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Philanthropy News - April 2017
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Monthly Ideas for Congregational Leaders


With this issue, we bring you the first in a series of ideas that will help you "Inspire, Invite, and Thank" in your congregation.
 

May – Season of Easter: Generosity, Giving & Gratitude

Season of encounters with the risen Jesus (Luke 24:30-31); early days of the season of growth and first long weekend of the summer; the celebration of mothers, mothering and family.
 
  • Go on a field trip to a local nature centre and experience the cycles of creation.
  • Recognize the "mothers" of your congregation over time; who are they; what were their values; what roles did mothers of all kinds play in your own life and the life of the community; how do they or did they further God’s mission?
  • Preach on the wonders of encounters with the risen Jesus
  • Invite someone or several people to share a story about their mother or an experience of parental love.
  • Try a Tithe Sunday, offer some teaching on the tithe and then invite people to give 1/10 of their weekly income to support God’s work through their congregation.
  • Anticipating people going on vacation, review some ideas for the “summer slump": 
  • Overcoming the Post-Pentecost Slump, by Deb Hopper
  • A Cure for the Summertime Blues, by Trisha Elliott
  • What Summer Slump? by the Philanthropy Unit staff
 
  • In the prayers, ask everyone in the congregation born to a mother to stand—that's everyone!
  • Invite a few mothers to share their experience of being a mother – of whatever age; have the Church School prepare a thank you gift to them
  • Take a phone camera to your Sunday School classes a few weeks before Mother’s Day/Christian Family Sunday and get some candid quotes from kids about their Moms/family.



Updates from Mission & Service


Mission & Service Enthusiasts: Save the Date!
On May 1 and 2, Mission & Service Enthusiasts will join others in their Conferences for a 30-minute call with Mission & Service staff at the General Council Office. The calls are a great way to connect Enthusiasts in your Conference as well as to offer support and resource sharing. More information will be coming to you soon by e-mail! 

Certificates of Thanksgiving on their Way
In early April, we will be sending Certificates of Thanksgiving to congregations for their 2016 Mission & Service giving. On behalf of our neighbours whose lives have been changed by your giving, we express our deep gratitude for all you do to live Jesus’ teachings of abundance. What an amazing version of the salt and light story the people of The United Church of Canada tell with our lives. God’s compassionate, hope-fulfilling, community-strengthening presence is made real by our generosity.
 
Passionate about Mission & Service? Volunteer for our Committee!
The Mission & Service Advisory Committee is seeking two new members who have theological and liturgical skills, or a proven record with successful giving programs. Ministry personnel are particularly encouraged to consider this opportunity. For more information or to express interest, please visit The United Church of Canada website.
 
Thank You for Your Generosity!
We give THANKS! for the enormous generosity of the people and congregations of The United Church of Canada for strong support of Mission & Service. In 2016, we gave $24,269,418* for Mission & Service. We make great things happen through Mission & Service and through the ministry of our local church. Thank you for generous giving for Mission & Service that changes the world.
 
*For details on 2016 Mission & Service giving, visit the Stewardship Toolkit’s 2016 giving page. Share the good news with your congregation!

It’s Not too Late to Apply for a Seeds of Hope Grant!


The United Church of Canada Foundation reminds you that the spring 2017 Seeds of Hope granting cycle is open and accepting applications until 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on April 15, 2017. Submission by email is preferred.

Seeds of Hope grants will be available Canada-wide for all project types!

Don`t miss out—visit the Foundation website or call 1-866-340-8223 for more information and to download the application today!
 


 

Being the Miracle


Have you seen God walking down the street? She looks like you, He looks like me!

In my travels to Ontario churches, I hear a fear that the church is going to die. “God’s mission,” I say, “is going to go on in spite of us. The question is are we going to be a part of it?”

This great song by Victor Wooten is getting out the message of God. In the Bible, Jesus says “love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). What about those we despise? God’s grandest miracles are us! Let’s start being the miracle. Have a listen to "I Saw God."

 —by Karen Seunarine, Stewardship & Gift Officer, Toronto Conference

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