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TMF Medallion of Merit recipients share their ideas on giving and gratitude and abundance.
In the old west, populations of desolate towns could explode as a result of discovering gold, silver, or even oil. Oftentimes, those thriving boomtowns would shrink when fortunes were not made, or the supply of sought-after minerals declined. While these stories harken images of the Gold Rush, boomtowns still exist all around us. For instance, in the next ten to fifteen years, Troy, TX is projected to triple in size, moving from less than 2,000 people to over 6,000, and Troy UMC is gearing up for the boom.
Our call stories are as varied as our fingerprints. Some are called in very ordinary ways. Like Elijah, they feel God calling them out of sheer silence. Others, however, are moved into ministry dramatically. When Rev. Dr. Eddie Rivera was a 15-year-old boy growing up in Mexico, he was a fourth generation Methodist. Joining the “family business” of ministry was not a difficult decision, but it did not feel like a calling. It felt like following his dad’s legacy.
“I think your truest self surfaces when you practice the discipline of giving,” First UMC Lubbock Rev. Dr. Craig Curry shared. “That self is transformed by what love has really done to us. God calls us together to accomplish his will on earth and our resources are his. As we give ourselves away, this new self blossoms, and we grow in our trust that God will replenish us.”
This October, 122 courageous leaders from across the South Central Jurisdiction (SCJ) gathered together for Launch 1.0! Launch 1.0 was the kick off event for the Courageous Leadership Imperative (CLI) and would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of the SCJ Bishops and Foundations. We are grateful for the work that was done in order to bring these vibrant, creative leaders together to network, dream, and explore ministry possibilities.
For leaders like Rev. Todd Salzwedel, Pastor of FUMC Odessa, his experience in TMF’s Entrepreneurial Pastors Group was transformative. “TMF is on the cutting edge of creating incubator groups for leadership development,” Todd noted. “Through this group, I have been given opportunities to be resourced for success and had the chance to network with other leaders who have helped me grow.”
I grew up in comfortable, but modest circumstances. There was not much talk of philanthropy in my childhood home, but both my parents were generous with others in small and subtle ways.