• Our Stewardship: Managing Our Assets by John L. Golv (Augsburg Fortress, 2002; 800-328-4648; www.augsburgfortress.org).
• Growing Up Generous: Engaging Youth in Giving and Serving by Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Elanah Dalyah Naftali and Laura Musegades (The Alban Institute, 2000; 800-486-1318, Ext. 244; www.Alban.org).
• Prodigal Sons and Material Girls: How Not to Be Your Child's ATM by Nathan Dungan (John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2003; 877-762-2974; www.wiley.com).
• Stewardship of Life Institute Web site: www.stewardshipoflife.org
Every year since 1990 the Greater Milwaukee Synod has contributed 61 percent of its income from congregations to the ELCA. That's a greater share than any of the other 64 synods. And it comes from a great commitment.
The original synod council and first bishop, Peter Rogness, set the direction, says Aleta Chossek, assistant to the bishop. "It was in their theology that we give out of our firstfruits and that we give generously," she adds.
"People are struggling financially and are turning inward," Chossek says. "There has been strong pressure to alter the 61 percent."
But the synod has an equally strong resolve not to do so. "The stance we maintain," says Paul Stumme-Diers, bishop, "is that when finances are tight, we find ways to be all the more generous. It's at precisely such times that the vulnerable and marginalized in our world are most at risk. It calls us in our faithfulness to move from a sense of scarcity to a theology of abundance."
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