In this video, Bishop Ward and Dr. Reggie Ponder talk about two endowments announced at AC 2015.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ. Grace upon grace upon grace. We give thanks for Gods’ abundant and overwhelming generosity to us, and we see wonderful generosity flowing through United Methodist people as we engage in our mission in the world. Last week at Annual Conference, we had a wonderful moment in which we awarded debt retirement grants to young clergy. Reggie can you tell us about that?
Yes, thanks to the generosity of two of our laywomen, who are daughters of a United Methodist pastor, they grew up in the church, and served as a part of that family. They have established an endowment with United Methodist Foundation, and we were able to provide grants, matching grants, for six of our recent seminary graduates who are young pastors in our conference, to enable them to reduce their debt. They are matching grants, and it’s just an indication of what people can do when they realize how much God has blessed them through the life of their family and the church and they want to give forward to help other people have the benefits that we enjoy.
We had wonderful offerings at Annual Conference for Imagine No Malaria. We are $700,000 and above toward our goal of 1 million. The first offering at Annual Conference was over $50,000, and then the second offering was $25,000, so over $75,000 was offered during Annual Conference, so that the children may live in Sub-Saharan Africa, and so that communities will be safer. We imagine together no malaria in Africa and give thanks for the generosity of our annual conference. Tell us also about the mission endowment of the Annual Conference that is being born.
Well, thanks to your vision and working with us, we do have a vision of establishing an endowment that will enable mission to happen in eastern North Carolina to build up the people of eastern North Carolina in the years to come. The vision is at least $10 million moving forward and we’re almost to 1.2 million now and we’re moving in that direction and we anticipate that within a few years we’ll be able to reach that goal and do much more. The goal is for us to share out of the abundance that God has given to us, with what we have, so that we might enable mission through our church in the years to come. It’s an interesting, exciting adventure, and it’s one of trusting God, trusting the church, trusting the future leadership of the church. We’re trusting our children, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren to be mission leaders following our example.
We invite you into the creativity that is emerging as we think together, dream together, and envision all that the mission endowment will be. At Annual Conference, ideas were pinned to a fishing net in Cokesbury and just this morning we set the date for the next gathering of the dreamers for all the districts who’ll come together to decide on next steps at making the mission endowment grants a reality. Thank you for your generosity through your church. Your gifts make a difference in the world. Thanks be to God.