Stewardship & Spiritual Gifts
Stewardship is everything we do after we say, "I believe." When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior we know that everything
we have and everything we are comes from God. Therefore, stewardship is our response to all the gifts that we have already
received--our selves, our family, our vocation, our talents, our past and our future.
God has given each Christian two vitally important gifts. The first is the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, his work of redemption, and thus forgiveness of sin. The second is the gift of one or more special abilities, which are to be used for the purpose of unifying the body
of Christ and for the growth of God's Kingdom. These abilities are called spiritual gifts and they are received through our baptism.
Like other presents, it is impossible to fully appreciate and make use of our spiritual gifts until they have been opened. Follow the link below to visit the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Spiritual Gifts Inventory online assessment. This tool will help you begin to open your spiritual gifts by guiding you through the following three activities:
Highlighting scripture: references that both support the existence of spiritual gifts and identify those which are commonly found in service today.
Self Assessment: a list of 60 questions which will help you identify which gifts you have received in greatest measure.
Exploration of Use: suggestions for the various types of ministry you might be most effective in because of your spiritual gifts. These three activities will begin to help you discover and employ your spiritual gifts. May the special abilities God has given you be deployed in areas of ministry where they will be most effective for the good of the entire church body. These gifts should also be affirmed by the body and utilized by the one who is gifted.
Spiritual Gifts Inventory Self Assessment
After you score your inventory continue the process by learning more about the different Spiritual Gifts. To discuss even more about Spiritual Gifts and putting your gifts to use at First, contact the church office at 944-3196.
Stewardship: Giving in Gratitude
Stewardship teaches that all that we have and all that we are is a gift from God. We are the stewards - not only of our financial resources, but also of this created earth, our time, our talents, our families, our relationships, life itself, but most importantly of God’s word. Christian stewardship is using these gifts God has given us, to do the work God is calling us to do. We put our financial gifts to work in a number of ways:
• Annual Giving (ordinary stewardship) is the regular practice of returning to God every year
a portion of all that God has given us.
• Capital Giving (extraordinary stewardship) involves the special occasions that arise in the life
of our church home that call us to give beyond our ordinary habit.
• Legacy Giving (legacy stewardship) is the way in which we address the matter of gifting the
accumulations of our lifetime to strengthen our church and the other causes we care about.
How we use money says as much about our value system as anything we say and do. How we value it - hoard it - and
spend it defines us. Who are you becoming? Who do you want to be? What is God calling you to do? Walk with us this
fall as we explore God’s calling in worship and in Bible readings through Giving in Gratitude.
Local and global impact — Social Ministry responds!
As a church that believes God calls us into the world together, we are committed to addressing life in society
in a variety of ways. As Scripture teaches, faith is active in love, and love calls for justice in the relationships and structures of society. Our grateful response to God’s love and grace motivates us to live lives that demonstrate our responsibility for the well-being of society, communities and the environment. A portion of your weekly offerings bring God’s loving hands to our residents of Geneseo, our neighbors in Henry County, and even in the global community in which we live and serve through the work of First’s Social Ministry Team. This past year, our Social Ministry outreach provided grants to support neonatal tetanus vaccinations, camperships for Henry County foster children, a Haitian mission trip, Rebuilding Together in Geneseo, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center camp, safety and drug prevention education, and food for our global neighbors through the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. Thank you for giving so generously each week, and for joining us as we extend God’s love to all those in need.
Manage Your Church Giving Online!
First Lutheran is excited to announce that you can now manage your giving online! Giving online is easy and allows you to set up automatic recurring contributions and view your complete online giving history from anywhere you have access to the Internet.
Simply follow these easy steps:
1) Visit the church website at www.firstgeneseo.org
2) Click on the Give Online link on the home page
3) Click on the Create Profile button
4) Follow the instructions to create an online profile and to schedule your recurring contributions
Your giving will flow seamlessly to the church office and be credited to your annual giving statement. Questions? Contact the church office at 944-3196!
Did you know...?
Did you know that you can sign up for your offering to be received via automated giving (ACH transactions)? First Lutheran uses
a program called “Simply Giving” through which you can authorize weekly or monthly transactions from your savings or checking account. You can give an offering to the General Fund, and also make regular gifts to other funds, such as the Capital Campaign or
the Building Fund. By doing this, you ensure that your offering is received regularly, even when you forget your offering envelope or check book, or when you are traveling or unable to come to church. Each ACH transaction costs $0.28, so a monthly automated gift costs the church less than offering envelopes. Many members already give their offering this way. If you would like to begin using Simply Giving, pick up a form at the Resource Center, fill it out and turn it in to the church office. When you submit your form, you
will be removed from the offering envelope mailing list, although you will maintain your envelope number, which can still be used
with the pew envelopes for special gifts. If you have any questions, talk with Financial Secretary Lynn Lindell by calling the church
office or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simply Giving Authorization Form
Gift your IRA RMD
Do you have an IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) this year? If you are 70½ or older you can gift all or a portion of your RMD straight from your IRA to First Lutheran to support the work of God’s hands in our congregation, and at the same time bypass paying income tax on the gift portion of your distribution. Simply inform your IRA servicer you wish to make
a Qualified Charitable Distribution to First Lutheran Church. For more information contact the church office.
First Lutheran Accepts Gifts of Stock!
Gifts of appreciated assets, such as stock, are great ways to financially support the ministries you value at First Lutheran
and at the same time you may be able to avoid capital gains tax on the gifted asset. Check with your accountant regarding what appreciated assets may be most advantageous for you to gift before the end of the year!
Ways to Remember First Lutheran Church in your Will
About ten First Lutheran families attended the Will and Estate Planning Workshop on Sunday, April 22. The seminar was led by Trista Foster, Vice President and Trust Officer at American Bank and Trust Company. She outlined the benefits of having a will and other estate plans in place. As part of her presentation, she discussed
a number of different options for remembering your church or other nonprofit organizations in your will and estate planning. These include the following:
• Declaring a specified dollar amount in your will.
• Declaring a specified percentage of your estate in your will.
• Making the church or other organization an equal beneficiary to your estate, along with your
children or other beneficiaries.
• Making the church or other organization a beneficiary of your IRA, stock, or other tangible item.
• Purchasing life insurance and making the church or other organization a beneficiary.
For additional information on how to set up your will or estate to benefit the church, please contact one of the pastors.