The Shawnee Valley District has been blessed with monies that have the potential to help us accomplish our mission through investing in opportunities that change lives. First, let me say that we are thankful for the monies given by our churches toward our Conference and District connectional giving (aka apportionments). Our goal is for every church to give their fair share and pay all of their Conference and District askings so that we can reach people with the good news of Christ- locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Thank you for your commitment! You are truly investing in life-giving ministry and honoring Christ with your faithful obedience to give the resources so graciously given to each of us. Thank You! If you have any questions regarding how your connectional giving dollars are being utilized, please contact Diana Hall at the District office or George Cooper at the West Ohio Conference office. The District Superintendent is more than willing to come to any church to talk with you about this crucial ministry.
Secondly, when we meet each year to look at next year’s budget, we are aware of the awesome responsibility we have been given to diligently look at every dollar we spend and to be good stewards of it. We are striving to cut our administrative costs so that more money can be given in grants to local churches and ministries as well as mission partners. We want you to look at the Shawnee Valley District’s budget and know that we have been frugal yet have accomplished what is needed for us to be fruitful for Christ. We are investing in both clergy and lay leadership so that our churches can be vital and vibrant. We will strive to tell you the stories of lives changed through our District newsletter and other means. Here are just a couple brief stories that illustrate your investment in ministry here at home:
- Emerging Ministry Grant- the Wesley UMC in Jackson, Ohio is taking a group of 60 people (mostly youth) to an event called “Creation 2015”. Eight of the participants are not currently involved in their church. This is a great opportunity to disciple these young people in their faith.
- Strategic Ministry Grant- the Sardinia UMC will sponsor a 6-week “Live Free School” this summer. It is an outreach to children in kindergarten through the sixth grade and their families. It is led by a team of trained college students and they focus on academic skills, healthy nutrition, fitness and sharing Christ’s love with all who participate.
If your church would like to apply for either a Strategic Ministry Grant or an Emerging Ministry Grant, then you can find both applications on the District website (www.shawneevalleydistrict.org ) by clicking on the Leadership tab and then on District Grants. You can also call the District office and request that an application be sent to your church.
Thirdly, we are also striving to be good stewards of the resources that this District has been given beyond the District apportionments we receive every year. We have monies being held in reserve for emergency purposes that would lead us to help a church with a sizable amount of money. One of the principles we live by in this District is the same principle encouraged in our personal finances- we hold in reserve a six month operating cushion. But we are also striving to be good stewards of that cushion by wisely investing that money thereby gaining dividends that can be used for mission and ministry. We do not want to hoard the money God has given but rather to prove ourselves wise in putting it to use for the furthering of God’s kingdom. In fact, life in the Shawnee Valley District would look much different and we would have far less impact both locally and beyond without the utilization of these resources and the dividends they provide us for ministry.
Finally, every year we ask all local churches to perform a financial audit/review of their finances and accounts. God desires for us to be faithful stewards of all that we have been given and to give an account for how we have utilized those gifts. We want our lives and churches to speak of honesty, transparency and integrity when it comes to God’s money. We strive likewise, as a District, to be open and transparent with the monies we hold as a trust from God. We are always open to your inquiries and suggestions for how we can do better. We are also available to come to any church to talk about the mission/ministry of the SHV District and how your money is being put to use. We are your servants and want you to be excited about what you are involved in through your financial gifts. If you would like to see our financial documents then you can go to our District website and click on the “Resources” tab and then on “Financial Information”. If you have questions or suggestions, you can contact Diana Hall (District Treasurer) at the District office or talk with either Lori Lossie (Walnut St.UMC pastor) or Kurt King (Trinity UMC pastor) who serve as the finance representatives on our Leadership Team.
Brent Watson, District Superintendent