In 2013 the Moravian Ministries Foundation (MMFA) will celebrate our fifteenth year of service to the Moravian Church in America. In preparation for our anniversary, the Foundation’s Board and staff have been reflecting and planning for the next phase in the MMFA’s development.
Fifteen years have passed since I was hired to start the Foundation, and I say the same thing today I said when I first walked through the doors: “I feel like I died and went to Heaven.” When asked why, I respond, “Because of the people.” I have never been touched so deeply in so many ways by so many. One day builds upon the previous and everyday I am blessed. How could I not look forward to the next day?
However, the Foundation is not about any single person; to the contrary, it is about a faith community—the two Provinces, the churches, the ministries and the role we play in connecting money with ministry.
The Foundation does this in three ways.
First, we help individual Moravians create legacy gifts to the ministries that they want to support in perpetuity. Our focus in this relationship is to help the individual, couple, and/or family discern their personal, financial and estate goals. This work has been simply amazing.
The Foundation has helped hundreds of sisters and brothers create planned gifts and donate over $45 million to local Moravian congregations, camps, and retirement communities, as well as to the Music Foundation, Archives, Board of World Mission, Moravian Open Door, Sunnyside Ministries, Moravian College and Seminary, Salem Academy and College, and many others.
Second, the Moravian Common Fund, the investment and endowment management service for nearly 100 churches and affiliated ministries, now manages over $130 million. All the earnings pour back to the organizations that invest in the Common Fund, and its investment returns place it among an elite group of national foundations and endowments.
Lastly, Morning Star Campaign Services aids churches in planning and undertaking successful stewardship campaigns and capital fund drives. By most recent counts, over $11 million has been raised to support vital ministries and projects.
It would be easy to sit back and engage in self-congratulations, but we are called to do more—much more. So, as we thought about the work of the Foundation, we came to terms with the reality we are “the money people”, as our job is to connect financial resources with ministries.
In conjunction with our anniversary, we commissioned an Anthem. While it is not a musical piece, it conveys a message about our beliefs, aspirations, mission, work and values. It is the Foundation’s response to Christ’s message—“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to the Lord what is the Lord’s.”
In 2013 the Foundation will embark on an exciting forward-looking renewal, driven by our Anthem and inspired by our common faith. This renewal will be reflected in our ads, printed material, website, and social media. While our “look” may be new, our goal remains the same as it was 15 years ago: to inspire more Moravian people and ministries to “Invest where you believe.”
The Moravian Ministries Foundation: Invest Where You Believe
Let’s talk honestly about money and the church.
Forever this has been a naturally complex relationship,
because God’s grace is freely given
and yet doing His work requires so much.
Love. Kindness. Action. And yes, money.
At the Moravian Ministries Foundation,
the churches, congregations, and individuals we serve understand this.
For them, letting values guide their giving is recognition of a simple, practical truth:
viable ministries need an abundance of resources to thrive.
That is precisely why we serve this great church and its most generous members.
We know that ongoing Moravian service depends on ongoing Moravian stewardship.
We also know the stakes of this relationship are high:
the more assets that are available to a church, the more good that church can do in the world.
That’s why we’re always ready to talk honestly about money and the church—
from advising church leadership about savings and investments
to discussing with individuals how their faith can be transformed into a legacy.
As trusted and experienced counsel,
the Moravian Ministries Foundation is ﬁrst and foremost committed to helping
safely navigate the expansive and often uneven ﬁnancial terrain of the 21st century.
But while prudence and professionalism deﬁne our skills,
our sole focus on serving Moravian people and ministries is what distinguishes our mission.
Indeed, who we are is how we serve.
At the Moravian Ministries Foundation, every dollar invested,
now or over time,
strengthens our shared Moravian values.
If this sounds like a good idea to you, let’s talk about it.
Moravian Ministries Foundation in America: Invest Where You Believe
Paul McLaughlin is president of the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America (MMFA)
From the January/February 2013 Moravian Magazine