LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (April 17, 2017) – A total of 47 pastors aged 58 plus and some of their spouses participated in a Pre-Retirement Seminar sponsored by the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas on April 3 and 4.
“As people retire, they have many productive years left,” said Rev. Mackey Yokem, UMFA Grants Administrator who also works on leadership development ministries for the Foundation. “Our goal with the seminar was to help pastors and their spouses determine how best to apply their time, wisdom, and creative ideas to the 15-20 years after retirement. The Foundation’s desire is to help clergy be effective leaders throughout their life, and this seminar brought ideas about how best to apply their passions after the appointment process is over.”
Both clergy members and spouses responded positively to the seminar. “I do so want to thank the Foundation for its investment in this well-thought-out session,” wrote Rev. Maxine Allen of Little Rock. “You know that I go to a lot of meetings, and it was well worth the time and effort of attendance.”
Keith Lawrence, a nationally recognized retirement authority and author of Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement, provided timely and easy-to-use hints about how to deal with retirement – even before it starts. Judy Mattox of Rogers, wife of Rev. Dr. Michael Mattox, characterized the presentation as surprisingly enlightening, entertaining, and dynamic.
“I particularly enjoyed Keith’s idea that couples should write their separate bucket lists and then get together for a combined bucket list. Michael and I were working on ours before we got home from the meeting,” she said.
Another speaker at the seminar was Bob Christophel of WesPath (formerly the UMC General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits) who presented retirement facts and figures and demonstrated how to complete necessary forms for retirement benefits. He was available for private consultation so that the participants could ask questions about their accounts.
UMFA Vice President for Development Janet Marshall also made a presentation, speaking about the resources the Foundation can provide to help with creating a will and making charitable gift decisions.
Jim Argue, Jr., UMFA President and CEO, said that adding Rev. Yokem, a retired pastor, to the UMFA staff this past year has brought a new perspective to the Foundation. “Mackey’s years as a pastor in the Arkansas Conference have allowed us to develop new relationships, expand possibilities and add opportunities for outreach, taking grant-making and leadership development to a new level,” he said.
The United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas manages $145 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.