Giving Project engages entire congregation

For approximately the past six months, a small stewardship team comprised of five people at St. James, Westwood, worked on a stewardship drive we called the Giving Project. Beginning in June, the team sketched out a schedule of activities, goals, and to-do lists. The project was introduced to the congregation in September.

The primary focus of the Giving Project was to engage everyone in the congregation to reflect, pray and participate in any way that was most suited to their circumstances and abilities. Our specific monetary goal was announced, as well as the stated need to work together to ensure that our priest in charge would eventually be secured as our permanent rector.

Then, the true fun began. The stewardship team had chosen a mascot – a sheep – and a tagline for the campaign, Count me in! These symbols and words were incorporated into short temple talks, posters, letters, and even sheep cutouts to be decorated and returned with pledge cards. We also invited individuals to lend their own sheep from home to be placed in and around the church as playful reminders of our communal project.

In the end, we came very close to reaching our monetary goal and we consider this accomplishment very encouraging. We celebrated with a meal of thanksgiving for all the blessings that resulted from God’s abundant giving and our own.

To my surprise, this project proved to be very manageable due to diligence, dedication and engaged participation of the team and the congregation. I believe the stewardship team completed their tasks well due to strong communications and an encouraging sense of camaraderie. We are looking forward to continuing additional segments of the Giving Project in 2018.

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Laura Kennedy serves as a vestry member and part of the stewardship team at St. James, Westwood.