LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (January 25, 2016) –The
United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas recently awarded a $9,000 grant to send
a group of clergy to the Academy of Faith and Money and a $15,000 grant to send
worship teams to the FUSION Conference as a part of the UMFA Grants Committee’s
commitment to building leadership.
"The UMFA continues to be committed to developing
faithful and fruitful clergy leaders for the Arkansas Conference by supporting
life-long learning for pastors in local churches,” said Rev. Dede Roberts, Director
of the Center for Vitality of the Arkansas Conference. “The Center for Vitality
is grateful for the generosity and innovative spirit of the Foundation.”
The grant for the Academy of Faith and Money will allow
eight pastors in their first 10 years of ministry to receive expert training in
raising and shepherding funds for mission and ministry. These are skills
not often addressed in seminary training but are increasingly important as
pastors lead their congregations into the mission field and make new disciples
who must be taught the spiritual practices of generosity and tithing, according
The pastors who attend the Academy will be expected to work
with the laity of their churches to develop a financial plan for their
congregation and will be eligible to receive coaching through the Center for
Vitality as they implement their plan.
“We are pleased to help sharpen leadership skills among
those who attend both these conferences, and we expect their newly acquired
knowledge to be shared with their own congregations and beyond,” said Jim
Argue, Jr., UMFA President and CEO.
The second grant will allow worship teams from some larger
congregations to attend the first ever United Methodist conversation on contemporary
worship. FUSION is an experiment by Discipleship Ministries that will bring
together scholars and practitioners to encourage United Methodists in new forms
and practices of worship in the 21st century.
The Arkansas Conference team of pastors and laity attending
FUSION will be reporting back to the Foundation, the Center for Vitality and
Discipleship Ministries for developing future events to help churches improve
and innovate worship services which speak to an increasingly diverse mission
The United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas manages $135
million in endowment funds and other charitable assets that benefit local
churches and other United Methodist ministries. UMFA is one of the largest
United Methodist Foundations in the country. Founded in 1963, UMFA is
responsible for over 750 funds that support United Methodist ministries.