Stewardship Summit to spotlight vital giving

Knowing that more than ever, church leaders need resources that will help them teach, preach and practice holistic, faithful stewardship, Bishop Ken Carter and the Florida United Methodist Foundation are partnering to present a conference-wide Stewardship Summit Saturday, March 9, at First United Methodist Church of Orlando.

Bishop Carter will kick off the event with a keynote address on the theme “Foundation of Discipleship:  Responding to God’s grace.”

“We want to keep stewardship ministry alive and vital in our churches,” Carter said, “even as we recognize that God’s mission in the coming years will call forth our creativity, generosity and sacrifice.”

Carter has guided that emphasis by helping to recruit guest speakers to share their knowledge on such subjects as:

  • Microlending:  How churches can be in mission and change lives with a small amount of money
  • Integrating Spirituality and Stewardship: Ways to keep the true meaning of stewardship alive in our annual campaigns, capital campaigns and spiritual lives
  • Capital Campaigns: what, when, how and why?: How capital campaigns can be a time of great spiritual growth and empowerment for local congregations
  • Legacy Strategy: How to manage and re-purpose an increasing inventory of closed church facilities in the coming years
  • Donor-Driven Stewardship: Current trends in donor behavior and strategies for local church campaigns
  • Planned Giving: How your church can help members and friends make lifetime gifts
  • Telling Your Stewardship Story: Marketing and communications strategies to keep members involved utilizing traditional and online media resources

“The Stewardship Summit is an annual event that helps us call attention to the challenges of funding our mission and ministry,” said Rev. Wee-Li Tan, president of the Foundation.  “We asked Bishop Carter to share his vision of stewardship with us because we know it is a passion for him.  He has been a frequent speaker at stewardship events sponsored by the General Board of Discipleship and other groups across our denomination.  Now that he is the spiritual leader of the Florida Annual Conference, we have asked him to help us visualize where God is leading us in the coming years.”

Bishop Carter and Tan planned the program to be wide-ranging so that specific workshops would have particular appeal to different audiences across the conference.

For example, Tan noted, the workshop on “legacy strategy,” led by Bill Wyman, former treasurer and business administrator of the Western North Carolina Conference, should be of particular interest to conference trustees, district superintendents and district trustees.

The sessions on “microcredit” may have particular appeal to clergy or laity with a heart for mission, including United Methodist Volunteers in Action (UMVIM). The workshops will be led by Rev. Pam Carter and Mary Lou Cagle, a retired banker from Charlotte, N.C., who will relate their experiences in starting a microlending ministry in northern Haiti.

Clergy and stewardship chairs or committee members may choose to attend “Stewardship is Spiritual Formation” or “Capital Campaigns: what, when, how and why” with fundraising consultant Pat Luna of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, who firmly believes that church “fundraising” is all about “faith raising.”

Tan said descriptions of all workshop offerings are available on the Foundation website,, where attendees can register for the event, which includes worship, a keynote address, morning and afternoon workshops, and a continental breakfast and lunch.  Individual registration is $35 per person; rates for groups of four or more are $25 per person. Attendees are invited to gather for a light breakfast at 8 a.m.  The program begins at 9 a.m. and will conclude no later than 2:30 p.m.


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