Theology of Stewardship

Quino Al Color hands signing pot

A Cycle of Grace

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 6, 2020

Written for Voices and Silences, 2003 Grace, Giftedness, Giving and Growth – these four words, from Clif Christopher and Herb Mather’s book, Holy Smoke!, prompted me to reflect on these themes in my life. For me, they flow in a cycle, a deepening spiral, which begins and ends with God’s grace. From God’s side, it’s…

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Foundation Statement on Stewardship

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 5, 2020

Written for the General Board of Discipleship, The United Methodist Church, 2010 Stewardship is whatever we do with what God has entrusted to us by the way that we live. In response to God’s outpouring love and covenant faithfulness, we live out of God’s abundance instead of the illusion of scarcity thinking. We seek to…

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Our Identity in Christ

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 18, 2020

What Jesus said and did in the Gospels are signs of who he is. But how do we apply that to who we are in Christ? Where else can we turn to find additional guidance about who we are because of Christ’s work in our lives? Colossians 3:8-17 can help us see the shape of…

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Autumn: Why and Now

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | September 23, 2019

This is the first week of fall, and I’m beginning to see the signs. When I lived in Europe, the seasons changed dramatically from one day to the next, and they certainly do in other parts of this nation and the world. But in Northern California it’s usually a more subtle change. The night temperature…

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GGS Study With a Financial Commitment Program

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 23, 2019

Using the Growing Generous Souls Study With a Financial Commitment Program The Growing Generous Souls study can offer a substantive exploration of stewardship within which to place your church’s financial commitment program this year. Instead of isolating and emphasizing financial giving by itself, church members can explore generosity as a way of living with their…

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Freedom from Fear

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 5, 2019

Freedom from fear is not an esoteric neverland. Some of us – maybe most of us – have seen it in a person’s action or life at some time. A rescuer saves a child from a fire or flood. A wartime buddy aids a soldier, or a stranger helps someone stranded by the road. A…

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Rooted, Grounded, Grateful

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 29, 2019

A sense of belonging is essential. Even for our “I Did It My Way” culture, almost all of us need to have a feeling of connection with others, that we’re not out in life all alone. More than that, most of us need to know that we come from somewhere, that our personal history has…

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Saints and the Search for Moral Presence

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 1, 2018

Today is All Saints Day, so it’s appropriate to think about the saints in our lives and world. These days, every day seems to be the opposite of saintly: national brink-of-war tactics, political partisan diatribes, hate crimes, and horrendous violence. So maybe All Saints Day is really important right now, whether we ascribe to official…

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Breathing in the Image of God

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 15, 2018

In my latest book, Growing Generous Souls (soon to be published), I wrote about ways we can grow increasingly into “the image of God.” God sees us, not just how we have been or are now, but how we can become more radiant with God’s love, both within who we are and in our relationships…

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John Wesley’s Creation Theology

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 8, 2018

The four sources of authority for John Wesley – Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience – have long been an important decision-making guideline for me. As a lifelong camper, I’ve tended to see this “quadrilateral” as the four corners of a tent with the crossbar of Jesus Christ holding them together in the center. Some people’s…

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