UCC clergy invited to become Still Speaking Partners
It’s a new way of raising money for ministry that lives out a General Synod resolution. The Still Speaking Partners Initiative launches on June 25, the birthday of the United Church of Christ.
“The Still Speaking Partners Initiative is an experiment in fundraising,” said the Rev. Kent Siladi, director of philanthropy. “It moves the church from an institutional way of fundraising to a more donor-centered approach to raise resources for our mission.
“It gives clergy – those who are often the most invested in our ministry – the opportunity to share their resources.”
Recurring gifts sought
Authorized ministers in the UCC are being invited to make recurring gift, to deepen their partnership with their Conference and with the national setting.
The minimum contribution is $20 a month, $240 annually – that will be divided in a 50/50 split between the national setting and the Conference in which the donor has standing.
“Our work includes supporting the work of our clergy in cultivating intentional, beloved, transformative congregations across the country,” Siladi said. He pointed to MESA’s Tuesday and Thursday digital gatherings, the Washington, D.C.’s office work to provide resources to address justice issues, and the work of Wider Church Ministries does in engaging churches in global mission.
Resources are also provided by each Conference with search-and-call assistance, leadership development and by bringing churches together in common mission and ministry.
Clergy who choose to be a part of this partnership will be gathered on Zoom and asked to provide input in two fundraising priorities:
- Stewardship theme materials. These resources are provided every year to assist churches with fundraising.
- Giving Tuesday. Partners will be invited to help decide what type of appeal they would like to be a part of.
Leadership development is another benefit offered to Still Speaking Partners. People in this group will be invited to gather at a national event every year, with a speaker of import. They will also be included in a special event in their Conference.
The partnership also offers “greater communal connection and recognition,” Siladi said, “with name recognition on UCC.org and in the Spirit of Generosity, the UCC donor newsletter.
“Right now, there are already more than 200 clergy who already give a monthly gift to the national setting. They will all be invited to be a part of this partnership.”
“At General Synod 31, a resolution passed that encouraged donor-centered giving and to invite donors to donate to the mission priorities that are the most compelling to them,” said the Rev. John Dorhauer, general minister and president. “One’s participation will help build our shared vision: ‘United in Christ’s love, a just world for all.’”
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