Missions: 2021 Supported Ministries
Each year the Good Samaritan Missions Committee prepares a yearly budget that includes the church's support for various local, national, and world-wide ministries. Realizing that funding at the levels of that for 2020 could not be sustained for 2021 and upcoming years, the submitted budget was trimmed by approximately 20 percent. Also, the closing of the Thrift Shop during much of 2020 reduced the funds directed toward missions. In addition to Thrift Shop proceeds and individual donations, the bulk of the missions budget is based on 10 percent of the church's yearly giving.
The 2021 budget provides funding support for 15 local, national, and world-wide ministries, which are directly under the purview of the missions committee. For 2021, the missions budget structure has been modified to better identify categories directly determined and administered by the committee. With those adjustments, the current 15 ministries compare to 24 in 2020 and funding for supported ministries this year decreases 17 percent from that in 2020. (In 2020, ministry support was $178,000. The 2021 budget calls for $148,000 in support.)
Recognizing the need to pare the budget, the committee had many discussions about the best approach toward reducing financial support for the supported ministries. (That category reflects over 90 percent of the committee's budget.) As it has always been questionable whether we've had too many supported ministries (averaging 26 over past years), it was a unanimous decision to reduce the number rather than simply "cut" from all the existing ministries. Two different rating systems were used to gauge which ministries we should definitely continue to support, which were questionable, and which we should drop. (Two key factors involved were the accountability/reporting of the ministry and the perception of congregational interest and support.) After considerable prayer and discussion, the committee pared the number of supported ministries to fifteen – and decided not to consider any new ministries for 2021. Support for those supported range from $3,200 to $20,000 for the year. (A total of $148,000.) These decisions were very difficult because all the ministries we've been supported do good work and over time we develop personal relationships with the people in them.
Supported ministries for 2021 include:
Ninos con Valor, Water Mission, Scripture Union, YoungLives, St. James School, CityTeam, Philly Project, Good Samaritan Services (formerly Bridge of Hope), Ron Irene in Paraguay, Rooted in Jesus, Amnion, the Bernardis, Mwamba, YoungLife suburbs, and the Diocese of Bolivia.
In addition to the above supported ministries, the committee's budget also includes support for Food Closet, the church's CCO obligations with that program, as well as support for short-term missionaries that might arise during the year. The church's full missions budget also include the Good Samaritan Diocesan Pledge for 2021. The total for all missions categories in 2021 totals $246,000.
Many thanks to the committee's ad hoc Grants Committee that spent hours reviewing, rating, and making recommendations from the applications for support and for pulling together this difficult budget. The Grants Committee consisted of Ben Capps (as chair of the missions committee), Kevin Hicks, Helen Hartman, Robin Smith, and Debbie Volk.
And thanks to the total missions committee for their responsible, spirit-led decisions and actions to be good stewards and prepare a budget that made wise use of congregational resources in the church's mission to further God's kingdom on earth through Christian missionaries and ministries.