By Fred Koenig
The Missouri United Methodist Foundation has received leadership gifts from the Steward Family Foundation and the World Wide Technology Foundation for the C2FM Initiative. As part of the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders, Missouri UM Foundation’s C2FM Initiative helps Missouri’s pastors and congregations move from financial stress to financial ministry.
Philanthropists and devoted Methodists David and Thelma Steward were introduced to the C2FM initiative by Missouri Annual Conference Bishop Bob Farr who has been a longtime advocate for pastoral leadership development. “As disciples, we share in a covenant to lift up and sustain those who answer the call to ministry,” said Bishop Farr. “We are so grateful for the generosity of both the Steward Family Foundation and the World Wide Technology Foundation. This gift will bring vital resources to support this ongoing priority.”
In 2015, the Foundation received a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to develop the C2FM program. One half of the grant is earmarked for direct aid to clergy and clergy families to assist with financial challenges ranging from student debt to housing, from scholarships to medical emergencies. Those dollars can only be used, however, when matched by local donations.
“The Steward gift puts us much closer to meeting the matching challenge by our deadline,” said David Atkins, Foundation Executive “and will help ensure the sustainability of the C2FM program for years to come.”
David Steward founded World Wide Technology in 1990 in St. Louis. Now one of the largest private corporations in the country, it has been ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 places to work for the last five years running.
The World Wide Technology Foundation has a mission of “Supporting Our Community Around The Globe,” and the Steward Family Foundation is engaged in many charitable efforts in partnership with the St. Louis office of United Way.
Foundation Director of Development Myles Hinkel is encouraging more congregations and individuals to help “Meet the Match.” “Every dollar is doubled and has a positive ripple effect for pastors and congregations,” Hinkel said. To learn more and to give securely online, visit www.mumf.org/meet-the-match.