Academy Program

Monday, September 17

1:00 p.m. --  Opening Worship with Rev. Claudine Leary

2:00 p.m. -- Sustainable Investing: Focusing on Long-term Value Creation with Kirsty Jenkinson

This session will review how global trends, like population growth and resource scarcity can affect long-term investments. It will highlight the increasingly important role that sustainable investment plays in financial markets, while debunking sustainability-related myths and will describe how the United Methodist Church is collaborating with industry peers to create positive change.

3:30 p.m. -- Encouraging the Joy of Generous Giving: A Call to Financial Discipleship with Rev.  David Bell and Bonnie Marden

Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the Christian theological premises underlying charitable giving.  We will explore clergy, their attitudes about money, and their vital spiritual role in cultivating generosity.  We will examine the socio-economic trends impacting charitable giving across the U.S. and set the framework for developing an effective year-round financial stewardship ministry.

6:00 p.m. -- Dinner including Plenary: Socially Responsible In Vestments with Rev. Jeff Taylor

Tuesday, September 18

8:00 a.m. Breakfast and Devotional

9:00 a.m. Encouraging the Joy of Generous Giving: Practical Leadership Tips for Financial Discipleship with Rev. David Bell

Participants will experiment with “best practices” for effective year round stewardship.  The money fear factor, prevalent in many local churches, will be discussed so we may live into cycles of abundance rather than scarcity.  Participants will determine a plan to develop the 3-legged fund development stool in the context of their church setting and determine action steps for cultivating financial discipleship in their church setting. 

12:00 noon Lunch

1:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions

  • Go and Get the Donkeys: The Lord Needs Them with Rev. Claudine Leary -- Clergy appreciate the need to connect with the local communities they serve. We find ways to be where people are, and we stand ready to go whenever and wherever Jesus Christ calls us.  But, there is one assignment Jesus gives that we dread: to go into the village and get the donkey that the Lord needs.  In our world, that “donkey” often takes the form of financial resources.  In this workshop, Claudine Leary, an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and Director of Development at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, will provide pastors with practical fundraising tips and techniques so they can “go and get the donkeys,” confidently and effectively nurturing the gift of generosity in the communities they serve.
  • Accountable Congregations  with Bonnie Marden -- Pastors and church leaders share responsibility for financial stewardship and accountability. Build your capacity to encourage generosity by practicing prudent money management that protects people and resources. Review leadership roles and responsibilities, the tools for financial accountability including budget, reports, audit/review options, communications and the purpose of policies. Regardless of church sizes, we are accountable to God and each other.
  • Clergy Taxes and Compensation with Rev. David Bell -- Rather than viewing clergy tax codes and compensation planning as burdensome, this session will focus on the opportunities that these special provisions provide for pastors.  We will explore housing exclusion, SECA tax, retirement savings, accountable reimbursement plans and possibly a few other items in practical, easy-to-understand terms. The goal is for pastors to leave this workshop with clear next steps toward planning their financial future. 

3:30 p.m. -- Encouraging the Joy of Generous Legacy Giving with Rev. Jeff Taylor and Kim Matthews

Many people are relieved to learn about ways they can continue their generous giving after they have died. Helping them find the gift that fits their circumstances will not only help the ministries of your church, but also it will give peace of mind to the donor.

6:00 p.m. -- Dinner with Plenary  with Rev. Claudine Leary

Wednesday, September 19

8:00 a.m. -- Breakfast and Devotional

9:00 a.m. -- Encouraging the Joy of Generous Giving: Moving from Ideas to Action Today with Bonnie Marden

Following review or further resourcing requested by participants, we will take action and complete implementation and accountability strategies to nurture generosity in your ministry context. Is your next step technical – a new practice or activity, or adaptive – a mindset and relational adjustment? Briefly explore resistance – our own and congregational – for wise stewardship and success as you implement best practices with your own people. Where does your journey begin and who will you take with you?

11:00 a.m. -- Dismissal