The ministry work of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) will thrive because of your support. Your financial support and your engagement are directly proportional to the health and strength of this denomination. As our church matures and carves our what it means to be MC USA in the 21st century, I hope that how we support the work of the denomination matures as well. All of us have the capacity to support what we value.
Generosity impacts our lives and the lives of others. Many studies point to the fact that generosity, both volunteering, and charitable donations, benefits young and old physically and psychologically. In our consumer-based mentality, we either neglect the spirit of generosity or relegate it as something only “rich” people do. We can be generous in many ways, even with limited resources. Sometimes the practice of generosity (combined with wisdom and faith) can be the very thing that shakes loose access to the things we are lacking. Keep in mind generosity doesn’t always come in the form of cash. If you can’t give financially, think of other ways you can strengthen the work of the denomination.
Your generosity helps to shape the work of the church. I encourage everyone to prioritize their giving. No institution deserves your money simply because it exists. As part of our Journey Forward process, the Executive Board staff and I want to emphasize relevant ministry that equips the leaders and members of MC USA. Support the programs that you are passionate about and that strengthen the witness of MC USA.
Our primary targets are:
Our biennial convention is at the center of our work for MC USA. The convention is a pathway to leadership and discipleships for many of our youth. The convention is a rich and valuable time to connect with people, learn and worship together! As we consider the growing edges of Mennonite Church USA, we want to encourage more youth of color to attend this event. Strengthening communities of color through our Anabaptist witness is a priority for our staff.
Leadership Development for Conferences and Congregations
Leadership is everything, but too often, we have ignored the difference that good leadership can make in our denomination. Positive and capable leaders build capacity by putting together great teams and building effective relationships. MC USA needs culturally competent leaders who can serve the growing edges of the church and help to spread our Anabaptist peace witness.
#BringThePeace is Mennonite Church USA’s call to action for individuals and congregations to extend peace in our communities. #BringThePeace is also our prayer, inviting God to bring the peace that expands our capacity for empathy, compassion, and love that actively seeks to dismantle oppression and violence. We have also reactivated our Peace Tax Fund for those who want to donate a portion of their taxes to offset their tax contribution to the military.
The Mennonite Church USA Archives has been working to preserve Mennonite and Anabaptist history since 1937. Over the years, the collection has grown to document the diverse experiences of individuals and organizations that have shaped our shared history as a community of faith. Today, MC USA maintains one of the richest Mennonite archival collections in North America. We want the archives to “inspire people worldwide to follow Christ by engaging them with the historical record of Mennonite Christian discipleship.”
Please visit the MC USA giving site for all of your options: http://mennoniteusa.org/give.
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“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 (NRSV)
For many years Mennonites practiced mutual aid. Our generosity is at the heart of who we are as Anabaptists. We must prioritize our generosity and participate in the development of programs that reach beyond our local context. Let’s dream about what we can do together as MC USA.
Giving is an act of faith. My wife and I care committed to giving 10% of our income to the church. We split that between supporting the MC USA national convention and the local church. Beyond that, we support other nonreligious charities. We have both practiced generosity and tithing most of our adult lives and encouraged our children to do the same. We have made it a habit and an act of faith that God would reward our faithfulness. I am not referring to some spiritual quid pro quo, but an acknowledgment that reaping and sowing is a universal principle. As we have given and supported others, our family has always had a sense of security and peace. Our trust has never been in what we have but in our support of the community of believers.
I wrote this blog in anticipation of Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a worldwide day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Please don’t give all your wealth to Jeff Bezos or the Walton family this holiday season. As you focus on and plan your holiday and end-of-year giving, I ask that you consider adding Mennonite Church USA Executive Board as one of the recipients of your generosity.
Give today at http://mennoniteusa.org/give.