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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Sophia & stewardship

Follow-up: In this Delaware congregation, they go together

When The Lutheran first reported on Community Lutheran Church, Frankford, Del., leaders expected that a two-year stewardship education program they started this year would raise members' understanding of giving, which would hopefully increase pledges and bail out the budget (April, "Resurrected"). But leaders didn't expect that members would be introduced to, and embrace, Sophia.

This is a most welcome surprise, said council member Dave Bartges, who, for fun, began referring to the Spirit as Sophia, the Greek word for wisdom.

Pledge card jar illustrated by Michael D. Watson"We're not seeing more money, necessarily, but we are seeing things improving spiritually," said Bettye Wolinski, pastor. When that happens, she added, increased giving usually follows.

"We're listening to the Spirit and learning," she said, adding that members are considering new ways to overcome ingrained habitual thinking such as: "My income is nobody's business" and "My desire to give is private."


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