FISHERS, Ind. – The United Methodist Foundation of Indiana is now open for business in the new foundation’s office a mile west of the Fishers exit on I-69 at 8401 Fishers Center Drive.
During the past year, the United Methodist Foundation of South Indiana, the Indiana Area Foundation (UMC) and the North Indiana United Methodist Foundation united to form the new UMFI, which began its ministry on January 1.
The foundation’s new president, Manet Shettle, told Together, “I feel I finally made it through basic training. Now, we are ready to do ministry.”
Shettle only has a skeleton staff of three now, but hopes to be fully staffed by mid-April. She has received more than 300 applications for administrative assistants and from 20 to 30 applications for professional other positions.
The spacious ten-room, two-story office suite, also contains the Indiana United Methodist Loan and Savings Ministry, however, the Indiana United Methodist Federal Credit Union is a separate entity housed in Kokomo, Ind., with a different mission and purpose.
“The merger (of the foundations) has opened some new doors. People are seeing us anew. We have had more inquires about investments since the merger,” she said.
The foundation currently manages more than $300 million in assets for churches, the conference and individuals. The Loan and Savings Ministry has $22 million in deposits and $18 million in loans to churches to assist them in expanding their ministries.
Another major role of the foundation is financial investment and stewardship education. Shettle says Royce Ruckman, the foundation’s interim investment officer, meets with one or two people each week. Shettle also holds workshops on church and individual finances to fulfill part of the foundation’s greater mission.
She said it has taken two years to get to this point. “It will take another two years to grow into the concept we want.”
Current staff members beyond Shettle, include: Tamye Hendricks, loan officer; Bob Sachs, investment officer; and the Rev. Jean Brindel, interim development officer.
Tasks remain besides building a good staff. Shettle plans to meet with committees, boards and churches to determine the needs of the church so the foundation can expand to meet those needs. She also wants to meet with as many churches and donors as possible.
“I want to reassure them we will continue to do what we have been doing (as three separate foundations) and will be expanding (our services),” she said.
For more information about the new United Methodist Foundation of Indiana, call 317-788-7879 or e-mail foundation@UMFIndiana.org.