Foundation Chair’s Message
December 18, 2019 by Presbyterian Foundation
As we pray and reflect in anticipation of the Lord’s coming during this Advent season, I am reflecting on the ways the Foundation continues to serve the PC(USA) and the cause of Christ. It’s been an amazing year and I am grateful for the loving commitment and skillful work of our Board and our staff, who are helping us look towards the future.
As Tom discussed in his column on page 3, the wealth transfer and property studies are absolutely crucial to creating a sustainable church that will be available to serve Christ here on earth for centuries to come. Rev. Dr. Eileen Lindner’s leadership and work on the wealth transfer and property studies has been important not just to the Foundation but to the entire PC(USA). We are a church with great resources and possibility and it is important to know the giving patterns, history and challenges of generational wealth transfer in order to lead the denomination in a forward-thinking strategy to support the Church’s future.
Another way the Foundation aims to support the future of the church is through stewardship education. In March, we launched the Stewardship Navigator, an online application designed to help churches plan and execute their stewardship processes. The technology is built with two $1 million dollar grants awarded to us by the Lilly Endowment Inc. as part of its national initiative to address economic challenges facing pastoral leaders. The navigator has been a remarkable success. Rev. David Loleng, Director of Church Financial Literacy and Leadership, initially hoped for 100 users in its first year. Instead, almost 750 churches are using this intuitive tool in its first year! If you are curious, you can check out the Stewardship Navigator at stewardshipnavigator.com. Beyond the Stewardship Navigator, we have hired coaches to help walk individual churches through stewardship and financial matters. We hope these efforts will contribute to congregational vitality and sustainability in years to come.
Finally, as we look towards the future, I am grateful for the addition of new leadership over the last year. Under Tom Taylor’s direction, senior leadership transitions are going well. In late 2018, Troy Marables became Vice President of Human Resources after a 20-year career at the Foundation in various roles. In January, Robyn Davis Sekula joined the Foundation as Vice President of Communications and Marketing, and Angela Curry joined as Vice President and General Counsel in June. (You can read more about Robyn’s background in the May edition of Leadership News, and more about Angela on page 4 of this edition. Troy’s background is available on our web site at presbyterianfoundation.org/leadership/troy-marables.) We are thrilled about these new additions to the senior leadership team. Troy, Robyn, and Angela have already hit the ground running, and we look forward to the way their presence and their gifts will serve the Foundation in the future.
As you reflect on your own year, I hope that you continue to rejoice in the myriad ways you are experiencing Christ among you. I also hope that you are blessed by the ways in which the Presbyterian Foundation seeks to bring resources, education and value to the Church — and to the world.
May God bless your work, your congregations and may you experience the birth of Christ anew this Christmas season.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Eustacia Moffett Marshall