Open Hearts Open Hands - Stewardship Initiative

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Participate in Two Open Hands Open Hearts Wokshops

Take part in these no-cost workshops that are open to the entire synod.  Members of congregations that have completed the Open Hands Open Hearts online assessment are invited to a free lunch event after the workshop.

Teaching Generosity and Stewardship in Worship 
Presenting and Dedicating the Offering

Online registration

Download flyer for event information.

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 E. 55th St.
Chicago, IL 60615

This event is being presented at no cost to everyone in the synod.

Register by Friday, March 13, 2015.

Members of congregations that have completed the Open Hands Open Hearts online assessment are invited to a free lunch event after the workshop

Lunch: 12:00 p.m – 1:30 p.m.

If registering for lunch, please register by Friday, March 6.

About the workshop: The offering is an important part of the service, integral to worship.

In the Hebrew scriptures, bringing first-fruits offerings was a central focus of worshipping Yahweh. In the book of Acts, sharing economic resources was part of the Jerusalem church’s core identity. Few contemporary church traditions maintain these understandings. Perhaps we are uncertain what to do with the offering because we have divided hearts. It’s tough to bring both of our gods into the same building on Sunday mornings.

Receiving an offering is not a necessary evil. It is a time for God’s people to declare their allegiance to and relationship with their maker. Receiving an offering allows the entire congregation to participate in worship. It is a weekly opportunity to declare love for God, to express appreciation for the blessings of God, and to hear yet again what Christians believe about money.

Instead of despairing what to do with the offering, let’s claim the opportunity. Learn how by attending this workshop.

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Teaching Generosity and Stewardship in Operations
Narrative Budgeting

Online registration

Download flyer for event information.

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Lutheran Center
8765 W. Higgins Rd.
Chicago, IL 60631

This event is being presented at no cost to everyone in the synod.

Register by Friday, March 20, 2015.

Members of congregations that have completed the Open Hands Open Hearts online assessment are invited to a free lunch event after the workshop

Lunch: 12:00 p.m – 1:30 p.m.

If registering for lunch, please register by Friday, March 18.

About the workshop: Teaching generosity through transparency in how we operate, what we say, and what we report is integral to a congregation’s operations. One way generosity is encouraged and taught is through a narrative budget or spending plan.

A narrative spending plan tells the story of how your congregation will live out its mission plan through worship, formation, proclamation, and community service for the upcoming year. Then throughout the year, narrative reporting does the same for describing what has happened in the year to date.

In writing a narrative spending plan – a story of the upcoming year – a congregation will estimate the costs of accomplishing their goals, and then spend money to make it happen rather than the leadership determining what the church needs to do and then asking members to fund it. In a narrative spending plan, staff salaries and building costs are divided among the various ministries of the congregational mission plan.

The advantages of a narrative spending plan are that it focuses on doing rather than maintaining. It connects people to the mission. It asks the staff to demonstrate the importance of each of their tasks to the congregation. And givers have a sense of funding mission, rather than paying salaries and maintaining a building.

Instead of despairing on how to create a narrative spending plan, let’s claim the opportunity and learn how by attending this workshop.

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 What is Open Hands Open Hearts?

The Open Hands Open Hearts stewardship initiative grows from the belief that a vital and
growing set of congregations requires fiscal strength and freedom driven by a generosity
overflowing from vital faith and spirituality. How else can we continue in the spirit of
Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; or Acts 16:9,10?

To help congregations create cultures of generosity we created an Open Hands Open
Hearts
website built around the six different settings where a congregation teaches
Generosity – Worship, Formation, Caregiving, Outreach, Leadership, and Operations.

The first step in participating is for a congregation to complete a Congregational Assessment. Once completed, the results of the assessment and a password are sent to the congregation. The password provides congregational leaders website access to an extensive menu of resources. This enables the congregation to develop a self-directed – yet strategic – systematic plan of action, including participation in a congregational peer cluster.

If you have any questions, contact Steve Homberg at shomberg@mcselca.org or 773-248-0021.

 
Page URL: http://www.mcselca.org/what/stewardship/ohoh.php