October is stewardship season for many congregations. It is a time of creative letter writing as sessions align the request for pledges and tithes with budgetary needs and mission priorities. Before coming to Chicago as your presbytery executive, I did a short service in the Presbyterian Foundation. It was 10 months of learning about the various financial instruments that the Foundation offers. Most importantly I learned that the mission of the Foundation is to help congregations with anything related to stewardship.
The portal to the Foundation is its website Presbyterian Foundation. There is an abundance of information and resources on the website, but I recommend focusing on the tab, Stewardship Navigator. Stewardship Navigator is a tool used by churches for everything from annual campaigns to planned giving and narrative budgets. Once you are within Stewardship Navigator,I suggest focusing on the Stewardship Kit. This will take you to a webpage that has ideas for Solicitation Letters, Pledge Cards, and Thank You Cards. Your church can use these items as a guide or create actual documents through Stewardship Navigator.
All of this is a free service provided by the Foundation to PCUSA congregations. I find Stewardship Navigator to be invaluable for congregations. It can be used by every member of a stewardship committee. It will require a registration that is primarily used for statistical purposes by the Foundation. If you feel better speaking to a person than working on a website, Sherri Fink is the Ministry Relations Officer for the Foundation who serves our area. Her email is [email protected]. Her toll–free phone number is 866-710-5094. I’ve met with Sherri, and she is excited to reach out and serve congregations in the Presbytery of Chicago, no matter the size.
We are blessed by the resources of information and personnel in our denomination. When congregations and leaders use the free tools of the Foundation at their disposal to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are being the church that God has called into existence and the church that God sustains.