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Wespath Institutional Investments Quarterly Review Q3

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The Georgia United Methodist Foundation (GUMF) is pleased to provide you with this exclusive Investment Quarterly Review. GUMF is the exclusive distributor of the I Series of the Wespath Institutional Investments (Wespath) funds to United Methodist entities within the State of Georgia.


 

Market and Wespath Fund Performance1 
 

Wespath Announces Compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®)2
 

  • This quarter, we announced that Wespath now claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS).2 Introduced in 1999, the GIPS standards are international, voluntary standards based on the fundamental principles of full disclosure and fair, consistent representation of investment performance. Please read our full announcement here.

  • Wespath has also recently published a paper titled, "A Quick Guide to the GIPS Standards," which explores the GIPS standards' history and why investors seek GIPS standards-compliant investment managers.
     

Wespath Sustainable Investment Quarterly Highlights3
 

Responsible Investor Op-Ed

  • Through its membership in the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, Wespath co-leads an asset manager engagement working group focused on empowering asset managers to drive the transition to a net-zero economy. It shares this work in an op-ed published via Responsible Investor, a leading digital publication covering sustainable finance.

Investment Insights Blog – IPCC Climate Change Report

  • In August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ("IPCC") released a groundbreaking report on climate change. In this blog post, Wespath’s Jake Barnett – Director, Sustainable Investment Stewardship – highlights its key findings and explains how climate factors can impact your investments.
     

New Thought Leadership
 

Fiduciary Focus Educational Series – Asset Allocation Factors for Mission-Focused Investors:

  • The latest article in the series shares the factors mission-focused investors should consider when developing an asset allocation. Read it here.

Investment Insights Blog – What is Federal Reserve Tapering, and Why Does it Matter? 

  • Have you heard about the Fed’s “tapering” plan and wonder what it means for the market? In this blog post, Frank Holsteen – Managing Director, Investment Management – explains the U.S. Central Bank’s monetary policy tools and how the winding down of quantitative easing might play out. Check it out here.

Investment Insights Blog - Risk Management for Institutional Investors: To Avoid, or to Control?

  • In investing, complete risk avoidance is rarely the best option; instead, investors need to think about their process in terms of risk control. Wespath’s Karen Manczko – Director of Institutional Relationships – highlights some key risk management considerations in this blog post.
     

Historical returns are not indicative of future results. The investment funds are neither insured nor guaranteed by the government. For more information about the funds, please see the Investment Funds Description – I Series

2 In the above context, “Wespath” is representative of Wespath Benefits and Investments, Wespath Institutional Investments and UMC Benefit Board, Inc.

3 Wespath Benefits and Investments implements the sustainable investment strategies for investment funds made available through it and its subsidiaries, including Wespath Institutional Investments.

Copyright © 2021 Wespath Institutional Investments, affiliated with The United Methodist Church.

Wespath Institutional Investments is located at 1901 Chestnut Ave., Glenview, IL 60025.
 

Contact Us

Investing with Wespath Institutional Investments through the Georgia United Methodist Foundation allows your church or organization to focus on its own good work, while reaching its financial objectives. To learn more, contact GUMF President and CEO Mathew A. Pinson at 770-449-6726 or mpinson@gumf.org or GUMF Regional Vice President Dr. Rick Lanford at 478-256-7130 or rlanford@gumf.org.

Posted: October 21st, 2021 | Permalink

October is Clergy Appreciation Month!

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October is Clergy/Pastor Appreciation Month. We at the Georgia United Methodist Foundation give thanks to God for those who have responded to a call to serve in Christian ministry. Join us as we express appreciation to those who serve the church in countless ways. The links below provide some ways you can say, "thank you."

Posted: October 1st, 2021 | Permalink

Teaching Children to Tithe

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This article is reprinted by permission from Leading Ideas, a free e-newsletter from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary and available at churchleadership.com.

Teaching children to tithe is an important part of their faith education that we often overlook. Giving to God is a core value of our faith that should be taught early and reinforced often.

The most common way that I see tithing taught to children is simply by grownups giving children a quarter to put in the offering plate. This is all right for very young children because it gives them an opportunity to participate. But this may not send the right message to elementary school children.

First, the money wasn’t theirs to begin with, so they do not feel the satisfaction of it being a personal gift to God.

Second, it does not teach proportionality in giving or the idea of putting God first in our finances.

We want to teach children to be intentional about their giving. But our adult understanding of tithing can be too complex for children. For example, children are not generally taught to figure percentages until their middle-elementary-school years. So teaching younger children to calculate a percentage tithe is not age appropriate.

When our son was five, we started to teach him about giving using “money jars.” We have three jars sitting on his dresser that are labeled “Money for God,” “Money to Save,” and “Money to Spend.” He gets a two-dollars-per-week allowance. We give it to him as a dollar bill and 4 quarters; that way one quarter can be given to the God jar, one to the savings jar, and the rest in the spend jar.

On Sunday, he takes the quarter from God’s jar, and takes it to church. He fills out the offering envelope and proudly makes his offering at church.

As we implemented the jar system we discussed the following things with him:

1) God made everything, so everything is God’s.

Even us. We are God’s creation. We are thankful that God created everything. God has given us so much that we want to give back to God, too.

2) We want to think about God first.

So, the first jar we put money in will be the “Money for God” jar.

3) We give to God because we love God.

We also show God our love by going to church, praying, and doing good for others. In fact, when we give money to the church, it helps the church do the things God has asked the church to do. It helps the church teach people about God so that other people can know that God loves them, too.

The jar method seemed to teach what we think is most important for a child to know about giving to God.

This article is by Dan Pezet, a United Methodist pastor in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, and appeared in Leading Ideas February 1, 2012. It is adapted from his blog at danpezet.com. Used by permission.

Posted: September 29th, 2021 | Permalink

5 Ways to Preach About Money More Effectively

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This article is reprinted by permission from Leading Ideas, a free e-newsletter from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary and available at churchleadership.com.

Alex Joyner says tending to our attitudes about money is a way of tending our souls. He shares tips for preaching in ways that can help people see their finances through the lens of faith.

Our financial lives are part of our spiritual lives. One of the reasons Jesus talked so much about money is because he realized that our overall well-being is reflected in the ways we deal with (or don’t deal with) our finances. Helping us tend to our attitudes toward money is part of the way he helps us tend to our souls.

Thinking about preaching as a tool for helping congregations shift their attitudes and culture regarding finances is one part of financial leadership. Here are some ways you can make your preaching and teaching on money more effective:

1. Know your own story.

All of us have histories with money. What’s yours? Spend some time reflecting on the messages you grew up with regarding money. Did your family of origin have an ethic of abundance or scarcity? How did they handle times of financial stress? What financial stresses are you experiencing now? What steps are you taking to address them? Answering these questions can give you confidence and help you speak as a fellow-traveler with those you are addressing. Nothing is more powerful than the testimony of people who can share their authentic experiences of struggle and faith.

2. Preach and teach about money often, highlighting money-related themes in Scripture.

It’s not hard to find references to wealth, poverty, stewardship, money, and finances in the Bible. You will also see passages concerning generosity, trust, and abundant life. Seek out opportunities to lift up these themes and connect them to faithful living. Connect your offering time in worship with the sermon, highlighting the act of offering in response to the particular word of the biblical text that you are using.

3. Use multiple ways of talking about giving.

Some people will respond to messages that talk about giving as a way to step out in faith on a grand adventure. Others will need to hear about how their giving can extend the legacy of a church for future generations. Still others will want to know how their giving helps connect the church with the community and those in need. Some will jump on the bandwagon to be part of a churchwide campaign that unites the body of Christ. There are even some who will be motivated by the fact that there is a budget shortfall and they can help make a difference in closing the gap.

Invite some of your givers to offer testimonies in worship about their giving. Notice what they say about why they give. Meet with these volunteers before the service to help them craft their testimonies based on what you hear in their stories, guiding them to speak confidently in a way that will resonate with the congregation. They will give you clues about the many different motivations people bring to their giving. Helping people make the connection between those core motivations, their money, and their faith will enable you to be a more effective communicator in both your teaching and preaching.

4. End with an ask.

We’ve all been subjected to “may we” sermons. We’ve probably given more than a few ourselves. A “may we” sermon draws to a close with a gentle nudge to more reflection on the sermon’s message. As in: “May we consider how God might use our gifts for the upbuilding of the kingdom.” May we? Of course, we can! Let’s do it. And let’s give our listeners concrete ways to do it. Have you been talking about Jesus’s concern for children and there’s an elementary school down the street? What is something your congregation could do this week to make a difference for the children who attend there? How can the children in your church use their gifts in mission? Let’s fund their dreams to serve God. Be bold and specific in your ask, and watch God work with it.

5. Connect your giving to your vision.

People don’t give to budgets; they give to God. If your church’s vision isn’t compelling enough to inspire people to give, maybe it’s not big enough. Keeping the church’s doors open is not a big vision. It’s all that’s left when all the other vision has left the building.

When preaching about money get down to shoulds and oughts, it’s a good sign that it’s time to reorient around a different vision that is more faithful to the mission of the church for which Christ died. Sure, we should give, but what is the place in our soul that calls us to that practice? Sure, we ought to, but why? Make sure that you can answer those questions yourself before you ask anyone else to do so.

This material is excerpted from Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-being Abingdon Press, 2020. Used by permission. Saving Grace videos, workbooks, and devotional materials explore money management from a Wesleyan perspective to help clergy and laity reach personal financial goals and address life concerns. They are available at Abingdon Press, Cokesbury, and Amazon.

Posted: September 29th, 2021 | Permalink

View GUMF Wespath Investment Forum Video

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On September 22, 2021, Georgia United Methodist Foundation President and CEO Mathew A. Pinson and Board Chair Kathryn H. Dennis hosted a one-hour Investment Forum with Wespath Institutional Investments via Zoom.

Wespath’s Managing Director of Institutional Investments Joe Halwax provided an overview of the GUMF and Wespath partnership. Wespath’s Chief Investment Officer Dave Zellner provided a global market update.

Watch it here.
 

Posted: September 24th, 2021 | Permalink