In 2021 we welcomed Brandon Ziemer as a new member to the team and Sarah Henthorn as Church Council liaison. While Stewardship is so much more than just the period each fall when a church asks its members to make financial commitments, we did, of course, conduct a “fall financial campaign”. We created a six-minute video presentation which was posted to the church website, with links emailed to members. It was also shown in the Koinonia Room after church on several Sundays, allowing those without internet to view it. Here is a link to this video: https://bit.ly/TLCFall21 We are so grateful to the 38 households which, in these uncertain times, committed to give $101,020.00 in 2022. We also appreciate the households which do not pledge but always give faithfully. As a follow up on giving, we are grateful to Tammy Torrey for asking us to share something Bob had written in 2005; this inspiring story about Trinity member Effie Richmond was the December 18th entry in the Advent Daily Devotional booklet. You can re-read this in your booklet or watch it on YouTube.
Yet “stewardship” is much bigger than the pledge drive. The broader perspective is this: Christians acknowledge that all we are and have are gifts from God. This concept permeates our daily decisions about how we use our time, what we do with our stuff, how we care for our bodies and our world, and how we share our giftedness (both within our church and in the world beyond the narthex doors.) “Year-Round-Stewardship” is how Trinity addresses stewardship in daily life. For example, living with uncertainty is hard on our bodies and on our minds; this ripples into our relationships at home and in the community. Realizing this, we spent several months encouraging people to take breaks from the stress of uncertainty. We asked people, by engaging their five senses, to transport themselves to places of calm, if only for a few moments at a time. We encouraged using physical activity or meditation (or whatever made sense to the individual) to return to what is positive and life-giving.
We also celebrated the generosity of our member, supporting fundraisers such as God’s Global Barnyard (ELCA World Hunger) and Idaho Gives (Trinity Community Gardens, Learning Peace: A Camp for Kids, and Luther Heights Bible Camp) in the spring, the yard sale (National Youth Gathering in Minneapolis) in the summer, and Avenues for Hope (Trinity New Hope housing) in the winter.
With in-person worship resuming in June, the need for volunteers was immediate. We asked people to complete “time and talent sheets”, and 52 people responded, providing us with names of those willing to help in a variety of ways.
Advent Conspiracy was highlighted twice in 2021. In April, we encouraged people to start working on Christmas projects early. In November, the tenets of Give More, Spend Less, Worship Fully and Love All were incorporated into Zoom chats with Pastor and Adult Forum. August was all about our stewardship of youth. We highlighted the school supplies collected for Duck Valley students, our Sunday School, Luther Heights Bible Camp, and the upcoming ELCA National Youth Gathering.
We continue to encourage people to give in a variety of ways, including through practices we found helpful while not worshiping in person and “dropping an envelope in the offering plate” was not possible. These other ways included online giving, using your bank’s bill-pay system, mailing checks to the church, and qualified charitable donations from IRAs. At present, we have about 30 households using one of these methods.
Phil Cronk, Sarah Henthorn, Penelope Smith, Brandon Ziemer