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Stories Matter, Prayers, too

Stories Matter, Prayers, too
Cynthia McChesney, Missioner for Stewardship and Legacy Giving

Stories Matter

Stories matter in Stewardship communications! Through stories, we can

  • Show ministry impact
  • Bring life to budgets and spreadsheets
  • Reveal the ripple effect of generosity throughout our community and beyond

This fall, many of our churches are leaning into storytelling with "Stewardship Minutes," testimony time when parishioners are given time in the service to share some of the personal reasons behind their giving. Do you know that one of our churches not only does Stewardship Minutes in the autumn but also all year round?

We'll be talking more about that interesting case study in a future Stewardship Matters, so stay tuned!

While good storytelling can be a effective component of a Stewardship effort, it's more than just a tool or a tactic. Telling our own story can be a powerful act of faith. But if we limit the importance of stories and storytelling to a "tactic," we are shortchanging the power of the act of telling a story in one's own faith life.

As Episcopalians, we tend to keep our faith private. But in a world struggling with anxiety, depression, and loneliness, it's vital for us—especially as church leaders and Christians—to learn how to share our faith stories.

Prayers Too

Does your parish incorporate specific Stewardship prayers into your annual pledge campaign? Here's a great resource for "stewardship-focused" prayers, provided by the Diocese of Washington.

And if you're using the Stewardship materials, you've probably seen that several prayers are part of the "Rooted in Abundance" packet. Even if you are not using those materials, these can be easily adapted to your needs.

Weekly Prayer over the plate
Creator God may these gifts honor the work you have given us to do here in this place. May we bless, break, and share these gifts of time, talent, and treasure with our neighbors, being rooted in joy, rooted in love, and rooted in Abundance. Amen.

Prayer over the pledges at Ingathering
Gracious God, we give thanks for these gifts, the promises of our members for giving in the year to come. We pray that you inspire us with the example of your freely given love to serve our neighbors, heal the world, and strengthen our community. Bless these intentions, pledges, and promises of our wealth, works, and wisdom for the needs of our church. Amen.

Post Communion Prayer during Stewardship Season
God of Abundance and Grace,
By the provision of this feast,
the Sacrament of our Savior, Jesus Christ
You have united us together in purpose and place.
May we who have gathered and broken bread
Now share the living Word, being rooted in Abundance.
Serving you with joy and steadfast faith,
Through Jesus Christ, our head. Amen.