Duct-tape wallets teach giving

Seeds
06/26/2014

Duct tape wallets teach giving
There’s something for everyone to learn about money, generosity and responsibility through making a wallet out of duct tape.



By Megan Nuehring

It all began with a multigenerational idea at the 2013 Macedonia Project Gathering, but it has now turned into a creative and thoughtful project in the Southwestern Washington Synod

Monica Hurley, a synod representative for the Southwestern Washington Synod, states, “On the final day of the 2013 Macedonia Project Gathering, each group of synod reps were asked to come up with a multigenerational idea from what we’d learned.” Monica along with the other two synod reps, one with elementary-aged children and the other a retired teacher, came up with a duct-tape wallet project — “Giving that Sticks.”

Monica’s inspiration stemmed from her son’s Cub Scout troop and the duct-tape wallets they had recently created and a story she heard ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton share. Bishop Eaton’s story told about a time when she attended a Service of Intent Sunday and a young girl happily walked up the aisle to add her envelope to the others of the congregation. Two women of the congregation then responded, “Well, of course … it’s her daddy’s money anyways.”

“It IS our daddy’s money and making a wallet reminds us that we may be carrying it, but what is inside belongs to someone else and we are caretakers for God’s world,” said Monica.

It’s about generosity

The duct-tape wallet project makes use of the “Seven Principles for Growing Stewards” brochure and offers suggestions for an object lesson in abundance, provides seven steps for creating a duct-tape wallet and helps congregations teach about the generosity of the Macedonians described by Paul in Second Corinthians. It was created to be a multigenerational project for the entire Southwestern Washington Synod.

Synod council members are now beginning their second round of congregational visits. As they meet with congregation members, they use the duct-tape wallet activity as a conversation starter on stewardship and share the importance of giving with youth and adults alike. 

Inspiring new ways of thinking

The goal of “Giving that Sticks” is to get people of all ages talking about stewardship and their feelings about money and God. It has proven to be a great way to inspire new stewards and share with them new ways of giving. Monica’s son says, “I give because it’s what Jesus said to do, because I’ve seen my parents write out checks and because we talk about it at home.”

A parent participating in the duct-tape wallet exercise was struck by how something so simple could have such a profound impact. “What a beautiful intergenerational activity. I was surprised and touched by some of my daughter’s answers.”

The financial secretary at Monica’s home congregation recently told her that he wished he and his wife would have discussed stewardship with their children when they were young.  Monica says he has been a great encouragement for the project and what it teaches.

The purpose of the Rediscover Macedonia resource is to encourage members of ELCA congregations to become better stewards. The main goals of the project are: “To embrace the spiritual principles of giving, connect faith with Christ’s call for mission, build a case for ministry, invite people to grow toward a tithe, and to grow regular giving in congregations.”

As “Giving that Sticks” continues, synod council members of the Southwestern Washington Synod will share these principles of Rediscover Macedonia and encourage members of the ELCA to be generous in their congregations and beyond.

“We need to inspire new stewards and give people of all ages new ways of thinking about God’s kingdom and how we care for it with our mind, money and muscle,” said Monica.


Megan Nuehring is a recent graduate of Wartburg College and now lives in Dubuque, Iowa, where she spends her time writing and volunteering.

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