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Thrive e-blast 4.14.20: Overflowing generosity, Keeping Stewardship Strong; Preparing for the future

Generosity Overflows Once Again

First Lutheran, Cincinnati, held its very successful “Faith Forward” capital campaign last fall. Built into the campaign was a commitment to give a tithe of the proceeds to various partner ministries. They had intended to distribute gifts over the three years of the campaign but felt the extraordinary times we are facing due to COVID-19 merited immediate release of funds. Thrive is pleased to be one of the recipients and we extend our heartfelt thanks to First Lutheran for its gracious gift of $2,000 ­– another example of the outpouring of generosity being displayed by congregations and individuals across our Synod.

Gifts and commitments to the Thrive Mission Campaign are approaching $650,000. A significant portion of that amount has already been received. The campaign, of course, is on hiatus during the pandemic. Our priority now is to offer support to congregations and their leaders to help them continue to thrive during the pandemic and thereafter. Overflowing generosity from First Lutheran, Cincinnati, and many other congregations and individuals, is allowing us to do that, as the articles below demonstrate.

Individuals who have made commitments to the THRIVE! Campaign and would like to continue to send in donations may continue to do so. Please mail checks made payable to 'Southern Ohio Synod' to 300 S. 2nd St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

You can also donate online through our Thrive! website by clicking the 'Make a Gift' tab at the top of the page. Thanks to those who continue to give, even during these uncertain times.


Keeping Stewardship Strong in Uncertain Times Online Workshop Being Offered Again

Sixty-eight people joined Pr. Mike Ward, CFRE, a Partner at GSB Fundraising, our consultant for Thrive, and author of Abundance: Creating Cultures of Generosity, for our first 'Keeping Stewardship Strong in Uncertain Times' workshop on April 2nd. The workshop, sponsored by Thrive, was very enthusiastically received. We are pleased to be able to offer it once again.

Join Mike on Thursday, April 23, from 11am-12pm, for a one-hour virtual workshop in which he will share tangible ideas for responding during this crisis and help you put in place the infrastructure to keep generosity flowing to your congregations. He will also point out messaging that you should avoid during this time. A portion of the program will be dedicated to questions from participants. This workshop is suggested for pastors, stewardship leaders, council members and others engaged in congregational leadership.

  • To join this ZOOM meeting by computer or tabletClick here.
  • When prompted, type in the Meeting ID, which is: 417 307 949
  • Password is 114309
  • In lieu of using a computer, you may dial in on your phone at: 1-646-558-8656. You will also likely be prompted to input the meeting ID shown above. This method of connecting to the call is recommended if you have slow or spotty internet connectivity.

For additional resources from Mike and GSB about responding to the crisis, click here: More Resources from GSB

This support is being brought about through the generosity of those who have already given to the Thrive Mission Campaign which, despite being postponed for now, remains more important than ever in helping the Synod help you. Please watch for further updates.



Get Better Prepared for the Future! Join Stewardship for All Seasons

Stewardship for All Seasons’ (SAS) is a year-round stewardship program for congregations that helps them create an ongoing culture of giving and be better positioned for doing ministry … or facing a crisis. Pr. Carey Hovland of Peace Lutheran in Beavercreek shares this story of how SAS reshaped her congregation's giving even during the pandemic.

Two years ago, we jumped on board the Stewardship for All Season program after hearing how great this program was from colleagues of mine in Iowa.  At the time, we were in the middle of doing long range planning with our congregation and found that the SAS plan fit well, as it is not just about a fall stewardship campaign but about the culture and structure of church leadership down through members of the congregation. In our first year (2018) as we were finalizing our 5-year long-term plan, we saw a dramatic increase in pledging: 40 new families pledged, and we increased our giving by $45,000. In our second year (2019) we saw an increase in pledges by another $45,000, which shocked and delighted the congregation. We used GSB and Mike Ward for our capital campaign to go with our SAS program and the Synod wide Thrive campaign, which we launched March 1 with intent cards going out to the congregation March 16th--right in the middle of everything being shut down. We announced on March 29th that we had received over $580,000 in leadership gifts. In the midst of the pandemic chaos, we have been blessed to have a well-structured program already in place which has been working to change our congregation’s culture around generosity and stewardship. I would recommend SAS to anyone who wants to grow in their faith and giving.

Stewardship for All Seasons is a proven program, which is why the Southern Ohio Synod is offering it as part of our Thrive! Campaign at a significantly discounted rate. Please contact Pr. Katie Kerrigan at for more information.



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