Every year it’s exciting to announce that the MANNA team is taking applications for awards from the income generated by BPC’s General Endowment fund. This year’s MANNA team, led by elder Brent Opell, is now seeking applications, due June 15th.
A little history: The General Endowment fund was created by past members who felt a call to impact BPC’s work beyond their lifetimes. At the start of 2018, the balance in the fund was $1,777,441. The income goes to projects outside the church doors, under the authority of Session per recommendations from the Endowment Ministry. Traditionally, the money is not used for the operating budget, which comes from the stewardship of BPC’s current community of disciples.
Under the umbrella of the Endowment Ministry, the MANNA team gathers once a year to gift the money. MANNA team members represent a broad sweep of the congregation. They come from current ministry teams and from the congregation at large. (And if this is something you would like to be part of, be sure to let us know!) MANNA meets two or three times to study the applications and sometimes to hear presentations from those requesting the funds.
In the past many small awards were made, but in an effort to have a greater impact, the team is now making two large awards each year, with the money being given over a three-year period. Last year $20,000 went to Montgomery County’s new education initiative Access to Community College Education (ACCE), and $24,000 was awarded to FAST (Facilitating a Successful Transition) a program for people coming out of jail or prison. The projects are always worthy, which makes decision-making tough, but what an honor to have the resources for such a task. The total amount to be awarded this year is nearly $100,000, though most years is closer to $80,000.
Requests for awards can be sponsored by any three church members. They can be part of an existing ministry team, or can be any three people who come up with a project of their own or through partnership with local agencies. Projects must also promise broad involvement from church and community and have the potential for increasing BPC involvement. The full application is printed below.
And just so you know, BPC is also blessed with five Restricted endowment funds. Income from the Restricted endowments is used solely in compliance with the wishes of the giver. Those funds go to projects within or sponsored by BPC, and are under the authority of specific ministries. Restricted endowment funds, their purpose, and the amounts available to ministry chairs for 2018 are as follows:
Dunlap Music $5,173
Fisher The Arts $4,923
Shoulders Children's Education $10,665
Smyth Lectureship series $11,976
Shear Peacemaking $5,732