Q: Do these groups really make a difference?
A: YES! Consider these facts. Congregations with pastoral leaders who participate in Communities of Practice were significantly more likely to:
Q: We already pay a fee to participate in a group. Why do we need this endowment?
A: Participant fees only cover 1/3 of the cost of the Pastoral Excellence Program. Besides the stipends the facilitators receive, other program costs include facilitator training, program planning & implementation, administration and resources.
Q: How will the income from the endowment be used?
A: The endowment income will be used to support the Pastoral Excellence Program of the Massachusetts Conference. Today that consists of New Clergy Groups, Clergy Communities of Practice and Learning Events. The Pastoral Excellence Program is sure to continue to evolve as we discover yet new ways to support our pastor’s pursuit of excellence in ministry. Donors can be assured that many years from now this endowment will still be supporting pastoral excellence.
Q: Is there a mission component to this campaign?
A: Yes! 10% of the income from the endowment will be used to support leadership development beyond the borders of the Massachusetts Conference, such as helping our partners in the Pentecostal Church of Chile.
Q: Our church gave to the Gift and the Promise Campaign. How was that money used?
A: Approximately $2,00,000 was expended for the purposes of the campaign. This includes over $100,000 in grants to local congregations for computer equipment and internet access, $200,000 to the Worcester Area Missionary Society, $100,000 to the Pentecostal Church in Chile, $100,000 to the Southeast Conference, UCC and over $400,000 to the UCC Make a Difference Campaign. We also made major renovations to Edwards House and winterized the 1620 House at the Framingham Conference Center. The balance of over $2,100,000, is held in a special permanent endowment. This has helped fund new church starts in Lowell, Springfield, Jamaica Plain and Mashpee; Association programming; Youth and Young Adult programming, including Northeast Regional Youth Events and Youth at Synod; grants to local churches for Church revitalization; Seminary debt reduction; and helped support the Pastor Excellence Program.
The 72 churches who conducted “wrap-around” capital campaigns raised over $28 million for their local congregations and gave over $2.5 million to the Gift and Promise campaign.
By identifying pastoral education and training as a priority of the Conference, the Gift and the Promise Campaign laid the groundwork for the Lilly Endowment grant. In many ways, the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Endowment is an expansion and a continuation of the efforts begun in the Gift and the Promise Campaign.
Q: What can my church do?
A: By contributing to the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Endowment Campaign, your congregation can help to ensure that the UCC in Massachusetts will have the best possible pastoral leadership.
Here are some ways: