2017 Monthly Devotions for Church Council Meetings

The Virginia Synod Stewardship Table has created a booklet of monthly devotions, to be used by your Church Council at its meetings. Each devotion it contains was written by a pastor or lay member of our Virginia Synod, around the theme of stewardship as that which frames our lives together, called to share in the ministry of Word and Sacraments.
We hope that you will find these brief devotions, with their thought-provoking questions, to be helpful to you as you conduct the ministry and the business of your congregation or parish.

Where Does Your Offering Go?

Many of you are familiar with the animated video introduced at the 2016 Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans. The video is entitled, “Where your Offering Goes” this video can be viewed, downloaded and copied from the address below.

ELCA congregations gave $1.8 billion in regular offerings last year. Where does it go? This video shares how your congregational offerings support the ministries of the ELCA and the church around the world.


In addition, we have had requests from DEMs for DVD or thumb drive copies of this video. We too recognize some congregations do not yet have technology in place to show this video off the web. Therefore, we are giving you an opportunity to order copies of this video in both formats – DVD or thumb drive. We will provide up to 10 copies in either format to you at no cost if you send us a written request by no later than 4PM CDT on Monday, September 26, 2016. Additional copies will cost $5 each. To place your order, send your request with the specific mix (number for each format) to:

Neil Bullock at
You may call Neil at (773) 380-2884 if you have questions.
We are working to ship orders by Tuesday, October 11.

Some Useful Websites:


Tried and true books on stewardship and congregational renewal (find them all at )

  • Callahan, Kennon L. Twelve Keys to an Effective Church: Strong, Healthy Congregations Living in the Grace of God (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2010).
  • Christopher, J. Clif. Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008).
  • Hale, Ashley. The Lost Art of Church Fund Raising (Chicago: Precept Press Inc., 1993).
  • Hoge, Dean et al. Plain Talk about Churches and Money (The Alban Institute, 1997).
  • Joiner, Donald W. Creating a Climate for Giving (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2001).
  • Lane, Charles R. Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2006).
  • Lane, Charles R. & Pomroy, Grace Duddy. Embracing Stewardship: How to put stewardship at the heart of your congregation’s life (Embracing Stewardship, LLC, 2016).
  • Lupton, Robert D. Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (and How to Reverse It) (New York: HarperCollins, 2011).
  • Miller, Herb. New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program, Rev. Ed. With Guest Leader Guide & CD-ROM (Nashville: Abingdon, 2007).
  • Ramsey, Dave: Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money: The Handbook of Financial Peace University (Brentwood, TN: Lampo Licensing LLC, 2011).
  • Reeves, Michael et al. Creative Giving: Understanding Planned Giving and Endowments in Church (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2005).
  • Ronsvalle, John and Sylvia. Behind the Stained Glass Windows: Money Dynamics in the Church (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996).
  • Snow, Luther K. The Power of Asset Mapping: How Your Congregation Can Act on Its Gifts (Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2004).
  • Steinke, Peter L. A Door Set Open: Grounding Change in Mission and Hope (Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2010).
  • White, Michael and Corcoran, Tom. Rebuilt: The Story of a Catholic Parish: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, Making Church Matter (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2013).


White papers on selected topics related to congregations and planned giving: 


Gift Acceptance Policy

Mission Endowment Fund