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FORTH: A Stewardship Development Program

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FORTH is a social networking program to help congregations grow a year round culture of spiritual generosity.

FORTH encourages a community of congregational leaders to create and share a diverse library of free web-based materials.

Welcome to our Forward Through the Ages (FORTH) home page. We are glad that you found us!

Some of the healthiest Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations focus more on stewardship than fundraising. While fundraising refers to money-raising efforts, stewardship is an attitude that is reflected in all of the congregation's efforts. As noted in chapter one of Beyond Fundraising: A Complete Guide to Congregational Stewardship, fundraising emphasized the need of the recipient; stewardship addresses people's spiritual need to give.

A demonstration project, with seven participating congregations, was conducted from 2007 through 2011. The FORTH report summarizes that project and lists FORTH best practices. FORTH: A Stewardship Development Program is based upon those best practices.

FORTH is a stewardship development program to help Unitarian Universalist congregations grow a year round culture of stewardship. Please see our FORTH Video Introduction that can be shared with the rest of your congregational leaders. When a congregational leader (lay leader or professional religious leader) completes the FORTH Congregational Stewardship Self-Assessment, the following materials become available:

  • Suggested Year Round Calendar
  • Recommended Stewardship Language
  • Sample Stewardship Team Job Description
  • Recommended Stewardship Team Formation and Charge
  • Stewardship Information and Ideas
  • Sample Organizational Charts
  • Annotated Bibliography (currently more than 100 items)
  • Operational Support for Effective Stewardship
  • Suggested Four-Year Activities

In addition, we have created FORTH Partners, an interactive community of congregational leaders who meet online, on the phone, and sometimes in person. FORTH Partners are dedicated to learning and growing together in the knowledge and practice of stewardship. They use a suggested four-year stewardship development program and contribute to an ever-growing library of web-based materials.

To become a FORTH Partner congregation, five leaders (lay and/or professional religious leaders) must complete the FORTH Stewardship Self-Assessment. In addition to all of the resources listed above, FORTH Partners then have access to the following free FORTH web resources:

  • Closed Facebook group
  • Regularly scheduled conference calls
  • Occasional webinars hosted by UUA congregational stewardship consultants
  • Updates distributed through Constant Contact

Contributors to FORTH: A Stewardship Development Program

Demonstration Sites

  • UU Church of Asheville, NC: Michael Vavrek
  • UU Fellowship of Boca Raton, FL: Erika Venable and Reverend Harris Riordan
  • Valley UU Church, Chandler, AZ: Ali Bellerson and Linda Horton
  • All Souls Community Church, Grand Rapids, MI: Jackie Vines
  • UU Congregation of Milford, New Hampshire: Ginny Kemp
  • UU Church of Vancouver, WA: Brian Willoughby and Chris Smith
  • All Souls Unitarian Church, Washington, DC: Janet Randolph, Jody Feldman and Phyllis Caldwell

Stewardship Consultants
Kay Crider, Carole Czujko, Mark Ewert, Barry Finkelstein, Mary Gleason, Reverend Tricia Hart, Tamsin Kemos, Frankie Price-Stern, Dave Rickard, Aggie Sweeney, Larry Wheeler.

Task Force Members

  • Jeanelyse Adams: UUA Pacific Central District, Director of Program Development
  • Mark Ewert: Congregational Stewardship consultant and FORTH project coordinator
  • Barry Finkelstein: Congregational Stewardship consultant
  • Mary Gleason: Congregational Stewardship consultant
  • Sean Hale: Executive Director, First UU Church of Austin, TX
  • Bob Hood: lay leader, UU Fellowship of Chico, CA
  • Reverend Matthew Johnson-Doyle: Senior Minister, UU Church of Rockford, IL
  • Reverend Sue Phillips: District Executive, UUA Clara Barton & Mass Bay Districts
  • Chris Smith: FORTH Demonstration Site Contact, UU Church of Vancouver, WA

FORTH Support Services

For more information contact forth @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Monday, July 8, 2013.

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FORTH Roadmap with Wayne Clark, Director of Congregational Stewardship Services.


FORTH Origins with Wayne Clark and Mark Ewert.


What congregations might expect from launching a FORTH Stewardship Development program with Wayne Clark and Mark Ewert.

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