Foundation sees role as faithful partner in season of change

The Foundation celebrated present and future leaders and affirmed its commitment to building the Church during an Annual Meeting of the Membership.

Acting on a commitment to be a faithful partner in a season of change, Foundation leaders on Saturday announced the organization’s largest ever contribution to Conference initiatives.

This year’s tithe (from the Foundation operating budget) of $176,000 goes into the WNCC operating receipts. In addition, the Board of Directors designated $79,000 from 2022 Excess Operating Cash to support the WNCC Bishop’s Initiative, bringing the total to $255,000.

“This is an overwhelming gift – a quarter of a million dollars,” Bishop Ken Carter told attendees during the Foundation’s Annual Meeting of the Membership. “Not every Foundation across the Church does this, and we do not take it for granted.”

The Bishop’s Initiative will support the Comprehensive Plan of Equity, Peacemaking in Communities and Strengthening “First” Churches across Western North Carolina.

The gift underscores the Foundation’s commitment to be a steadying influence in a time of disruption in the United Methodist Church. It’s among many ways the Foundation sought to live into its calling since the last time we gathered in Lake Junaluska:

Spirit-led vision for the future

Speaking to Annual Conference attendees for the 22nd year, President David Snipes shared that Foundation leadership is nearing the end of a strategic visioning process to distill a long list of hopes and dreams into a plan of action.

The Foundation’s core values – excellence, integrity, innovation, relationships – will remain the same. However, the way we carry out those ideals may change for the benefit of those we are called to serve.

“We have learned not only about gifts and graces for ministry we bring individually to the table,” David said, “but also how we can move the Foundation forward corporately to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.”

The Foundation has not always been in a financial position to support the Conference. At the time of our founding by the 1967 Annual Conference, there was no dedicated staff. Deposits totaled less than $100,000. Today’s Foundation is not only self-sustaining, but has grown into a multi-faceted organization.

The inspiration for this year’s annual report theme, Here for Good, comes from Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Board Chair Anne Martin called it a simple and yet profound truth – and, also, a fitting way to describe how the Foundation board and leadership views our calling.

“This is a place focused not just on doing good today or tomorrow, but on doing good for the generations who will come after us,” Anne told clergy and lay delegates. “We are here—together—for good. And with your help, by allowing us to be in partnership with you, we’ll remain that way long into the future.”

Stories you may be interested in

With lower threshold, church loans serve wider range of needs

Church loans are now available for as low as $50,000, a change that enables the Foundation's UMF Development Fund Loan Program to better respond to the needs of those it serves.

>

Tomorrow’s leaders serving in your church today

The Foundation partners with individuals, families and other funders to provide scholarships for students pursuing their dreams through higher education. Meet some of this year's recipients.

>

How a simple invitation led to an ‘amazing’ ministry for local youth

What began with an invitation to use the church gym has blossomed into Spark After Dark, a ministry that attracts a crowd every week for basketball, a community meal and faith-based activities.

>