Covenant United Methodist Church

Changing Lives with Jesus

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First Financial Peace Class Completes Course

April 27, 2017

Our first Financial Peace University class has come to an end and it is amazing what can happen when people are intentional about changing their lives for the better. Of the 13 people who took the class, there were eight family units and nine people were from outside of the church. Over the nine weeks, a total of $23,574 in non-mortgage debt was paid off, an additional $7,289 was saved in liquid accounts, and six credit cards were cut up and closed. Six people had little to no change in their charitable giving, but two are now giving substantially more than they were when they started. All in all, that is a financial improvement of $30,863! In addition to those savings, one class member was able to move their mortgage payoff date forward by six months!

Financial Peace is more than just financial improvement. It takes a holistic view of finances by looking at how our emotions are tied to our financial decisions as well as our relationships with spouses and significant others. One couple said that for the first time they are working on the same financial page and have been able to significantly pay off more of their debt. One college student shared how in the past she would use a credit card when she went out with friends and not pay attention to how much she spent. This often led to having to ask mom and dad for gas money before the end of the week. Now that she has taken the course, she takes the amount of cash she wants to spend with her and doesn’t use a credit card anymore.

Covenant is indeed changing lives by offering this program to the community. Going forward, I want to offer this class at least four times a year. My goal is for those who have taken the class to become leaders in future offerings so the ministry can multiply. Another way we can help change lives is by offering childcare during Financial Peace. Two families said they would have taken the class, but they didn’t have childcare. If I can find volunteers from the church willing to do this for a few weeks each time the class is offered we can help even more people.

After talking to the class about insurance during week four, everyone expressed interest in learning more about will planning and other end-of-life document preparation. I am working on putting together a one day workshop and all are invited to attend. There is also a youth version of Financial Peace that covers many of the same topics in ways that will set up youth for a successful future by following God’s plan for money management. I am currently exploring what it would take, both financially and with volunteers, to offer the youth class to our youth, the scouts, area churches, and to the broader community.

-- Pastor Kevin

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