2023 stewardship materials aim to help churches change lives
With fall arriving soon, many United Church of Christ congregations are beginning to roll out stewardship campaigns and begin fundraising to sustain ministries in the coming months. This year’s materials, with the theme “Because of You, Our Church Changes Lives,” are available for purchase as a digital download.
The materials include eight complete worship services, hymn suggestions, sermon starters from eight different authors; plus additional faith formation sessions for children, youth and adults.
The materials also provide practical tools such as logos, commitment cards, bulletin inserts and letters. Campaign guidance for every step of a year-round or seasonal effort help leaders make the best use of these robust materials for their specific context and size.
Most successful campaign ever
Hope UCC in Alexandria, Va., ran their campaign in the spring. The pastor, the Rev. Amber Neuroth, says no matter where your church is in your experience with a stewardship committee, there is a way to use the materials.
“It’s very comprehensive,” she said. “If you have a robust team with experience, you can skip some of what’s offered, but everyone can find something to use.”
Neuroth says the church had its most successful campaign ever this year, hitting $20,000 over its goal.
“When we are actively in our campaign, we balance what our congregation is doing with what the UCC is doing more broadly,” she said. “We changed the overarching theme, but the materials were very powerful in providing connectivity for us.”
Providing a roadmap
First Congregational Church in Great Falls, Mont., is kicking off its campaign Sunday, Sept. 10. The congregation’s committee used the “Because of You” theme materials to plan every step, according to Suzan Seery, chair of the stewardship board.
“We find it most helpful,” Seery said, “because it gives us something to focus on in our correspondence, from the save-the-date postcards to themes for events, and it is inspiring as it leads us through the spiritual process of generosity.”
Last year was the first year First Congregational used the UCC-provided materials, and it had a very successful campaign, so leaders decided to use them once again.
“We know where we want to go,” said Seery. “The materials provide us a roadmap to get there.”
The materials are available from UCC Resources and easily adaptable for how each church aims to promote generosity.
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