Money Matters: Higher Education and Equitable Compensation

Money Matters: Higher Education and Equitable Compensation

This week we are blessed with the witness of Robert Kariuki which references  the Higher Education and Equitable Compensation budgets.  The budget for Higher Education for 2022 is $153,658. The Equitable Compensation budget supports churches and charges that cannot financially provide support for a pastor at minimum levels and provides supplemental funding for these congregations. The amount budgeted for 2022 is $362,000.

I am coming to you as an ordained minister within The United Methodist church. I was called to ministry at the early stages of my life. After finishing high school, I joined one of the colleges in my home town to train as an accountant. It did not take long before I realized that God was calling me to full-time ministry. I was born in a small town in Kenya-Africa called Embu, located on the slopes of Mount Kenya.

After one year in evangelist ministry, I joined a Bible college in western Kenya. My parents were hesitant to pay for Bible college because there was no promise that I would get a good paying job. After three years of Bible college, I graduated with a diploma and later got a scholarship for further studies in the United States.

 My life in the United States was not the way I had imagined. The scholarship I had received to attend the Bible college in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was for one year with no boarding. I had to work after school to raise money. While in college, someone introduced me to a United Methodist Church. One Sunday, I attended the service, and later on I became a member of that small congregation. In 2001, I was able to finish my undergraduate degree in Biblical Education and Evangelism. I later joined Asbury Seminary to pursue a Master of Divinity degree. While in Seminary, that is when I was introduced to the Holston Conference higher education scholarships. I applied and each year for the next three years I received almost half of my tuition. My local congregation was very supportive and I graduated from Asbury debt free, praise the Lord.

I am here to encourage someone who has been faithful in their giving. I am one of those active clergy members in Holston Conference who have benefited from your giving to our Conference. Four years ago, I completed my doctoral program debt free because of the faithful givers within the Holston Conference.

I have not only benefited from Holston Conference scholarships. I serve small congregations and it is a big burden for them to sustain a full-time elder. The Equitable salary received from Holston Conference allows the ministries of two congregations to continue to thrive.

Small congregations have the most important mission of any organization in the history of the church. Carrying on the mission to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, takes earthly resources. Those who have contributed to the greater work of mission through Holston Conference have generously provided the support for small congregations to sustain well trained ministers like myself.

Giving through the Holston Conference provides resources that allow small congregations to thrive in their setting. The joy in giving and receiving is watching God work, to see the supernatural foretelling of God's plan through us to reach this world with His offer of grace is worth the price of any gift. The joy of sharing our resources through Holston Conference is to see life changed and to know that God uses our resources to transform life in a way that we could not imagine.

Giving changes lives because God changes the heart of the both the giver and receiver. I know how my life has been changed due to Holston Conference financial support personally and in my local congregation. No one can give unselfishly without the grace of giving from God. I have seen lives change because God is active in those lives and where God is active there will be spiritual growth.

God's mission is accomplished at John Wesley United Methodist Church in Holston Conference because of your faithful adventure in giving. Every time you give, you acknowledge that everything you have has been given to you by God. Giving back through Holston Conference is a way for us to not only affirm that we believe this but to demonstrate it with a concrete action and build virtue in ourselves. It teaches us that God, not material possessions, is our true source of life.

Thank you for your support through the Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church. Thank you for your gift that has helped me in this journey where God has called me. I am a living testimony of your generous giving and support of ministries within the Holston Conference. May the Lord bless the work of your hands.


Carolyn Kidd

Chair of the Holston Conference Council on Finance and Administration