The Rev’d Erin Hougland, Pathways Deacon
The word “stewardship” has become associated almost entirely with money and fundraising in church culture. Unfortunately, we have burdened this word with money-talk and we have become so routine in doing this that we even have a set time in the calendar year when we say the word “stewardship”. Usually, it happens in the fall. Growing up, I remember my dad always preparing sermons on stewardship in the month of September. September would roll around and my dad would be grumpy. “I don’t like writing sermons in September. I hate asking people for money,” he would say.
A Guide to Help Clergy Discuss Compensation and Church Finances
By the Rev. Allen D. Rutherford, Chair
Congregational and Community Life Committee of the Diocese of Indianapolis
Extensive research has documented that Episcopalians would much rather talk about sex than have a transparent and informed conversation about clergy compensation within their congregations! The following series of questions is designed to facilitate and demystify how clergy are compensated.
Many of these questions and much of this information were born out of a conversation Allen had with his vestry following the 2016 Spring Clergy Conference and the launch of the Pathways to Vitality Initiative. It was his effort to create a healthy dialogue — and it worked!
By Erin Weber-Johnson
1.) Treat fundraising as a means to an end instead of a ministry
“Imagine the ministry we can do once we’ve received these funds!” exclaimed an excited fundraising volunteer a couple months ago. YES! I love dreaming of what is possible together and keeping a parish’s collective eyes on a common goal. And yet, when we fixate on the goal alone, we are tempted to miss an important point: the process of fundraising is itself a powerful and life-giving ministry.
The Rev. Erin Hougland, Pathways to Vitality Deacon
Here we are, in the first month of the launch of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis’ Pathways to Vitality Pilot Parishes Program! Shew...yes, it’s a mouth full! I’ve been as busy as my job assignment sounds. Many of you want to know and have been asking, “So, what exactly are you going to be doing Erin?” Good question everyone! In all honesty, it is actually the question we have all been holding: What exactly is this work going to look like?
As I have been moving through these few weeks and having conversations with the Pathways Steering Committee, Pathways leadership and the rectors of the Pilot Parishes program, I have come to some initial ideas about the work that I will be doing.