Here it is! Your 2021 Stewardship Calendar
I’ll admit it. This blog post is a little late today because I have been watching TV all morning. Like most of you, I wasn’t watching just any TV show – I was witnessing the resiliency of our American spirit and of our democracy. Lord knows, we have a long way to go, but hearing the prayers, speeches, music (shout out to Lady Gaga), and poetry (Amanda Gorman for President 2036!) has filled me with – what emotion is that? – hope. Let us pray for this new beginning.
Last week I promised to “get back to business.” I do try to keep my promises. So, a little belatedly, I offer you your “2021 Stewardship Calendar.”
Trying to keep it to one page (it’s hard!), I've only added a few additional things to the calendar this year.
Two new items to do weekly:
1. Do one thing that scares you. You and I know that Eleanor Roosevelt actually said to do one thing every day that scares you – but, like working out, my suggestion is that you start once a week, write down what you did, and build up to that once-a-day challenge.
2. Talk to someone with a different perspective than yours. This idea was inspired by Rev. David Abbott, Director of Stewardship for the United Methodist Foundation of New England. After reading last week’s Inspiring Generosity post about “The Reckoning of My Identity,” David wanted to know how the Stewardship Calendar might look a little different as a result. While I added “talking to someone with a different perspective than yours,” I encourage you to incorporate some of these other ideas from David into your work (and to add more):
- Intentional prayer time for your neighbor
- Mission work in the neighborhood
- Talking with people who are different than yourself in a Bible study
All the discussion of attempting to unify our country will be deemed “cheap talk” if there is no action behind it.
The only other major addition in this year’s calendar is to incorporate messaging about legacy giving in honor of All Saints Day. These gifts left through wills, trusts, or bequests will impact your congregation for years to come. Be sure people in your congregation know that your congregation will honor saints’ lives by using legacy gifts wisely. Here’s an sample letter.
I am also assuming (but you know what they say about people who assume…) that you pray daily for your congregation. I have heard it time and again, that people who pray for their congregation and who send out gratitude letters – end up falling in love with their congregation even more. People are more generous if they feel loved.
And with that, your stewardship work commences (ha - that’s just a bad joke, I already know you’ve been working hard). Drop me an email and let me know if you would like to receive the 2021 Stewardship Calendar in a Word document to personalize it for your congregation. And, good news! You don’t have to do all the work. Be sure to delegate some of it to people who have generous hearts – and good organizational skills.
Three last things:
Joe Park of Horizons Stewardship recently wrote an article about the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for Church Executive magazine. I recommend it to you.
My post last week highlighted my fear about the rise of Christian Nationalism. I’m not the only one who is concerned. In fact, there is an organization of prominent Christian faith leaders called Christians Against Christian Nationalism.
Don’t miss out on the Inaugural Prayer Service tomorrow morning at 7:00am (PST) (that’s 10:00am for you lucky dogs who live on the East Coast).
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day. In the words of Amanda Gorman,
And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn't broken but simply unfinished…
Let’s get about doing that unfinished business.