The United Methodist Foundation of Western PA (UMFWPA) and the United Methodist Stewardship Foundation (UMSF), which serves the adjacent Susquehanna Conference, announced Aug. 30 that the Rev. Ed Bailey, executive director of the UMFWPA, will also serve as interim Executive Director for the UM Stewardship Foundation. The Rev. Phyllis Bowers, who served as UMSF executive director since 2005, retired in July.
The two foundations have been exploring how they might work together since August 2018 and reported at annual conferences in both areas this year that they "have agreed to explore ways in which they might leverage their relationship in order to benefit and improve the foundation-related services for the stakeholders of both Annual Conferences.”
Each foundation brings to the table decades of history serving the churches and people of the United Methodist Church. Both offer churches and affiliated organizations larger scale professional investment management than they could receive independently. Both also provide educational programs and assistance in stewardship, financial leadership, and planned giving.
Rev. Bailey said he hopes to bring together the strengths of both Foundations to better serve Pennsylvania stakeholders. As he put it, referencing Ecclesiastes 4:9, "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor."
Bailey was appointed to the UMFWPA in 2013 after serving as a pastor in the Western PA Conference for more than two decades. He led the organization through adoption of a new strategic plan, numerous operational upgrades, and significant growth in assets under management. Through it all he provided spiritual direction and a focus on what the Foundation is all about – mission and ministry.
Ed is passionate about providing support for the local church and connecting with people in their own communities. He plans to bring this same leadership and passion to his work with the churches and people of the Susquehanna Conference as the two Foundations embark on a new journey together.
Rev. Bailey will report directly to the Board of Directors of the UMFWPA and also provide periodic status reports to the UMSF Board.
“We look to the future with expectation of the great things God will put on our joined path,” said Tom Heisey, chair of the UMFWPA board.