Stewardship Academy draws rave reviews


Special to the Advocate 

The first session of the Stewardship Academy appears to have been a hit. 

Sponsored by The Mississippi United Methodist Foundation, the event was held March 28-29 at Crossgates UMC. Eighty-three laypersons and 63 clergy representing 74 local United Methodist churches and all 11 districts in the annual conference attended. 

"I felt that the academy was the most beneficial and practical continuing education experience in which I have participated," said the Rev. Tim Prather of Tupelo First UMC. " I think that the implications for the local church and the annual conference are astoundingly positive." 

The Rev. Lister Bowdoin of Bovina-Edwards UMC agreed. "As a new pastor, this academy not only gave us many facts and information that we desperately needed, it gave us a shift in perception – viewing stewardship through a different lens," he said. "It was a transformative experience for me and the layperson from my church.  I hope the Foundation will provide this opportunity again in the future." 

The Stewardship Academy was led by the Rev. Dr. Wayne Barrett, president of the West Michigan Conference Foundation, with assistance by the Rev. Denny Buwalda, vice president of development of that foundation. 

This first session covered such topics as:
• Thinking Theologically About Stewardship and Money
• Demographic and Cultural Characteristics
• Stewardship in the United Methodist Tradition
• The Church and the Economy
• Repenting of Your Greatest Stewardship Sins
• Motivation For Giving
• Leadership for Stewardship Ministry
• The Role of the Laity in Stewardship Leadership
• Organizing for Commitment