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The Vital Connection Episode 11: Behind the curtain with Sheri Meister

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Jeff Pospisil, executive director of Finance and Administration, visits with Sheri Meister, executive director of the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation to talk about her role at the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation, how she transitioned from Sioux Falls First UMC and the Dakotas Common Table to what she is doing now.

Dakotas Annual Conference is a big family. Sheri sees the Dakotas Annual Conference as a big family and appreciates the connections and care everyone has for one another.  Although it didn’t happen by happenstance, she now feels like one of the family.  She was soon to realize that it wasn’t a one-way street.  It was her responsibility as well, to become acquainted and connect with others.  It’s a great place to be and there are great people who are working together to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”

Meister Sheri 2014

Making the move from previous jobs into this role. Moving from the position of Director of the Foundation at Sioux Falls First to the Dakotas UM Foundation was a natural transition.  As difficult of a decision as it was to make, the timing was right, and the position was a perfect match.  Sheri realized early on in her career that her calling was to be in a role of helping people, jobs that could make a difference. She knew that if she wanted to make the move to work for the Conference, the timing needed to when this position opened up.  She hoped she could make a difference at the Conference level and still work for the Church.

Helping pastors in the areas of Stewardship and Generosity. Fear of talking about money is the biggest issue Sheri sees pastors face.  She believes it comes from a fear of rejection, their own personal relationship with money, or their understanding of finances.  She hopes after this podcast, pastors and leaders of the church understand they can call the Foundation office for resources and guidance on how to become more comfortable with the topic of money.

Relationship building is the key in raising money. Learning about people, hearing their interests and how with the help of their resources, ministries and churches can reach more people and draw them nearer to Jesus.  It’s about caring for people, finding their loves, and helping them understand how they can help.

It is important for people to not be desperate for the dollars and take whatever gifts are given to them.  It’s best and imperative that the gifts match the mission of the church or the ministry and that the donor of the gift and the church have a mutual goal in developing and broadening their ministry. 

Dakotasfoundationlogo 2

How the Foundation can help. Sheri’s hoping that more and more churches understand that the Dakotas UM Foundation is here to help and guide. They are a resource for cultivation, generosity, stewardship, and endowment building. When churches invest with the foundation, they can be comforted that their money is managed for the future and that documentation is kept on file so that each church can honor the wishes of the donor. 

For more information, please contact the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation at www.dakotasumf.org, 605-990-7790. Sheri Meister, Diane Weller, or Kelsey Morgan are here to help.