By Mary Ann Moman
We have been blessed in the Indiana Conference to have received a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., to establish Rejuvenate Ministry. By the end of this year, we will have raised $3,000,000 to match the Lilly grant. To date, we have disbursed $4,501,332 in grants. These grants have been issued to full-time clergy to help them retire educational debt, begin investing in their personal retirement fund, provide funding for personal emergencies, and help clergy transition from ministry to another vocation. In addition, we have provided scholarships for current seminary students (certified candidates for ministry).
The United Methodist Foundation also received an administrative grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., that has made it possible for us to offer educational opportunities for both lay and clergy to increase their financial knowledge and skills.
It is time to celebrate what has been accomplished.
- Our annual conference is more aware of the economic factors that affect clergy in the state of Indiana.
- Over 2000 clergy and laity have attended financial education workshops.
- Our annual conference has 90% of our eligible clergy participating in the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (403b). This is a significant increase since the inception of Rejuvenate.
- Clergy families have been supported with funds to help with financial emergencies.
- Teams of laity have attended workshops to learn about best practices in church budgeting, fund-raising and financial practices.
- A new generation of candidates for ministry is being supported through seminary scholarships. The Foundation and the annual conference are partners in this effort to expend scholarship money available through the Foundation and Board of Ordained Ministry.
- We are grateful for all of the individuals, churches and institutions that contributed to Rejuvenate since its inception. We are grateful for the generous contributions from IU Health.
- The United Methodist Foundation has committed to continuing this ministry by raising money to increase scholarships and provide emergency funding for active clergy for information about contributing to these funds ,contact Mary Ann Moman. She is also available to meet with church groups or individuals. (email@example.com, 877-391-8811 or 317-788-7879).
As I have worked with Rejuvenate, I continue to learn that we are not “fixing” problems, but rather offering clergy and laity tools they need to make good financial decisions for the present and for the future. The combination of education and grants has been the key to the success of this ministry. When clergy have taken the financial information and put it into practice in their lives, the grants have been a tool to make changes possible. One pastor told me that the best thing about Rejuvenate was that he had gained the confidence to ask for help and then act. He was no longer bound by his fear and shame. A lay person who attended the Extravagant Generosity workshop wrote in the evaluation that she had a list of options for her church to increase giving. The first thing on her list was “tell the story of how our congregation has made a difference in our community.”
We would like to hear what happened in your life or in your congregation as a result of your participation in Rejuvenate. Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is a time to celebrate.