Stepping Into Stewardship Conference

Stepping Into Stewardship Conference

Stepping into StewardshipThe United Church of Christ Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Center for Faith and Giving are pleased to announce "Stepping into Stewardship." This event represents a developing partnership with the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in areas of stewardship education and generosity.  The event will take place March 30, 31, and April 1, 2016 at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at Sea World in Orlando, Florida.

This web resource will provide all of the information that you need to access event and hotel registration so that we can step into stewardship together. Thank you for your interest in joining us!

Interested in sending more than one person? Please contact us for discount details.

Register  Book Hotel  Schedule


Keynote Speakers

Our Featured Presenters

The conference will feature experts from the world of philanthropy as well as our own denominational General Ministers and Presidents.

Clif-Christopher-150.jpgDr. Clif Christopher, M. Div., CFRE
Chief Executive Officer
Horizons Stewardship Company

Dr. Clif Christopher founded the Horizons Stewardship Company in 1992 following a challenging career in pastoral ministry.  He serves as the company’s CEO to this day.  In his twenty years as a pastor, he led numerous major building and capital campaigns.  Since founding Horizons, he and his strategists have led consultations in over 2,000 churches, conferences, synods and diocese in all phases of building, finance, and church growth.

Dr. Christopher is a certified church growth consultant and has earned the coveted title CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive).  In 1995, he was given the National Circuit Rider Award by the United Methodist Church for outstanding leadership in developing vital congregations.

Clif has been an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church since 1975, is a combat veteran of the Gulf War, and is married and living in Little Rock, Arkansas.

dorhauerheadshot150.jpgThe Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ

Dr. Dorhauer was elected the 9th General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ at their 30th General Synod in June, 2015.

He is a graduate of Eden Theological Seminary, making him the first UCC President educated west of the Mississippi River. His doctoral work was in the field of White Privilege and It’s Affects on the Church. He is the author of two published books, Steeplejacking: How the Christian Right is Hijacking Mainstream Religion;  and Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World. He is the recipient of Eden Seminary’s Shalom Award, given for a lifetime of commitment to Peace and Justice.

Father of three and grandfather of one, he is the proud husband of Mimi, to whom he has been blissfully wed for almost 32 years. His hobbies/passions include baseball, good poetry, and long bike rides.

Bill_Enright_150.jpgWilliam G. Enright, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow
Lake Institute on Faith & Giving
Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

William G. Enright, Ph.D., is the founding Karen Lake Buttrey Director of Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He now serves as the Senior Fellow. Dr. Enright is a former Senior Pastor of Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis.  He is a graduate of Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California; and McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois.  He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and holds three D.D. (honorary) degrees from Hanover College (Hanover, IN), Dubuque Theological Seminary (Dubuque, IA), and Anderson University (Anderson, IN). Dr. Enright is a director of Lilly Endowment, Inc. as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis.  He has also served as a trustee of Hanover College with distinction.  In 2009, Dr. Enright joined the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Youth Core, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

watkins-150.jpgThe Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins
General Minister and President
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
United States and Canada

The Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins serves as General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States She is an inspirational preacher, teacher and facilitator who shares her considerable skills in a variety of religious and ecumenical settings.

As General Minister, she is general pastor of the denomination, responsible for representing the wholeness of the church, for reconciling differences, and for helping the church retain its clarity of mission and identity. Her work includes interpreting The Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and convening tables for cooperative work.

She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Phillips Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from the Yale Divinity School, and a Bachelor's Degree in French and Economics from Butler University. She is a graduate of Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, Ind. She has been awarded numerous honorary doctorate degrees.

Dr. Watkins enjoys bike riding and time for personal reflection. She strives to make it a practice to take a full day of Sabbath each week.  Watkins is married to the Rev. Dr. Rick Lowery, an author and frequent lecturer on the Hebrew Bible and Adjunct Professor of Hebrew Bible at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Ky. They have two adult children, Bethany and Christopher.

Rev. Bruce A. Barkhauer Rev. Bruce A. Barkhauer
Minister for Faith and Giving
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Bruce A. Barkhauer was called as the first "Minister for Faith and Giving for Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)" in 2010.

For twenty-five years he has led congregations in Ohio and Indiana in achieving high levels of financial support for local and global missions and he now shares his experi¬ence across the life of the whole church.

His energy, vision, and entrepreneurial spirit enhance gifts in both business and ministry. He brings a biblically based understanding about stewardship combined with theological integrity and weds them to the current trends and best prac¬tices related to spirituality and money. In his workshops and writings, Rev. Barkhauer also talks about the multiple understandings about stewardship in the biblical witness as they touch the whole life of a person of faith.

He is a graduate of Ohio University (Athens), Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis), and did Doctor of Ministry studies at Ashland Theological Seminary (Ashland, OH). He is married to Laura and they share three grown children and two grandchildren.


Workshops and the Presenters

Financial Best Practices as a Catalyst for Generosity

This workshop will explore financial ethics and best practices in the congregational context, as a key partner in a growing a culture of generosity.

todd-adams-150.jpgPresented by:
The Rev. Dr. Todd Adams, Associate General Minister and Vice President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and the Interim President of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society

In his current role, he is the chief of staff for the General Minister and President, coordinating the church-wide governance bodies and gatherings of the church.  

Dr. Adams provides oversight of the denomination’s mission funding system and manages the office finances, while serving as a liaison to several of the denomination’s boards including the Pension Fund, Christian Church Foundation and National Benevolent Association.

Additionally, Todd maintains a regular preaching schedule, visiting about 20 congregations a year in addition to leading workshops and retreats on non-profit governance, congregational transformation, stewardship, and financial ethics. Todd consults with non-profit boards on governance best practices. He is a certified Governance Trainer for Board Source.

Todd is a 1994 graduate of Chapman University in Orange, CA.  He has a Master of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, OK.  In 2007, he earned a Doctor of Ministry in the Steward as Leader focusing on non-profit organizational leadership and fund raising in the religious setting from Wesley Theological Seminary.  During his doctoral studies, Todd served as a Lewis Fellow, researching effective models for leadership development and organizational transformation.  In 2011, Todd was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Bethany College in recognition of his service to the Christian Church.

Money, Marketing and the Power of Networks

Funding congregational ministries today requires new tools that tap into the networked world of social media, online giving, crowdfunding and network theory. While the people filling our pews give generously, this traditional pattern of giving is fading away as a new generation of givers are redefining church participation and financial support. We now have the opportunity to embrace new approaches, skills, tools and relationships that redefine how we fund the work God is calling to in the world. I this workshop, we will look at the emerging trends in funding ministries and the tools available to our congregations to ensure that their best days are ahead.

cameron-trimble-150.jpgPresented by:
The Rev. Cameron Trimble, Executive Director, CEO
Convergence, Center for Progressive Renewal

Rev. Cameron Trimble is a speaker, preacher, teacher and author. She is the Executive Director, CEO of a trans-denominational network called Convergence and a UCC-affiliated organization called the Center for Progressive Renewal. She most recently served as an advisor to the Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Team of Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ and as Associate Conference Minister of Church Development in the Southeast Conference of the UCC.

Rev. Trimble is an adjunct professor teaching leadership, church planting and church renewal with the Pacific School of Religion, Brite Divinity School, Auburn Seminary and Chicago Theological Seminary. She has co-authored the book “Liberating Hope” in 2011.

With this wide experience and exposure, Rev. Trimble is convinced that the future of the progressive mainline Church is dependent upon our ability to cultivate the highest quality of leadership in both ordained and lay leadership.

Raising New Revenue to Fund Ministry Vision

Is there capital or major funds campaign in your church’s future? This workshop will take you through the steps of preparing for and conducting a campaign to meet the church’s ministry and mission vision.

Presented by:
The Reverend Priscilla S. Bizer, Capital Fundraising Executive
United Church of Christ


The Rev. Susan C. Mitchell, Capital Fundraising Executive
United Church of Christ

Priscilla-Bizer-150.jpgTo the position of Capital Fundraising Executive for the United Church of Christ, Priscilla S. Bizer brings experience as a development officer for a UCC health and human services agency and two United Church of Christ seminaries.

Prior to moving into development ministry, Priscilla served as an associate minister of Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights, Ohio and as minister of First Congregational UCC in North Ridgeville, Ohio. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, MA and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Eden Seminary in St. Louis, MO.

She serves as a team member with the Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship and the Church Building & Loan Fund of the United Church of Christ.

Susan-Mitchell-150.jpgReverend Susan Mitchell comes to the position of Capital Fundraising Executive as an ordained minister with full standing in the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC). She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Kansas and her Masters of Divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center, where she was inducted into the Theta Phi International Honor Society for Religious Studies.

Rev. Mitchell brings with her a wealth of experience having served 15 years in parish ministry, including previously as the Founding Co-Pastor of Sankofa, UCC in Atlanta and as a past Board Member serving on The DeKalb County Advisory Board of the United Way as the Chair of Youth Development Programs. Rev. Mitchell currently serves on the Boards of The First African Community Development Corporation and Kilombo Cultural and Academic Institute. Rev. Mitchell is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, (AFP), in the Greater Atlanta Chapter.

Rev. Mitchell remains active in her local setting as an Associate Minister at Rush Memorial United Church of Christ in Atlanta, Georgia. She also served in the Georgia/South Carolina Association of the UCC in the areas of Capital Campaign Executive Committee, Chair of Committee on Ministry and Chair of the Privilege of Call/Dual Standing Committee. Rev. Mitchell also served on the New Church Development Advisory Board.

You Can Do It: How to Ask Donors for Money

How to ask donors for money, from cultivating donor relationships to making an ask for a major gift.  Topics to be covered will include the difference between people raising and fundraising.  How to make the donation request; and how to react to the responses of "yes," "maybe," and "no."

don-clark-150.jpgPresented by:
Mr. Don C. Clark, Jr.

Mr. Clark is the former General Counsel for the United Church of Christ.  Mr. Clark has been involved in fund raising both as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of not for profit cultural and religious institutions (Chicago Theological Seminary; Adler Planetarium) and as a donor (Rutgers University; Hands of Peace; numerous settings and ministries of the United Church of Christ).  Mr. Clark has provided legal advice and strategic counseling to the leadership of ministries seeking to increase their fundraising capacity.

Get Your Assets on Mission

The workshop speaks to the ministry imperative of church-controlled financial and physical assets.  In a time of declining relevance and decreasing influence, the church must manifest the Gospel mission in the global economy by deploying 100% of its assets for mission. We will survey strategies including re-purposing church buildings, investing for impact, and practical applications of Matthew 25 imperatives.

Presented by:
The Rev. Dr. Patrick Duggan, Executive Director
United Church of Christ Church Building and Loan Fund


Ms. Sandhya Jha, Founder and Director
Oakland Peace Center

Patrick-Duggan-250.jpgThe Reverend Doctor Patrick Garnet Duggan is a native New Yorker, the son of a Jamaican cabinet maker and a New York attorney. A graduate of New York City schools, he attended Harvard University earning the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980. In 1993, he earned the Master of Divinity degree from the New York Theological Seminary. In May 0f 2013, Rev. Dr. Duggan graduated once again from NYTS, having earned the Doctor of Ministry.

In October 2012 Dr. Duggan was named Executive Director of the United Church of Christ Church Building and Loan Fund (CB&LF). CB&LF offers and promotes financing for the purchase, construction or renovation of church buildings, meeting houses, parsonages/rectories, and other facilities used by churches of the United Church of Christ or by any Christian church without limitation to sect, denomination or name. Through its work CB&LF seeks to develop mature and healthy justice-oriented UCC congregations from the young, emerging, and/or renewing churches it uniquely serves.

Sandhya-Jha-150.jpgMs. Sandhya Jha is the founder and director at Oakland Peace Center.  Oakland Peace Center is a collective of 40 organizations creating access, equity and dignity for all in Oakland and the Bay Area and as Director of Interfaith Programs for East Bay Housing Organizations, where she organizes faith communities to advocate for housing as a human right and spiritual mandate throughout California’s Bay Area. Sandhya’s commitments to interfaith and interracial work were shaped by her Scottish mother and Indian father, as were her love of music and love of both macaroni and cheese and chick pea curry (although not together). She’s the youngest of 14 cousins, the rest of whom live in India and whom she is desperate to visit.

Ordained at National City Christian Church in 2005 as a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister, Sandhya is pretty proud to have received both a Master of Divinity and Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where her joint thesis was on the subject of “Public Goods, Public Bads, the Common Good and the Common Burden: Environmental Racism as a case study on the intersection of Public Policy and Theological Ethics.” Before graduate school, Sandhya first worked for Congressman Thomas C. Sawyer of Akron, Ohio and then for the religious liberty organization The Interfaith Alliance.

Blessings: Generation to Generation

The workshop will outline planned giving programs that create an income stream for congregations.

Marilyn-Fiddmont-150.jpgPresented by:
The Rev. Marilyn Fiddmont, Vice President
Southwest Zone
Christian Church Foundation

The Rev. Marilyn Fiddmont is vice president of the Southwest Zone of the Christian Church Foundation.

She joined the Foundation in January 2001, earning her master’s of divinity degree from Houston Graduate School of Theology in May 2001 and was ordained that June. She currently serves as a trustee for HGST.   A native of Kansas City, MO, Fiddmont earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

The Christian Church Foundation is a general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) devoted to helping individuals be good stewards of their accumulated assets through planned giving and permanent funds. The Foundation helps congregations be good stewards of gifts received by creating sound permanent fund policies and through prudent, long-term investment.

Money $ense

Do you control your money, or does your money control you? What does your money say about you, particularly as a Christian? According to a recent Amer. Psychological Assn. study, money is the #1 cause of stress for 73% of Americans. In this workshop, we will focus on the basics of personal finances (spending, saving, donating, investing) from a Christian perspective, as well as look at tools for you to consider in making $sense of the resources entrusted to you as a steward.

Eugene-Fisher-150.jpgPresented by:
The Rev. T. Eugene Fisher, Vice President
Employer Services for the Pension Fund of the Christian Church

The Rev. Eugene Fisher gives primary leadership to interacting with all Stone-Campbell (Restoration) Churches and related organizations, recruiting Pension Plan members, encouraging participation in other programs and services of the Pension Fund, and leading seminars and workshops to enhance retirement services and financial education for all constituencies within the Church. Also, he oversees the "Ministry-Life Choices" Initiative to intentionally equip and develop a lifestyle of spiritual health & wellness for clergy, particularly seminarians and early church pastors.

Narrative Budgeting: telling the church its own amazing story

Step away from the spirit-numbing math of line-item budgets to engage your congregation in the real work of the church. Narrative budgeting offers a way to invite people into God's story by helping them see how your church is changing lives through the power of the gospel.

Katie-Hayes-150.jpgPresented by:
The Rev. Dr. Katie Hays, Pastor
Galileo Christian Church

Rev. Dr. Katie Hays is the founding pastor of Galileo Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Mansfield, Texas. Galileo is an alt-church community that seeks spiritual refugees especially among Millennials and LGBTQ humans and their allies. Katie was educated at Yale Divinity School (M.Div.) and Princeton Theological Seminary (D.Min.), and pastored traditional congregations for two decades before planting Galileo Church on the spiritual-but-not-religious frontier.

Mission Possible: The Importance of Major Gift Donors

The workshop will focus on major giving—how to find major gifts onors and how to keep them.

Hunt_Alice_150.jpgPresented by:
The Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt, President
Chicago Theological Seminary

Dr. Hunt is both a scholar and a leader in theological education.  She has served as president of Chicago Theological Seminary since July 2008 as the twelfth president in the 158-year history of the school.  She leads the seminary in a time of multiple institutional transitions as well as significant unrest and anxiety in the larger social world.  She came to CTS because of its dedication to academic excellence, passion for social justice, and courage in response to challenge—commitments she holds dear.  She enjoys working with the faculty and staff to keep rigorous theological education relevant to the world of today and tomorrow.

Prior to moving to Chicago, Dr. Hunt served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Vanderbilt University Divinity School.  A Hebrew Bible scholar, Rev. Hunt holds the Ph.D. in Religion, with an emphasis on the Hebrew Bible, from Vanderbilt University.  Her published work includes Missing Priests: The Zadokites in Tradition and History (2006) and two edited volumes, Second Temple Studies IV: Historiography and History (2012) and Focusing Biblical Studies: The Crucial Nature of the Persian and Hellenistic Periods: Essays in Honor of Douglas A. Knight (2012) as well as numerous essays.  Her current research focuses on biblical interpretations in contemporary contexts.  She also writes and speaks in two areas: leadership for transformation and theological education for the future.

Reverend Hunt was ordained at the historic Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, National Baptist Convention, in Nasvhille, Tennessee.  She holds dual standing with the United Church of Christ in the Chicago Metropolitan Association.  She holds degrees from the University of Montevallo (B.S.) and Vanderbilt University (M.T.S., M.A., Ph.D.) Involved in the broader issues of religious affairs and theological education, Hunt serves on the Board of Commissioners for the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada.  She chaired the Historical Books section for the Society of Biblical Literature's international meeting. She also chaired the American Academy of Religion Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession and has served on the board of directors and executive committee for the American Academy of Religion.  President Hunt frequently preaches and teaches classes in local congregations.

She lives in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago. Her two grown sons live in Texas and Vermont.  She attributes her love for the Bible, for questions, and for the legacies that brought faith into being to her upbringing and, for this and so much more, thanks her parents, Bob and Rosalie Hunt.

More Than Enough

The objective of the workshop is to dispel the myth of scarcity in the Kingdom of God.  Through scripture references, budget, development, education about tithing, and audience participation the objective will be met.

Kirkland-150.jpgPresented by:
The Rev. Gwendolyn Kirkland, Associate Pastor Stewardship
United Church of Christ
South Holland, IL

Reverend Gwendolyn was ordained in ministry in the United Church of Christ in March 2010. She has served as Associate Pastor of Stewardship at Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland, Illinois for the last five years.

At Covenant UCC, Rev. Gwendolyn helped to implement electronic giving while working hard on the Capital Campaign. She teaches a monthly New Members’ Class on Stewardship and Discipleship and provides a monthly insert to the bulletin on Stewardship. Rev. Gwendolyn serves as Pastoral Liaison for the Stewardship and Green Ministries and in an Advisory capacity for the Endowment Committee.

A sought after speaker on Stewardship, Rev. Gwendolyn has conducted Women’s Retreats and preached on the topic of Stewardship at churches throughout the Chicago area.

Reverend Gwendolyn serves the wider church as a Board Member of the United Church Funds and Stewardship Committee member of the Illinois Conference.

In 2015, Reverend Gwendolyn completed the coursework and was awarded the Executive Certificate for Religious Fundraising by the Indiana University Lily Family School of Philanthropy, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving.

Preaching Stewardship

Should or can stewardship be preached every Sunday? Participants will explore the most effective ways to introduce stewardship in their preaching consistently. We will review non-traditional texts that invite a fresh look at preaching stewardship.

William-Lee-150.jpgPresented by:
The Rev. Dr. William L. Lee, Pastor
Loudon Avenue Christian Church
Roanoke, Virginia

Rev. Lee received his Bachelors of Science degree in Special Education from Virginia State University with honors (Cum Laude) in 1974, his Masters of Divinity from the Divinity School at Duke University in 1978 and his Doctorate of Ministry Degree from Ashland Theological Seminary in June 2009.

Rev. Lee is a member of the Virginia Western Community College's Grants and Scholarship Committee and a member of the Advisory Board for BB&T. He is a founding member of Healthy Roanoke Valley.

Rev. Lee serves a member of the Board of Trustees of Lexington Theological Seminary, the Black Endowment Fund of the Christian Church and the Greenwood Cemetery, Nashville, Tenn.  William also serves on the Duke Divinity School’s Board of Visitors. He is the Director of the African American Clergy Leadership Development Program.

Rev. Lee is the founder of New Horizon Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Care Center and serves on the Board of Directors. In November of 2009, the Board of Directors of New Horizon Health Care honored William by naming the educational wing The Rev. Dr. William L. Lee Educational Center.

Rev. Lee is a Paul Harris Fellow with the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International and has received the Faithful Servant of the Year Award presented by the Disciples of Christ Historical Society for his faithful service to the Christian Church in the United States and Canada.

Rev. Lee served as Moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada from 2005-2007. The Roanoke City Council named the Rev. Dr. William L Lee as the citizen of the year for 2011.William has served with great pride and joy as the Pastor for 38 years of one of the cutting edge churches in America, the Loudon Avenue Christian Church.

The Prophetic Power of the Ask & the Grace and Blessing of the Give

Stewardship as a faith statement:  We will be sharing a perspective and ways that local churches can come alive with faith-based and faithful stewardship, exploring transformation through giving.  Giving may well be the foundation of the Gospel message.

Presented by:
The Rev. Hector E. López, D.D.


The Rev. Lynn Smouse López, Pastor
Ainsworth United Church of Christ

Hector-Lopez-150.jpgRev. Hector López served for 41 years in multiracial multicultural ministries, professionally and as a volunteer. His ministries included the ghettos of Oakland CA, with the West Oakland Christian Parish (1964-1969); the theological setting of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley as the Administrative Director of the Center for Urban-Black Studies (1969-1977); the urban communities of the San Francisco Bay Area as Executive director of the Joint Strategy and Action Commission of Northern California (1977-1981).

Mr. Lopez moved to Southern California serving as pastor of a small multiracial, bilingual church, Immanuel United Church of Christ, in southeast Los Angeles, a community in the midst of poverty, gangs, and racial injustice (1981-1988). In the same time frame he also served as the Director for Urban Ministries of the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ consulting with the conference and its churches on the challenge of urban ministry, especially responding to the Los Angeles rebellion of 1992 (1981-1992).

Mr. Lopez service in most of his calls involved the development of funding resources. He had to become proficient in communicating the challenges and needs of the ministries and also to become an unabashed inviter of money. He learned the prophetic power of the ask and the grace and blessing of the give. Mr. Lopez relishes the dynamics involved in the passion and commitment of the ministry of asking and giving. Mr. Lopez volunteers his services to many non-profits in Portland as the “emcee” of the ask at their major fund raising events.

Pastor-Lynne-150.jpgThe Rev. Lynn Smouse López currently serving as the pastor of Ainsworth United Church of Christ, a multiracial, multicultural, open & affirming, just peace, accessible congregation in northeast Portland since 1996.  Under her leadership, Ainsworth United Church of Christ was given a service award from EMO for housing the HIV Day Center and supporting their work.  Ainsworth UCC also received the first Local Church Justice Award from the UCC national Justice & Witness Ministries in 2001.

During the course of her ministry Lynne has concentrated in multiracial, multicultural work, urban ministries and ecumenical and interfaith ministries for which she has written articles and has presented various workshops and panels.  In Los Angeles, Lynne was involved in gang intervention and prevention work, parenting, community organizing, transitional housing development, and justice advocacy.

In the United Church of Christ, Lynne has served on a variety of boards and committees. Early in her ordained ministry served as President of UCC Council for Hispanic Ministries of the Pacific, 1989-1994, and served on the National Council for Hispanic Ministries.  She served on the Board of Directors for the UCC Board for Homeland Ministries, Local Church Ministries Team and Justice & Witness Ministries and served on Finance Committees for each.  Lynne also has served on a variety of committees and teams with the local conference, and recently served as Moderator of the Central Pacific Conference and on the Board of Directors.

Digital Giving Strategies for Your Church

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:27

Are you ready to create new, convenient opportunities for your members and visitors to give?  Learn more about digital giving solutions and how to incorporate mobile giving, online giving kiosk giving and crowdfunding into your church’s stewardship plan. Engage your members and encourage generosity.

Presented by:
Ms. Mary A. Paxton, Associate Director
Campaigns, Appeals and Special Events
United Church of Christ


Ms. Jan Jasmin, Vanco Payment Solutions

marypaxton-150.jpgMary has over 20 years of experience in non-profit fiscal management and operations, revenue generation, program management, relationship building and strategic planning.  As a non-profit professional she has been widely involved in program development, major gift solicitation, grant management/compliance, human resource management and outcome analysis Her experience ranges from working with ecumenical institutions, at-risk youth, homelessness, workforce development, basic needs programming to secondary education.

Mary is a graduate of Laurel School, received her B.A. in Economics from Allegheny College and her Master's in Non-Profit Administration from John Carroll University. She is currently working on her doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Capella University.

Jan_Jasmin_150.jpgJan Jasmin leads faith-based sales efforts for Vanco Payment Solutions. She builds relationships with churches, schools and religious organizations that count on timely, predictable receipt of donations in order to better serve. She helps them find the electronic payment solutions that make it convenient for members to give—and for staff to accept—and that enable them to most effectively do the important work they're called to do.

Jan has spent her entire career in the finance, banking and payments industries. She has held executive positions at Associated Bank and U.S. Bank, and she spent three years as an auditor at a public accounting firm. A certified public accountant, Jan combines her understanding of the market's needs, her extensive knowledge of payment-card processing, and her insight, compassion and values to create exceptional partnerships.

Jan has a B.S. in accounting from St. Cloud State University and she pursued an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. She lives in Minneapolis.

Confessions of a Reluctant Fundraiser

Somehow I missed the seminary elective, ""How to Raise Millions from People with More Money than You Ever Dreamed of for Capital Campaigns that Seem Less Significant than Feeding the Poor."  As a pastor of a growing church, however, my only choice was to learn on the job.  I found that grace flows to and from people and process in a way that strengthens the church, nurtures spiritual formation, and makes possible a whole new era of mission.  You’ll hear my mistakes, successes, and dreams, and I’ll create some space in the workshop to hear yours as well.

Bob-Thompson-150.jpgPresented by:
The Rev. Dr. Robert M. (Bob) Thompson, Pastor
Corinth Reformed Church
United Church of Christ
Hickory, NC

Pastor Thompson graduated from Columbia International University (Columbia, SC) in 1978 with a B.A. in Biblical Education. In 1987, he received the Master of Divinity from Columbia International University, and he completed the Doctor of Ministry degree at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte in 2003. Born in Portsmouth, Virginia to missionary parents, Pastor Thompson spent his early years in Pakistan. Portsmouth was home base during the adolescent years.

Pastor Bob met his wife Linda while both were attending college in Columbia, South Carolina. Following college, the Thompsons married in Paradise, PA, on July 1, 1978, then began their church ministry in Reidsville, North Carolina. Following their five years at First Congregational Christian Church (UCC) in Reidsville, they returned to Columbia for seminary. Bob was ordained in Reidsville in June 1987, and served as pastor of Emanuel United Church of Christ in Thomasville, NC before accepting the call to come to Corinth Reformed Church.  Pastor Bob serves on the Southern Conference Board of Directors and has served as a delegate to the last two General Synods.  He also serves as President of Faithful & Welcoming Churches of the UCC.

The Thompsons have three grown children: Philip, Cara and Jeni.

Building a Legacy: Setting the Groundwork for a Planned Giving Campaign

Lead by United Church Funds, this workshop will focus on the fundamental groundwork required to begin and implement a successful planned giving campaign in the local church setting. We will discuss governance, promotion, donor education, and on-going management of endowments funded through planned gifts, and will include sharing of best practices of congregations.

Bob-Thompson-150.jpgPresented by:
Mr. Matthew W. Wagner, Senior Executive
Business Development of United Church Funds (UCF)

Mr. Matthew (Matt) Wagner is the Senior Executive, Business Development of United Church Funds (UCF), an associated ministry of the United Church of Christ located in New York, NY. Mr. Wagner works with UCC churches and UCC-affiliated organizations to educate leadership teams on prudent long-term endowment management strategies and the advantages of partnering with United Church Funds for investment-related services. Prior to joining UCF, Mr. Wagner worked for a private investment bank focused on mergers & acquisitions and capital sourcing activities for closely-held businesses, and as a financial advisor for one of the largest independent investment brokerage firms in the United States where he managed investment portfolios for individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations. Mr. Wagner holds a B.A. degree from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois.

A lifelong UCC member, Matt is a member of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Lebanon, Illinois and an active volunteer in the Illinois South Conference UCC. In addition to church-based activities, he also provides volunteer leadership to the Deaconess Foundation of St. Louis, MO, the Boy Scouts of America’s Lewis & Clark Council, the Mid-America Workforce Investment Board, and the Rotary Club of Red Bud IL. Matt is a member of the Life Member of the National Eagle Scout Association and a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. Matt resides near St. Louis, Missouri with his two daughters and enjoys playing golf, traveling, outdoor activities, and actively supporting his daughters’ athletic teams.

Over and Above; Raising Funds for Special Projects

This workshop will encompass how to fundraise from A to Z for special projects. Providing tips and key elements for having a successful fundraising effort. Providing an overview of the process of strategically thinking through the components of a fundraising plan.

Presented by:
Ms. Belinda R. King, MBA, Assistant Vice President of Disciples Church Extension
Ms. Maribeth Westerfield
Assistant Vice President, Loan and Capital Services, Disciples Church Extension

Belinda-King-150.jpgBelinda R. King joined Disciples Church Extension Fund in January 2012 as Assistant Treasurer for Loan Services. She was elected as Assistant Vice President in November 2014. She has more than 17 years of banking experience in business, commercial lending, investment management and client service. She is currently responsible for managing Real Estate Owned (REO) properties, providing relationship management with regional ministers, partners and congregations in assigned zone; by providing services in building planning, capital fundraising and loans.

She holds the FINRA Series 6 and 63 licenses. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration & Labor Relations from Indiana University and a MBA, Accounting degree from Indiana Wesleyan. She has held offices as director of finance with Transitional Life Connection Inc.( TLC), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Treasurer of Light of the World Christian Church and currently serves as finance committee member and member-at-large for the Christian Church in Indiana Regional Board. Belinda resides in Fishers, IN with her husband of 25 years and three children.

Maribeth-Westerfield-150.jpgMaribeth Westerfield is assistant vice president for Loan and Capital Services at Disciples Church Extension Fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Maribeth is responsible for supervising the work of the Disciples Church Extension Fund advisors and overseeing the ministry’s Building and Capital Services functions, including a new fundraising service and relocation service. Prior to joining Disciples Church Extension Fund, she was a senior pastor for University Place Christian Church in Enid, Oklahoma. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Christian University, a Master of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry from Lexington Theological Seminary.

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Contact Info

Melina Higbee
Coordinator-Donor Relations
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115

Contact Info

Rev. Bruce Barkhauer
Minister for Faith and Giving
Center for Faith and Giving