Jump into Stewardship Season

Jump into Stewardship Season

It’s August! With people returning from vacation, Sunday schools starting up, choirs beginning rehearsal, and committee groups reconvening, our churches will soon be buzzing with activity. Amidst this there is, of course, the 2019 annual giving campaign that must be planned.

Before diving into the seven specific programs outlined below, let me share a word about annual stewardship campaigns.  Most of them include 4 weeks of material for a program, but please consider your context. How long will it take to get ready? What will need to be prepared ahead of time? What about…

  • Small groups?

  • Guest speaker?

  • Pledge letter or pledge cards?

  • Community meal?

  • Promotion via website, social media, newsletter, emails, and worship bulletins?

All these require some planning ahead of time, preferably with a team and a chairperson.  If you don’t have one, begin recruiting a chairperson right now. Meet as early as possible with your team to get the planning going.

We Invest in #TransitionReady Companies

We Invest in #TransitionReady Companies

At the most basic level, money is a tool for expressing the value of things. We also believe it’s a tool for expressing the values of our faith. That’s why we partner with Wespath to invest money for churches and agencies. Wespath engages the global financial market from a Wesleyan perspective.


Wespath’s most recent sustainable investment report states: “We view the world’s broad acceptance of climate change as the megatrend driving one of the most important shifts in the financial markets—the transition to the low-carbon economy…

Multi-Generation Generosity

Multi-Generation Generosity

Harland and Rose kept the money they earned in a household account. As a banker, Rose managed the family finances with precision. Harland, a WWII Navy veteran and carpenter, thrived on the art of the deal. He had a keen eye for fixer-uppers. Any money he earned moonlighting he invested in houses, property, and cars. They made a good pair: the conservative banker and the hardworking risk taker.  

Their son Randy remembers sitting between the two of them in a church pew as a teenager in the mid-1960s…

An Endowment as a Catalyst for New Life

An Endowment as a Catalyst for New Life

Irv Marr wanted to see continued growth take place at Sand Point Community UMC. When setting up the endowment he wrote a letter to the Memorial & Endowment committee stating, “To be blunt and to the point, I would like to issue a ‘wake up’ call to create some new life in the church.” In face of competition for young families’ attention by nearby churches and little league teams, Irv wrtoe: “As they say on TV, ‘Let’s kick it up a notch’… Instead of waiting for them to come to us, we go after them.”

Since 2005, the Northwest United Methodist Foundation has been managing this endowment that was set up to benefit ministry to children and youth. Irv stated, “The funds generated from this endowment are intended to enhance the ministry of the Church, but not become a substitute for the financial responsibility of our members. It is our wish that the earning from this fund be used freely but effectively for youth work.”

Positive Social Purpose Lending Program

Positive Social Purpose Lending Program

This month, members of our staff have traveled to all three of the Annual Conferences in our Episcopal Area. Most recently, this journey took us to Eugene, just a few miles from a place where we can see our sustainable investment dollars are at work. Through our partnership with Wespath, some of the funds you hold in the Foundation’s diversified portfolios are invested through the Positive Social Purpose Lending Program. This program promotes affordable housing and community development for disadvantaged areas while seeking to deliver market-rate returns to investors. In Eugene, this program helped to finance the Apple Orchard Village Apartments. It’s a handicap accessible low-income apartment complex.

Which sustainable investment project is closest to your neighborhood? To view a map of some of the affordable housing built by this program, including across our episcopal area, click here. When you invest with us, your church’s endowment enriches your local ministry AND makes the wider world a better place.

8 Steps for a Planned Giving Conversation

8 Steps for a Planned Giving Conversation

We all know that planned giving is important for your church’s finances. Aside from regular, gentle reminders, the best way for your church to receive a planned gift is to ask for it. Over the past few months, we’ve shared how to identify top prospects and how to prepare to make an ask. (If you missed either of those articles, take a quick look and come back.) Now it’s time for our final article in this series, which shares our roadmap for the meeting in which you directly ask for a planned gift.