WHY DO WE EXIST?
We serve, nurture, and secure the faith communities of the Methodist movement by providing financial tools so they may serve God.
Our deepest value is the success of the churches and faith communities we serve.
We believe in the unlimited potential of God’s people to find ways to serve God in their communities.
- We inspire, encourage, and assist donors with philanthropic planning.
- We support communities of faith with grants for ideas that will transform ministry and create systemic changes, emphasizing vitality and financial health.
- We steward financial resources as a fiduciary and as a teacher, educating leaders about faithful financial management of permanent funds.
- We impact the world through Principled Responsible Investment practices, connecting with other faithful Methodists to use our investments as leverage to influence corporations and change the world.
- We guide church leaders to grow and realize their dreams, supporting capital projects through loans.
- We connect faith and money for people through the Methodists Helping Methodists Fund Time Deposits.
We believe in the abundance of God’s blessings for all.
Our Service Leads to Success
Therefore, we commit all our efforts to the success of the churches and faith communities we serve. We will answer the call to serve the world in all the ways we can, hoping to inspire others to do the same. By God’s grace, we will bring the infinite possibilities of God’s great dreams into reality.
Just like people, organizations require transformation.
We must renew our calling by reexamining our defined purpose and core values so that our impact has the greatest outcome, serving God in all the ways we can.
In 2019, the Board of Directors intentionally embarked on a journey of exploration and understanding to discover how the Mountain Sky United Methodist Foundation could remain faithful to God and its purpose in the context of a swiftly changing denomination and religious landscape.
In 1986, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church added to its Book of Discipline a mandate that all conferences and churches have access to a foundation that could cultivate and conserve endowments. In response, the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone Annual Conferences voted to establish independent foundations in 1987 and 1996, respectively. In 2015, the foundations began working together with the intention of merging organizations. This was accomplished in 2018 when the two became the Mountain Sky United Methodist Foundation.
In 2019, the foundation’s Board of Directors began seriously examining its business model and factors that could impact its long-term future. To be a steward of permanent gifts, the board needed to carefully evaluate the business model, available resources and the environmental influences that could affect its long-term stability.
Church membership of mainline denominations has been in decline for more than two decades, and the non-religious and nominally religious population has been growing. This has become the catalyst for creativity, stirring the hearts of many who answered the call of The Great Commission. Combined with an extraordinary year (2020), where church buildings were closed, church leaders have discovered and rediscovered church in ways never before experienced by those living today. These new expressions of faith through church and other faith-based organizations are serving God in new ways that often do not look like traditional churches. Many will continue to be connected to mainline denominations and many will become independent. All are serving God in ways they feel called.
Our mission is to serve, nurture and secure religious, educational, and benevolent programs related to the Methodist movement.
Our highest value is the success of the churches and faith communities we serve.
SPIRIT LED AND MISSION DRIVEN
Prayerfully led by the Spirit of God, we are driven by the Foundation’s mission of making the way for justice and mercy in the tradition of John Wesley’s Social Holiness Movement.
All we have comes from God and belongs to God. We will be stewards of human, physical and financial resources with mindfulness of the abundance of God’s love and provision for all people, so all these resources will multiply in value and provide the power of the gospel to all ministries.
OUR OUTREACH WILL BE INCLUSIVE
We conduct all our activities without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or physical disability, or the size of the church or faith community, and understanding that marginalized communities have historically had limited access to financial tools.
RESPONSIVE AND ADAPTABLE
We are ready to respond to changes in the expression of our churches and faith communities and are committed to adapt proactively to changes in their circumstances and needs.
ACCOUNTABLE FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITIES
All we do will benefit the ministries we serve. We cherish the legal and ethical relationship of trust our clients have with us. We will prudently care for their financial resources in their best interests, with integrity, transparency, and accountability.
Fiduciary Responsibility: Whose money is it? Who do we report to?
The Master gave three servants some money to manage. The first and second servants invested their money in a way that the money doubled in value. The third servant was afraid and buried the money in a hole in the ground. The Master praised the first and second servants, “Good work! You did your job well. From now on you will be my partner.” But the third servant was chastised by the Master and banished to darkness.
By 2025, Methodists Helping Methodists Foundation will be the leading faith-based financial foundation in the Mountain Sky area, missionally serving people and communities of the Methodist Movement.
We will reach our vision by providing stewardship education and products that include faithful money management for people and churches, endowment development, planned giving, donor-advised funds, loans, and investments that align with the faith tradition of the Methodist movement so that we can serve, nurture and secure the religious, educational and benevolent programs of all Churches, Boards, Agencies, Ministries, Homes, Camping and Educational Institutions related to the Methodist movement and located in Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and one county in Idaho.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
There are many instances in The Bible when God gave someone a new name. The Bible does not give the reasons, but perhaps it was to let them know they were destined for a new mission in life. The new name was a way to reveal the divine plan and to assure them that God’s plan would be fulfilled in them.
As a deep understanding and discernment of the foundation’s purpose and core values developed, the foundation’s Board of Directors prayerfully considered a new name. Methodists Helping Methodists Foundation surfaced as a better expression of our mission and core values.
Methodists Helping Methodists was first used by the foundation in 1996 when it agreed to manage the conference-wide church development fund. The new Methodists Helping Methodists Fund strengthened a connectional model of financial stewardship. Today, the fund continues to provide investors a way to support churches by providing capital for loans through time deposits while earning a good interest rate in the return. This started the foundation on a course of successful impact investing.
Today, we seek ways to serve God using the financial assets in all the ways we can. It is possible to earn a good financial return. At the same time, our investment policy seeks social responsibility in the investments it holds. All investments are in companies whose businesses and products align with our faith, and who are open to improving stewardship of environmental and social resources through effective governance.
DRAWING THE CIRCLE WIDER
The new name and restated purpose of the foundation effectively expands the mission field of the foundation.
One may note that the United is missing from our mission statement.
First, it is very important that we honor Methodists whose faith traditions and history came from The Evangelical United Brethren Church, joining with The Methodist Church to form The United Methodist Church. The word United further describes the connectional nature of our denomination, and this is a key strength in the way United Methodists have served the world in mission.
Our Spirit-led journey helped us rediscover our purpose of helping make the way for justice and mercy in the tradition of John Wesley’s Social Holiness Movement. Like the Ichthys symbol was to early Christians, Methodism is to a specific interpretation of Christian theological understanding and tradition.
Expanding the foundation’s mission field to encompass faith communities of the Methodist movement provides a deeper opportunity to serve faith communities in our geographic region of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and one county in Idaho.
In this way, our value of inclusive outreach is realized by serving all religious, educational, and benevolent programs related to the Methodist movement.
Our identity uses ancient Christian symbols to encompass our mission, values and vision.
They know we are Christians by the symbol of the fish. Fish are mentioned and given symbolic meaning several times in the Gospels. The first disciples of Jesus were fishermen, and Jesus invited them to “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
And we know that after Jesus’ resurrection, he instructed the disciples to “throw your net on the right side of the boat.” When they did, they caught more fish than they could haul in. And when the disciples came in from the miraculous Catch, they saw Jesus on the shore, cooking a breakfast of fish and bread for these fishers of men (John 21).
The first element of our identity is the symbol of the fish, or the Ichthys. In the early days, after Christ’s death and resurrection, followers of Jesus Christ went into hiding, and secret societies were formed.
To identify each other, one Christian would approach a fellow traveler and draw an arc in the sand with his toe. If the other completed the drawing with another arc, forming a fish, then they knew they were in Christian company.
The second element is the loaf of bread. Combined with the fish, it reminds us of the miracle of Jesus, who started with a boy offering to share his sack lunch that contained five loaves of bread and two fish.
From that, Jesus blessed the food, and 5,000 people were fed. From this, we bear witness that there will always be enough. Miracles are possible with faith and through acts of generosity.
These symbols are combined into a triangular shape, overlayed on top of a three-cornered, Celtic Knot symbolizing the Holy Trinity.
Faith, Abundance, Stewardship, & Miracles
A large crowd of 5,000 people had been following Jesus around. It was lunch time, and as Jesus sat down, he looked up and noticed everyone, knowing they were hungry, too.
Jesus asked Philip what he was going to do about lunch for this crowd. Philip said, “Six months’ wages wouldn’t be enough to buy food for everyone, and we don’t have that kind of money!”
The little brother of one of the other disciples overheard this. The boy told Jesus he had five loaves of bread and two fish in his sack lunch. “Would this help?” the boy asked Jesus.
The disciples laughed at the boy, but Jesus smiled warmly. He told everyone to sit down. Jesus took the bread and the fish, blessed them, and then starting passing the food around.
As the food was shared among all those who had gathered, everyone ate and was satisfied. So as not to waste, Jesus instructed the disciples to gather up the leftovers. They filled twelve baskets.
When the people saw the miracle that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
Join us as we help churches and faith communities realize the dreams that God has put on their hearts.
We seek partners who will become active in their own communities and bring the tools we offer to their churches and missions locally.
1. Establish, grow and nurture an endowment fund.
2. An endowment, correctly managed and invested, can create sustainable permanent, income to build a financial bridge that will support based ministry from this generation to the next. An endowment can also expand ministry by providing additional resources to existing missions and community work. Evidence shows that by simply promoting endowments causes an increase in individual operational giving and volunteer time. We can teach you how to be a good steward of your church’s endowment fund for maximum impact toward achieving God’s dreams.
The church is of God and will be preserved until the end of time.
3. Dream big and apply for a grant. We are looking for dreamers who have a new idea that will deepen the impact that a faith community has on the world. We know this will transform ministry and create systemic changes in the vitality and financial health of a faith community. Let us help fund your dream and connect you with others who made similar dreams come true.
4. Dream bigger – talk to the foundation about whether a building project is right for your church. They can help determine your church’s capacity for a capital campaign, connect you with professional fundraisers, and finance, or refinance your project through a loan.
5. Invest in the Methodists Helping Methodists Fund. Church members can connect their faith and money in time deposits and receive interest rates that are higher than most banks. Investments provide capital for loans that build and grow churches.
6. Share philanthropic planning resources with your generous givers. Tax savings from donating stocks and IRA Charitable rollovers are the most popular techniques to save taxes and increase giving with very little effort. Charitable Gift Annuities and Unitrusts remain other strong tools that provide win-win outcomes to donors and their churches.
7. Tithe Your Will.
8. Leaving a charitable bequest in your estate plan that benefits your church is the easiest way to have a permanent impact on bringing God’s love to your church and faith community.
9. No matter how the church changes or transforms, we know your legacy gift will have a permanent impact on God’s church.
10. Maximize the financial and social return of your church’s investments and reserves. Join thousands of Methodists who realize competitive returns on investments. Their combined investments create leverage that drive environmental, social, and governance changes of many businesses. These efforts improve the business practices of many corporations and make the world a better place.
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Learn and practice Biblical Financial Stewardship through education resources provided by the Methodists Helping Methodists Foundation.