Stories of Faith in Action

A new lens for generosity

Sharing God’s gifts with one another through stewardship is an integral part of the Lutheran faith.

But sometimes stewardship is misunderstood, equated simply with giving money rather than sharing time, spirit and love. Linda Staats is trying to change that with The Generosity Project, a stewardship resource funded in part by Mission Support.

The Generosity Project

Generosity is a value, a characteristic and a practice that lies at the heart of what it means to be a Christian. And yet, we lament that many Christians exhibit a miserly spirit. How does one become a person with a generous spirit? How can this key trait be nourished from generation to generation? The ELCA’s Generosity Project aims to cultivate generosity in families and congregations through workshops and exercises at church and home.

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Developed through a partnership

between Staats, the Rocky Mountain Synod and the churchwide organization, The Generosity Project challenges Lutherans to rethink stewardship through innovative, intergenerational programming.

When Diane Krauszer, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Palmer, Alaska, introduced her congregation to The Generosity Project two years ago, it shifted perspectives.

“One [person] exclaimed, ‘We never talked about any of this when I was a kid, and I wish we had,’” Krauszer said. Believing this resource could benefit neighbors at Epiphany Lutheran Episcopal Church, Valdez, Alaska, she took a cue from the project and shared it with them.

In 2019, Krauszer partnered with Kaitlin Pabo-Eulberg, Epiphany’s pastor, to introduce the blended Lutheran-Episcopal congregation and a neighboring Catholic church to The Generosity Project.

“It [was] a very natural partnership to invite [our Catholic neighbors],” Pabo-Eulberg said. “They were really excited to talk about giving from their perspective.”

“We never talked about any of this when I was a kid, and I wish we had

—Diane Krauszer

The Lutheran-Catholic partnership brought in participants ranging in age from 8 to 89, and Pabo-Eulberg recalled enthusiastic listening and understanding across the generations.

Among them were Epiphany members Donna Newcomer, a baby boomer, and Steve Newcomer, of the Greatest Generation.

“Because that’s the greatest thing you can give somebody – they noticed you and spent time with you.”, Donna said.

“The goal is not to increase giving by a percentage, the goal is to change the culture in a congregation [and in homes]. We’re building a culture to bring all generations together ... and equipping the home as a place where generosity is practiced.”

—Linda Staats