I want to tell you about how your gifts to the Bishop’s Appeal for Mission and Outreach make direct impacts on the programs and ministries of our congregations. Each year since 2002, the Diocese of Virginia has awarded grants to assist with a broad range of ministries – both here at home and throughout the world. These vital programs depend on your gifts, which come from God’s bounty, to empower ministries, transform lives and strengthen the work of our congregations.
Last year our appeal for gifts to the Mustard Seed Fund raised more than $26,000 thanks to the generosity to 162 individuals, clergy, and congregations. Your gifts provide opportunities through the Mustard Seed Fund for a variety of programs, like community gardens for local parishes, additional technology for outreach ministries, installation of accessible restrooms and assistance for building projects internationally in places such as Haiti and Malawi, to try something new or reinvigorate ministries.
This year we plan to broaden our annual appeal to include all of our mission initiatives and provide you the opportunity to give to the work and ministry that best meets your own interests. As you consider a gift to the Bishop’s Appeal for Mission and Outreach you’ll have the opportunity to give to one of these funds:
- Mustard Seed Fund to support youth and college ministries, local outreach, world mission, and strengthening local churches. Churches, regions and college chaplaincies are eligible for this competitive grant, which works to strengthen these ministries of the Diocese.
- The Fear Not Fund is a recently created endowment from which the income will be used to support mission needs of congregations, in Virginia and relationships throughout the Anglican Communion. In the past, these ministries have been supported by special individual donations.
- Youth Mission Vouchers support the participation of youth on mission trips, the Bishop provides a $200 youth mission voucher to all youth (under 19 years old) when they are confirmed.
- Short-term Mission Grants to provide individuals and parishes funds for short-term mission trips.
Within our community of faith, each of us individually has the opportunity to live out our Baptismal Covenant – to seek and serve Christ in all persons. Give enthusiastically and be part of this remarkable mission – to see our small seeds grow into great possibilities.
After all, we can do far more together than we can do alone.