July 29-31, 2013
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.

Course PresentationS

Grounding the Conversation: Stewardship and Young Adults
Grace Duddy and Charles Lane

What do you mean by stewardship? Chick and Grace will begin the conference by grounding the conversation in biblical stewardship. They will then set the table for the following presentations by introducing the Millennials and Generation Xers with data and stories from young adults in congregations.

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View Grace's Research Questions


The Money Journey of Generation X and the Millennials: The Impact of the Culture (Keynote Part 1)
Nathan Dungan

The money habits and values of the Millennial Generation have been influenced by the consumer culture in ways that are almost beyond comprehension. In fact, no other generation has experienced, since birth, the nonstop barrage of marketing messages like the Millennial Generation. In this interactive learning experience Nathan Dungan, president and founder of Share Save Spend, will shed light on how the consumer culture is shaping their money narrative and impacting their financial wellbeing.

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The Money Journey of Generation X and the Millennials: Equipping Them for the Future (Keynote Part 2)
Nathan Dungan

As with every challenging situation, there are also opportunities. Nathan will offer practical and actionable ideas for congregations to engage, educate and equip this generation for a lifetime of financial health and success.

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God Rules?: Cultivating Biblical Imagination in a Culture of Possession and Paradox
Eric Barreto and Cameron Howard

We live in a culture that mistrusts authority and institutions yet longs for meaning and wholeness. In this session we will explore strategies for reading Scripture that acknowledge its diverse voices and many interpretations while affirming its authoritative witness. How might Scripture form a way of life that embraces God's creation and reign? More specifically, how might these ancient stories breathe life into the spiritual walk of young adults living in a culture saturated with consumerism?

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Yesterday and Today: Generational Differences from Pastors' Perspectives
Ben Cieslik and Chris Nelson

Adults under 40 have grown up in a different world than previous generations.  New technologies have changed how they relate to the people around them, and have impacted just about every aspect of their lives, including how they think and act about giving. Two pastors from Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis – one under 40 (Ben Cieslik), one over 40 (Chris Nelson) – will think with us about how these generational differences are impacting congregational life, especially in the area of stewardship.

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An Adaptive Shift: Stepping Away From Programs and Into Conversation
Grace Duddy and Charles Lane

Engaging young adults on their journey to living grateful, generous lives requires an adaptive shift in the way that we think about stewardship. Instead of creating new programs, we need to stop and have conversations with these adults so that we can learn from their experiences and imagine together new solutions. Chick and Grace will use the distinction between technical and adaptive change, the tools of design thinking, as well as Grace's congregational research with young adults to illustrate the importance of suspending assumptions and starting conversations with young adults.

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View Grace's Research Questions


The ‘M’ Word – Just Say It!
Melissa Reed

Can you think of an area of your life that the "m" word does not touch? So, why don't we talk about it? Might our faith have something to say about it?!  Might our faith have something to do with it?!  Melissa will share about how Leaven Project, a community in Portland, OR among whom the everyday-real-life-questions are the spiritual questions, is discovering God active to bring new life through conversations about...MONEY!  See, now that wasn't too hard.  

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Grace in the Asking: Planned Giving with a New Twist
Sara Yotter

Connecting people to Jesus through their generosity takes on a new twists for those who are 40 and under in the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.  Through trial and error the congregations of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin have begun asking Millennials and GenXers to prayerfully consider a planned gift.  These conversations are happening at key transition times when the congregations are already connecting with them.  Additional work in this synod initiative has been with donor circles, a farmers' market initiative, a future brewery and other out of the box generosity opportunities attractive to this age demographic.

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Talk to Us About Money, Please!: A New Community’s Experience with Taking Money Seriously
Greg Meyer 

There are a lot of myths about money, churches and younger generations that need to be unlearned. Money isn’t a problem, it’s an opportunity. It isn’t what people don’t want to hear about, it’s what they need to learn about. Jacob’s Well set out to be financially fully supported by its crowd of mostly 20, 30 and 40 year-olds “who don’t like church” and they’ve done it. One way is by taking time to teach people how to have their money serve them instead of the other way around, and by setting the goal of everyone in the community having a budget they can live on.

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From Fear to Good News: Learning Together How Not to Be Afraid of Money
Deb Stehlin

Hear how a congregation filled with struggling young adults came together as to move from isolation and fear to community and trust. The Church has a message of really good news about Jesus. Could this good news extend to our life with money, too? What if your church became known as the go-to place for not only spiritual wholeness but also financial wellness?

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View the Vibrant Stewardship Congregations Project Survey Questions and Interview Questions



New Ideas, New Media, New Moves
Adam Copeland

Copeland’s presentation promises not to wrap-up the entire consultation with a gorgeous bow. Neither will it send you out with simple talking points sure to raise millions from 20/30-somethings this fall. His presentation will, however, draw out ideas from the entire consultation, leaning on discoveries in new media and digital religion, all supported by Copeland’s experience as a mission developer with young adults.

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Electronic Giving
Grace Duddy

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