It is with great excitement that Global Ministries announces that funding has been secured for the first of its newly announced mission priority positions. University Christian Church (UCC) in Fort Worth, Texas has taken the lead and committed to funding the first of the priority positions. UCC Fort Worth has committed to an initial funding of $50,000/year for three years to make this possible.
Word of the gift from UCC Fort Worth came at a very opportune time. In this time of declining budgets and increasing financial constraints Global Ministries has just embarked on special fund-raising project for 10 priority missionary positions, and as Global Ministries Co-Executive and Division of Overseas Ministries (DOM) President, David Vargas, notes "We do not take this as something that happened by chance. When we were struggling and deeply concerned we received the good news…God is talking in this and answering prayer."
Chad Cline, a member of UCC Fort Worth and former co-Chairperson of the Global Ministries Board, relates "It is exciting that we are able to tangibly express the commitment to Global Ministries that UCC has had for a long time." For years support of Global Ministries has been part of the identity of UCC Fort Worth. In recent years they have had frutiful missionary relationships, members of the congregation serving of the Board of DOM, and a number of former missionaries are members of the congregation. As Cyndy Twedell, Associate Minister at UCC, expresses it "Global Ministries is part of our make-up. Part of our understanding of ministry is to reach out and be connected around the world."
The gift from UCC Fort Worth comes out of their endowment fund which has benefitted from significant gifts by committed individuals through their estate planning. The gifts to the church's endowment fund by people who wanted their legacy and commitment to the church and its ministries to live on are now bearing fruit in many ways. UCC Fort Worth has a policy that distributions of interest from the endowment are made according to a formula: 40% for outreach, 30% for capital expenses, and 30% for operating expenses. Cyndy Twedell notes that this policy combined with the generosity of faithful regular giving members "allows us to take care of day to day expenses and let us have these big global dreams."
Commenting further on the support for the missionary position, Cyndy Twedell said, "We see it as a partnership. We can learn so much, and we are both gaining from the connection." David Vargas sees the gift by UCC Fort Worth as "a call for a new day of entering into partnership. This pioneer effort by UCC is a door to a new way and a call for a new day of entering into partnership. We hope that it will serve as a model for others."
To learn more about the 10 new mission priority positions, click here.