An Update on Stewardship Formation

A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about the Stewardship Committee’s decision to offer a financial literacy course: Financial Peace University.  The selection of that curriculum raised many questions and concerns!  Please rest assured that it is the intent of the Stewardship Committee to provide unity in our journey together as stewards, not division.
Our goal for the course was to provide theologically based financial literacy education for those in the community that might benefit from it.  We realized that many in our community have strong financial management skills.  This offering was geared towards members of our community that have asked for help with financial skills.  It was not in any way associated with our November pledge campaign.
The Stewardship Committee had its own reservations about this course, and we had decided to offer it with a sense of experimentation:  will this work?  Will it be a fit?  There are a variety of approaches to managing household finances, and we knew that we would have to lean into the Anglican via media with any offering. With different financial situations and beliefs likely present in the group, any presenter would only be a launching board for discussion.  However, with so many questions and concerns lingering in the congregation, the results of this experiment seem clear, and this is not the right time for Financial Peace University at St. Paul’s.
In consultation with the Dean and Stewardship Chair Pat Kreder, we have cancelled Financial Peace University this fall.  I apologize to those who had already signed up for the course.  The Stewardship Committee will continue to look for a replacement financial literacy course that does not have the same challenges to the congregation that this one does and offer it in a future year.
For this fall, I hope you will join me, Dean Penny, and Pat Kreder for a different offering:  a course entitled “The Wisdom Path: Money, Spirit, and Life.”  This is not a financial literacy class, but an exploration of attitudes and experiences with money.  The series of 8 classes is broken into three sections: 1) Exploring our own relationship with money; 2) Exploring how money connects us with others (including classism and economic justice); and 3) ways to align faith, values, and our ways of financial being.
Again, thank you for your feedback as we continue to move from stewardship-as-fundraising to stewardship as discipleship; as doing all that you can, with all that you have, all of the time.  The Stewardship Committee and I value your continuing feedback as we deepen this journey together.
Jeff Martinhauk

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