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SAS Abundance Advocates
We work from abundance. From the opening chapters of Genesis depicting a flourishing, fruitful creation, to Jesus’ mission articulated in the Gospel of John: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” God promises an abundance of gifts for the life of the world. The Lilly Endowment National Initiative and the RMS afford 3E abundant resources to support the development of our programs.
Opportunities to Continue SAS for a Second Year
One of the SAS Phase I learnings is that continued use of the SAS principles from those that participate best leads congregations into building cultures of generosity. Because of this, we strongly encourage a second year of stewardship education that deepens the practice and spirituality of stewardship beyond the congregation’s annual appeal.,
Gronlund Sayther Brunkow (Gronlund) contracts with 3E to provide SAS Year 2 programming. The focus in Year 2 is on fundraising methods beyond the annual appeal. There is a cost to SAS Year 2 and 3E scholarships are made available to congregations that have completed SAS Year 1 and choose to continue with GSB for a second year.
3E fully recognizes, however, that Gronlund's more formal Year 2 programming may not be desired by or affordable for all congregations. So in our Lilly Grant for Phase II, we will be offering an alternative Year 2 program that will be led by RMS Abundance Advocates. Abundance Advocates will be a team of outstanding, gifted stewardship lay leaders from across the RMS, with approximately Advocate located in each of the synod’s conferences.
The Advocates will hold regular consultative conversations (either in-person, by ZOOM or telephone) with congregations and their leaders to continue 3E stewardship engagement. These Advocates will be trained in and committed to SAS stewardship principles and help congregations and leaders strengthen culture change grounded in their SAS Year 1 participation.
In addition to these consultative conversations, the Advocates will employ new tools to help congregations deepen their commitment to building generosity. A primary tool will be using excellent stewardship books, such as Abundance: Creating a Culture of Generosity (by Mike Ward, Partner in Gronlund) and A Spirituality of Fundraising (by Henri Nouwen, now available in a workbook format). Other books that support or supplement SAS guiding principles may be added.
Something to Consider
If you have participated in SAS Cohorts 1, 2 or 3 and wish to look into Year 2* for your congregation - or - you want to explore what it takes to become an Abundance Advocate, contact Deb Elstad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*It is never too late to join a Year 2 experience. Only requirement is that you completed SAS Year 1.