Financial Stewardship in Difficult Times
March 30, 2020 | By Katharine Yarnell
While this has been an unsettling and unprecedented year so far, the creativity, resilience and faithfulness of our global community and Iowa has been remarkable! The resources that have been shared, and that are available for congregations, is wonderful. We want to do our part in sharing information that may be helpful for you and your faith community.
Start with following Jesus.
As we turn to our faith community, which may be online now, and seek guidance from the Bible, what are we feeling and thinking? Are we like David facing a Goliath of a pandemic? Are we Queen Esther, called to live in such a time as this? Is there a balm in Gilead? Can we be a little less like Martha fretting, and more like Mary listening?
Can we practice being an “Electronic St. Paul” sharing our faith through letters, blogs, YouTube prayers and devotions, FaceTime, texts, phone calls, Zoom meetings, memes on social media? Our narrative of faith may change hour to hour, but this is a deep resource of eternal love and encouragement.
Why do we give?
In a crisis, donors generally drop their financial support of organizations they do not trust. We can build trust by A) acknowledging that many people have been, and will be hit by the financial crisis and B) offering our sincere, personal gratitude for their support. An expression of thanks, especially from the recipients themselves, is most helpful.
How should we give?
Any way you feel like it! If you like to write checks, please consider sending in a check. If you feel comfortable with electronic giving, or setting up ACH from your bank account, or a credit card service, there are many options. Also, please encourage a continuing gift, which will help stabilize income; it can always be changed later. For churches considering these options, check out www.umcdiscipleship.org—particularly the recorded webinar on how to set up recurring electronic giving.