Stewardship focus shifts to year-round giving, community building

first_img Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Press Release Service Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Submit an Event Listing Program Budget & Finance Rector Hopkinsville, KY Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Submit a Press Release Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Submit a Job Listing Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Pittsburgh, PA An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Tampa, FL Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Smithfield, NC The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Featured Events Rector Shreveport, LA Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Bath, NC Rector Albany, NY By Pat McCaughanPosted Nov 29, 2016 TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Knoxville, TN Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY [Episcopal News Service] This year, St. Bartholomew’s parishioners posted notes to a “Giving Wall” in the sanctuary, sharing the reasons they give to the Poway, California church.One of the many Post-It notes on the Giving Wall at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Poway, California. Photo: St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church“Because I so easily ‘fall in love’ with money,” wrote one Post-It respondent. “Giving, even though it scares me, forces me to notice when materialism is driving me more than trust in God.”The invitation to link church members’ money lives to their faith lives transforms the totality of their lives, according to the Rev. Chris Harris, St. Bart’s curate.The Giving Wall, like the money autobiographies and simple-living classes he offers, are spiritual exercises and are part of the church’s year-round formation efforts – not to be confused with seasonal pledge drives.The focus and emphasis of traditional stewardship campaigns are changing, according to Richard Felton, executive director of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship, or TENS, which partners with and offers resources to dioceses throughout the Episcopal Church.Gone are traditional seasonal money pitches. Big red thermometers with dollar-and-cent signs inching upward have been replaced by budgets detailing ways staff and office hours translate to mission and ministry.The once church-wide dinner galas marking stewardship campaigns have been replaced by smaller potluck meals, and more intimate opportunities for conversation and deeper relationship in members’ homes, according to Felton.Gone also are pleas for assistance with campus repairs from finance-minded parishioners. Instead, parishioners hear personal stories of transformation, of deepening faith and ministry that, said Harris, when “authentic and vulnerable, end up building community in a way that giving flows from that.”The new stewardship focus includes stories like the one Joyce Vidal recently told Sunday morning worshippers at St. Barnabas on the Desert about her shift from being a “reluctant churchgoer under the radar” to gratitude for “the opportunity to serve, to grow in faith and in my relationship with God and to experience the healing presence of Jesus.”After participating in the choir and various ministries, the eight-year member of the Scottsdale, Arizona, congregation said she began to understand that “this community is such an expression of discipleship on so many levels.“I belong,” Vidal said. “The more I participate at St. Barnabas, the more my gratitude grows.”The church’s mission: making disciplesMaking disciples is the church’s mission, said the Rev. Jim Clark, St. Barnabas’ rector.“People give to cancer research because it’s clear to them what the mission is and people value that; they give to the mission of a university because it’s clear what the university is doing,” Clark told the Episcopal News Service. “Other people give in a very particular way because they believe in what is being accomplished.“But the church has not done a good job of (communicating the) great value in making disciples of Jesus. That is the church’s mission.”He said the church’s mission “is not to be a soup kitchen or a food bank. If disciples go out and do all those things, that’s the genius, but the charism, the unique thing the church has to offer the world, is to make people like Jesus. It is worthwhile, perhaps the most important thing any human being can do to support one another.”Marcia Shetler, executive director of the Richmond, Indiana-based Ecumenical Stewardship Center, said the most successful stewardship happens in churches that offer year-round formation and that practice generosity as a spiritual discipline, as “part of what God calls us to do as Christians.”At the same time, the ESC director said, a pledge drive is also necessary because “it’s the way to show and to practice what we are planning to do” especially if churches present mission-based budgets detailing how giving impacts various ministries of the church.ESC offers resources and educational opportunities to 20 North American denominational partners, including the Episcopal Church and TENS, an associate partner.But a huge challenge is our culture’s reluctance or inability to talk about money, and that often spills over into church life, she said.Unlike the early church where members pooled financial resources to help one another, “the challenge for us in North America in general is this attitude of secrecy about money, that our finances are a private matter, not really something we should talk about in church,” Shetler said.And for those heavily in debt, “it becomes a matter almost of shame, and the last thing they want to do is share their finances with their sisters and brothers in Christ, unfortunately, because the church has not always done a good job of creating safe space for them.”The Giving Wall at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Poway, California, is filled with parishioners’ reasons for why they commit to giving to the church. Photo: St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal ChurchHarris, a former attorney, agreed that money talk is a challenge. “Take a look at social media. We put all kinds of stuff up on Facebook. We share our love lives, our health, if our dog dies, but how often do you see a post where someone says, ‘Anyone know a good bankruptcy attorney? I’m getting worried about my debt.’ ”And yet, says Harris, 47, most Episcopalians are statistically three paychecks away from having a concern about whether or not they will be able to make their next mortgage or rent payment. “It’s hard to preach about abundance when people are living in that reality,” he said.“There’s a reason Jesus talked about money as often as he did,” added Harris. “It is a complete disservice in this hyper-consumer culture we live in when we don’t talk about it. If money was one of the major distractions to our relationship to God 2,000 years ago, tell me it’s not a thousand times more so today. Besides sex, it’s the other reason our relationships break up.“If we don’t want to talk about money and we’re nervous about that, then you really need to talk about it.”Or, he said, if money talk prompts eyes to start rolling and people are hoping we’ll get back to spiritual matters and off this money talk, “pay attention – because that’s ground zero of what Jesus was trying to get us to notice,” Harris said. “That whole notion is false – that I can let Jesus into part of my life but not my lifestyle, not my pocketbook, (because) I don’t want to change that much.”Often rectors, too, are uncomfortable with money talk – St. Barnabas’ Clark acknowledges he once was.But he realized that “making disciples is not just about money … it is about the much bigger picture – of my whole life in response to God’s goodness, abundance and generosity to me, God’s grace – and what is my response to that?”With 455 pledging households, St. Barnabas’ three-pronged financial pledging campaign this year included sharing stories of parishioners’ growth in faith, presenting to the congregation a mission-based budget, and a series of potluck meals in homes to share gratefulness for the church.“We had conversations. We told stories. We put it on Post-It notes on boards positioned around the campus,” Clark said. “Everybody said it is one of the most meaningful things we’ve done. It changes people’s lives. It’s a mission worth giving to.”Shetler said another challenge results from churches’ reluctance to adopt acceptable philanthropic practices, such as using legacy programs and endowments. “Many church members make big gifts to their alma maters and to other charities but somehow the church isn’t looked at in the same way,” she said. “And the majority (of churches) do not encourage folks to consider leaving a legacy through their will to the church.”But she said there is hope – and help. The Lake Institute for Faith and Giving, a research and educational arm of Indiana University, offers assistance and resources for religious fundraising.TENS’ Felton said perceptions about stewardship have evolved from being a dreaded seasonal task to “teaching and inspiring generosity in all sorts of ways. That is what the church should be about, generosity – not just in money but in how we forgive people and how we welcome strangers.”The organization’s “Living Generously” stewardship resources offered assistance to member partners for 2016.  An annual conference, “Journey to Generosity,” is planned for May 18-20, 2017 at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Minneapolis.St. Barnabas’ Vidal said she still isn’t all that comfortable talking about money, but “I am comfortable talking about my gratitude for St. Barnabas that includes my commitment to pledge … and how this gratitude is manifested in my pledge.“Writing my check is an act of prayer for the mission of St. Barnabas,” she said in her remarks to parishioners. “Dropping that check in the basket, seeing it raised and blessed reminds me that God is blessing my gift of gratitude.”–The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service. Stewardship focus shifts to year-round giving, community building Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Collierville, TN Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Tags Rector Belleville, IL Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Curate Diocese of Nebraska Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Martinsville, VA Director of Music Morristown, NJ Youth Minister Lorton, VA Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Featured Jobs & Calls Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 last_img read more

S&P: Fourth quarter results for U.S. coal sector likely to be dismal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Fourth-quarter 2019 earnings reports are likely to be rough on U.S. coal producers yet again when miners begin reporting results over the next few weeks.Every major U.S. coal company is expected to report earnings per share for the period that is either worse than the prior quarter or year-ago quarter, an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis of analyst forecasts shows. For many producers, quarterly earnings per share will be worse compared to both periods.Moody’s Investors Service recently said it expected EBITDA across its rated portfolio of U.S.-based coal companies to fall by about one-third. Deterioration in coal export volumes will likely lead to even lower cash flow in 2020, Moody’s added in its recent report reiterating its negative outlook on the sector.“We anticipate that companies in their year-end earnings calls will outline steps they are taking to continue to generate positive free cash flow and navigate weak market conditions,” Moody’s stated. “While coal companies have not reported earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019, CSX Corp., which is more tied to exports than some other railroads, reported a 17% drop in coal volumes for the fourth quarter, and expects a 14% drop in coal revenue in 2020.”Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal, two of the largest miners in the U.S. by volume with exposure to both metallurgical and thermal coal, are expected to report a loss to shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2019. Thermal coal producer Hallador Energy Co. and increasingly metallurgical coal-focused Contura Energy Inc. are also expected to report negative earnings per share for the period.[Taylor Kuykendall and Gaurang Dhotakia]More ($): Q4’19 earnings likely another rough period for US coal companies S&P: Fourth quarter results for U.S. coal sector likely to be dismallast_img read more

Counsel to focus on lawyer ad cases

first_img Counsel to focus on lawyer ad cases November 1, 2005 Regular News In its latest move to improve enforcement of its advertising rules, The Florida Bar has created a new grievance prosecutor position that focuses entirely on advertising cases. Arne Vanstrum, a long-time assistant ethics counsel, has been named to the new position, which was created in the Bar’s 2005-06 budget. “We’ve been trying to get more and more consistency in the investigation and application in the enforcement of advertising rules,” said Bar Counsel Tony Boggs, who oversees the Bar’s grievance program. He noted the Bar had created the Statewide Advertising and Solicitation Committee a couple years ago to deal exclusively with advertising cases. But that still left prosecutions of advertising cases split among more than 30 Bar prosecutors. So the decision was made, Boggs said, to get one prosecutor to handle all of the ad cases. Vanstrum, he added, was a natural choice because he has spent 10 years as assistant ethics counsel, including advising attorneys on the Bar’s advertising rules and scrutinizing ads submitted under the rules for Bar review. “This way we have someone with a strong advertising rules interpretation background to provide support directly for the statewide committee and to prosecute cases,” said Boggs. “That’s what his job is: advertising rules interpretation and enforcement. It should result in a whole new layer of consistency. “We are trying to make sure we enforce the rules equally throughout the state.” Vanstrum said he welcomed the challenge. “It is a good change of pace, to try to do something different. I thought it was a good fit,” he said, noting his years of reviewing submitted ads. He said he currently has about 30 active grievance cases, plus reviewing new complaints as they are received.center_img Counsel to focus on lawyer ad caseslast_img read more

Is credit card debt the new way to survive in America?

first_imgIf a television network ever decides to host a reality show based on survival of the financial fittest, a depressing number of consumers won’t even make it past the application process. They’ll be ineligible for competition as soon as they check the little box asking about credit card debt.Americans are relying on credit cards like food, water, fire, or shelter. According to a new study by Allianz Life, 48% of Generation X (ages 35-48) and baby boomers (ages 49-67) agree that credit cards now function as a survival tool. In fact, 43% say “lots of smart, hardworking people who are careful with spending also have a lot of credit card debt.” Plastic debt does not come cheap, and adds up significantly over time.These so-called survival tools tend to hang around long enough to collect financial rust, better known as interest. The average Gen Xer has $8,000 in plastic debt, while the average baby boomer has $6,000. This coincides with other research that finds the average American household is now saddled with $7,177 in credit card debt, the largest amount in six years. Making matters worse, the average interest rate is 17.5% for consumers with good credit and 20.4% for consumers with fair credit.A rise in borrowing is typically cheered by market pundits as a sign of consumer confidence, but debt can also be another form of servitude. Thanks to debt, more than a quarter of Gen Xers say they are unsure when they can leave the workforce or plan to keep working until they die. One in ten boomers say the same. continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Lille set asking price for Arsenal to sign Nicolas Pepe

first_imgLille set asking price for Arsenal to sign Nicolas Pepe Advertisement Nicolas Pepe is on Arsenal’s radar (AFP/Getty Images)Lille president Gerard Lopez has suggested that Arsenal will need to bid €80 million (£68.7m) in order to sign Nicolas Pepe this summer.The 23-year-old is expected to be one of the most in-demand players during the summer transfer window following an impressive season in Ligue 1.Pepe, who plays on Lille’s right flank, has scored 16 goals and registered eight assists in 27 league appearances so far.Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move, while Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona are also reportedly interested.ADVERTISEMENTBut Lille are willing to stand firm over the Ivory Coast international’s valuation having already rejected offers worth €50m (£42.9m) Pepe is set to leave Lille this summer (Getty Images)Asked if Pepe could stay at Lille for another season, Lopez told Canal Plus: ‘That does not just depend on the club. It also depends on the player.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘He deserves to play at the highest level. We have offers yes.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘In England, there are clubs. We have had offers worth €50m.‘We will not sell for less, we have even refused a €50m bid.‘We had an offer from China worth €80m with an astronomical salary, but he didn’t want to go.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Comment Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 6 Mar 2019 2:37 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Advertisementlast_img read more