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FALL 2021
Let’s Talk About Money
ing life stages. The people at Peach Blossom talk about issues like why they give, the role of gratitude, how to say thank you, tithing and how to ap- proach bequests. They tackle some controversial topics, like whether the minister should know what people give. Their explorations and stories contain material for sermons, dis- cussion topics and practical ideas, like how to present a congregational budget.
Through the book, Peach Blossom transforms from a congregation that only talks about money when they don’t have much of it into one that in- tegrates money topics into Bible stud- ies, sermons and children’s stories. Their conversation changes to focus on gratitude rather than worry. Ex- pressing gratitude, Lori finds, is at the core of becoming generous people.
When asked if there is one thing a congregation can do to increase generosity, Lori replied that it would be to share stories: stories about why people give and stories about how God is transforming gifts into mission. “Stories have the power to transform,” Lori said.
Nurturing a culture of generosity doesn’t have to be complicated. An intentional program on generosity can be anything that helps people to follow Jesus’ teachings on how to ef- fectively practice stewardship.
If you would like to do one thing this year to help your congregation learn more, Growing a Generous Church would make a great selection
for a church book club! There is a discount for 10+ books to encour- age group study.
You could also try the United Church of Canada’s “Called to be Church” program to build a Stew- ardship Sunday service, integrate stewardship ideas into your regular services, or run a stewardship cam- paign. This year’s theme explores the connection between discipleship and stewardship.
Sanctified Art, a collective of PC(USA) ministers bringing scrip- tures to life through the arts, has a four-week stewardship series called “Our Money Story,” which helps peo- ple look at the role of money on their spiritual journey. (The series can be purchased, but there is tiered pricing to make the resources accessible to congregations of all sizes.)
More Information
Growing a Generous Church
leadership webinar: webinars (Stewardship & Planned Giving section)
Growing a Generous Church book: or
“Called to be Church” program: faith/get-involved/stewardship/ called-be-church-journey
“Our Money Story”: sanctifiedart. org/our-money-story-stewardship- bundle
  By Karen Plater, Associate Secretary, Stewardship and Planned Giving
If your congregation finds it chal- lenging to ask people to give or to talk about finances, you’re not alone. In a survey on stewardship recently conducted by the PCC, out of 334 congregations who replied, 79% said they don’t have an intentional pro- gram to encourage generous giving, while 10% said they never talk about money and 40% have never had a sermon on stewardship.
Lori Guenther Reesor would like to change that.
In June, Lori joined Presbyterians for an online webinar to discuss ways for people to encourage gen- erosity in their congregation. She introduced ideas from her new book Growing a Generous Church. Writ- ten to help congregations who have never been intentional about talking about money, Lori’s book focuses on the financial aspects of generosity because she feels that churches par- ticularly “need help getting past the fear factor in talking about finances.”
While doing doctoral research on giving, Lori was surprised to discover that even as people who go to church are some of the most generous peo- ple in Canada, as many as 40% of Canadian church attendees do not donate to their congregation. “You know who is never surprised by that statistic?” Lori said in the webinar. “Church treasurers.”
Lori sees generosity as a spiritual discipline like prayer, which can be taught and nurtured and discussed. “Just because we pray doesn’t mean there isn’t more we can learn about praying,” she explained. Even generous people and good finan- cial managers can continually learn about generosity. Furthermore, at different stages of life, people can
To see all pulpit vacancies, visit
Calgary, St. Andrew’s (full-time associate minister of Growth & Care) – Alberta & the Northwest
Edmonton, Dayspring (full-time minister) – Alberta & the Northwest
Lethbridge, St. Andrew’s (full-time minister) – Alberta & the Northwest
Fredericton, St. Andrew’s (full-time minister) – Atlantic Provinces
Duncan, St. Andrew’s (full-time minister) – British Columbia
Prince George, St. Giles (full-time minister) – British Columbia
Amherstview, Trinity (60%-time minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Bradford West Gwillimbury, St. John’s (full-time Associate Minister for Children and Families) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Elmira, Gale (full-time minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Elmvale, Elmvale and Knox Flos
(full-time minister, 2-point charge) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Lakefield, St. Andrew’s, Knox
(60%-time minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
North York, University (part-time minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Orillia, St. Andrew’s (full-time minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Toronto, Formosan (full-time minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Toronto, Knox (full-time senior minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Toronto, Mimico (75%-time minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Toronto, Rosedale (full-time minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Toronto, York Memorial (half-time minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda
Kenora, First (full-time minister) – Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario
Thunder Bay, Lakeview (full- time minister) – Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario
Arnprior, St. Andrew’s (full-time minister) – Quebec & Eastern Ontario
Laval, Ghanaian Presbyterian Church of Montreal (full-time minister) – Quebec & Eastern Ontario
Montreal, Presbyterian Church of the Town of Mount Royal (60%- time minister) – Quebec & Eastern Ontario
Montreal, Snowdon Korean (full- time minister) – Quebec & Eastern Ontario
Montreal, Taiwanese Robert Campbell (full-time minister) – Quebec & Eastern Ontario
Montreal, The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (full-time Associate Minister for Community Connections and Care) – Quebec & Eastern Ontario
Perth, St. Andrew’s (full-time minister) – Quebec & Eastern Ontario
The Rev. Dr. Cedric Pettigrew
Ottawa, Ont.
Deceased July 17, 2021
The Rev. Richard J. Gillanders
Winnipeg, Man. Deceased July 17, 2021
The Rev. Ronald Mahabir
Chateauguay, Que. Deceased July 11, 2021
The Rev. Dianne Ollerenshaw
Calgary, Alta. Deceased July 1, 2021
Dundas, West Flamboro (80%-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
Fonthill, Kirk on the Hill (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
London, Oakridge (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
London, Trinity (half-time stated supply) – Southwestern Ontario
Mitchell, Knox (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
Niagara Falls, Chippawa (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
The Rev. Dr. Robert Spencer
Guelph, Ont.
Deceased June 28, 2021
Nan Budding
Brampton, Ont. Deceased June 5, 2021
The Rev. Larry Hankinson
Lethbridge, Alta. Deceased May 1, 2021
Kenneth McKellar Keith
London, Ont.
Deceased March 16, 2021
North Yarmouth, St. James
(part-time or student minister) – Southwestern Ontario
Presbytery of London, General Presbyter (half-time 3-year contract) – Southwestern Ontario
Thornbury, St. Paul’s (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
Thorold, St. Andrew’s (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
Woodstock, Knox (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
Read all full obituaries online at
Lori Guenther Reesor.
hear things in new ways. And, when someone new comes to the church, we shouldn’t assume that they know what God teaches about generous giving, any more than they know what God teaches about prayer or forgiveness or love.
So, Lori created Peach Blossom Church, a fictional congregation based on the real-life stories she collected by talking with people in church basements across Canada. The book walks the reader through a year in the life of Peach Blossom as members explore how to grow in generosity and create a place where people feel safe to talk about all as- pects of money—their troubles and joys, what to do with the money they keep and how to give money away. It reads like a novel, with the addition of pictures and discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
Growing a Generous Church ex- plores money from a variety of per- spectives, sharing stories of people from diverse backgrounds and vary-

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