East will meet West as the Episcopal Dioceses of East and West Tennessee host a Stewardship Conference on Saturday, April 24, beginning at Noon Eastern / 11:00 AM Central. The day will last approximately five hours. The Rev. Dr. Benjamin H. Nelson, III returns as our featured speaker. This offering is presented free of charge. Registration is currently open.
Aloha is not simply a greeting or dismissal in Hawaiian culture, but a value that is sought out and given freely as part of daily existence. This value is at the heart of Hawaiian culture. Aloha is the spirit that moves through all of creation. Roas Say, author of Managing with Aloha writes that Aloha “is an expression of unconditional kindness, hospitality, spirituality, cooperativeness with humility, unity and graciousness that touches the souls of others.” It is an expression of the breath of life within every human being. This aloha relationship with God, creation and one another is important to understanding community in Hawaiian culture.
When a person decides to share aloha there is a deep sense of caring that goes along with the sharing. All creation is seen as being connected to the divine breath of God, and therefore human beings are seen as having a duty to care for creation. This value, called malama in the Hawaiian culture, is most easily connected to the idea of stewardship in the church. Understanding that all that we have and all that we are is a gift.
Come and explore these concepts with us.
Who Should Attend?
Stewardship Committee Members
Vestry Members and Clergy
Youth Group Leaders
Members of Your Parish and Friends across the nation
How can taking a clue from the islands transform our stewardship? You will be invited into a conversation about developing a personal theology of stewardship; be able to have the tough conversations with vestries and leadership about stewardship; reclaim the giving, generosity, and stewardship as spiritual practices; take away the guilt, shame, and embarrassment of talking about money; share in best practices of stewardship with each other and widening the circle of Aloha; and celebrate with our elders (kupuna), clergy (kahuna), and our youth (keiki).
Our Featured Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Ben Nelson III
Ben was called to serve as the thirty-ninth rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church San Marcos Texas in March of 2012.
Born on the campus of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, Ben has continued to be connected to that beautiful place of learning and spirit. In addition to attending seminary on “the mountain,” he has served the university twice as a member of the board of trustees.
Ben grew up in the Mississippi Delta where good bar-b-que and great blues were a part of the culture. His faith, his high regard for storytelling, and his love of music and food were all shaped in the flat-lands of this culturally rich part of the Magnolia State. He graduated cum laude with a BA in history from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and began the journey toward ordination shortly after graduation.
Ordained in the Diocese of West Texas in 2002, Ben has served congregations in South Texas, East Tennessee, and Hawaii. In 2013, Ben graduated from the University of the South School of Theology with a Doctor of Ministry degree. His Thesis, Spirit of Water, Spirit of Aloha, combined an experience with creation; delight in the waters of baptism, and a love for Hawaiian cultural values.
His passions in ministry are working with children and youth, the role of recovery in community life, and the ever-deepening spirituality of generosity in our congregations. He has served on advisory boards for several local outreach agencies and as a consultant for groups wishing to deepen their stewardship journeys.
Ben is a father to Cooper (a daughter who remains in perpetual motion), a husband to Linda, and a buddy to Bacon and Mickey (two of the best four-legged pals a guy could have). He is an occasional marathoner, a frequently slow runner, and constantly wishing to be more active on land and in water.
He has worked as a farmhand, a waiter, a Christmas tree salesman, and a consumer protection agency intern; but his first joy is serving God and the ongoing work of reconciliation among the people of God. He likes to say that his overall title is that of “Grace Enthusiast”- and it’s a role that he hopes to live up to every day of his life. He is grateful to live into that role at St. Mark’s- a place where he is challenged by the mission statement of seeing Christ in, and being Christ to others, as we are led and empowered by Grace.