I am writing on the day following the conclusion of General Conference 2019. I am sure that each of you is aware of the actions taken by this most recent General Conference. I specifically write to assure you that our mission of helping faithful people to live generous lives is unwavering. Our commitment to value-aligned investment services, stewardship consultation, planned giving ministry, and scholarship, grant, and award opportunities remains at the very heart of our deliverable services. Since the 1920’s, we have been and will be present and available to serve all local churches and organizations with a historic Wesleyan connection. Ultimately, we seek to assist the Church in achieving its purpose to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Today, we join with United Methodist pastors, laity, congregations, conference and agency leaders, bishops, and you in prayer and discernment as we assess the impact of recent decisions made by General Conference delegates. Our foundation is a member of a large national association. I am blessed with the privilege of serving as the President of the National Association of United Methodist Foundations . We often describe this association and its member foundations as “edge” organizations. What does this term, “edge,” mean in our context? We maintain a posture of adaptability, non-anxious presence, and leading-edge thinking. We are not fully independent, nor are we bound to the denominational center. We truly come “alongside” the local church, its constituents, and related organizations to help each of you live out your unique calling.
I have been a lifelong United Methodist. General Conference 2019 does not change my calling or passion for Methodism. None of us can predict the ways in which these most recent decisions will result in final actions. If you have not done so already, I invite you to watch this brief interview with Bishop David Bard as he reflected just hours after the conclusion of General Conference 2019. I am praying fervently for The United Methodist Church and for all who claim to be a part of it. Please feel free to reach out to me in the weeks and months ahead if you have questions about your church’s relationship with the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan.
David S. Bell
President and Executive Director