Path of Engagement - Augustana, West St. Paul
Paths of Engagement Update – November 2011
Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul MN
Pathway -Having a Healthy Relationship with Money
One aspect of our strategy was to offer Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We scheduled the class to begin on September 11 so as to be finished before Christmas. We were hoping for 5 families to participate. We had 19 families sign up! The make-up of the class is intriguing. It is families from all age groups and socio-economic strata: couples pregnant with their first child, families down to one income as the husband or wife had decided to go back to school for a second career, parents with kids in college, retired couples, and some single individuals. It is a 13-week class and we offer it on Sunday evenings from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. We provide a light dinner and nursery. After 9 classes we did a financial snapshot, and excluding mortgage payments, total debts paid off were $14,338. Money saved (emergency fund, retirement or saving for specific purchases i.e. Christmas) was $16,317. When you add those two numbers together it is a net turn-around of $30,655. That is something to celebrate! A few other stories people shared:
*A family will be making a final student loan payment this week (He has carried the loan for 12 years).
*Another family paid their mortgage early during this past week.
*Another family bargained on a front door at Home Depot using the lessons from last week and got $120 off a front door.
Once we started promoting the class, several Augustana members that had previously taken the class (elsewhere) submitted $100 gifts so that we could provide scholarships to families unable to make the $100 investment for materials. We already have many families signed up for our second session beginning in February. For the next session we hope to find families willing to prepare and serve the light Sunday dinner to the families taking the class as another way to develop mentoring relationships between mature stewards and those learning to be good stewards. One of the small group leaders commented after one class session that” everyone leaves so happy and calm!” Another participant has described the class as “life-changing” for her and her husband.