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Within the face of economic challenges, the Adventist Church refocuses on Stewardship and Systematic Giving :: Adventist Information Community

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Written by AI Translator

Oct 10, 2017
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Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
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The chief monetary officer/treasurer (CFO) of the Basic Convention (GC) encourages members to return to systematic giving and enhance help for stewardship ministries. “Because the 1980’s the emphasis in stewardship has one way or the other dwindled,” Juan Prestol-Puesán, GC CFO, instructed members of the Government Committee in the course of the 2017 Annual Council. “Educating giving is out of style.  It’s not one thing that pulls. It’s much more enticing to offer to initiatives.”

This refocus on stewardship and systematic giving started in 2015 when the Adventist Church’s govt committee accepted a plan for the Basic Convention to pay the wage, advantages and journey of a stewardship director for every of the Church’s 13 world areas, referred to as divisions.

In September 2017, stewardship administrators met on the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters for an advisory on how this focus impacted their areas. What emerged from this dialog was the truth that stewardship administrators, though dedicated to strengthening this operate of the church, confronted many obstacles. Some wanted additional orientation and help from their division officers; others desired to be concerned in interdepartmental actions. Some recommended stewardship must be taught in any respect ranges—from main college to seminary—and plenty of requested for prayer and help as they obtain little cooperation from native pastors.

Prestol-Puesán praised the fervor of the stewardship group and championed their dedication to systematic giving. He appealed to church members to return their tithes and choices faithfully. “The Church doesn’t depend upon large challenge givers,” he stated. “It relies on the John Doe’s and Mary Jones’ who sit within the pew and provides faithfully of their tithe and choices. They’re making the journey of the church attainable. That’s who we’re.” 

Prestol-Puesán went on to say he helps challenge giving, however solely when systematic giving is robust. 

Financial Developments 

One of many largest challenges the Church has confronted prior to now few years is the energy of the US greenback in opposition to different currencies, just like the EURO or Brazilian Actual. Greater than half of the church’s earnings comes from outdoors of america. Prestol warned, although the greenback has weakened in opposition to a few of these currencies, that may change shortly. “You solely want one or two occasions to occur on the planet and instantly that stability is altered,” stated Prestol. “We’re delicate to it; we’re weak due to it. When that occurs, it results our funds instantly.”

2018 Price range 

The report additionally highlighted the funds for 2018 which included a three.four% earnings discount for 2018 (5,750,000 US ) and is partially offset by discount of allocations of two.1%, or three.85 million . 

Traditionally, the funds is projected on the identical quantity of earnings from two years prior. The Church has continued that observe for the 2018 funds, with a couple of adjustments. This yr treasury has calculated the quantity to the native currencies as an alternative of the US greenback. This permits treasury and the divisions budgets to stay constant. In 2016 there have been 53 Sabbaths as an alternative of 52 so the funds has been lowered to mirror one week’s tithe (discount of 1.9%) and as accepted in 2012, the tithe proportion contribution from the North American Division might be lowered by zero.25% to six.35%. 

As with final yr, the present 2018 funds is put along with the belief that the present US greenback energy is momentary in nature and that it’s going to weaken throughout the subsequent 12 to 24 months, as the results of regular commerce, financial and cyclical patterns. If this doesn’t occur, the Church might be compelled to implement structural and systemic adjustments inside each portion of the funds. 

Occasions and actions impacting the 2018 Price range: 

A number of occasions have additionally impacted the 2018 funds. In early September of 2017, the North American Division moved to their very own workplace constructing. Inside days, the Basic Convention began the method of renovating the area they occupied. A number of departments and entities might be shifting to completely different areas throughout the Basic Convention constructing. Nevertheless, Prestol made clear that no tithe and choices might be used on this renovation. The cash comes from a separate fund that has been fastidiously saved and put apart. 

One other affect on the 2018 funds is the sale of the Evaluation and Herald property within the US state of Maryland. In 2010 the Basic Convention acquired somewhat greater than 47 acres of land valued at 11 million . On the time, this transaction prevented the Evaluation and Herald from going deeper into debt. Nevertheless, after the closure of the constructing and dismissal of the workforce, the property was put available on the market. Sadly, due to market situations, recuperating the whole quantity paid will not be a practical expectation and can outcome within the decreasing of working capital on the finish of 2017.

An motion taken throughout this yr’s Treasurers report was to divide cash from sure choices between two of the Church’s media shops.  Adventist World Radio has lengthy been a recipient of providing and systematic giving, whereas the Church’s different media outlet, The Hope Channel, has not. Members of the Government Committee voted to evenly cut up the chances beforehand allotted to Adventist World Radio (zero.75% throughout the World Price range Providing used within the NAD and the two.35% throughout the Mixed Providing Plan utilized in most different divisions) between the 2 media entities, with every entity receiving zero.375% of the previous and 1.75% of the latter. It was made clear that any choices marked clearly by the donor for a specific group wouldn’t be impacted—the cut up within the allocation solely impacts the World Price range and Mixed Providing allocations. 

Conclusion 

The expectation on the finish of the fiscal yr is for the Church’s funds to succeed in a break-even level. Nevertheless, that may imply a big enhance in tithe in North America to make up for the 53rd Sabbath in 2016 and holding regular with expenditures on the World Headquarters. 

Prestol outlined the monetary administration philosophy of the Basic Convention Treasurers as follows, “We see ourselves as stewards of the monetary sources entrusted to this degree of the Church,” he stated. “We are going to endeavor to take care of its working capital and liquidity ranges with a view to be of help to the mission of the Church worldwide.” 

Prestol continued, “A weak and decapitalized Basic Convention is of no use to the Church. We search to reach on the Basic Convention session in Indianapolis in 2020 with an entity that’s positioned to meet the mission of the church for the following time period.” 

In his closing remarks, Ray Wahlen, undertreasurer for the Basic Convention, assured the members the Lord was main. “Regardless of the monetary challenges we face, I’m grateful to the for the monetary sources the Lord has supplied to us, upfront,” he stated. “I firmly imagine the Lord will give us each penny that we ever want to perform the assignments He provides to us in spreading the excellent news of His quickly return.”

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