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Learning to live generously

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communications Dakotas UMC

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Three Dakotas Conference congregations are on a path to lead others to learn about living generously.  Linton, Plankinton, and Spearfish United Methodist Churches are recent recipients of Breakthrough Ministry grants. All three congregations will launch Financial Peace University (FPU) as a tool to help people learn to live a life of generosity.

Linton UMC has set a goal to have ten individuals from the community journey through the nine-week course. Pastor Marlin Sapp will lead the FPU sessions and wrote in the application, “We hope to show people outside the church that we are here to get through life’s everyday problems.”

Plankinton UMC is part of the second cohort of churches in the Journey Renewal Partnership. One of the prescriptions or goals of the congregation is implementing, as part of the Journey Renewal process, is facing financial fears. Offering FPU is one of the strategies.

Angela Bosworth is serving as the “conquering financial fears champion.” She and others from the congregation will launch the Embrace Change, Bring Hope project in January 2019 by engaging ten families in FPU. They will hold classes in the school, a local restaurant, community center, and senior citizen center. Angela stated in the application, “We see the need in our community for younger families and young adults that are more financially strapped. We will have child care providers and plan to serve the meals at each session. 

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Photo courtesy of unsplash.com.

Spearfish UMC has owned and operated Children First (CF), a preschool and daycare, for ten years. The congregation asks continually, how is Children First a connected, meaningful ministry? Goals for this year include partnering with CF to offer Financial Peace University for staff and parents. Scholarships will be provided for parents and staff from Children First that participate in FPU.  There will also be incentives for completion. Janelle Jones, a member of Spearfish UMC who serves as the board chairman of Children First, shares in the application, “Spearfish UMC wishes to partner in more ways with our school, a Christian school serving a diverse group in our community. We are building relationships and striving to meet their needs, especially help with money management.”

Financial Peace University encourages people to put God first in their lives. “Earn so you can give,” is a key component. Financial management leads to living a life of generosity. Bosworth wrote this, “Average giving by those taking a Financial Peace course increases from 4% to 8%. After taking the class, people learn practical ways to create a budget, pay off debt, make wise spending choices, save for the future, and so much more. If we can impact ten families in the community at a time, just think where we can go from here.”

Giving resources:

UMC

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