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Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative

January 2024

Greetings Colleagues,

As we celebrate the season of Epiphany, we are reminded of God’s presence made manifest in the world. We remember our call to be faithful and responsible stewards of God’s earthly resources and that as a new year begins, we have renewed opportunity to improve our financial well-being and acumen. We are especially grateful for those of you who have helped us meet our matching goal to double the well-being resources for UMC clergy (see press release below). Thank you for your faithfulness as partners in the Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative’s (Initiative) work to strengthen and equip United Methodist clergy leaders to flourish and thrive in ministry and life.

Press Release: Initiative Reaches Fundraising Goal

Wespath successfully raised $250,000 in funding which will be matched by a generous $250,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. These combined funds will further clergy well-being through the Initiative focusing on post-pandemic recovery and healing for clergy of color. In 2022, the Initiative received a $250,000 Lilly Endowment grant and was presented with the challenge to raise an additional $250,000 to unlock matching funds. Read full press release here.

February 5, 2024 Event: Clergy Taxes Webinar with Rev. Don Joiner

Please help us spread the word on this valuable event! Clergy face unique challenges when it comes to social security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances or exclusions, and reimbursed expenses. Your local tax preparer may not understand the unique situation of clergy. Join the Initiative’s advisor Rev. Ken Sloane of Discipleship Ministries, and Rev. Don Joiner, a certified financial planner, to help participants navigate the preparation of taxes and plan for a sound financial future.

Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarships Available Through GBHEM (Deadline: March 13, 2024)

What could a newlywed from Alabama and a grandfather of two living in Washington, D.C. possibly have in common? As seminary students striving towards their ministerial calling, they may have more in common than meets the eye. Leslie Williams and John Bruce are both recipients of the Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship developed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). This scholarship recognizes that the high costs of education can sometimes be an obstacle in pursuing one’s dreams, and seeks to tackle these barriers, one student at a time. Read full article here.

UMC Leaders Share Examples of Successful Saving Grace Programs

The new year offers an opportunity for your organization to consider promoting or hosting Saving Grace with your constituents. Designed as a small group curriculum, Saving Grace offers personal financial tools to help clergy and laity improve their financial well-being in alignment with a Wesleyan approach to stewardship. Last summer, the Initiative hosted a panel discussion of leaders who have successfully implemented Saving Grace in their ministry contexts. Click here to watch the 1-hour recorded webinar.

Photos from the Entre Nos Summit in Fall 2023

Zaydell Caceres, EY, leads a workshop on Achieving Financial Wellness.

Heidi Careaga, District Administrator in the Wisconsin Conference, and Rev. Fabiola Grandon-Meyer, DCM from Northern Illinois Conference, co-lead a workshop on Understanding Your Compensation Package.

Rev. Dr. Candace Lewis with Rev. Dr. Lydia Muñoz. Dr. Lewis presented results on the Clergy of Color survey from the Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative conducted by the Gammon Research Institute.


UMC Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative

For more information about this initiative and clergy financial well-being resources, visit:

Successfully expanding financial literacy depends on strategic collaboration.
We look forward to working with you in 2023.

Connected in Christian Service,

Dale Jones, Wespath Project Director
David Bell, Project Chair

Bonnie Marden, Project Manager

A collaborative project led by Wespath Benefits and Investments, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Discipleship Ministries and National Association of United Methodist Foundations funded by a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant through their Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.

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