Mission Share Pledges: What Do They Do?
“How are mission share pledges used?” This is a question we receive in the bishop’s office from time to time. To answer, it may be helpful to review last year’s accomplishments and this year’s goals. In 2014, we met several key goals including:
- Added a second year to the School for Ministry, the diocesan theological training program for priests, deacons and lay leaders;
- Expanded School for Ministry opportunities to include midweek offerings;
- Hosted six stewardship workshops, one in each mission area of the diocese;
- Celebrated our 40th anniversary as a diocese during convention with the presiding bishop as our keynote speaker;
- Hosted Maundy Thursday Footwashing at the Episcopal Church Center in Ocean Beach (also in 2015);
- Co-hosted Via Crucis: Pilgrimage to the US-Mexico border with the Diocese of Los Angeles (also in 2015);
- Hosted four communications workshops (also in 2015);
- Renovated the old Holy Trinity parish and transformed it into the Episcopal Church Center, which is a ministry/worship lab for the whole diocese, and home of the Office of the Bishop, the School for Ministry, the Loaves and Fishes food pantry, hot meal program, job assistance and medical clinic; and
- Implemented an online misconduct prevention training program which is available to members at no charge.
In 2015, we:
- Added a third year to the School for Ministry curriculum;
- Engaged consultants to lead us in the crucial work of adaptive change;
- Audited ten congregations;
- Hosted the 41st annual convention with Bishop Rowe as our keynote speaker and three ordinations;
- Hired a program intern to move forward our Latino and young adult ministries;
- Executed a mission enterprise grant for Latino/Hispanic Leadership training;
- Hosted a well-attended vestry training in January;
- Hosted a Leadership Academy in May with 22 individual workshops in these areas: stewardship, communication, congregational development, new initiatives, finance and administration;
- Resourced congregations with development issues, such as stewardship, outreach, and community partnerships;
- Launched a program to address deferred maintenance throughout the diocese;
- Assembled a communications committee to improve diocesan communications; and
- Prioritized congregational needs with the bishop’s staff serving as consultants and resources to people in congregations, particularly in the areas of: communication, transition ministry, financial management, accounting and internal controls policies and practices, personnel management, employment law compliance, property use, background checks and monitoring misconduct prevention training.
These are only some of the ways that mission share pledges are used in the course of the year. We met our budget last year and are on track to do so again this year. We are able to accomplish this due to careful spending and the faithfulness of congregations in fulfilling their mission share pledges, which comprise 74% of our revenue. As such, you are truly our partners in ministry. Thank you.