’s love to us, especially through Jesus Christ. But also in these quieter post-Christmas days, we can…

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Benefits of Giving and Generous-Hearted Living

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 1, 2012

When we give of ourselves in order to help someone else, something great happens – to the giver as well as to the receiver. That’s amazing! In Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Dr. Stephen Post refers to numerous scientific studies – meaning actually measurable changes – that show benefits to the giver’s level…

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Stewardship Sunday

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 1, 2011

Some churches across our denomination follow the tradition of Stewardship Sunday, which comes this year on November 14. Regardless of whether we are naturally timid or passionate about the subject, this Sunday invites us all to engage in life-giving talk about joyful, faithful stewardship and how we can nurture generous living. I say “living,” not…

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Mutuality and Thanksgiving

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 10, 2011

Thanksgiving is not a season. It’s an orientation of our minds and hearts that naturally flows into a lifestyle of generosity, of mutual giving and receiving. This week I had outstanding experiences with two groups of stewardship leaders. In both situations, our conversations and learning from one another began with gratitude and ended with expressions…

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Becoming Generous

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 22, 2011

“Yes, Scripture reminds us that God loves a cheerful giver. But how can we become generous, joyful givers?” This is the question that Yvonne Martinez Thorne asks in “A Practical View,” in the just-out 2011 issue of Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation magazine.1 Ah, this is a key question, isn’t it? Most of…

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Magnetic Fields

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 18, 2010

Christian community is not just a feel-good thing. Being committed to a body of believers, reaching out and supporting one another, are parts of our stewardship of the church itself. Participating in a faith community is not just a responsibility; it is a gift from God to be celebrated, received, and shared. “I was very…

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Nurturing Generous Living

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 1, 2010

Generosity is a matter of action, intentions and heart. One way to describe it is the grateful outpouring of gifts to others, out of our love for God. Outpouring is a terrific description, since the priceless treasure of the gospel (and all the gifts of covenant, relationship and life that go with it) comes from…

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