Inspiring Generosity


And the Winner Is…

                             Who's the winner? Can't wait to find out!

Remember a few weeks ago when I said that my first ambition in life was to win an Academy Award? Well, ladies and gentlemen, my wish came true. Yes, last week I was at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. It was there that I received my Academy Award (and got to hold all eight and a half pounds of old Oscar himself). Clearly, the category was for Best Actress. I’m serious…Meryl Streep, watch out. Don’t believe I got the Oscar? See it with your very own eyes. And, BTW, I’m thanking you.
The timing of my visit to this glorious museum seems prescient for two reasons: Last week was the first full week that Oregon lifted its COVID mask mandate and this Sunday, the 94th Academy Awards are being held.
So, why not celebrate both? I’ve been thinking about the good things that have come out of the pandemic because, seriously, you have to look for that ray of sunshine.

And the winner is…
Spelling! How do you spell the disease that has been plaguing us these past two years? Is it COVID? Covid? COVID-19? Covid-19? For once, it’s OK to go with the flow and do what feels right. Spellcheck doesn’t care. What's next for acceptable multiple spellings? Their, there, they’re? Thank you, English language.
Online Giving! If you didn’t have a way for people to give via their computer or phone prior to March 2020, you sure as heck had to figure it out. PayPal, Vanco, and all the other online proprietors must have been thrilled with the business. And so were people who like to give in this way. Hooray for you - you have now made it easier to give gifts to fund your fabulous ministries.
Streaming and Online Worship! When churches had to stop in-person worship for months on end, what was the solution? Move it to the internet, of course. And pastors all over the land said, “Umm, how do we do that?” Within a few weeks, a majority of you figured it out and gave people the Word and hope. You are now set for the future because online and streaming is here to stay.
Zoom! Did anyone ever expect that decent meetings could be had while watching a computer screen? How about effective learning? How about being able to develop community? And Zoom meetings have helped the environment by limiting how much we needlessly drive to meetings. Still, you have to mind your manners (and remember when your camera is on). Remind me to tell you about the sweet old lady who chugged white wine – straight from the bottle – during a meeting in front of 270 participants. It was kind of memorable.
You! Did you ever think that you’d come to hate the word “pivot”? But that is what you did marvelously during these past two years. You have conquered the internet. Kept your congregations going. Loved your neighbors. Fought for justice. You have survived and, in some cases, thrived. Hallelujah. Way to go!
And there’s the list. I’m sorry you didn’t get the red-carpet treatment like I did because surely you deserve it far more than me. Maybe this Sunday, don your Academy finest and revel in where you’ve been these past two years and dream about where the Lord is calling you for the next chapter in your ministry. And…accept your Award proudly.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. For 25 years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she has helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. There were so many amazing things to see at the Museum. Here are two of her favorites: the tin can from the Wizard of Oz and Sidney Poitier’s 1963 Academy Award. You can reach Cesie at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.