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1006 UUU - Stewardship in Right Relations: From Trial to Transformation
Governance for Congregations, Leadership Development

Presenters: The Rev. Jeanne Pupke and Cecelia Kingman Miller

Lay leaders who are interested in and charged with managing the financial life of their congregation or district learned about the language of generosity and gained an improved understanding of effective stewardship in this dynamic workshop. We learned that stewardship is not fundraising, but is one of the core ministries of the church; stewardship cannot and should not be isolated into an embarrassed or shame-filled corner of the church. A distinction between 'Mammon' outside the church and 'God' inside, or between the Sacred and the Profane at the same boundary, is false, divisive and debilitating of the ability to effectively implement the church's role in the community.

Creating and sustaining integrated stewardship is, in many ways, about a congregation's perspectives on money, its power, and the best way to manage it.

For one perspective, there are six lenses through which every stewardship program is viewed and controlled. Evaluating and improving the attitudes and methods we hold and employ in each of these lenses is one effective means of creating dynamic change:

  • Economic - We are part of the larger economic world, both as individuals and as congregations;
  • Socio-Psychological - What attitude do we have toward the power that congregational assets have, and that we think they should have?
  • Theological - What obligations do we believe we have toward congregational assets and their management as part of our faith?
  • Financial - These are assets and we should manage them with fiduciary integrity, but what does that mean - what is Socially Responsible Investing, for example?
  • Ecclesialogical - UUs are devoutly congregational, so what is our congregation's vision of the best use of our assets?
  • Pastoral - Is our minister "hands off" with money or does he or she help with directing and encouraging the wise gathering, management and expenditure of assets?

For successfully examining and improving any group's stewardship of its assets, there must be a developmental pathway that will compare and contrast

  • Here and Now vs. There and Then;

that will develop

  • Planning Pathways;

and that will assess the need to deal with

  • Generational Thinking

within the congregation, and identify ways to do that effectively.

This workshop also covered:

  • The form of the Stewardship Ministry - Is it a committee, a lay ministry team, or a lay-pastoral collaboration?
  • Effective Teambuilding through shared reflection, service, education and worship.
  • Profiling your congregation using the models and techniques discussed above.
  • Resources on great canvasses, plus a bibliography of valuable resources to help with this work.

Our homework:

  1. Identify the one thing in your present stewardship ministry that most needs to be to be changed - even abolished;
  2. Write a name next to that item - the name of the first person you are going to call to help you do this - your first ally.

The presenters:

The Rev. Jeanne Pupke comes to the ministry following a successful executive career in the coffee and automotive industries. She is a specialist in stewardship and growth, and has served as a consulting minister in Bend , OR , and as Growth Minister to the Pacific Northwest District. Starting this fall she will be the Senior Minister of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, VA.

Cecilia Kingman Miller is a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry and is a candidate for our ministry. For the last seven years she has provided stewardship and fundraising consultation to congregations and non-profits, as well as serving as Director of Stewardship at First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR. She is currently serving Wy'east UU Congregation in Portland as a special consultant for growth.