During the past several months, the Indiana Conference Financial Services has had a team of folks out providing coaching and guest preaching for our congregations that have asked the Conference for assistance with stewardship and giving.

The Rev. Kent Millard of Indianapolis has developed a program called the Generosity and Gratitude Campaign which he has shared with many congregations and it is being very well received. The Rev. Dan Berger of Lafayette also has proposed some educational opportunities for clergy around these same financial issues which the Cabinet has received and would like to see folded into a larger discussion about stewardship and giving. The United Methodist Foundation of Indiana is continually doing work in this area with our local churches.

It has lately become obvious that we have a larger need for people to assist in this endeavor than we currently have participating and we need a more aligned program so that when we send people out to our churches we are all working from the same master plan.

A few years ago, Bishop Coyner named a Tithing Task Force who produced a report regarding tithing and stewardship in our Indiana Conference. (You can read the report here.) It is a wonderful piece of work that was adopted by our Leadership Team. Unfortunately, most of the recommendations made in the report have not yet been tackled so potentially, this Tithing Team once formed will begin by tackling those recommendations.

This is an open invitation to an initial meeting where we can discuss the following:

  • All of the good things that are currently happening around stewardship and tithing;
  • Ideas of what we can do that are new;
  • How we can begin to implement the Tithing Task Force report;
  • Develop some guidelines and expectations about how churches initiate this help;
  • What investment we might ask of churches in the process;
  • How we can provide for expenses for the people that are volunteering their time to serve in this capacity; and
  • How can we enlist more people to join this team both clergy and laity.

If you are interested in assisting with this Tithing Team, please come to a meeting, Monday, October 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Indiana Conference Center, 300 Pennsylvania Parkway, Suite 301 in Indianapolis, just north of I-465 at the North Meridian Street exit. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP me at jennifer.gallagher@inumc.org by Thursday noon, October 3 if you plan to come to this important meeting. Thank you for your assistance and your time.

Jen Gallagher
Director of Financial Services of the Indiana Conference