Preview Financial Peace University on Sept. 13

Wayne and Jill Nelson

By Susan Shinn Turner

Some 64 percent of Americans cannot cover a $1,000 emergency.

Imagine if you did not have car payments. Imagine if your kids never knew debt. Imagine if you and your spouse did not fight about money.

Debt is normal. Be weird!

Dozens of St. John’s members have benefitted from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. A second installment of the program is set for 6:30-8:30 pm Thursdays, Sept. 20 – Nov. 15. A preview class will take place at 6:30 pm Sept. 13.

Topics include Super Saving, Relating With Money, Cash Flow Planning, Dumping Debt, Buyer Beware, The Role of Insurance, Retirement and College Planning, Real Estate and Mortgages, and The Great Misunderstanding.

These sessions are co-sponsored by St. John’s and Christ United Methodist Church. Class facilitators are Wayne and Jill Nelson of St. John’s and Wayne Smith of Christ.

Nelson heard a lot about stewardship when he served on the Synod staff, and he and his wife took a course sponsored by Mount Hermon Lutheran Church.

“It was an affirmation for us that we have been doing things right,” he says.

They saw others get excited about the program, and decided to offer it at St. John’s.

“We had an extremely balanced class,” he says. “We had young singles, and women who were widows. We encouraged families with kids to participate.”

In all, 40 people participated in the class last year — the Nelsons were hoping for six couples. Members of that class will be serving as small group leaders this fall.

“I really enjoyed the class,” says Kristin May, who is single. “It forced me to really look at where my money was going and, I’m not going to lie, it was a little shocking. I had gotten in the habit of putting expenses on the credit card and paying it off. I love the envelope system because I know exactly where I stand and how much money I have left on food or entertainment, to name a few categories.

“I have paid off a lot of my debt, saved money in an emergency fund, and know that whatever life throws at me, financially, I can tackle it!”

Doug and Donna Groce, who married six years ago, took the class together.

“This class came highly recommended,” she says. “Wayne and Jill are terrific facilitators and lead by example. The instruction and tips from the course book and video, and the lively and insightful group discussions have really made our spending and saving habits more intentional.”

“I’m very much on my own,” says Debbie Martin, whose husband, David, died four years ago. “This is a different time in my life. Financially, David was my cushion. I never worried about money, because he always provided well. Once he was gone, it felt like the world was a different place. I had to learn there were going to be new dreams, and I wanted to get ready.”

Martin had worked as a branch office assistant with Edward Jones.

“I have seen the habits of people with large amounts of money and how they operate,” she says. “But this class was a down-to-earth perspective of managing money. I learned more about the day-to-day habits of spending. It was helpful and realistic. Everybody in the class found something that applied to them.”

You can register online for Financial Peace University through Cost is $99 for course materials. Childcare is provided.

To learn more, you may contact the facilitators, Wayne and Jill Nelson at, or Wayne Smith at


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