Jesus said, “Whoever is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much. . . You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Luke 16: 10; 13
Whenever I ask congregational leaders how the diocese could serve them, the issue of money almost always comes up. The daunting task of raising sufficient funds to support the congregation’s ministry, maintain its buildings and property, and adequately provide for its clergy weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of our leaders.
For that reason, a few years ago we established the Financial Resources Committee, run by a small group of people passionate about Jesus, the Church’s mission, and how to fund it. Since its inception, the group has worked to provide leaders with strategic resources, including the debut of the Annual Giving Toolkit (If you’re in charge of your parish’s campaign this fall, I encourage you to explore this trove of helpful material).
Yet as Episcopalians, we have a tendency to talk to one another as if we all have a healthy relationship with money and no trouble managing our personal finances. While we know that isn’t true, rarely do we discuss personal finances not as a stewardship issue for the church–but as a critical dimension of individual and family well-being, and yes, spiritual freedom.
A few gifted members of the Financial Resources Committee with professional expertise in financial planning have been hard at work to change that. They’ve spent fruitful time researching and curating resources to help us all address concerns of financial health for our members and clergy at every stage of life. They are now ready to share their findings and knowledge with parish clergy and lay leaders at a two-session, all-day presentation on Thursday, October 10. Please read below for more information and register if you are able to attend.
I will be there, fully expecting to gain insight for myself. I look forward to learning alongside all who can join us, as we work to create a church where we can talk about our struggles with money honestly and open ourselves to the wisdom and freedom that Jesus wants for us all.
From the Personal Finance subcommittee leaders:
The Bible references money and possessions 2,350 times. That’s a lot. It’s more than Jesus talked about love, and more than he talked about heaven and hell combined. It’s almost as if God knew we would need direction and clarity on the whole money and stuff issue. And yet, many of us aren’t as intentional with our money as we would like to be, let alone, consider what our faith guides us to do with this resource.
As part of the Financial Resources Committee, we have created a two session program for delivery to the parishes in our diocese. We are inviting you and your significant other to participate in the initial presentation on Thursday, October 10 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Grace Church in Silver Spring at 1607 Grace Church Rd, Silver Spring MD 20910.
During our time together, you will engage in two sessions that have been designed for our parishioners. The morning session focuses on providing a context for a faith based approach to money management and then centers on financial fundamentals. There will be discussion and exercises for identifying where you and your significant other (as applicable) currently are financially; and then give you a strategy to deliberately chart a course going forward that will align your values with your resources.
We will break and share lunch together before reconvening for the second session.
The afternoon session dives into specific financial topics (philanthropy, retirement planning, estate planning, college funding, insurance, etc) that are familiar to many, yet often also a bit of a mystery to many. We believe you will walk away with less mystery and a clearer picture of how they can specifically move forward in the areas that are most important to you.
Aside from the personal value we hope you will gain from this time together, we will also seek your feedback as we hope to roll out to EDOW parishes in the coming months.
Please indicate your attendance by registering here. While these sessions are intended to be delivered together, if you cannot commit to the full day, we ask that you attend the morning session.
If you are unable to attend, please extend this invitation to another leader in your parish who you believe could represent your congregation and offer feedback as well as serve as an advocate when we roll out to the parishes. We are very excited and hopeful about the potential this program can bring to our parishioners and look forward to seeing you on October 10.
If you have any questions about the day, please email our team.