Mississauga, Ont. – The Resources for Mission (RFM, formerly department of philanthropy) will soon be testing whether Anglicans across Canada are ready to support a nationwide initiative to raise $25 million over five years to support new ministries of the church at all levels.
The Council of General Synod (CoGS), at its fall meeting Nov. 18-20, approved the document entitled, Together in Mission: the Whole Church for the Whole World (TIM), as “appropriate for use in testing a case for support” for the initiative. It also authorized the use of previously allocated funds of $268,640.00 from 2011 to be used in 2012 for TIM and stewardship education programs.
The campaign–which involves a partnership between General Synod and participating dioceses–has identified four “challenges” that will require new financial resources. They are: leadership, worship, sharing and peace and justice. These are all “grounded in the Marks of Mission and Vision 2019 (the church’s strategic plan),” the document states.
“Unless we recommit ourselves to finding new resources we won’t be able to tackle these challenges and respond fully to God’s call to take up new ministries,” Monica Patten, chair of the Resources for Mission Committee of General Synod, told CoGS.
The success of TIM will mean, “increased capacity for ministry, vibrant relationships and partnerships, greater justice and deepened understanding about serving in God’s world,” said Patten. “The difference will be in all of us.”
RFM is currently in conversation with eight dioceses and will be testing the “case for support” in three dioceses, said Patten. The initiative is voluntary and some dioceses have their own fundraising campaigns, noted Vianney “Sam” Carriere, director for RFM and Communications and Information Resources.
The diocesan bishop of British Columbia, James Cowan, said his diocese is one of those interested in joining the campaign, noting that the church has not had any kind of “concerted fundraising and stewardship campaign” in a long time. He described the TIM document as “exciting,” adding “it’s about new ministry, not maintaining the budget, and it’s one of vision.”
While the campaign seeks major gifts and donations, it is hoped that average Anglicans will step up with their own contributions, said Patten.
TIM has a goal of $3 million for leadership development that will “prepare, support and nurture church leaders in the next two decades.” This will fund such initiatives as workshops and training for young leaders, continuing education for current leaders, and “formative opportunities for emerging leaders” to strengthen local ministries and develop new models of ministry. It will provide a bursary program that will allow leaders from all dioceses to participate in such initiatives.
A goal of $2.5 million has been set to support new approaches to ministry “with and among indigenous people in the north and in urban areas,” renewed ecumenical ministries, shared ministries, and partnerships with theological colleges.
An initiative to develop “leadership networks” nationally and regionally, which will pay special focus on young leaders, has a funding goal of $2.5 million.
An endowment of $350,000 to “stabilize” the ministry of the military ordinariate has also been proposed. “Some 20,000 Anglicans serve in the Canadian Forces, a constituency larger than most dioceses, with challenges of distance, danger and isolation,” explained the TIM document.
A financial goal of $2.5 million has been set to offer financial support for the Anglican Church of Canada’s five overseas partners in the Anglican Communion and to promote companionship agreements between Canadian parishes and overseas partners. Financial support for these partnerships were “severely diminished” as General Synod struggled to balance its budget in recent years.
TIM is seeking $750,000 to provide support for “the development and sharing of resources for vibrant worship.”
In the area of justice and peace, TIM has set a financial goal of $5 million to provide “fair compensation” for indigenous clergy in the north, and $4 million to establish a permanent endowment for this purpose with the Anglican Foundation of Canada.
Most aboriginal clergy are working full-time without salary, “and in some cases, without compensation for expenses such as travel and telephone,” TIM has noted.
To help empower clergy in indigenous communities where there are high incidences of suicide, a goal of $400,000 has been set to augment the existing Suicide Prevention Program of the Council of the North.
A goal of $1 million has also been set to fund pastoral care and ministry for indigenous people living in urban areas.
A plan to support the work and increase the development ministries of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) will require funding of $3 million.
Patten said that TIM will have “a very collaborative approach.” Dioceses will be invited to help and given support to raise funds for their own initiatives as well as those of General Synod.
The RFM has hired Murray McCarthy and Martha Asselin of Ministry and Money International to assist in jumpstarting the process. Ministry and Money International has helped the diocese of Ottawa with its own stewardship campaign.