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Presbyterian Foundation staff to host workshops at Big Tent

April 25, 2017
This summer, Presbyterians will gather for Big Tent 2017 at Washington University in St. Louis. The Presbyterian Foundation will offer several workshops designed to help both lay people and pastors refresh and renew their approach to church giving and ministry. 

Big Tent’s theme is “Race, Reconciliation and Reformation” and it is set for July 6 to 8. Registration is $395 and includes accommodations on the Washington University campus for three nights and six meals. Commuter rate (Big Tent programming and four meals) is $225. You can find a complete listing of other available packages on the Accommodations & Meals page. You can register for Big Tent here. If you’d like a look at the full schedule, you can find that here

In addition to the workshops, our Ministry Relations Officers (MROs) and other staff members will be attending Big Tent and will be happy to meet with you. Our MROs are financial and gift planning professionals. They work with pastors and church leaders to cultivate generosity and promote stewardship within their congregations. The MROs are experienced fundraisers. They are also church leaders, having served as pastors, elders, and in other capacities throughout the denomination. If you’d like to talk to a ministry relations officer, you can find information on the territories they serve here, and biographical information here

Here’s a look at the workshops we’re offering. 

E-giving: A New Tool for Increasing Offering 
Fewer people today are using cash and checks for their financial transactions. As a result, churches have an opportunity to expand their giving opportunities, and need to support a variety of ways to encourage their members from giving faithfully and regularly. Online giving is here to stay. Why not embrace technology when it can aid members in their financial planning and provide an easy way to give and meet their stewardship commitment? Now more than ever we need to offer people more options to be extravagant givers. This workshop will discuss a variety of electronic giving solutions available to congregations today. This workshop is led by Olanda Carr, ministry relations officer for the east region.

Creating a Culture of Generosity 
Is your congregation’s approach to stewardship stuck in a rut? Are you living in a state of scarcity and longing for abundance? Do you long for your church’s members to enjoy the spiritual rewards of a generous life? This workshop is designed to help you move your church from conducting a traditional stewardship campaign to building a year-round, spiritually-based culture of generosity. You will walk away with ideas on organizing your generosity/stewardship leadership group, communicating with the different generations that exist in your congregation, integrating all aspects of your church into the life of generosity, and teaching the spirituality of generosity. Be prepared to evaluate your current program, and walk away with a new excitement and energy about generosity for the future of your church. This workshop is led by Robert Hay Jr., ministry relations officer for the southeast.

Black Presbyterian Churches: A Call to Effective Stewardship in the Wilderness 
Reflect on the historic relationship between African American churches/leaders and the PC(USA) since reunion in 1983, and how to be faithful and effective stewards on the changing landscape of mission. This workshop is led by Rev. Sterling Morse, coordinator for African American Intercultural Congregational Support, Presbyterian Mission Agency, and Rev. James Reese, minister for Specialized Interpretation, Presbyterian Foundation.

Changing Face of Ministry 
Two trends foreshadow significant change for the PC(USA) in the coming years. Demographic information about inquirers and candidates in the preparation for ministry process suggests they are more diverse than the PC(USA) as a whole. As they prepare to move into ministry, we will also be seeing increasing numbers of current teaching elders entering retirement. Considering the changing needs of congregations, what can we do to support the future of ministry in the PC(USA)? How can congregations and judicatories assure we are welcoming to all who are called into ministry? Join a guided conversation that will include recent research and key conversation partners. We welcome the wisdom, experience, and questions of all God’s people. This workshop is led by Tim Cargal, assistant stated clerk and manager for Preparation for Ministry, Office of the General Assembly, and Lee Hinson-Hasty, senior director for the Theological Education Fund at the Presbyterian Foundation.

Beyond the Presbyterian Foundation workshops, you may be interested in workshops on the following topics:
  • The Presbyterian Historical Society, a Foundation partner, is presenting a workshop on Presbyterian Engagement with the World War II Incarceration of Japanese Americans. 
  • Rob Fohr, Director of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement, and other church leaders are presenting a workshop on a collaborative approach to climate change. 
  • Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program will present a workshop on Surviving a Church Building Project. 

We hope to see you at Big Tent!  
 
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