The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Mid-America
475 East Lockwood Avenue St. Louis, Missouri 63119
314/918-2515 Fax: 314/918-2529
May 28, 2015
Last week, our regional moderator Guy Adams wrote a letter informing congregations and leaders throughout the Christian Church of Mid-America about exciting (and maybe a bit scary) changes happening in our region.
I am writing in follow-up to his letter. I have served on the CCMA budget committee for at least six years, and as committee chair for the past four years. The budget committee’s role has expanded over the years from that of focusing solely on developing a biennial budget to one of closely reviewing and monitoring income and expenses on a monthly basis, making (sometimes painful and unpopular) spending reduction recommendations to the executive committee, and almost literally determining how to creatively “rob Peter to pay Paul.”
One might ask why I have continued to volunteer to work on this committee – and it is a reasonable question. The most compelling reason is that I believe that God is present in and working through the Christian Church of Mid-America. I believe the “faithful remnant” that remains following cuts and eliminations is strong, and is filled with the same Spirit that empowered the early Christians on that long-ago Pentecost. I am excited about the visionary work that has been happening over the past few years, and I strongly feel that CCMA is transforming and becoming a body that can ably “resource and support congregations, individually and collectively, as they seek to be more faithful, effective, and sustainable in the mission to which God calls us” (excerpted from the CCMA Mission Statement). It is true that our inability to financially sustain “the way we were” has been a key factor in determining the need for change, however I really believe that God has used this situation to “do a new thing” in MidAmerica. I see mission and ministry replacing administration and bureaucracy, and I praise God for this.
I can assure you that your gifts to CCMA will be used to provide mission and ministry to our congregations in the most effective and efficient way possible. Todd Adams, our Associate General Minister and Vice-President, put it very simply: “Congregations in the Mid-America region can choose to continue their area giving as a designated gift to the region, not subject to the DMF allocation formula. These congregations should also make a gift to DMF….Designated gifts do not have a negative impact on the region’s distribution via DMF.”
What congregations have given in the past to their Area needs to be continued (and enhanced if possible). On the “remittance form” which will be provided to all congregations (to send to OGMP Treasury Services in Indianapolis), the line “Mid-America Ministries (formerly known as Area Support),” will insure that 100% of former Area giving returns to the Mid-America region for the ongoing support of those ministries formerly associated with our Areas.
In my local congregation, we celebrate the “joy of giving” each Sunday as we give back to God a portion of the abundance we have received, knowing that our gifts support ministries and missions about which we care deeply. I am excited to now feel that way about our giving to the Christian Church of Mid-America!
As we say at Rock Bridge Christian Church, welcome to the joy of giving!
Chairperson, Christian Church of Mid-America Budget Committee