The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) has named the California-Nevada Annual Conference's own the Rev. Dr. Betsy Schwarzentraub as Director of Stewardship. The position becomes effective June 1.
Schwarzentraub currently is the owner of Schwarzentraub & Associates, a stewardship consulting firm in Garden Valley, California. She has served as the Director of Stewardship and Director of Development for the California-Nevada Annual Conference, and continues to be a consultant here. She also is an elder of the California-Nevada Conference.
Schwarzentraub will lead The United Methodist Church in the area of stewardship with responsibilities to provide resources, training, research, and networking for church leaders. She will help strengthen leaders in stewardship and create a culture for the revitalization of local congregations.
"We are excited about the energy and direction Betsy will bring to the work we do in providing stewardship resources to the church, including a wealth of experience in education, consulting, development, and a deep passion for this work," said the Rev. Karen Greenwaldt, top executive of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD). "We did an extensive search and are pleased to have the skills and experience Dr. Schwarzentraub will offer the United Methodist Church," Greenwaldt said.
Schwarzentraub is chair of the National Association of United Methodist Foundations' Faith & Money Focus Group and a member of the association's management team. She also is a member of the Board of Directors for the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, an association of 23 denominations throughout North America. In 2005, the Christian Leadership Association named her "Outstanding Stewardship Educator." Schwarzentraub has pastored seven United Methodist congregations in California.
"Betsy's commitment for stewardship education and her gifts of leadership will strengthen both the church and GBOD's commitment to making world-changing disciples of Christ – now and in the future," said Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer, president of GBOD's Board of Directors and bishop of the Virginia Area.
An accomplished author, workshop leader, and curriculum developer, Schwarzentraub counts among her writings Afire with God: Becoming Spirited Stewards (Discipleship Resources, 2007). She also is contributing author for numerous publications, including The Abingdon Guide to Funding Ministry, 1997. She has authored more than 1,000 articles in the U.S. and Canada on various stewardship topics.
"In a statement during her interview Betsy talked about the importance of Firstfruits Living – giving the first and the best to God, and managing all the rest according to God's generosity," said MaryJane Pierce Norton, Associate General Secretary of Leadership Ministries at GBOD. "This concept is one we hope all congregations can capture in order to reflect God to all they might encounter," Pierce Norton said.
Schwarzentraub holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion.
GBOD's mission is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, GBOD is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit www.gbod.org for more information.