Hearing God's invitation
God is up to something in the world today! The messages of society often are negative and play on our fears. However, we who are Christian know a different reality—one that celebrates the Incarnate God—the God who is continuously redeeming the world.
It is important for congregations to live in the reality of this good news. In the midst of the financial concerns, the message of the Gospel is one of God’s abundant blessings. Bishop Peter Rogness of the Saint Paul Area Synod and Bishop Craig Johnson of the Minneapolis Area Synod fashioned “A Joint Statement on our Stewardship of God’s Abundance,” a statement that centers congregations in a theology of God’s abundance and encourages them to act out of this abundance in some practical ways in their day to day lives as centers of God’s grace.
The statement and resources have been approved by the Minneapolis Area and Saint Paul Area Synod councils and are meant to engage congregations in meaningful conversation around stewardship and share practical ways increased financial support for churchwide and synodical programs can enhance the ministries in which we are engaged.
A Joint Statement on Our Stewardship of God’s Abundance
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
We believe God is a God of abundance, who continues to give us everything we need to fulfill God’s calling in our world. We live in challenging times. Many individuals and congregations find themselves facing difficult choices regarding financial resources. In such times there is always the temptation to hold on to that which seems scarce. We believe this is the time to proclaim the abundance of God. These challenges also present us with an opportunity for bold witness to what God is calling us to do and be. This joint statement is an invitation for dialogue and a call to action for the congregations and leaders of the Minneapolis Area and Saint Paul Area Synods.
God invites us to be generous as individuals and as congregations.
God invites us to be missional, participating in God’s redemption of our world.
God invites us to be the Body of Christ in the world, speaking and working together in proclamation and service, in mercy and justice.
All the congregations in the Minneapolis Area and Saint Paul Area Synods to be generous in sharing your resources with the wider community, dedicating at least the first ten percent of your congregational offerings to the support of ministries outside the congregation, with a minimum five percent to ELCA mission support and five percent to other designated benevolences.
All the congregations of the Minneapolis Area and Saint Paul Area Synods to be missional, engaging in witness, service, and advocacy as you seek to be agents of justice and love in your immediate communities and around the world.
All the congregations of the Minneapolis Area and Saint Paul Area Synods to be the Body of Christ in the world by engaging in relationship with at least one local and one global partner.
All the congregations of the Minneapolis Area and Saint Paul Area Synods to work together, respecting our differences while uniting our efforts, recognizing that we can do more together than we can separately.
Work to provide resources that will help the congregations of the Minneapolis Area and Saint Paul Area Synods in our efforts to become generous, missional, and united centers of God’s redeeming love in our world.
Bishop Craig Johnson, Minneapolis Area Synod
Bishop Peter Rogness, Saint Paul Area Synod