In my last newsletter article, I invited you to share stories about how you were living into the Vision of the Annual Conference. Never did I dream such a personal witness would be shared. Below is the story of one of our pastors and his wife. What I want you to read in the story is just how powerfully one act of love led to a commitment to live united in hope. Read the story – you’ll understand.
From Rev. David & Rebecca Rennick – First UMC – Mesa
When Rebecca and I got married two years ago we gifted each other with a debt of some 100k! Our love for each other was something much stronger than the foolishness we had acquired separately on our own and we decided our marriage would be based on choices that would not hold us as financial prisoners. So, with some sacrifice and shifts in priority we decided the best way to launch our marriage was to do so with us in charge of our destiny. For the past two years we have basically lived off one income while the other paid down our debt. You can imagine that the best anniversary gift we could give to each other was a debt free lifestyle. So… for our second-year anniversary we paid off all our consumer debt and now get to call our financial shots. Sure, we still owe money on our home but as things go, we’ll be working to pay off this before we retire. We are so thankful for those who have believed in us and have encouraged us along this journey. You too can be debt free and we’d love to share with you our story. Rebecca and I could have been two of the most skeptical people to take on such a transformation. But in reality, we haven’t missed out on anything along the way but have gained much more in our connection to each other.
One of the vows I took with my Ordination included “Are you in debt so as to embarrass you in your work?” We always “teehee” when hearing this statement but vow we’re down with this. But in reality, after stacking one student loan on top of another, we are in a ton of debt! Of course, we’re embarrassed. Yet, one of the best expressions we can do for upcoming ordinands is to provide resources to handle debt. Rebecca and I are committed to provide a scholarship for two ordinands to experience Financial Peace University each year over the next five years. Our prayer is others will join with us to do the following for others and to encourage the Board of Ordained Ministry to provide this resource to upcoming candidates. We should be able to celebrate the ordination of colleagues as they embark upon the beginning of their ministry knowing they can do so with confidence and without financial restraint.
There’s a moral to our story. Never under estimate the gift of what church members can provide. During our engagement, Rebecca and I were gifted to attend Financial Peace University by a church family. One of the learned skills from the class includes drafting a monthly budget. We were not only able to cash-roll our wedding and honeymoon, but to hit the ground of our marriage with a means of financial security and sanity.
David and Rebecca Rennick