A Look Back: Your Favorite Inspiring Generosity Posts of 2015

 A Look Back: Your Favorite Inspiring Generosity Blog Posts of 2015

Hip, hip hooray! I don’t know what's more exciting: Epiphany (let’s hear it for the wisemen/women!) or…Downton Abbey finally returning (let’s hear it for Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes – such a racy couple!) or…starting yet another new year (let’s hear it for 2016 – I admit, that doesn’t carry as much yahoo as the previous two but, yippee anyway!).
Before we get too carried away with all the frivolity, it’s time for a quick look back at the Top Ten Inspiring Generosity Blog Posts of 2015 you furiously (furiously?) read and shared:

#10  Your Field Trip to Fabulous Stories. Highlighting six kinds of stories that inspire giving.
#9  Write Your Year-End Letter Right Now! Keep this one in your back pocket and pull it out in November.
#8  Propel Yourself to Read this Book. A review of Rev. Clayton Smith’s book that asks the question, “Is there a difference between generosity and stewardship?” Smith is the Executive Pastor of Generosity at the Church of the Resurrection.
#7  One Way to Make the Offering Less About $$$. A creative idea about what to do with the offering plate during your worship service.
#6  First Time Visitor Dos and Don’ts: Lessons from Charlottesville Part 2. Read about my experience and learn something from it. I sure did.
#5  Giving a Pizza Tip: It’s Not So Simple. The generous act (or stunt?) of one church generated a lot of good dialogue.
#4  Real Good Church: Real Good Book. A review of Rev. Molly Phinney Baskette’s book – chock full of simple and easily implementable ideas, including ones relating to stewardship. Baskette is the pastor at First Church Somerville UCC in Massachusetts.
#3  The Future of the Offering Plate Part 3. Embrace the Future! Yes, be brave and embrace technology for the benefit of your ministry – everyone else is, you should too.
#2  Please, No More “Faith” Budgets. You recognize what it is, now avoid it like the plague.
#1 (drum roll please…) The Power of Secrecy. What do you do when one person refuses to share important financial information? Here are a few suggestions.
There you have it friends – a way to kick-start your new year by re-visiting the past. What topics would you like to see explored this year? Do you have any burning questions (not about the meaning of life, but about stewardship and development) that you’d like to see addressed? Send me a quick email at inpsiringgenerosity@gmail.com.
Bonus section:
Even though you didn’t ask, here’s an exclusive extra…just because – my four favorite movies of the past year (so far) and in no particular order:
Spotlight – about the church’s child abuse scandal. Every church leader should see this.
Inside Out – a delightful exploration of our inner feelings. It’s not kid stuff – but kids love it too.
The Big Short – a movie that makes the financial meltdown of 2007 both entertaining and understandable. You will leave infuriated and artistically satisfied.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – be a kid again and visually in awe. All your favorite characters return!
‘Til next week…may the one true Force be with you!

*image courtesy of rweait-osm at flickr.com
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, , and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She’s hoping for romance for Mrs. Patmore…maybe with that nice detective? She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation; she is available to consult with churches in Oregon and Idaho. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.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.