New Staff Addition Announcement

David S. Bell, President & Executive Director

The United Methodist Foundation of Michigan is pleased to announce that the Rev. Brad Bartelmay will serve as the Senior Director of Mentored Learning. This newly created position is designed to support pastors and local church leaders with their ministry, vision, and leadership. Rev. Bartelmay will assist church leaders with implementing financial best practices. He will also intentionally mentor new pastors and pastors in transition to strengthen their financial understanding and steward leadership skills. As his title implies, his focus is on mentoring pastors and church leaders so that we are growing generous communities of faith across the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church and beyond.   

Rev. Bartelmay brings a wealth of experience in the practical financial ministries of the Church. He is widely respected throughout the Michigan Conference as the former chairperson of the Conference Finance and Administration Committee. He provided oversight during major staff transitions and the formation of a new annual conference. He has been deeply involved in streamlining Conference finances and working side-by-side with the Conference’s chief financial officer to ensure financial transparency and solvency for the future. In his most recent role as a Special Assistant to the Episcopal Office, Rev. Bartelmay has graciously walked alongside numerous church leaders during the disaffiliation process. He will continue in this role for the immediate future as he steps into his tenure with the Foundation. 

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Wayne C. Barrett Steward Leader Award

Deadline is March 15, 2024.

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Percentage Giving As A Spiritual Practice

Rev. Dr. Sherry Parker Lewis

In the early 1980’s, I graduated from university and took my first job. My monthly expenses included rent, a car payment and repayment of a student loan. I was teaching at a northern Michigan high school and not making much more in salary than would cover the bills. When the offering plate passed by on Sunday mornings, I’d drop in cash or a check. I determined the amount by what I perceived I could afford in the moment.

I became aware of intentional “percentage giving” when I received a letter from the UMC church I was attending. The pastor wrote about giving a specific amount of money in the coming year. He asked congregation members to “step up”. The letter included a stair-step diagram with a percentage at each step, 1% at the bottom and 10% at the top. There were also examples of dollar amounts according to percentages of annual income.

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