Porterfield Memorial UMC Chooses Investments That Further the Cause of Christ

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The United Methodist Church has a long history of social involvement. John Wesley, Methodism’s founder, proclaimed, “the gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness.” Wesley believed and expected that “the people called Methodists” would be actively involved in their communities – feeding the hungry, tending the sick, visiting prisons, and helping the poor.

The Georgia United Methodist Foundation follows the United Methodist policy of making a “conscious effort to invest in institutions, companies, corporations, or funds whose practices are consistent with the goals outlined in the Social Principles” (¶717, The Book of Discipline 2012). This socially responsible investing philosophy is one reason why Porterfield Memorial UMC in Albany, Ga. chose to invest in the Foundation’s Equity Fund and Development Fund.

“It is very important to us that we follow the Methodist guidelines and choose investments that are going to further the cause of Christ, not hinder it,” said Rev. Leigh Ann Raynor, senior pastor of Porterfield Memorial UMC. “We are supposed to be walking so closely with Christ that we are able to model His behavior for the world, and the same should be true of investing our money.”

Raynor also appreciates the trust factor involved in dealing with a Methodist entity. “I would encourage other churches that are investing with the Foundation to be proactive in using the resources that are offered,” Rev. Raynor said.

Porterfield Memorial UMC Finance Chair, C. Bert Bennett, CPA, adds, “One of the biggest benefits of investing with the Foundation is that it takes the responsibility of deciding which socially responsible funds to invest in away from the decisions-makers of the church who don’t have that knowledge. We are very pleased with the returns and the way our funds are actively managed, and the fact that any excess money the Foundation earns is reinvested into the Methodist church in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. The Foundation offers great value and support to any and all Methodist churches.”

This article was originally published in the Georgia United Methodist Foundation's 2014 Annual Report.