When we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us today our daily bread,” we pray not just for what is to come but for a recognition that God provides what is needed for now. We pray in gratitude for what was there the day before. We pray that we might trust it to be there tomorrow. We pray that what we have might be used well and shared for the flourishing of all.

So, too, our congregational stewardship. At times the invitation to members to commit to a future year of giving is met with reluctance or a discomfort with an ask for more. That is true even more so in this cultural moment in which exhaustion and depletion seem prevalent both in terms of energy after years of pandemic and in terms of financial uncertainty. This may be a particularly good time to pause and give thanks for what we do have already in our midst. We do hope that people will find ways to grow in their giving, but this moment in a congregation’s cycle ought to be an opportunity to pray that prayer for daily bread: in gratitude, in trust, in the spirit of sharing for the flourishing of all. That is true for what we already have right now, not only in some future in which we hope we have more.

The theme scripture for this series, to go along with the familiar phrase “Our Daily Bread,” is the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:7-16). In this account Elijah is sent to a widow and her son who are about to prepare the remaining bit of oil and flour for their last meal before all is gone and they face death. Elijah proclaims the words God so often speaks to us: “Don’t be afraid.” Use what you have right now and trust that there will be some tomorrow. And so there was until God sent something new in the form of rain to the land.

We are not naïve in supposing that God will provide infinite finances for all our congregations – we still have a responsibility to realistic and honest appraisal of our resources. But we do trust that God will give what is needed – resources for God’s mission to continue in the world. We encourage you to use this opportunity to help your community recognize the gifts in their own lives and the gifts in the congregation’s life. And then to wonder together, “How might we use what we have, trusting God for daily bread?”

The links below include this introduction and suggestions for how to share this theme in a series of events and communications. You are welcome to use them as is or adapt them in whatever way you need for your local circumstances. If you have questions, feel free to contact Pastor Steven Wilco, Associate to the Bishop for Stewardship, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 508-791-1530, ext. 104.

Introduction and Program Ideas
Congregational Letter Template
Estimate of Giving Card 
Our Daily Bread logo
Bread Shapes template


Rooted to Grow Stewardship Campaign
 Encourage One Another Stewardship Campaign Resources
What's Your Story Stewardship Campaign Resources
Stir It Up Stewardship Campaign Resources
Additional Stewardship Resources

Webinar on Electronic Giving from Hartford Seminary -

This webinar will help your stewardship leaders think about the benefits of online giving as well as some other general ideas around financial stewardship and member communication around giving.

ELCA Stewardship Resources -

ELCA StewardNET -

This link will take you to a sign-up page for a monthly newsletter from the ELCA Churchwide StewardNET program with a variety of resources for stewardship.

 Generation to Generation - Click document here (10.52 MB) for powerpoint presentation on giving differences between the generations.