Please join with me in these new year prayers and reflections.
As the new year approaches, it is tempting to look back and relive what has gone on before. But the past still remains the past. It is unchangeable. It is toward the future that we will turn our gaze now. At the General Conference that will be held in 2016, the delegates will have many topics to be prayerful over – all of which will have special significance for the Church.
We pray Holy Spirit wisdom and guidance for the 2016 General Conference delegates. Open their hearts, souls and minds to Your Spirit, Lord.
In today’s technology driven world we have an exciting opportunity in church giving. Over the past year, I have enjoyed talking with UMC members who use Vanco Payment Solutions. It is a pleasure to hear from users as they share new stories about how using Vanco helps their local church. Today, I would like to share some of these success stories.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury …” Mark 12:41 (NIV)
Ministry of Finance
Most people think “boring” when they hear the word “accounting.” They also think “judgmental.” Here at GCFA we think “ministry.”
GCFA takes seriously its fiduciary responsibilities of “receiving, disbursing and reporting of funds” as written in the Book of Discipline. However we never lose sight of the fact that these funds are more than just finances. Funds are for ministries and they are placed into the offering plate by faithful givers.
We know not only are we accountable to God but also must supply assurances to the people that their blessings upon the Church are spent for their intended purposes. Everything from the widow’s mite to the corporate sponsorships at General Conference is in support of the good work of the Church, whether that be to end malaria, or supporting the pensions, healthcare, and education for clergy.
GCFA tries to do as Jesus teaches us in Mark 12:41, to sit down with a critical eye on the treasury. Unlike the Temple treasury during Jesus’ time, the UMC is a dynamic presence in this world, giving as much, if not more because of God’s multiplying grace, than it receives. We are truly humble to be a part of that process of ensuring that God’s blessings are flowing to where God would have them go.
Dear God, help us to be a blessing to one another. Let us help one another to do the Church’s ministry. Thank you for the many blessings You have given to us. You are indeed, Emmanuel, God with us. Amen.
Welcome, and thank you for taking time to visit this site!
So, why a blog? And why now?
With the increasing venues through which we can share our hopes and prayers for The United Methodist Church, blogs have become a much used tool. Church leaders throughout the connection are using a blog to express point of views about issues facing the Church, to provide insight into their personal faith journeys, or as an outreach to help others through their faith walk as United Methodists.
It is the last two reasons that I find most appealing about using a blog as a way to communicate to the people of The United Methodist Church.
Welcome! I look forward to engaging with you in meaningful dialogue through this new forum of connection.
Why We Give
It is my belief that the connection of United Methodists increases the Kingdom of God for all of God’s people. When we give, we are doing what God has called us to do. The ministries for each annual conference are as different as the locations. But one thing is for sure. As United Methodists, when we give to the general Church apportioned funds, we impact lives. It may be hard to envision sometimes…it seems so far away and unreal at times to think we have impacted someone in the next state, or across the globe. At times it doesn’t seem “personal”. It is hard to keep connectional giving as a focus when we don’t know the people we’re helping. But, when I hear the stories, I am more convinced that the connectional nature of United Methodists is what God has in mind for his people. I am reminded of Romans 12:4-6a. “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts…”