You are about to receive an Annual Appeal letter or email, and some of you are going to be wondering “Didn’t I just get an appeal back in December?!”
As it turns out, we have two different appeals each year because this funding helps us accomplish different goals.
The Annual Appeal – going out to individuals in letters and emails next week – helps fund the overall mission and ministry of the Massachusetts Conference. While 63% of funding is from local churches, the remaining 37% comes from programs, retreat center and camp revenues, endowment income, grants, and – yes! – donations. In fact, individual donations and other miscellaneous income make up about 8% of the Conference’s total funding. Without these contributions, we can’t offer Super Saturday events, Crossroad/New Beginnings programs, Christian Educator certification, or provide core support of local churches in calling clergy, dealing with conflict, or managing finances. Your contributions make possible supporting local churches, equipping their leaders, connecting them to one another, and helping them be an outpost of God’s love. (See the 2016 Annual Report, pages 17-19, to find out more about where Conference income comes from and where it goes.)
The Friends of the Conference Appeal – made in early December – goes to a fund overseen by the Minister and President to ensure that urgent needs, emerging opportunities, and good ideas don’t languish just because we didn’t budget for them. In recent years, this has meant hiring climate justice interns, forging a deepening relationship with the Center for Progressive Renewal, and beginning a racial justice strategic partnership with the Connecticut Conference.
Annual Appeal and Friends of the Conference – we hope you’ll be generous in responding to both. When you do, you’ll know you’re a partner, helping us all to live into our purpose of making God’s love and justice real by nurturing local church vitality and the connections between our churches. We’re better together and you’re an important part of the “we”!
Look for the Annual Appeal next week and, please, consider giving generously. Or do it now, if you’d like, by visiting our donation page.
And don’t forget to be in touch with me about getting stewardship assistance for your church. You’re making that possible, too!
Associate Conference Minister
Stewardship & Financial Development
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