223rd Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren
San Diego, California — June 28, 2009
The Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) reviewed and celebrated the first 10 years of its Brethren Mission Fund, and received financial reports for the fund, presented by Carl Brubaker, at the annual BRF Luncheon. The Brethren Mission Fund was established Sept. 12, 1998, at BRF’s Annual Meeting held at Heidelberg Church of the Brethren.
The fund was established to provide a way for conservative/evangelical congregations to give financial support to soul-saving mission work. There had been a redesign of the General Board, and an Annual Conference-approved mission work in South Korea had failed to materialize. This fund was a way to ensure that mission projects could continue.
The fund is administered by a committee of six, with Jim Myer serving as director. Most of the administrative costs are paid out of BRF’s regular budget. The committee may spend no more than 5 percent of income on administrative costs. Over the ten years, the actual administrative costs has been closer to 2 percent.
Brubaker reported that 63 percent of the contributions received are from congregations. Another 27 percent are from individuals. The remaining 10 percent are from designated gifts and interest income. The money is disbursed to Brethren mission projects or Brethren individuals working in non-Brethren mission projects. These projects can be any place in the world but must have an emphasis on soul-saving work.
Over the 10 years, 48 percent of funds have been used by the Church of the Brethren mission in the Dominican Republic, 13 percent in the United States (prison ministry, Hispanic/urban ministry, and Mission Alive conferences), 11 percent in Africa (mostly in Nigeria), 11 percent in Asia, 7 percent in South America (mostly in Brazil), 4 percent in New Zealand, 4 percent in Central America, and 3 percent in Europe.
Fifty-one percent of the funds over the 10 years has been used in conjunction with General Board (now Church of the Brethren) mission projects. This fund is not designed to compete with the denomination’s global missions but rather to complement that work.
He closed with the reminder that we all can be involved by supporting the mission projects with prayer as well as finances. The committee provides a quarterly newsletter to keep congregations and individuals informed of the mission projects supported by this fund.
–Karen Garrett is a recent graduate of Bethany Theological Seminary.
The News Team for the 2009 Annual Conference includes writers Karen Garrett, Frank Ramirez, Frances Townsend, Melissa Troyer, Rich Troyer; photographers Kay Guyer, Justin Hollenberg, Keith Hollenberg, Glenn Riegel, Ken Wenger; staff Becky Ullom and Amy Heckert. Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, editor. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.