Effective ministry and community-building requires us to make choices based on the short-term and long-term needs we see and the people, skills and facilities that we have available. Contributions from individual members and congregations provide the crucial resources that maintain and expand our capacity – developing leadership skills, delivering common services, and building relationships that enable us to learn from each other.
An essential part of the disciple's journey is developing and exercising the spiritual discipline of generosity – of learning to see potential and possibilities in the world and responding to those opportunities by sharing one's time, talents and treasure to make a difference.
The church articulates this stewardship principle in the phrase Disciple's Generous Response(external link).
There are many places where you can make a difference, whether its in the sharing of your time, your abilities, your financial resources or your gift of presence. Here are just a few areas for you to consider – if you want to know which areas have the most pressing needs, or require more explanation about the possibilities, you are encouraged to contact the Mission Center Financial Officer to discuss how your generous response can change lives, including your own.
In our congregational model, established congregations are self-sustaining – they adjust their activities, programs and facilities based on the level of income they receive from contributions, facility rentals and fundraising activities. Because the majority of our congregations do not have paid pastors or staff, their budgets are focused on programs and facilties, where your additional contributions can make an enormous difference to the health and effectiveness of the congregation.
For example, some of our member individuals felt so strongly about the potential in pastor training, that they made special contributions to ensure the congregation could meet the cost of participating in the CEM Co-Mission Pastor Initiative (CPI).
Community of Christ has a strong legacy of camping programs and many of you can (and should!) share your stories of meaningful spiritual and life discoveries at youth and family camps. Campgrounds are expensive to operate and maintain, especially in the face of more and more onerous government regulations and liability insurance costs.
You can ensure that your favourite campground continues to bring blessing to a new generation of youth and families by sharing your time in work camps and making financial contributions to camp projects. This is an excellent place to leave a lasting legacy through estate gifts on your own behalf or to commemorate a parent or mentor.
You can also support the camping programs at a overall level by contributing to the Mission Center funds that are used to provide Director and staff training for camps, provide qualified lifeguards, and other support functions.
If our model, the mission of the church is lived out in the congregations (and campgrounds) supported by the Mission Center. Each Mission Center has funds for various programs – camping, leadership training, shared services, and so on.
These funds are supported by congregations and individuals who see the long-term strategic benefits of these programs and contribute to ensure that we will all reap the blessings from today's investments in the future.
Mission Center funds also support specific programs such as the Encounter World Religions Centre.
We are a world-wide church that is active in many parts of the world. The reality is simple – the effectiveness and capacity of the church to replace the suffering of the poor and the "bruised and brokenhearted" with a hopeful future is directly related to the financial resources the church has available.
Through your World Mission Tithes (contributions to World Church) and your contributions to the Oblation fund (providing emergency funding to congregation members), the World Hunger Fund, and other funds for other projects, you ensure that our response to the needs in the world can continue and expand.
Graceland University is a special place that enables young people to get a quality university education in a rich and unique setting. If you have felt "the Graceland Experience" yourself, or seen its effect on someone you know, or simply believe in the power of educational excellence, consider making an investment in the lives of young people through a contribution to Graceland University.
Click on the graphic at the right to contribute on the secure Canada East Mission page at CanadaHelps.org, our partner that provides encrypted processing of credit card transactions on our behalf. (Note that your charitable tax receipt will come from CanadaHelps, not from Community of Christ.)
Our CanadaHelps page allows you to specify a special fund or program for your contribution.
Community of Christ in Canada offers a Pre-Authorized Transfer (PAT) program that allows you to make regular monthly contributions to your local congregation, your favourite campground, a mission center fund, or to World Church through an automatic withdrawal (on the 15th of each month). The PAT registration form allows you to allocate your month contribution among different local and World Church funds. Before tax filing time, you will receive charitable tax receipts from your local congregation and/or the Mission Center, depending on how you allocated your contributions.
PAT is a great way to ensure your contributions are regular, even when you're travelling or enjoying the summer at camps or at the cottage. You can also continue to use your regular envelopes for special occasions, and of course you can change the amount or stop the transfers at any time.
To register for PAT, you can obtain the registration form from your local congregational financial person, or you can download the PAT form [PDF 417.4Kb]. All applications and changes to your PAT contribution must be made in writing, they cannot be made by telephone or by email.
If you have questions about the PAT program, please call the Mission Center office .
Congregation members are offered a set of weekly envelopes that make it easy to contribute and have the amounts tracked for your charitable tax receipts.
You can also request and use these envelopes to make contributions directly to the Mission Center or World Church.
Ken McGowan is an estate and financial planning professional who is available throughout Canada to assist individuals and families with their financial and estate planning goals. His services are not connected to any sales fees or commissions.
If you wish, Ken can also help you design a planned giving strategy that will enable you or your estate to support your congregation, a campground, the mission center, or World Church in a planning-effective and tax-effective way.
For more information, contact Ken McGowan at (877) 526-7526 or by email to Email Ken .