Winter 2020

Happy New Year! In this season of reflection, I cannot help but consider the abundance of experiences and opportunities made available through the generosity of Lilly Endowment and our generous donors across the Area over the last three years. I also look to the future as our grant request to Lilly for an additional $500,000 has been awarded!

I—along with the steering team—will continue to work to address the economic challenges you may be facing through education (personal finance and professional development), grants (debt reduction and educational scholarships), and ongoing resourcing to add to your toolbox of skills and knowledge as you journey through each ministry stage. I intend to ask more questions, seek you out for answers, and listen intently to better understand how to shape the future sustainability of this ministry so that you and your church may prosper.

Don’t hesitate to share your own ideas and thoughts! Just email or call me!

Diane Owen
Program Director
(507) 244-0311 (mobile)


The Generosity Journey for you and your leaders

In March 2020, we are partnering with the Dakotas and Minnesota Foundations to offer The Generosity Journey at Sunnycrest UMC in Sioux Falls. Day one will be a workshop for you and your church's leaders to understand what influences a culture of generosity. Live streaming will be available on day one. Day two will be an opportunity for you (and your spouse) to learn more about personal finance. The workshops will be led by David Bell, experience UMC pastor, development director, and regional and national church executive.

  • March 25, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Encouraging the Joy of Generous Giving: A Workshop for Pastors and Church Leaders (For clergy and laity interested and/or involved in finance, stewardship, and generosity leadership)
  • March 26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Clergy Taxes, Compensation, Personal Finance, and Retirement Planning (For clergy and their spouses)

Learn more and register

Unleashing Generosity

Greg Strunk, a former United Methodist pastor and a financial planner at Thrivent shares his top two barriers that make it difficult for people to be generous. He also shares how to turn those barriers into opportunities to help people worship God and unleash God’s Kingdom love on the world. 

With a little conversation and a little education, people can begin letting go of shame and guilt and expand their ability to be generous.  Read blog post

Important Dates

  • February 17-19, 2020: Attend the Clergy Benefits Academy in Oklahoma City, OK. Request scholarship funds for self and spouse by contacting Leana Stunes.
  • February 17, 2020: Sign up for the Clergy Tax Webinar hosted by Discipleship Ministries: Generous Living.
  • February 20, 2020: Minneapolis, 10:30 am.m-2:30 p.m. Building an Integrated Church: Generosity, Economics, and Faith. Explore findings from research conducted by Barna and insights from hands-on-experience integrating generational perspectives on work, helping others build economic capacity, and discover multi-generational discipleship opportunities centered around the topics of faith, work, economics, and generosity. A limited number of free registrations are available! Contact Diane Owen if interested.


Clergy Tax Tips: Part 2 

The Fall 2019 Money Matters provided part 1 of important tips for clergy taxes from Tax Accountant Marilyn Perry. Part 2 now offers additional information and insights you need as you or your accountant prepares your annual tax return.  Read part 2

As an additional resource, view Jeff Pospisil’s Clergy Tax Webinar. Review a list of tax accountants that other clergy have recommended.

Six Weeks on Money: a new resource for your church’s financial ministry

Jeremiah Lideen, pastor at Uptown Church in Minneapolis, launched Six Weeks on Money as an alternative to Financial Peace University and Freed Up Financial Living. Created by Tim Schuster, formerly with Thrivent designing and launching financial education programs, Jeremiah had this to say about SWOM:
“I think the course is chock full of thought-provoking story, analogy, and invitations to get people to shift their perspective on money. But to be honest, the most effective part of the course for me, are the Seven Money Moves. They are simple, and applicable and systematically tied to the overall claim of the course, that we can have agency in our relationship with money.” 
Learn more about Six Weeks on Money for your church.
Remember the Financial Ministry grant funds up to $500 for financial education for your congregation and community!


Dakotas-Minnesota Area of the United Methodist Church
Diane Owen, Lilly Grant Program Director