A stewardship message from the President of ECF

Dear friends,

We are living in incredibly challenging times. Our nation and our world are plagued with violence, bigotry, intolerance and greed. We are becoming more isolated, insulated and apathetic. We need to repent and emerge from this place of darkness and seek the light.

We know there is a better way – one based on love and kindness. As followers of Christ we must model the teachings of the Gospel and proclaim God’s unconditional love to all of humankind. As citizens we must demand that our leaders embrace and practice our country’s core principles of truth, justice and equality. We must be passionate and strong, yet, at the same time, gracious and, yes, generous.

As we begin to focus on issues around stewardship over the next several weeks in preparation for the annual campaign, I invite you to think about generosity in different ways. What does it look like to be generous in spirit? What does it mean for us as individuals and congregations to open our hearts and doors to the wider communities around us? How do we live into the teachings of Jesus and love our neighbors as ourselves? How do we steward all of our gifts, especially our money, in ways that advance God’s mission in the world?

Stewardship is described in multiple ways, but at its core, it is our response to God’s unfathomable love for all of us. It means discerning how we use our multiple gifts to make the most positive impact in a broken world. Stewardship is everything we do after we say “I believe.”

We at the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) are here to walk alongside you on this journey. We want to hear your stewardship stories and challenges and explore how we can be partners in your important ministry. Below you will find some specific ways ECF can help make this happen.

Let’s make this stewardship season more than just about raising funds for ministry, as important as that may be. As disciples of Jesus let’s strive to be bold, brave and true. Let’s stand up for what is right and use all of our resources to advance God’s reign on earth. I pray that over the weeks and months ahead God gives us the courage, wisdom, strength and spirit of generosity to live into this vision and truly make a difference.

Faithfully,

Donald V. Romanik

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ECF Vital Practices
Web-based resource, www.ecfvp.org, that includes Vestry Papers articles and practical resources. Enter the keyword “stewardship” in the search bar for an array of resources, tools and articles on the subject. Contact Charis Bhagianathan at charis@episcopalfoundation.org to learn more.

Capital Campaigns
Customized consultation to raise financial resources for physical assets that revitalize the community and enhance ministries. Contact Louise Baietto at lbaietto@episcopalfoundation.org to learn more.

Donor Solutions
Donor-advised funds, charitable gift annuities, and other innovative opportunities for individuals to meet their charitable goals. Contact Jim Murphy at jmurphy@episcopalfoundation.org to learn more.

Endowment Management Solutions (EMS)
Professional consultation and technical assistance to structure and grow endowments to support ministries. Contact Jim Murphy at jmurphy@episcopalfoundation.org to learn more.

Lilly Endowment National Initiative
Practical tools and support to help address the financial and leadership challenges of congregational ministry in the 21st century. Contact Kate Adams at kate@episcopalfoundation.org to learn more.

Planned Giving
Educational, planning and technical assistance for planned giving programs to ensure resources for future ministry. Contact Jim Murphy at jmurphy@episcopalfoundation.org to learn more.