Faith meets finances at Boone church
by Sherrie Norris
The Bible has a lot to say about money through at least 800 passages of scripture. First Presbyterian Church of Boone realizes the importance of handling money "God's way," and will be hosting a biblically based course on the subject beginning Wednesday, Feb. 5.
The nine-week seminar is based on the teachings of Dave Ramsey, who is often referred to as the country's "trusted voice" on finances. Ramsey is heard daily on more than 500 (Christian) radio stations across America and his best-selling books have helped countless individuals, families and business owners get their finances -- and personal lives -- on the right track.
As a spokesperson for First Presbyterian, program coordinator Melissa Bryan said, "A couple of reasons we feel that this will be beneficial for our church and community is that we often forget that everything belongs to God. We are just managers and stewards of his resources, and many of us just need a plan for our money so that we can be better stewards."
Secondly, Bryan said, "Money stress is the No. 1 cause of marital problems; we feel that this course is a great tool to get couples on the same page about money, which hopefully, will alleviate stress and strengthen our families."
Ramsey had built a fortune as a young man before declaring bankruptcy at the age of 30. He turned his life around and successfully set out to learn God's ways of handling money. He now devotes his time, talent and life experiences to teaching others how to be responsible with their money to help them live a generous life and leave a legacy for future generations.
Ramsey's teaching, through his Financial Peace University, has helped more than two million families experience positive changes in their financial status since it began in 1994. Updated in 2012, the course provides families and individuals with practical "common sense" tools to gain control of their finances and set themselves up for long-term financial success.
The class will meet once a week with a different lesson taught by Ramsey, via DVD, followed by a small-group discussion.
According to information provided by Ramsey's office, FPU gives people the tools they need to change their behavior and succeed financially.
"FPU will not only transform the way you handle money, but also your marriage and other areas of your life," said Ramsey. "This isn't a boring financial class. We make learning about money fun and easy to understand so people in every situation can benefit from the information."
Boone First Presbyterian is pleased to join thousands of churches and community organizations across the country in offering this training.
Ramsey said that God gave us scriptures about money, with many verses available to help us understand how God views finances -- from budgeting and debt to saving and career, as well as setting the right example for our families.
Ramsey's course will begin with seven "baby steps" to financial peace, the three key reasons why we should save money--and why we must start now. The course will also help married couples realize the importance of communicating and working together toward success, while singles will learn the importance of accountability, and parents will find out how to teach their kids about money.
Learning how to take control of money starts with a budget, and Ramsey will help participants develop a monthly spending plan that works, reveal the truth about credit lies, and give you a plan to walk out of debt with confidence.
The course will also help you understand insurance -- what you need and what you need to avoid. Other topics to be addressed in the study include retirement, college planning, budgeting, investing and buying/selling your home, as well generous giving -- God's way.
Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you've dreamed you could be.
Classes will be held at the church at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 5- April 2. Fee for participation and materials is $90 and includes
a workbook, Ramsey's "Complete Guide to Money," an envelope system and an audio CD library. Participants will also have access to budgeting forms and MP3s of all the lessons.
First Presbyterian Church is located at 131 Big Valley Street in Boone.
For more information about the course or to register, contact Melissa Bryan at (828) 264-3906.