The Center for Faith and Giving is pleased to make available to you, FREE OF CHARGE, our entire library of annual campaigns, all of which are designed to invite the people in your congregation to support, with their monetary gifts, the work God has called your church to do. These resources contain campaign guidance to walk you through each step toward a successful commitment Sunday. With materials written by real practitioners for preaching, bible study, worship, children, and team leaders you are assured a quality experience for your church. All of the resources come with theme art and templates for bulletins, commitment cards, letterhead, and more. Some include graphics for projection in worship.
Why offer these for free? Because our mission is to create a culture of generosity across the life of the church! Given what congregations have experienced since the outbreak of Covid-19 and all of the challenges that have followed, we want to help churches live out their vision. We don’t believe cost should be an issue in getting the tools you need to achieve success. Of course, we are happy to receive your donations that express your gratitude for the use of the materials – but only if you want to, not because you have to!
To access any of the campaigns, simply click on the “button” labeled “Access the Materials”. This link will take you to a Dropbox folder where you can review the resources and download the elements that you want to utilize for your congregation. The suggested donation for most material is $50, but that’s just a suggestion!
Created to Be a Steward
2020) was quite a year! A global pandemic, civil unrest, and a sense that the United States of America was a country deeply divided were constantly in front of us. We didn’t worship together in many congregations for months – some have yet to return to their sanctuaries that they left last March.
Some congregations will discover they have lost members, community influence, and financial resources. The people who once occupied our pews may decide they prefer to worship, at least part of the time, from home. Relationships, which depend on contact and interaction, will have changed, impacting youth groups, Sunday school classes, and social circles. All of this is to say that financial stewardship in this environment is going to continue to be a challenge.
To meet these changing circumstances, the Center for Faith and Giving determined that “business as usual” for resourcing stewardship was simply not going to work.
From Bread and Wine
to Faith and Giving
This is our first “campaign” resource, created in 2014 and designed to give a perspective on stewardship from the view of each Gospel writer (The Book of Acts represents Luke’s contribution). The focus is on the Table that binds us together with God and one another. The four-week journey written by Ron Allen, Tanya Tyler, and Bruce Barkhauer includes bible study, detailed worship materials, excellent sermon preparation resources, and a basic map to support a program ending in an invitation to make a financial commitment to the mission and ministry of the church. (Suggested donation for this resource is $25 since it is an abbreviated resource.)
Based on texts that appear throughout Year A of the three-year Revised Common Lectionary cycle, Journey to Generosity provides detailed information about conducting a year-round stewardship emphasis with three alternative designs for spring, fall, or a hybrid of all-year scheduled conversations. As with our other resources, excellent sermon preparation material is included from Ron Allen. Other contributors, representative of some of the best leadership in the Disciples of Christ, provide reflections for children’s sermons, bible studies, and methods of engagement. Bruce Barkhauer provides guidance for achieving success on Commitment Sunday.
Measuring What Matters
Revised Common Lectionary Cycle Year B is the source for the texts and theological construction of this material. Again, beloved teacher and Gospel proclaimer extraordinaire Ron Allen sets the tone with information about the texts we encounter here as a way to prepare the preacher for the Sunday Sermon. How to run an effective stewardship emphasis is handled by Bruce Barkhauer, and Tanya Tyler provides bible study/small group materials to get your people talking about generosity! The main theme is discipleship and this material delivers. Extra bonus resources talk about generational giving, electronic giving, and using social media. As with Journey to Generosity and Measuring What Matters, our hope is for a year-round emphasis, but other options are provided for spring, fall, and hybrid campaigns.
Go and Do the Same
Year C in the lectionary cycle means that we close out our partnership with Rev. Dr. Ron Allen as the source of the preaching resources. He graciously agreed to offer three years of excellent material to prepare the preacher for critical moment of proclaiming the gospel in the light of the demand for the faithful practice of stewardship. His love and passion for the gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, which are the featured readings of Year C, are more than evident. The focus is on action – “doing” as a part of the response to the Good News, remembering Jesus’ words in the parable of the Good Samaritan “Go and do the same.” Bible study/small group materials, worship resources, children’s sermons, and an easy to follow atlas for moving a campaign forward are all included, authored by some of the church’s finest leaders. As with Journey to Generosity and Measuring What Matters, while year-round emphasis is the goal, hybrid options are provided.
What Shall We Bring?
This offering represents a year of experimentation with our resources. After a three-year commitment to the traditional lectionary, we opted here to use the narrative lectionary (as presented in 2018) as a pathway into deeper discussions about generosity. Our testing new ideas included having multiple writers offer not just the small group studies, but also access to explore the biblical texts and theological possibilities with the freedom to use their own formatting rather than conforming to a single templet. Additionally, we partnered with the United Church of Christ which provided a savory note to our reflections on social justice and its relationship to stewardship. Our major contributors represented a diverse chorus of voices through age, race, culture, and orientation. Some members of that choir included Leah Laird, Tim Trussel-Smith, Jennifer Mills Knudtsen, Lee Hull Moses, Douglas Ann Cartwright, Allison Lanza, Daphne Gascot Aries, and Cara Gilger. As you might expect, all the resources for campaign development are included.
Devoted to Generosity
These materials represent our growth with ecumenical partners. Designed cooperatively with the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, we expanded our reach and drew from a deeper well. For Disciples, the names Frank Thomas and Richard Lowery will be familiar and Devoted to Generosity allowed us to share these treasured teachers and leaders with a wider audience. Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary provided the canvas and Drs. Lowery and Thomas took to painting the First and Second Testament texts respectively. The exegesis and preparation for the preacher are worth the exploration here all by themselves. Add worship materials from Suzanne Castle (another noted Disciple!) and children’s sermons and bible studies from a cast of ecumenical stewardship experts and this is hard to beat. As before, Bruce Barkhauer provides guidance for the leadership teams so whether you take the year-round route, the spring or fall junket, or try the hybrid alternative trail, arrival on commitment Sunday will be a celebration.
Faithful Hopeful Loving
A successful partnership leads to a second chance to work with the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and to draw ideas and talent from across “Traditional” lines. It also gave us the chance to feature and share more Disciples as we called upon Lisa Davison and Stephanie Crowder to do the heavy lift on bible and theology for First and Second Testament texts with Nashville superstar Andra Moran to craft the worship experiences. Again, an all-star cast of stewardship experts guide small group discussion materials, and ways to involve children add up to make for a Year A lectionary-related commitment Sunday home run.