woman raising hands beneath sunlit sky

Faithful Steward Award

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 6, 2010

What does it look like to be a faithful steward congregation, and how can we encourage and measure growth in our stewardship as a community of faith? The United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina has come up with a way to assess and recognize great stewarding behaviors. This year, they launched the Faithful Steward…

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Enough: Discovering Joy, Simplicity, Generosity

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 29, 2010

In an intriguing article from Luther Seminary’s e-newsletter, Stewardship for the 21st Century, Linda Rozumalski writes about “the theology of enough.” Practicing this theology counteracts the attitude of acquisition, she says, and breaks the illusion that we own and control our lives and the things that we have. One way to develop this “theology 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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Ideas for Stewardship among Young Adults

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 23, 2010

1. Know who young adults are. Pay attention to them. Ask. Listen. Be willing to change, do differently 2. What motivates young adults? 3. Do we acknowledge “first gift”/commitment? 4. What is the mission of the church? How are resources devoted to achieving the mission? 5. Jesus did not ask for $ too often but…

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First Fruits Living

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 10, 2010

Okay, so our financial lives have been stretched greatly in this worldwide recession – and some people a whole lot more than others. But here’s one lesson hopefully all of us have learned: Whatever money we do have, we can choose to put it on God’s priorities instead of into greedy speculation, tight-fisted hoarding, or…

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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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Faith and Work

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 15, 2010

For Christians who work in professions that are not automatically labeled as ministry, sometimes it can feel as if there’s a gap between what we do on Sunday and what we do on our work days the rest of the week. But that’s not so at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PC) in New York City, where…

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Nine Ways We Change the World

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 1, 2007

Table Reflection Questions: Stewarding God’s Multifaceted Grace            1 Peter 4:10-11 Choose any of the following questions to spark your reflection together at your table: 1. Recall a time when your presence, words or actions were a gift to someone. 2. How can you live as a steward of the “precious jewel” of God’s…

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How Churches Can Increase Shared Ministries

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 1, 2007

+ Highlight one Apportionment category in worship on the second Sunday of each month, with a special offering for that ministry. Publicize beforehand in church newsletter, bulletin, and bulletin board. Emphasize the 4 Annual Conference Apportionments over four months, the 2 Jurisdictional Apportionments together one month, and the 7 General Church Apportionments over 7 months.…

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A Wesleyan Perspective on Christian Stewardship

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 1, 2003

Introduction Stewardship is at the heart of the Wesleyan revival, and John Wesley considered it an integral component of Christian discipleship. Careful reading of Wesley will demonstrate that he had much more to say about the necessity of stewardship in the Christian life than “a heart warming experience.” Stewardship was a consistent theme of his…

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