Money, Time, Talents
Our stewardship committee recognised that it is not always easy to talk about money. We also wanted to thank those who already contribute what they can. So when considering our gifts we were keen to emphasise three key things and address them in our leaflet and video which were circulated for Stewardship Month.
These were that:
- we recognised that financial giving is personal to individual circumstances;
- we recognised that regular tax efficient giving is the most effective way to support the work of the Church; and
- we were aware that the work of the Church reaches far beyond our own congregation locally, nationally and internationally.
We started with a fun-filled launch event with the Rev. Alan Gibson from the Church of Scotland's Stewardship team, as guest speaker. Then each Sunday, a Committee member spoke at the service during the month, of their personal experiences of the work of the congregation.
Whilst encouraging regular giving, we also acknowledged that there are other ways to contribute that are just as important. We also heard about the work of our own congregational organisations and Church of Scotland work overseas. We also heard some wonderfully vibrant examples from the Rev. Christopher Rowe, from Colston Milton Parish in Glasgow, of the immense impact of the central Ministries and Mission contributions on his congregation and the transformational effect of support received from the wider Church of Scotland community.
Due to the generosity of members, we were clear of the deficit after the 2014 stewardship campaign.
The second year we highlighted the theme of time and focussed on the essential activities to the life of the Church under the following banners:
- Time for Growing
- Time for Worship & Prayer
- Time for Hospitality & Community
- Time for Recreation & Creativity; and
- Time for Giving.
We launched an appeal for volunteers and held another launch event facilitated by a stewardship consultant. This was promoted by mailing the congregation, using a DVD called 'Time for St Columba's' and at each Sunday service of Stewardship Month, drawing attention to the great work of the Sunday School and crèche, lunch teams, flower guild, and Sunday Worship Microphone Team.
Currently serving volunteers shared about what their particular activity means to them, and why it is essential that other folk get involved.
Again, we thanked those within our congregation who already give so generously and encouraged everyone to contemplate how we use our time both within and outside the Church.
The result of the stewardship month was that various members of the congregation volunteered for new roles - a great benefit to the whole congregation.
On the third year we celebrated talent both from within and outside the congregation, with the underlying aim of sharing fellowship and developing friendships.
Stewardship Month launched with a family cupcake decorating competition, and included visits to the Royal Ballet School and a Queen's Park Rangers' youth football match, with the latter hosted by the team chaplains, Rev Cameron Collington and Rev Bob Mayo.
For the more practically minded, there was also a Stewardship Church Project where a team of enthusiastic volunteers worked together on a Saturday morning to wax the staircases and dust the pews of the Church.
Members of the Committee spoke during Sunday worship, and we were honoured to host the award-winning journalist and Olympian Matthew Syed for a congregational talk after one of our services.
This stewardship cycle ended with the 60th Anniversary ceilidh in November - featuring the Congregational Choir and Scratch Orchestra - which was a lovely celebration of our God-given gifts.