Category Archives: Stewardship

Fall Back with Hospitality

by Lisa Meeder Turnbull
Diocesan Stewardship Consultant

Like all good things, the gift of “an extra hour” raises a fundamental question of stewardship: How will we spend it?

Many of us, of course, will take advantage of some extra sleep, or maybe indulge in staying up late on Saturday night. Inevitably, and no matter how well we plan our clock changes, there will be those who arrive early for morning services.

Why not make this an opportunity for moments of grace?

  • Recruit a few greeters to intentionally arrive early, prepared to spend time with early comers. This isn’t just for newcomers or recent members; long-time members and life-long friends enjoy unhurried conversation, too.
  • Invite! If you are one who arrives early for Altar Guild, Coffee Hour hosting, or Church School, invite the early comers to keep you company, pitch in, and be a part of things. You might find new gifts in your midst!
  • Create a small chapel space. Some early comers might appreciate an unexpected time of quiet, prayer, and reflection.
  • Plan into it. For the last month or so members of my congregation have been writing favorite hymns on a list posted to the bulletin board. We’ll use our “bonus time” for a half-hour hymn sing before the service begins.

What else might our congregations do with an extra hour? How might we fall back with hospitality? Share your thoughts in the comments below—let’s see how creative we can be with this gift of time!

Questions for Lisa about your church and stewardship? Please be in touch with her at

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Filed under Diocesan Life, Stewardship

Stewardship Conference Comes to Maine!

by Lisa Meeder Turnbull

In May, TENS (The Episcopal Network for Stewardship) held its annual conference in Camp Allen, Texas. The conference included an opening worship service, with a sermon by Bishop Andy Doyle, Diocese of Texas; keynote addresses by The Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral; and a host of workshops on various topics of interest to clergy and lay leaders alike.

Now these very same conference sessions are coming to Maine! There are three opportunities for you to access these resources as you plan your stewardship program for the coming year:

  • On Saturday, July 11, I will host a gathering from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Patrick’s, Brewer. We will view portions of the conference webcasts around the themes of gifts and generosity, and mission and message in the ministry of stewardship. Conference sessions will give us the starting point, your particular needs and interests will shape the conversation.
  • A similar gathering will be repeated the following Saturday, July 18, also from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Loring House in Portland.
  • If you are unable to attend either of these gatherings, or if you would like to use the webcasts locally with your stewardship committee, you can access the webcast recordings directly. Just send me a message at, and I will reply with access instructions, as well as some “insider tips” on the content of each session. The recordings will be available through the end of July.

Registration is now open for the St. Patrick’s Brewer and Loring House gatherings. I look forward to seeing many of you there, and to enjoying a lively day of all things stewardship! In the meantime, if you have any questions about the conference sessions, the gatherings, or anything related to your congregation’s stewardship ministry, I welcome your e-mails at!

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One week: five offerings

Learn about the struggles of daily life in people in Gaza…
Navigate the intricacies of filling out the Parochial Report…
Join a spirited conversation covering strategic thinking in Maine churches…
Share your stories (or learn more) about Godly Play…

Between Thursday, February 5, and Thursday, February 12, the Diocese of Maine will offer five events on WebEx,  the web conferencing service that allows us to gather Maine Episcopalians from all corners of the state to learn and share ideas without leaving home!

There is no need to register for any of the events. To participate in any of these sessions, simply visit the web link a few minutes before the session is scheduled to start, click on the meeting title and the “Join” button, then follow the prompts.

See the list below for a descriptions of each session:

Thursday, February 5, at 7:30 p.m.
Eyewitness to Gaza” with the Rev. Bob and Maurine Tobin
The Tobins of Deer Isle had opportunity in December 2014 to enter Gaza to visit Al Ahli Arab Hospital, an institution of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (and supported by the Diocese of Maine), and to view the devastation resulting from the Israeli summer war on Gaza. (Read the Tobin’s updated account of their trip here.)

Via WebEx they will share their eyewitness experiences on Thursday, February 5, at 7:30 p.m. with commentary, photos, and brief videos that highlight both the catastrophic conditions under which Gazans are living and the extraordinary medical and psycho-social care provided by the Christian and Muslim staff of this remarkable hospital.  To learn more, visit

Monday, February 9, at 7 p.m.
Stewardship workshop with Lisa Meeder Turnbull
Diocesan Stewardship Consultant Lisa Meeder Turnbull will lead a session on Monday, February 9, at 7 p.m. She will cover the topic “Strategic Thinking.”    To join the conversation, visit

Tuesday, February 10, at 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 12, at 7 p.m. (repeat)
Take a Walk through the Parochial Report with Canon for Finance and Stewardship Terry Reimer
 Canon for Finance and Stewardship, Terry Reimer, will offer two sessions by WebEx to walk church leaders through the steps to fill out the Parochial Report. Choose either Tuesday, February 10, or Thursday, February 12. Both sessions will begin at 7 p.m. and last one hour, including time for Q&A. Go to shortly before 7 p.m. to be ready for a prompt start.

Wednesday, February 11, at 6 p.m.
Godly Play Storytelling Circle gathers at St. Ann’s, Windham, and online
On Wednesday, February 11, all are welcome to gather for a Godly Play session at 6 p.m. at St. Ann’s in Windham. Participants may also join from home through WebEx by visiting

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Filed under Diocesan Life, Faith Development, Ministry and Outreach, Social Justice, Stewardship, Training and Education Events

Introducing Planned Giving on Demand

by Lisa Meeder Turnbull
Diocesan Stewardship Consultant

The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) has just released Planned Giving on Demand, a new resource to support congregations in their planned giving ministry. Whether you have a well-established legacy stewardship program or are just beginning to think about how legacy stewardship might benefit your congregation, Planned Giving on Demand offers both a robust toolbox and a supportive leadership structure to help you keep things moving forward.

The Planned Giving on Demand toolkit includes familiar bedrock pieces such as Funding Future Ministry and Planning for the End of Life, as well as a new user guide that breaks the process into user-friendly stages that lead to a successful and sustainable program. In addition, Planned Giving on Demand offers access to a private website that serves as a clearinghouse for up-to-date print and electronic resources.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Planned Giving on Demand is the Planned Giving Shepherds Community. A Planned Giving Shepherd is a member of the congregation who takes it has his or her ministry to guide the process and serve as a resource person within the parish. Shepherds receive invitations to regularly scheduled ECF-hosted online discussions as well as to online discussions that I will host to nurture a legacy stewardship network with the Diocese of Maine.

If this sounds like something that would be useful in your congregation, consider yourself invited! I have purchased a number of Planned Giving on Demand toolkits on behalf of Maine congregations and would love to include as many congregations as possible in launching a network.

Ready to roll? If your congregation already has a legacy stewardship program in progress or has committed to engaging the process, you need only send me the name and contact information for your Planned Giving Shepherd and I will take it from there!

Not quite sure? On Monday, January 12, I will host a mainestewards webinar, “Planning for Planned Giving,” from 7:00-8:00 p.m. This discussion will include an introduction to Planned Giving on Demand. To participate, simply go to at the appointed time; look for “stewardship” on the list of meetings scheduled for that day; click “join” to enter the meeting site.

Want to talk it over? I am happy to talk by phone or via Skype with clergy and lay leaders who are potentially interested in Planned Giving on Demand. Please e-mail me at to set up a time.

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Filed under Stewardship, Training and Education Events, Uncategorized

Mainestewards heats up for fall

by Lisa Meeder Turnbull
Diocesan Stewardship Consultant

Lisa Meeder Turnbull

Lisa Meeder Turnbull

With temperatures cooling down and the program year heating up, mainestewards is back with a variety of resources and ideas for clergy and lay leaders!

Check out the fall line-up of webinars offered (free!) by the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF)—there are a number of new titles offered for the first time, with literally something for everyone! The full schedule, along with registration, is available here.

On Saturday, September 27, I will host a live webinar from 10:00 a.m. until noon. This is a chance for us to connect; talk about how the ideas that emerge in the ECF webinars might be adapted to our specific congregations; look together at some new tools that are emerging from other denominations; and learn from one another’s challenges and successes. To register, please send an e-mail to I will then send you an invitation with sign-in instructions for the live session.

Walking the Way is a six-part, lectionary-based resource published by TENS: The Episcopal Network for Stewardship. This year’s edition features two bonus pieces for the Feast of St. Francis and All Saints Sunday. Because Maine is a Diocesan Member of TENS, these materials are available (free!) to congregations. For more information on this very flexible resource, visit

“Like” mainestewards on Facebook and you will become part of Maine’s stewardship community, sharing thoughts and ideas and receiving emerging resources in real time.

Questions? Thoughts? Ideas? I would love to hear from you! Please write to me any time at I am always interested in hearing how mainestewards can be a useful resource for congregations of all shapes and sizes, in all parts of Maine.

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Sharing stewardship successes

by Lisa Meeder Turnbull
Diocesan Stewardship Consultant

The Diocesan Stewardship Initiative has now been underway for nearly a year, offering consultation and resources in all aspects of stewardship: time and talent, love and compassion, effort and dedication, and funds. It is exciting to see the many creative ways that congregations inspire and celebrate offerings of prayer, presence, gifts, and service.

As we become more intentional about cross-pollination, sharing successes and challenges, the question I hear most often is, “Who else is facing this same challenge? How are they approaching it?” With that in mind, let me share some examples of the creativity that is coming to the fore as we take a fresh look at stewardship:

  • A small congregation offers a successful weekday fellowship program for families with young children. Maintenance thinking used to ask, “How can we get them to come back on Sunday?” Mission thinking now asks, “How will we be a church with the congregation that is emerging?”Perhaps it will be Noonday Prayer prior to the established fellowship, or a relaxed late-afternoon service. The answer is still emerging, but the question is exciting.
  • A stewardship committee stretched the Consecrating Stewards model to engage a year-round conversation around the many ways that members are in ministry together.Twice-monthly, a different ministry or committee is highlighted. During worship, a member talks for a moment about the ministry and what it has meant to his or her spiritual journey.  This both engages the community in the church’s breadth of ministry, and it makes conversations about church finance more tangible.
  • In a congregation with strong seasonal membership, the rector’s weekly e-mail creates an on-going sense of community. This is part of a larger approach that includes a June Homecoming, an August annual meeting, and a Blessing on Your Way in September.Through this intentional structure of communication and celebration, seasonal members arrive already “up to speed” as a reunited body of Christ. They also have a tangible sense of their support for mission and ministry: They understand that their faithful, year-round generosity doesn’t just pay for heating oil, it provides year-round warmth for program, worship, and community presence.

If these stories resonate, if you would like to bring fresh thinking about stewardship to your congregation, consider these opportunities:

  • On Saturday, February 11, St. John’s Bangor will host two stewardship workshops.

From 9:30-12:30, Money and More will explore holistic stewardship and offer some practical approaches for engaging stewardship in the congregation.

From 1:00-3:00, Organs and Boilers and Roofs, Oh My! will talk through the ins-and-outs of capital campaigns and legacy and endowment giving.

To register for either or both of these sessions, click here.

  • Visit my blog at for stewardship-related reflections, many linked to the week’s lectionary readings.
  • To host a regional stewardship workshop or plan for me to visit your congregation, write to me at


Filed under Congregational Events, Diocesan Life, St. John's Bangor, Stewardship, Training and Education Events

Stewardship Double-Header at St. John’s, Bangor, February 11

On Saturday, February 11, 2012, St. John’s, Bangor, will host two stewardship workshops for clergy and lay leaders.

From 9:30-12:30, Money and More will introduce year-round, holistic stewardship, taking a fresh look at time, talent, and treasure through the lenses of the liturgical cycle, the unique seasons of the individual congregation’s life together, and our commitment to mission and ministry in all that we do with all that we have.

From 1:00-3:00, Organs and Boilers and Roofs, Oh My! will look at the principles of capital and legacy stewardship, with practical discussion around how and when to approach what are sometimes sensitive conversations.

Our time together will include the praying of the Daily Office and a lunch break, with a simple sandwich platter and beverage provided. Participants are welcome to bring a “brown bag” supplement as well.

Questions? Contact Lisa Meeder Turnbull at

Ready to register, either as an individual or on behalf of a team from your congregation? Click here!

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Filed under Congregational Events, St. John's Bangor, Stewardship, Training and Education Events

Three great opportunities to learn and grow on Saturday, October 1

Whether your interests focus on ministry, service or stewardship, there are three opportunities for you across the Diocese of Maine next Saturday, October 1, in Waterville, Auburn and Kennebunk.  Learn more below.

Baptismal Ministry Day:  October 1 at St. Mark’s, Waterville

On Saturday, October 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. join people from all over the Diocese in a day of story and learning at St. Mark’s, Waterville – presentations about unique ministries, small group forums, and featuring time with Bishop Lane.  A delicious lunch is provided by the Committee on Baptismal Ministry.

Topics to be covered include: women’s ministry, music ministry, youth ministry, community gardens, collaborative ministry between congregations, Cursillo, healing ministry and discerning one’s spiritual gifts.  Bishop Lane will be on hand to talk about the Mission Study Group white papers and resolutions to come before Convention.

Details and registration are here.  (Scroll down the page to the “Register Here” link.)  An updated flyer is available here.

Faithful Member Home Visitation Workshop

 Questions from the Maine Stewardship Initiative: 

Is your congregation considering an every member canvass this year?

Do you want to incorporate a stewardship conversation into your congregation’s new member program?

Do you just want to raise your comfort level with talking about money one-on-one or in a home setting?  

If so, gather with other Maine Episcopalians for the Faithful Member Home Visitation workshop on Saturday, October 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. David’s in Kennebunk. Registration is simple: just send an e-mail to Lisa Meeder Turnbull at, providing your name and home congregation.

This workshop is offered at the request of congregations in York and Cumberland Counties. If you would like to have an event offered in your area, addressing any aspect of the Diocesan Stewardship Initiative, please let Lisa know and she will be in touch to begin planning.

Deacons offer workshop for all on “learning how to help”

Ever wonder how to help someone access Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) services? Do you wonder what services are even out there? Consider coming to “A Day with DHHS.”  The Community of Deacons invites you to share in a continuing education program October 1, at St. Michael’s, Auburn.  Led by three current DHHS employees, the program is designed to help deacons — and others whose work or ministry puts them in contact with those on the margins — learn what DHHS has to offer and how to help those in need to access appropriate services.  The program will run 9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. with the option of staying through lunch. For more information or to register for this educational opportunity, please contact Mary Lee Wile at

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Filed under Deacons, Diocesan Life, Faith Development, Ministry and Outreach, Stewardship

Introducing the Diocesan Stewardship Initiative

Lisa Meeder Turnbull

The Diocesan Stewardship Initiative, one of the New Initiatives designated by Diocesan Council for 2011, is underway!

This ministry of the diocese integrates congregational consulting, an online community for clergy and lay leaders, and regional events.

The Initiative is headed by Lisa Meeder Turnbull, a member of the Congregational Consultants Network and former Missioner for Stewardship in the Diocese of Maine.

Lisa is available to meet with congregational leaders, either from individual congregations or jointly in areas where congregations are collaborating.  Clergy and lay leaders are welcome to contact her directly at to explore how the Initiative may be a resource to your congregation or to arrange for an on-site meeting.

In addition to on-site consulting, the Initiative includes two online elements designed to offer on-going support to clergy and lay leaders throughout the diocese. The stewardship listserv,, is a place to ask questions, share resources and best practices, and discuss ideas and challenges with others engaged in stewardship ministry.  Once subscribed, you can post questions and comments by addressing e-mail to

A mainestewards blog,, offers reflections on all aspects of stewardship and baptismal ministry. These reflections will draw upon the weekly lectionary readings, the diocesan cycle of prayer, and issues in our common life as they relate to financial, non-financial, and legacy stewardship. If you know someone who does not have internet access but would like to receive these reflections, please send Lisa the person’s name and postal address; she will be happy to send out the reflections as they are posted.

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A Creative Stewardship Idea

A way to raise funds at your church’s next silent auction?

(hat/tip – the Rev. Scott Gunn of Christ Church, Lincoln, RI)


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Filed under Fun, Stewardship