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The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit, and Life

A Tapestry of Faith Program for Adults

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About the Authors

Patricia Infante and David H. Messner; Developmental Editor: Gail Forsyth-Vail

Patricia Hall Infante is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist who grew up in a large New York City congregation. Her first career as a contract negotiator was put on hold while she took the job of full-time mother to two wonderful boys (an investment that continues to pay dividends). After a workshop at the Unitarian Universalist Association 1994 General Assembly about the book Your Money or Your Life, Pat began to act with greater intention to bring her work life and consumption into alignment with her UU values. In 1997 her heart led her to begin a career in religious education and she currently serves the Central East Regional Group as the Faith Development Consultant. She and her partner of 30 years live a life of deep gratitude and rich abundance in New Jersey.

The Reverend David H. Messner, born and raised Unitarian Universalist, was ordained by the First Unitarian Church of Rochester in 2012 and now serves as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah, Georgia. He earned a Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago with an emphasis on theology and religious ethics, a Master of Business Administration from Yale University, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Reed College. David previously worked in corporate strategic planning and partnership development. David, his wife, Jennifer, and their two children live in Savannah.

Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge:

  • the generosity of the members of the UUA President’s Council, which made this program possible.
  • the members of the President’s Council Task Force whose worked shaped the vision for the project:
    • Dan Boyce, co-chair
    • Rev. Makanah Morriss, co-chair
    • Laurel Amabile
    • Joan Cudhea
    • Bob Handy
    • Todd Hess
    • John Hooper
    • Rev. Ginger Luke
    • Tom Neel
    • Les Polgar
    • Sam Schaal
    • Rev. Jim Sherblom
    • Tom Stapleford
    • Lowell Steinbrenner
    • Tom Stites
    • Rev. Terry Sweetser
  • the UUA Congregational Stewardship Consultants, who reviewed this program and offered helpful suggestions:
    • Wayne B. Clark, Ph.D., Director, Congregational Stewardship Network
    • Bill Clontz
    • Kay Crider
    • Mark Ewert
    • Barry Finkelstein
    • Mary Gleason
    • Rev. Tricia Hart
    • Joan Priest
    • Larry Wheeler
  • the more than forty congregations that participated in the field test of the Wi$dom Path program.

Tapestry of Faith Core Team

The following UUA staff brought Tapestry of Faith to fruition:

  • Judith A. Frediani, Curriculum Director, Tapestry Project Director
  • Adrianne Ross, Project Manager
  • Susan Dana Lawrence, Managing Editor
  • Jessica York, Youth Programs Director
  • Gail Forsyth-Vail, Adult Programs Director
  • Pat Kahn, Children and Family Programs Director
  • Alicia LeBlanc, Administrative and Editorial Assistant

We are grateful to these former UUA staff members who contributed to the conceptualization and launch of Tapestry of Faith:

  • Tracy L. Hurd
  • Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
  • Aisha Hauser
  • Pat Hoertdoerfer
  • Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley

Preface

The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit, and Life began as an idea shared by members of the Unitarian Universalist Association President’s Council. Council members believe strongly that Unitarian Universalist individuals and congregations are longing for structured opportunities to talk about money and the way it intersects with our spiritual and ethical values. They conceived of a program that would go far beyond “Financial Literacy 101” to include such topics as personal and cultural money stories, economic justice, classism, and the impact of our financial decision making on our ability to live lives of meaning and purpose. Their hope was that such a program would free congregations, families, and individuals to speak openly about a subject that is often fraught with unstated presumptions and unacknowledged tensions and would allow the creation of spiritually healthy approaches to money, generosity, economic justice, investment, and stewardship.

Because the President’s Council perceived this as a faith development initiative for adults of all ages and life stages, they partnered with the Faith Development Office of the Unitarian Universalist Association to develop this ground-breaking program as a component of the Tapestry of Faith series of lifespan faith development programs. The program follows the Tapestry of Faith model: it uses narrative to engage participants and provides justice-making and community-building activities every step of the way, while nurturing, supporting, and deepening lived Unitarian Universalist faith among participants. We are thrilled to invite you to experience The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit, and Life! May your engagement with this program create opportunities and pathways for a spiritually and ethically healthy relationship with money, in all the ways it touches our lives.

About the Authors

David H. Messner

David H. Messner

The Reverend David H. Messner, born and raised Unitarian Universalist, was ordained by the First Unitarian Church of Rochester in 2012 and now serves as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah, Georgia. He earned a Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago with an emphasis on theology...

Gail Forsyth-Vail

Patricia Infante

Patricia Infante

Patricia Hall Infante is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist who grew up in a large New York City congregation. Her first career as a contract negotiator was put on hold while she took the job of full-time mother to two wonderful boys (an investment that continues to pay dividends). After a workshop at the...

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