Update filed in July 2014 by Jenny Mason
With just 8 months under my belt at Light of the World (LOTW), I’ll do my best to report.
We continue to be a congregation that talks openly about money. Our TGIF (Trusting God in Finances) group that met regularly as something of a support group for families who were struggling financially through the recession, was recently restarted as we have several families dealing with the long-term effects of the recession. This group meets monthly, and we have begun conversations with a larger neighboring Lutheran church to help them start a similar group (possibly meeting at their site, sharing a meal together, and then going into separate meetings.)
We are also getting ready to have 9 of our members go through an 8-hour training session to serve as Financial Coaches. We’re very excited about this.
And, it was fairly easy for me, with all the good work done in the area of Vibrant Stewardship before at LOTW, to come in as a new pastor, get a really great team together, and begin leading the congregation again as we consider what stewardship means and how we practice it. We did a series of weekly testimonies in worship throughout Lent, and right after Easter, held our very first Promise Sunday. This was a time to recommit ourselves to a financial promise to give, and from those families who participated, we received a 20% bump in giving.
Our Vibrant Stewardship team is now planning for a year-round emphasis in giving, and we’re practicing a model of “Thank, Tell, Ask, Thank, etc.”