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Mid Council Financial Network announces virtual conference Dec. 14–15

Registration is now open for annual program intended for mid council finance staff and volunteers

by Emily Enders Odom, Mission Engagement & Support | Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — The Mid Council Financial Network (MCFN) — the only entity that serves the needs of volunteer and paid staff with primary responsibility for finance, administration and management in the PC(USA)’s 166 presbyteries and 16 synods — has opened registration for its annual program.

Titled “Pandemic & Property,” the two-day continuing education event will be held virtually from Tue., Dec. 14, through Wed., Dec. 15, from 12:30–5:00 p.m. Eastern Time each day of the conference. There is no registration fee.

“The 2021 MCFN conference will once again focus on the stewardship of property in order to provide a real benefit for pastors, those who chair property committees, those who serve as trustees, and presbytery leaders,” said the Rev. Rosemary C. Mitchell, CFRE, senior director of Mission Engagement & Support for the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA), which oversees the annual program. “Through well-researched, specialized presentations given by mid council, congregational and national leaders in their respective areas of expertise, the conference will address the many technical, ecclesial and theological considerations when determining the use of church property.”

The Rev. Dr. Eileen Lindner

The annual conference will open with prayer and a welcome from the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the PMA, after which the Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, noted author, researcher and honorably retired PC(USA) pastor in the Presbytery of Northeast New Jersey, will present her research on church property. Lindner’s opening address will be followed by a “big picture conversation” among presbytery leaders, and later by a panel of pastors, moderated by the Rev. Scott Lumsden, co-executive presbyter of Seattle Presbytery, discussing how they worked with their sessions on creative uses of their property.

In addition to members of the PMA staff, representatives from the Office of the General Assembly, the PC(USA)’s Administrative Services Group, the Presbyterian Foundation, the New Covenant Trust Company, the Presbyterian Church (USA) Investment and Loan Program, and synod, presbytery and congregational leaders from across the country will also be on hand both days to give and respond to presentations and answer participants’ questions. By making such a wealth of experts readily available to mid council leadership, conference planners seek to demonstrate the wide range of resources and technical services that are at their disposal. Presentations will address tax issues and insurance as well as “Polity and Property,” “Best Practices in Property Disposition — Maximizing Ministry & Money” and more.

The Rev. Scott Lumsden

New on this year’s program is an introduction to Restorative Actions, an economic justice initiative that provides a mechanism for mid councils, congregations, individuals and interested organizations to examine their assets, determine what portion of their wealth can be attributed to economic injustice on the basis of race, and surrender that amount to private trusts and private charitable trusts to increase opportunities for Indigenous and Black peoples and communities in the U.S. to flourish.

“This conference continues to create space for our ongoing conversations around the stewardship of property,” said Mitchell. “Not only are church buildings the traditional space for the worship of God, but they are also a community asset. We hope to engage as many mid council leaders as possible around matters of church property, particularly within the larger context of our post-COVID world.”

For more information and a complete program schedule, click here to access the conference flyer.

Click here to register for the conference.

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