LOOKING AHEAD AND BEING MINDFUL
About 34 people in attendance.
Kevin Curtis presented on behalf of the Finance Committee.
The idea for this meeting came out of the Finance Committee.
The focus of the discussion today: how we can consider stewardship in the context or lens of what the United Church of Canada says about stewardship.
Today is the initial discussion,
to seek thoughts on other perspectives of stewardship – beyond asking people to commit more money
There will be more discussions to come over the next months.
UCC: stewardship is everything we think, say and do after we say “I believe”
- Who is helping out; what are we doing?
- How are we expressing stewardship to young people?
- How is stewardship being expressed spiritually?
- How do we learn, practise stewardship?
- What makes our church an engaging, compelling place to worship such that people want to come to church?
If people are comfortable with the church, they will participate — with time and money.
UCC’s best practices:
1. Be clear about our mission, as set out in the New Creed – What we believe, what we practise
2. Every person ask: What can you give to this congregation? – Have you thought about what you can do for this congregation?
3. Weave stewardship into learning, worship, practice so that stewardship becomes second nature.
4. Use a narrative budget as a way to inspire generosity.
- Instead of doing a line budget — tell a story about each line in the budget – where is the money going, how is it being used, why is it going there
- Use of a narrative budget will bring the use of the church building by outside organizations into the discussion – to justify items in the budget
- A narrative budget also provides information about use of church
5. It is important to say “thank you”!
- We could add “hello” and “welcome”
What do we do well in the context of stewardship
- We do meals well!
- The success of the lunches
- Supporting outside groups
- Sunday school
- Taking notice of people with disabilities — eg. hearing, wheelchair, walkers spots are used more often
- Food was a popular item under this heading
- Friendly greeters; friendship
- A well-kept building
- The postlude
- Gather and gab
- Rev. Chris’ engagement with children
- A good library
- Reel Theology
- Games night
- We make all feel welcome
- Special Gifts Fund
- Good leadership on board, committees, Mission and Service
- Stability in pulpit
- Kenya project
- Cookie walk
- Garage sale
- The activity bags for children in church
What can we do better in the context of stewardship?
- Thank and recognize the volunteers
- Promote church activities
- Advertise more
- Think ahead – send people home with something and then get together to discuss
- Get new people engaged in helping
- To avoid the usual group from being overused
- Keep to 60-minute service – do announcements ahead of service
- Increase the church’s visibility in the community
- Promote activities more — eg Facebook workshop
- Promote website more
- Increase membership
- Start after school programs, vacation Bible school – to encourage young people to come
- Inform the congregation about the costs of running the church
- Find out what other congregations are doing and ‘steal’ their ideas
- Gather new members together for a potluck to let them know what goes on here
- Have a bulletin board of activities
- Include a thank you note with the income tax receipts
- Line up more volunteers to visit shut-ins
- Increase the number of spots in the sanctuary for wheelchairs, walkers
- Musical instruments at the back of the church for the children to use during the service
- Have volunteers to deliver the newsletter and make that delivery a pastoral visit
- Do research on the demographics for the church – to encourage activities to bring other groups in
- Keep teenagers engaged after confirmation
In this type of discussion, the wish list can exceed the resources available — we need to match those.
How do we communicate the results of this discussion and stewardship in general to the congregation
- Hong’s announcements about this meeting is an example of communication done well
- How do we get others who are not in the church involved.
- Talk about these things at Gather and Gab.
- Use free advertising in community newspapers.
- Prepare a flow chart of how the church operates – information about who to direct questions to.
- Advertise the suggestion box.
- Do we need more board meetings during the year?
- Relate this discussion and stewardship to the children.
How do we go forward with this?
- We need to make stewardship important to the congregation
- Bring stewardship into casual conversation
- Put a summary of this meeting out to the congregation – website, newsletter, bulletin
- Add contact information – eg. if you want to know more about this, then contact …
- Valerie to send this summary to Jan who will put it up
- What are the next steps in this process?
- We have to go beyond what we know well to figure out the next approach.
- Thank you so much for coming
- There is an excellent article in the UCC Observer: “That Evangelical Sizzle” You can read it here.