Stewardship is the ministry of identifying, collecting, celebrating and distributing our resources to accomplish God’s ministry in our world. This is a ministry of gifts – our time, our talent and our treasure.

Many of our fellow Dioceses and Denominations have conducted extensive studies in successful parish stewardship ministries. They have identified the ‘best practices’ of stewardship ministries that result in success for parishes. Here are some resources that can help your parish accomplish its ‘best practices’ for stewardship.

General introduction to the ‘Best Practices in Stewardship’

These two resources provide a general introduction to the elements of successful stewardship ministries.

Stewardship Preaching – a ‘Best Practice’

Stewardship Teaching and Communication – a ‘Best Practice’

Planned Giving Resources: A wide range of excellent resources are available at no cost to your parish through the Resources for Mission Department at our National Church. Please check it out at or contact the Ven. John Robertson at 416-924-9199 ext. 268.


Providing Financial Resources for the Work of God Through the Church

Presentation and Discussion led by

The Venerable John M. Robertson

National Consultant – Planned Giving and Financial Development
Office of Financial Development
General Synod
The Anglican Church of Canada

February 2000

Diocese of Algoma

Providing Financial Resources
for the Work of God Through the Church

Planned Giving Branch, Anglican Church of Canada

Passages quoted from the New Revised Standard version Bible
© 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America
Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Nashville, Tennessee

  1. Opening Prayers

Creator of the fruitful earth,
you made us stewards of all things:
Give us grateful hearts for all your goodness,
and steadfast wills to use your bounty well,
that the whole human family,
today and in generations to come,
may with us give thanks for the riches of your creation.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.

Book of Alternative Services, page 396
© 1985 General Synod, The Anglican Church of Canada

  1. A brief biblical and theological overview.

Genesis 1:12, 1:18, 1:25

And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:27

So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:28-31

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of the earth, and every three with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

Genesis 2:15

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

Genesis 28:20, 22

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one tenth to you.”

Exodus 35:4-5

Moses said to all the congregation of the Israelites: This is the thing that the Lord has commanded: Take from among you an offering to the Lord; let whoever is of a generous heart bring the Lord’s offering…

Exodus 35:21

And they came, everyone whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and brought the Lord’s offering…

Leviticus 25:23

(The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying…) The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants.

Leviticus 27:30-32

All tithes from the land, whether the seed from the ground or the fruit from the tree, are the Lord’s; they are holy to the Lord. If persons wish to redeem any of their tithes, they must add one-fifth to them. All tithes of herd and flock, every tenth one that passes under the shepherd’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord.

Numbers 18:20-32

a passage about tithing

Deuteronomy 8: 1 -18

This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the Lord your God disciplines you. Therefore keep the commandments of the Lord your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land were you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.

Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid wasteland with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. Do not say to yourself, “My power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.

Deuteronomy 14:2

Set apart a tithe of all the yield of your seed that is brought in yearly from the field.

Deuteronomy 14:22-29

Regulations concerning Tithes

Deuteronomy I5: 7-11

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbour. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, “The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,” and therefore view your needy neighbour. with hostility and give nothing; your neighbour might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt. Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbour in your land.”

Deuteronomy 24: 19-22

When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all your undertakings. When you beat your olive trees, do not strip what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this.

Deuteronomy 26:1-11

When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. You shall go to the priest who is in office at the time, and say to him, “Today I declare to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” When the priest sets it down before the altar of the Lord your God, you shall make this response before the Lord your God: “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labour on us, we cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors; the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.” You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.

When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year (which is the year of the tithe), giving it to the Levites, the aliens, the orphans, and the widows, so that they may eat their fill within your towns, then you shall say to the Lord your God: “I have removed the sacred portion from the house, and I have given it to the Levites, the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows, in accordance with your entire commandment that you commanded me; I have neither transgressed nor forgotten any of your commandments:…Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our ancestors – a land flowing with milk and honey.”

I Chronicles 29:10-11, 14

Blessed are you, 0 Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, forever and ever. Yours, 0 Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, 0 Lord, and you are exalted as head above all . For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.

Psalm 24: 1

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it ,
the world and all who dwell therein.

Psalm 41:1

Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! the Lord will deliver them in the time of trouble.

Psalm 50: l4

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and make good your vows to the Most High.

Psalm 96:8

Ascribe to the Lord the honour due his name; bring offerings and come into his courts.

See also many Psalm prayers in The Book of Alternative Services.

Proverbs 3.10

Honour the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Joel 2: 21-27

Do not fear, O soil;
be glad and rejoice,
for the Lord has done great things!
Do not fear, you animals of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit,
the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
O children of Zion, be glad
and rejoice in the Lord your God;
for he has given the early rain for your vindication,
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the later rain, as before.
The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent against you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Isaiah 38: 1

In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.”

Malachi 3:10

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.

Matthew 5: 13-16 Cf Mark 9: 50; Luke 14: 34-35

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.”

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5: 23-24 Cf Luke 12: 57-59

“So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first to be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.”

Matthew 5: 38-42 Cf Luke 6: 29-31

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.”

Matthew 6:2-4

“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6: 19-21 Cf Luke 12: 33-34

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Matthew 6: 25-33 Cf Luke 12: 22-31

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to the span of your life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, `What will we eat?’ or `What will we drink?’ or `What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 7: 7-11 Cf Luke 11: 9-13

“Ask and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who

knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, . know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Matthew 13: I -9 Cf Mark 4: 1-9, 13-20; Luke 8: 4-8, 11-15

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundred-fold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”

Matthew 13:44-45

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

Matthew 16: 24-27 Cf Mark 8: 34-9: 1; Luke 9: 23-27

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?”

Matthew 19: 16-24 Cf Mark 10: 17-31; Luke 18: 18-30

Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honour your father and mother; also, you shall love your neighbour as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 20:1-16

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; and he said to them, `You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, `Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, `Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, `You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, `Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, `These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, `Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Matthew 25: 14-30 Cf Luke 19: 11-27

“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, `Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, `Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, `Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, `Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, `Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, `You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ”

Matthew 25: 31-40

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at this right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ ”

Mark 12: 38-44 Cf Matthew 23: 1-7; Luke 20: 45-47

As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Luke 7:41-43

“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owned five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more? Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

Luke 10: 25-37 Cf Matthew 22: 34-40; Mark 12: 28-34

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus replied “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 12: 13-21

Someone in the crowd said to (Jesus), “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, `I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:22-34 Cf Matthew 6:19-21, 25-34

He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you – you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Luke 12:42-48

(cf Matthew 24.45-51)

And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whose master will find at work when he arrives. Truly, I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces (or cut him off), and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

Luke 14:12-14

He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Luke 14: 25-33 Cf Matthew 10: 34-39

Now large crowds were travelling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, `This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.”

Luke I5: 11-24

Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe–the best one–and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and .sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

Luke 16:1-9

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends of yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.

Luke 16: 10-17

“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Luke I8:9-14

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 18.18-25 Cf Matthew 19: 16-30; Mark 10:17-31

A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: `You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honour your father and mother.’ He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Luke 19:1-10

He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and save the lost.”

Luke 20: 20-26 Cf Matthew 22: 15-22; Mark 12: 13-17

So they watched him and sent spies who pretended to be honest, in order to trap him by what he said, so as to hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor. So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you are right in what you say and teach, and you show deference to no one, but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” But he perceived their craftiness and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose head and whose title does it bear?” They said, “The emperor’s.” He said to them, “Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were not able in the presence of the people to trap him by what he said; and being amazed by his answer, they became silent.


Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Acts 4:32-37

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means, “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Acts 11:27-30

At that time prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine over all the world; and this took place during the reign of Claudius. The disciples determined that according to their ability, each would send relief to the believers living in Judea; this they did, sending it to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

I Corinthians 4:1-2

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.

I Corinthians 16:2

On the first day of the week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come.

2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints – and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he should also complete this generous undertaking among you. Now as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you – so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.

I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.

I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that they may be a fair balance. As it is written,
“The one who had much did not have too much,
and the one who had little did not have too little.”

2 Corinthians 9: 6-8

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.

1 Timothy 6: 6-10

Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

Hebrews 13: 15, 16

But do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

James 1.27

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

James 2: 17

So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

1 Peter: 4: 10

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.

Revelation 4: 11

O Lord our God, you are worthy to receive glory and honour and power; because you have created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.

See also many of the traditional and contemporary canticles found in recent prayers books, including Celebrating Common Prayer, A New Zealand Prayer Book, and recently published resources from Canada, Great Britain, and The United States.

  1. The importance of having a clear, well-articulated vision and mission and sharing it well.
  2. a) Introduction

When (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

(b) Other thoughts for reflection (see also Quotable Quotes resource)

Proverbs 29: 18 KJV

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

I Corinthians 2:9

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what has been prepared for those who love God.

Stewardship is living into a vision of mission in a concrete way.

The call to stewardship and the call to mission are part of one pilgrimage.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Chinese proverb

Living is giving. We live life best as we give our strengths, gifts, and competencies in the service of God’s mission. We are called to serve not survive. Our giving makes a difference in our families, our work, our community, our world, and our church.
author Kennon L. Callahan

The congregations who do the best in church finances have a rich,
full, abiding compassion for mission. They are motivated by a theology
of service, not a theology of survival. Their compelling, driving spirit
is one of striving, serving, loving mission.
author Kennon L. Callahan

Money follows mission, not the reverse. This is a shorthand way of saying that
the stronger the congregation’s relational characteristics, the easier it is to raise money. The stronger the congregation’s mission, visitation, groupings, leadership, and decision making, the stronger the giving.
author Kennon L. Callahan

Father, enliven the Church for its mission
that we may be salt of the earth and light to the world.
A New Zealand Prayer Book

Through these gifts we go where we cannot travel;
witness where our voices cannot be heard;
speak languages never learned
and love those whom we have never seen.
C. William Nicholson

Who is narrow of vision cannot be big of heart.
Chinese proverb

(c) Comments

Planning for mission – an essential step
before doing planned giving

Mission is the proclamation and witness of God ‘s
Creating, redeeming and sustaining love for us
and it is our sharing of our love of God through and with our neighbour.
True Christian stewardship is not merely supporting mission
it is mission! It is grounded in the love of God.

God sets the vision of mission in the midst of the household of faith,
in the worshipping and breaking of bread.
The vision of mission emerges through our faith
and love in God.

Stewardship at its finest
honours the vision of mission
which grows and develops
out of the household of faith.

That vision is found in our worship and
in our active witness and service.

  1. A Vision of Mission: A mission statement
    Helps answer the questions, What is God calling us to do? What is our Lord calling this community of faith in our diocese to do now?


With God’s help, St. Mark’s Church will proclaim
By word and example the good news of God In Christ.
We will seek and serve Christ in all persons.
We will strive for justice and peace among all people
and respect the dignity of every human being.

The mission of St. Andrew’s Church is to obey the two great Commandments of Jesus Christ: to go into all the world and teach and baptize in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
We pledge ourselves to reaching out in love to each other in our parish family, to our community, and to the world, giving assistance where it is needed in Jesus Christ’s name.
We will strive to be faithful Anglicans in our worship of God, in studying God’s word, and in seeking God’s guidance.

  1. Statement of Priorities Who are we as a community of faith?
    What is important for us? What are the essentials of our life and work?

    Example: Worship, Education, Pastoral Ministry, Outreach
  2. Long-term and short-term goals (under each Priority)
    In order to fulfill our mission, what do we need to do?
    Examples would include measurable, realistic goals which clearly relateto the Priorities and Mission of the congregation.
  3. Action Plans What resources do we need to accomplish our goals? Who is going to do what, when, and how? A timeline is an important ingredient of Action Plans.
  4. A Narrative Budget Outlines funding requirements and relates these to the mission, priorities, goals, and action plans, with stories, quotations…. illustrating how financial support and volunteer time make a difference.
    Example: see the St. Paul’s, Bloor Street folder.
  5. Evaluation An essential step in any strategic planning process. Leads to a thorough review and new goals and action plans.
  6. Stewardship Education and Commitment Programs
    (See resource books and handouts)

(a) Importance of ensuring committed leadership.

(b) Stewardship education, in all its fullness, is a year-round priority.

(c) Organize carefully and thoroughly.

(d) Importance of commitment/pledge cards, with plenty of opportunity for indicating interest in various areas of ministry and programme….building of a talent bank, illustrating the gifts of time, energy and abilities as well as financial support.

(e) Strategies for collecting: pre-authorized debits, post-dated cheques, credit cards, placing of pledge cards on the altar after Renewal of Baptismal Vows, and so on.

(f) Use a variety of commitment programs.

(g) Additional comments.

  1. The ministry of planned giving.

(a) Reflections

The Minister of the Congregation is directed to instruct the people, from time to time, about the duty of Christian parents to make prudent provision for the well-being of their families, and of all persons to make wills, while they are in health, arranging for the disposal of their temporal goods, not neglecting, if they are able, to leave bequests for religious and charitable uses.
The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, page 445, at the conclusion of the “Thanksgiving for a Child ” service.

or if you prefer

And if he have not afore disposed his goods, let him then make his will. (But men must be often admonished that they set an order for their temporal goods and lands, when they be in health.) And also to declare his debts, what he oweth, and what is owing to him, for discharging of his conscience, and quietness of his executors.
The Book of Common Prayer, 1549 Visitation of the Sick

Of great riches there is no real use, except it be in the distribution; the rest is but conceit.
Francis Bacon

Bounty always receives part of its value from the manner in which it is bestowed.
Samuel Johnson

To give away money is an easy matter and in any (one’s) power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when and for what purpose and how is neither in every (one’s) power nor an easy matter. Excellence it is that such excellence is rare, praiseworthy, and noble.

It is strange but true that most people will spend forty years accumulating property, ten years conserving it, but won’t take two hours to plan for its careful distribution.

Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures but in the use made of them. Napoleon I

When we can share – that is poetry in the prose of life.
Sigmund Freud

Remember that when you leave this earth,
you can take with you nothing that you have received—
only what you have given: a full heart enriched by honest service,
love, sacrifice and courage.
St. Francis of Assisi

(b) Comments

  1. Ways of making a planned gift … and what is most appropriate for particular ages and circumstances. A brief look at the instruments of planned giving.

(Please refer to the enclosed reprints from the current Building for Ministry and Mission – Providing financial resources for God ‘s work in the 21st Century)

Typical types of gifts:

Outright gifts of cash
Benefits to church: immediate use, liquid, no risk
Benefits to donor: gift receipt for full amount; satisfaction of seeing gift at work
Market: everyone (any age) who can afford to give up some principal and the interest it earns

Outright gifts of listed securities, including mutual funds
Benefits to church: immediate use, liquid, little risk, no tax on capital gain
Benefits to donor: gift receipt for fair market value; in Canada, only 37.5% of gain taxed if gift to a church or public charity (otherwise, if the securities were sold by the donor, 75% of the gain would be taxable)
Market: owners (any age) of stocks and bonds who can afford to give the asset and the interest or dividends it earns

Shares in a privately-owned corporation
Benefits to church: shares may pay dividends; church may be able to sell shares in near term, or may hold them for an indefinite period
Benefits to donor: Gift receipt for appraised value, issued immediately.
75% of gain taxable in Canada, but tax credit will exceed tax on gain, resulting in net tax savings
Market: entrepreneurs who are philanthropic

Outright gift of real estate
Benefits to church: proceeds available as soon as property is sold; sometimes property itself can be retained and used; no tax on capital gain
Benefits to donor: Gift receipt for fair market value determined by appraisal; 75% of gain taxable in Canada (except principal residence), but tax credit will exceed tax on gain, resulting in net tax savings; satisfaction of seeing gift at work now or in near term
Market: Owners (generally over 50) of a principal residence or investment property who do not need the property or the proceeds from its sale

Outright gift of tangible personal property
Benefits to church: can be retained or sold and proceeds used for current needs; no tax on capital gain
Benefits to donor: Gift receipt for fair market value determined by appraisal; 75% of gain taxable in Canada, but tax credit will exceed tax on gain, resulting in tax savings
Market: Owners (generally over 50) of objects which they no longer intend to use

Life insurance (charity named as beneficiary and owner)
Benefits to church: immediate access to cash value, assurance of death proceeds if policy retained
Benefits to donor: gift receipt for cash value and any premiums paid; small current outlay leveraged into larger future gift
Market: Persons (generally ages 30-60) who (a) have an older policy no longer needed, or (b) want to make a large gift but have limited resources

Life insurance (charity named as beneficiary but not owner)
Benefits to church: will receive death proceeds unless donor changes beneficiary; cash proceeds not subject to income tax
Benefits to donor: satisfaction of providing a future gift while retaining full control of policy; gift receipt if donor has death proceeds payable to estate and provides a bequest of an equivalent amount
Market: persons (any age) whose personal needs and family situation may be subject to change

Interest-free loan (normally payable on demand)
Benefits to church: provides capital for building or investment without interest cost
Benefits to donor: principal recoverable; interest earned on loaned funds not taxable to donor; satisfaction of helping church now
Market: persons (any age) who have more than enough current income but who want to preserve al1 principal for their own future security and/or heirs

Charitable gift annuity (self insured, e.g. General Synod)
Benefits to church: irrevocable gift of whatever principal remains after making required payments
Benefits to donor: guaranteed life payments, al1 or substantially tax free; possibly a gift receipt for a portion of contribution
Market: oldest donors (usually 65 and older) who want the security of guaranteed payments and who appreciate the tax implications

Charitable gift annuity (“Gift Plus Annuity”) (reinsured)
Benefits to church: irrevocable gift of that portion of the contribution retained after purchasing commercial annuity
Benefits to donor: guaranteed life payments, al1 or substantially tax free; possibly a gift receipt for a portion of contribution
Market: oldest donors (usually 65 and older) who want the security of guaranteed payments, who appreciate the tax implications, and who wish to see some of their gift used now for investment, or present ministry or project

Gift of residual interest in real estate or artworks
Benefits to church: irrevocable future gift of property
Benefits to donor: ability to continue using property for life or term of years; gift receipt for present value of residual interest; avoidance of tax on a portion of capital gain if donor retains life interest; property not subject to probate
Market: persons (usually over age 60) who otherwise would give the property under their will

Charitable remainder trust
Benefits to church: irrevocable future gift of remaining principal
Benefits to donor: net income from property for life or a term of years; gift receipt for present value of remainder interest; avoidance of tax on a portion of capital gain if donor is income beneficiary; property not subject to probate
Market: persons (usually over age 60) who want to make a future gift and obtain present tax relief but want to preserve investment income for themselves and/or a survivor

Benefits to church: future gift provided will is not changed; bequests tend to be larger than outright gifts; many have relatively few restrictions; most can be put to use immediately
Benefits to donor: satisfaction of providing for a future gift while retaining full control of property; gift receipt for final income tax return; for bequest of listed securities in Canada, 37.5% of gain taxable, for other property, 75%, but tax credit will exceed tax on gain, likely resulting in tax savings
Market: all individuals, any age, but especially older persons with few or no heirs

Bequest of Retirement Plan Accumulations
Benefits to church: future gift provided beneficiary designation and will are not changed
Benefits to donor: satisfaction of providing a possible future gift while providing for personal security
Market: all individuals, but especially single persons, and surviving spouses who have made other provisions for heirs

Stripped bond (or zero coupon bond)
Benefits to church: can count on a definite amount being available in the future if it holds the bond until maturity; can sell the bond anytime for whatever its market value is at the time; not taxed on the bond interest, either yearly as it accrues or when it is redeemed
Benefits to donor: donor is entitled to a donation receipt for the fair market value of the bond at the time it is transferred to the church; able to provide a future gift many times as large as current net cost
Market: anyone (any age), including groups of parishioners, or are visionary and who can afford a relatively modest cash donation and who appreciate the tax implications

  1. How we can do planned giving in our parish/diocese
    (see also the documents, Starting a Planned Giving Programme in Your Parish,
    and Creating An Endowment Fund, published by General Synod)

(a) The ways in which planned gifts are developed and managed in the Anglican Church of Canada

  1. Strategy, leadership, and structure
    2. Network of staff and volunteers
    3. Training and equipping: nationally, regionally, locally
    4. Communication
    5. Resources
    6. Question of endowment funds, special funds (e.g. thanksgiving, memorial, building, ministry initiative funds)
    7. Guidelines for investments and managing endowments; policies, standards, ethical guidelines
    8. Strategy at the local level: begin with Leave a Legacy concept, encourage drawing up of wills, bequests; move on to annuities.
    9. Encouraging of gifts through leadership, example, reporting back, telling the story, recognition and appreciation

(b) For more information, contact:

The Venerable John M. Robertson
National Consultant – Planned Giving and Financial Development
Office of Financial Development
General Synod, The Anglican Church of Canada
600 Jarvis St., Toronto, ON M4Y 2J6
Telephone (416) 924-9199 x 268 or
(613) 384-5608 (Kingston residence)

Fax (416) 924-8672 or (613) 384-7746 (Kingston)
Toll free 1-888-439-GIFT


  1. General discussion and questions
  2. Closing Prayer

Almighty God,
by your grace alone we are accepted and called to your service.
Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit
and make us worthy of our calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Book of Alternative Services, page 395