Petition 80196

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Stewardship Education (80196-DI-R224-$)

Amend and readopt current Resolution 224 which will expire in 2008 as follows:

224. Stewardship Education for Small Membership Churches
WHEREAS, there is a general absence of financial development and stewardship education in small membership and rural churches; and
WHEREAS, there is a need to guide small membership and rural churches to change the concept of stewardship from "meeting the budget" to "sharing the resources God has given to us"; and
WHEREAS, tithing has a long history in the United Methodist Church which resulted in the 1996 Resolution, A Tithing Church  was approved for inclusion in The Book of Resolutions, 1996 (p. 715); ; and
WHEREAS, stewardship responsibilities are outlined in The 2000 Book of Discipline, ¶¶ 258.4, 627.5 and 1113 , 2004 Book of Discipline, ¶¶ 259.4, 629 and 1115,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the General Board of Discipleship, through the Office of Small Membership Church and Shared Ministries and the Office of Stewardship, and the General Board of Global Ministries, through the Office of Field Service and Finance, be called on to network with the United Methodist Rural Fellowship on the issue of financial development and stewardship education; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage a new resource packet on stewardship be developed for today's small membership and rural churches; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage resources be developed for training pastors and lay leadership regarding personal tithing, speaking about stewardship and finances, and negotiating pastoral compensation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a leadership team be formed with individuals from the above-named groups to follow through on these concerns.