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Starting 2019 off right

Marcia Alexander

Marcia Alexander, a member of Epworth UMC in Minneapolis. Photo courtesy of Minnesota UMC.

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.

What do financial goals have to do with a clergy person? Well, you have your own books to keep, don’t you? To be a good leader and steward for your congregation, do not forget to lead by example. I encourage you to take time this month (if you haven’t already done so) to check-in on your own financial picture. Some things to think about and start looking at:

  • How do the new tax laws impact you? You may need to set aside more time to put together your information.
  • Have you contributed as much as you can to your Individual Retirement Account (IRA)? Until April 15, you can contribute monies designated for 2018.
  • How has the recent market volatility impacted your investments? Do you need to make changes? 
  • Do you have a financial advisor? If so, have you talked to him or her recently? If not, have you started looking for one?
  • Thinking about retirement or a sabbatical—are you financially prepared for that change?

When you work on your financial health, share it with your congregation. By sharing your experience, it helps remind others that their money is a tool that God has given them, not a stress on their lives.

Marcia is a member of Epworth UMC in Minneapolis. She is also a financial advisor at Thrivent Financial and has worked in the financial industry for more than 20 years. She is married and has three boys who keep her active in the community.


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