Winter 2019

Money mattersto you, to me, to our families, and to our churches and communities. To better provide you with timely and helpful resources about money matters, we have created a quarterly e-newsletter for all clergy in the Dakotas and Minnesota Annual Conferences.

The purpose of the e-newsletter is to offer information about opportunities and resources that could help your financial health and well-being. While some of these resources may apply to a specific group, others are available to all clergy and, often, the local church! This first issue includes information on free financial education materials for all pastors, grants for financial education groups at your churches, and the deadline for the 2019 Student Debt Reduction grant. We are here to help you embrace your financial health!

Diane Owen, Dakotas-Minnesota Area Lilly grant program director

New opportunities

Free financial education materials for all clergy

As part of our Area’s Lilly grant initiative, we are now able to offer free (up to $150 value) educational materials for all clergy currently under appointment for at least one year! (New clergy receive their free materials at orientation.) Vetted and approved options include Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and GoodSenseMovement’s Freed Up Financial Living. Improving the financial well-being of all clergy in our Area is a strategic goal of the Lilly Initiative!  Learn more and order your free materials

2019 financial ministry grants offered to local churches

Strengthening the financial health of our churches begins with improving the financial well-being of our congregations. Using the funds from our Lilly grant, your church may apply for a financial ministry grant to offer financial education for individuals in your church or community. Materials are available through Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and GoodSenseMovement’s Freed Up Financial Living. The amount of the ministry grant offered depends upon which course you choose. Funds are limited, so grants are offered on a first-come, first-served basis for 2019.  Learn more

2019 student debt reduction grant applications open July 1

We awarded 38 $5,000 grants to Area clergy in 2018! We are excited to offer this opportunity again in 2019. Why tell you now? The grant prerequisite is the completion of personal financial education within three years of the application date. Priority will be given to first-time grant applicants, followed by those applying for a $5,000 grant renewal. Renewals will be prioritized based upon appointment seniority in the Area (most tenured receives first priority). See the grant guidelines to learn if you are eligible.  Learn more and apply

Helpful resources

  • United Methodist Discipleship Ministries sends out a monthly e-newsletter, Generous Living, announcing webinars and great resources for improving personal financial well-being, strengthening church financial health, and growing a generous church. The February issue includes webinars “The Church Audit: You Can Do This” and “Clergy Taxes: Keep All You Can,” along with highlights of great books and workshops.  Sign up for Generous Living
  • Our Lutheran colleagues know a thing or two about stewardship and financial health! Check out the weekly e-newsletter from Luther Seminary’s Center for Stewardship Leaders, which features great articles and more resources to cultivate financial health and generosity.  Sign up for Stewardship Weekly Tips and Resources

Around the Area

Starting 2019 off right 

New year, new you! (Yes, you too, Pastor.)

Every year as we usher in a new year, we take a deep breath. Perhaps you set goals for you, your church, or your individual church members and community to look forward to! One of the most common focuses or resolutions is around financial goals or health. Marcia Alexander, a member at Epworth UMC in Minneapolis and a financial advisor at Thrivent Financial, poses five important financial questions for clergy to help them prepare for what’s ahead.  Read blog post


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