Stewardship – Generosity!

Stewardship is a way of life that recognizes that everything we have is God’s, and we are simply stewards of those resources while here on earth.  Paul encouraged generosity at all times: Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. II Corinthians 8:2

Methodist Approach to Stewardship

John Wesley urged his followers to “Earn all you can and save all you can, so that you can give all you can.” He modeled modest living and sacrificial giving.  Wesley made sure those early classes of “Methodists” took weekly offerings to help others in need.  Today, we United Methodists join others to help all of God’s children — whenever and wherever we can, just as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes when the crowd grew hungry.  Through our congregation, we are the heart, spirit and hands of God’s outreaching love.  Life grows here through the joy of generosity.

United Methodist Annual Giving

Contributions to First United Methodist Church not only benefit our congregation, but also have regional, national and international impact through our connectional giving system.  Most of the money you give is used to support the ministries of your local church. A small portion funds regional ministries.

In addition to our annual stewardship program that funds the basic operating budget of the church we have a number of other ways to strengthen our ministries, programs, and facilities.

Designated Funds

In addition to regular giving, contributions to any of these funds can be made in honor or memory of a loved one at any time.

Endowment Fund

This fund was established in the early nineties to benefit the general welfare of the church. The principal cannot be used except for any emergency that threatens the existence of the church.  Investment returns may be used to enhance the works of the church’s ministries or facilities.

Capital Fund

The Capital Fund was established to build reserve fund monies for major capital improvements that cannot be met within the normal operating budget, much like a reserve fund is used in condominium associations.

First UMC of Canoga Park Memorial Fund

These monies are donated to the church by individuals in memory or honor of a loved one and can be designated for a specific purpose or left undesignated.

Laura Longman Memorial Scholarship Fund

On Easter Sunday in 1985, The Laura Longman Memorial Scholarship Grants were awarded.  This year we are celebrating our 37th year granting scholarship awards to well-qualified upper-class undergraduate students.  128 scholarship grants have been awarded to date in Laura’s memory, to 101 different students, for a grand total of $188,500.

United Methodist Women’s Merritt Memorial Fund

This Memorial Fund was started in 1956 in honor of Ernest Merritt who was an active member of our church and the community from 1924 to 1956.  Its specific ministry is to help the youth of our church in their Christian Educational endeavors, for example by providing camperships.