Stewardship Ministry

Every organization requires the time, energy and financial support of its members to achieve goals and expand services within its community. Our community includes our members, our neighborhood and the world. The Stewardship Ministry advocates faithful giving, biblical tithing, and emphasizes the spiritual benefits of regular giving. It keeps members aware of the needs of our congregation and the opportunity for additional giving of their time, talent and financial resources. The Stewardship Ministry encourages support for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, St. Cyprian's Food Pantry, United in Faith's capital appeal and United in Faith's own operational needs.

1 Peter 4:10
Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God.


Faith Promises Sunday is November 19, 2017

We often talk about being stewards of God’s gifts, but what does that mean? We operate under the illusion that what we possess is ours, but 1 Peter 4:8-11 makes it clear that we are merely stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

In fact, of the many definitions of “steward” in the dictionary, the common thread is that a steward is a caretaker (of money, property, things, God’s grace, etc.) who is acting in the best interest of the owner. As Christians, we recognize ourselves as stewards of God’s grace in its various forms, which includes our money and possessions (our treasure), as well as our talents and our time.

The Faith Promises Form is one tool you can use to ensure you are prayerfully and thoughtfully considering your stewardship of God’s grace in its various forms. You should have received the form in your third quarter giving statement, and extra forms are available on the table by the sanctuary.

We encourage everyone to complete the form and ask that you bring your faith promises (in a sealed envelope, if you wish) to the altar during the offertory on November 19. If you cannot or do not want to bring your faith promise to the altar, you may place it in the collection plate or provide it to the church office at any time.

If you have questions, please contact Denise Boyer, Nancy Ciecko, Rick Guzik, Gretchen Quillin, or Pastor Carla Thompson Powell.

Faith Promises Form

We have new Giving Envelopes!

The Stewardship Team looked into lowering the cost of our giving envelopes. The new envelopes are finally here. The new envelopes can be picked up at church.


Stewardship Temple Talks

Planning For The Journey

Is Your Spouse, Partner or Family Prepared for Your Death?

Notes From the Stewardship Ministry


Faith Promises Sunday Is November 1

Faith Promises Sunday is also All Saints’ Sunday, November 6. Look for your Faith Promises Form in the next quarterly giving statement or pick one up on the table by the sanctuary.

What is a faith promise? A faith promise is a personal (or family) commitment to God. Try it out and start small if you’re nervous. If you've never made a faith promise before, consider committing what you’re already giving or, if you’re not already giving, commit to give $1 per week. If you are already in the habit of making a faith promise, take a small step and increase your God donation by whatever dollar amount or percentage you and God decide upon, like $10 per month or 2% more per month. You could also increase your giving based on any salary increase you may have had in the past year. By making this commitment to God, you’ll be deepening your relationship with Him.


Could Simply Giving Work for You?

Do you forget your weekly Sunday offering envelope? What do you do when you miss a Sunday (or two)? There is a simple option for you to continue your giving in these situations.

You can use Simply Giving! Simply Giving is a program offered by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans through Vanco Services, LLC, an industry leader in electronic payment solutions. Simply Giving allows you to have your church giving amount automatically withdrawn from your checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card on a pre-authorized transfer date (1st of the month, every Sunday, etc.). The funds are deposited directly into United in Faith's bank account.

You can enroll online and change the amount of your contribution or the date the funds are withdrawn at your convenience. Several members of United in Faith have been using this program successfully for quite a few years.

For more information, please contact Jeanne at the church office.


A Charitable Gift Of Life Insurance Might be the Answer

Are you considering making a gift of a life insurance policy to United in Faith? Life insurance often allows you to make a significantly larger charitable gift than might be possible using your current assets.

By making United in Faith the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance contract, you can take a deduction for the ongoing premium payments as you make them. Either cash or publicly traded securities may be used to make premium payments. You can also receive tax benefits if you make a gift of a paid-up life insurance contract.

Alternatively, you can remain the owner of a contract and name the foundation as partial, sole or contingent beneficiary of the life insurance death benefit. No income tax deduction will result, but the gift will create a charitable deduction for your estate.


Making a Charitable Bequest to United In Faith

A charitable bequest is one of the easiest ways you can leave a lasting impact on United in Faith. The bequest can be made in your will or trust directing a gift to United in Faith.

To make a bequest, you should speak with your attorney. Your attorney can include language in your will or trust specifying a gift to be given to United in Faith as part of your estate. Your bequest can be for an amount of money, specific personal items (like stocks and bonds), real estate, or a percentage of your estate.

Please consider United in Faith in your estate planning.


SMILE … IT’S FREE MONEY!

Do you shop at Amazon.com? If not, maybe you should start! Amazon will give a small percentage of most of your purchases made on Amazon Smile to United in Faith. All you need to do is shop through smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com. The first time you visit, you will need to choose a charity. Type in “United in Faith Lutheran Church” and locate the one with the C hicago address. That’s it! You’re all set. Just remember to bookmark the page and return the next time you intend to shop at Amazon.

Our church will start receiving .5% for all qualifying purchases you make. It may not sound like much money, but if any of your households are like the Quillin household, they run on the convenience of Amazon! This is just one small way you can enhance your regular stewardship practices without spending additional money out of your pocket.

Any additional money that comes in through smile.amazon.com will enhance our ability to do ministry! Contact Gretchen Quillin or Bonnie Maginnis with any questions.


How Do You Picture Heaven?

Maybe you haven’t given it much thought. It’s likely we all believe that Heaven is real, but have you really thought about what Heaven looks like or what it truly means for our everyday faith/life that there

is a Heaven?

Now is your chance to explore some of these ideas. The Stewardship Ministry will be leading a two-session book discussion on the book Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back written by Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo, and Colton Burpo. This quick read provides a glimpse into what one boy experienced as Heaven.

The format of this book discussion will be different from those previously held. We ask that you read the whole book (under 200 pages) prior to the sessions so we can discuss overall themes and ideas. The two-session discussion will be held at the end of March or beginning of April; watch the bulletin or UIF website for specific dates and times.

If you’re interested, please contact the office by March 9 so we can order enough books.

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Have you read an inspiring or thought-provoking work that you’d like us to consider for an upcoming book discussion? Or perhaps you’d like to lead a discussion. Please let us know. You can contact any member of the team or leave a note in the Stewardship mailbox near the music room. Team members include Denise Boyer, Nancy Ciecko, Rich Guzik, Gretchen Quillin, and Pastor White.


STEWARDSHIP

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, “stewardship”? If you’re like most people, you likely thought of money. That’s right, greenbacks, dough, moolah, dead presidents. Well, contrary to popular belief, stewardship isn’t all about the benjamins.

For people who believe in God, stewardship is about sharing the gifts God has given us for the good of the community and to build up the Kingdom of God. And while “gifts” does include money, when we focus only on the gifts, we miss some other important parts of the definition.

One part of the definition that often gets overlooked is that the gifts we have, whatever they are, we have them because God has given them to us. This seems to make sense when we look at our spiritual gifts, doesn’t it? Gifts of prayer, artistic ability, and organization are easy enough to acknowledge as being from God, after all, we believe that God created us. But what about our time or our money? How can those things be from God? Furthermore, what does it mean once we acknowledge that our time, talents, and treasure are from God? At a minimum, it changes how we see those gifts, and ultimately, it changes how we use those gifts, including how freely we give them away.

Another aspect of the definition that also deserves our attention is “for the good of the community.” When we’re falling in love, we’d do anything for the other person, reminiscent of that Bryan Adams song, “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You.” Translated to stewardship, this means that everything we do with our gifts should be for the good of the community, including our family, our neighborhood, and, of course, our church. This can be incredibly overwhelming, with all the demands on our time, talents, and treasure. Try examining how you’re using your time, talents, and treasures, and see if you can reduce the activities and expenditures that aren’t for the good of the community. That way, the next time you’re asked to attend a gifts seminar or give toward a worthy cause, you’ll have the capacity.

Changing the way we view stewardship will certainly take some time and prayer, but we have to start somewhere!


We Believe. Now What?

The Stewardship Ministry has adopted a theme based on a quote by Lutheran pastor and educator, Clarence Stoughton. He said, “Stewardship is everything we do after we say, ‘I believe.’” This quote reminds us that once we say “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son Our Lord,” (as we do every Sunday during the Lord’s Prayer), every action we take should reflect that belief. As believers, we need to glorify God with all we have: our time, our talents, and of course, our treasure.

There are many things we do to live our beliefs, including caring for the environment, participating in ministries, and using our gifts and money for positive influences. One thing that the members of the Stewardship Ministry do after we say “I believe” is commit, or promise, our money to God. But we’re in the minority. The majority of the congregation at United in Faith has not been making this commitment. You may be wondering what the point of a faith promise is or thinking that your offering of $5 each week isn’t worth it. Those are understandable concerns.

The purpose of making this faith promise is to make a personal (or family-based) commitment to God. Yes, United in Faith needs money to run, but what’s more important is your relationship with God. So try it out and start small if you’re nervous. We’re not asking you to tithe (though if every person or family at United in Faith did that, we wouldn’t have to use our investments to run); we’re just asking you to make a public commitment to give to God this year. Take small steps. If you’ve never made a faith promise before, consider committing what you’re already giving or, if you’re not already giving, commit to give $1 per week. If you are already in the habit of making a faith promise, take a small step and increase your God donation by whatever dollar amount or percentage you and God decide upon, like $10 or 2% more per month. By making this commitment to God, you’ll be deepening your relationship with him.

This year, we’ll be bringing our faith promises to the altar on All Saints’ Sunday (November 3). Look for your form in your third quarter giving statement. Until then, pray about it and see how God moves your heart.



Resources
Sharing Our God-given Talents