Future recall of mission co-workers determined by 2016 giving
By Gregg Brekke
The Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) announced today it has exceeded the World Mission fundraising goal set in the fall of 2015 that allows most mission personnel, called mission co-workers, to stay in the field through 2016.
The fundraising target set for 2015 was $7,315,000 and the ministry raised $8,928,000 for the deployment and support of mission co-workers, exceeding the goal by $1,613,000. Over 21,000 gifts were received: $5,604,000 from congregations and mid-councils; $3,324,000 from individual giving including direct response, online donations and major gifts.
Terri Bate, senior director of funds development ministry, said the goal was achieved as a “joint effort of the funds development and World Mission communities, requiring a concerted effort to reach out to mid-councils, congregations and individuals in a way we had not yet done.”
The Rev. Hunter Farrell, director of Presbyterian World Mission, said the agency recalled eight mission co-workers from the field in early 2015 due to declining endowment and unrestricted funds. Throughout 2015, budget reports of the PC(USA) noted more mission personnel would be recalled if ongoing fundraising goals were not met due to an estimate $4 million shortfall.
“The true impact of this blessing will not be known until the April 2016 Presbyterian Mission Agency Board meeting, when the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s 2017-18 budget will be deliberated and approved,” said Tamron Keith, World Mission associate director for administration. “At that point we will know how many mission co-workers our budget can support. In the meantime, it is my hope that new and renewed interest in constituents partnering with World Mission to support the sending of Presbyterian mission co-workers continues. We want to take advantage of this momentum granted by God’s grace.”
Farrell and Bate echoed Keith’s awareness of the ongoing annual fundraising need of approximately $10 million that allows nearly 150 PC(USA) mission co-workers to stay in the field.
“In 2016, our challenge is to again increase giving so that our mission co-workers can continue to connect our congregations with the life-giving work that God is doing in 50 countries around the world,” Farrell said of ongoing mission funding efforts.
“We are so thankful to God and for the Presbyterians who responded to this call,” said Bate. “As much as we want to celebrate this achievement, we do so with the understanding that we are building momentum and we need to do the same in 2016, and even increase what we did last year. We asked the church to respond, and they did. Now we need to continue this momentum.”
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