This past summer our church Missions ministry team met to discuss possible ways to connect with and/or support other Methodist churches at the global level. We spoke with North Alabama Conference Director of Missions and Advocacy Dr. Adlene Kufarimai and met with her a week later. She was very helpful and shared with us about the Clergy Support Initiative for North Katanga-Tanganyka-Tanzania Episcopal Area.
The aim of the Clergy Support Initiative is to help improve the life and dignity of pastors in this area of Africa. The average salary for the majority of these pastors is less than $30 per month or less than a dollar a day! A typical pastor's household consists of about 7 people. Instead of being able to fully concentrate on spreading the gospel and pastoral care of their communities, these pastors must worry about basic needs and survival of their own families!
We decided as a church we could improve the circumstances of these pastors and help them with basic needs of food, housing, health care and education. Thus the $1/Member Clergy Initiative was born! We spoke to our congregation and asked each member to consider donating $1 dollar toward this ministry. Of course, any size gift was appreciated and encouraged. We placed envelopes marked "$1/Member Clergy Support Initiative" in the pews to make it easy for any cash donations or checks to be given.
How well the congregation responded! We collected $2358.34 toward the Clergy Support Initiative! God is so good!
In the future, we would love to connect with one of these pastors in the North Katanga area and develop a lasting relationship. Hopefully, we will someday be able to visit and see our new friends in Africa.
For more than 200 years, Methodists from all continents have engaged in mission work that has transformed the world through the “work of justice, alleviate suffering; build peace; heal the sick; empower women; train leaders; and witness to the kingdom of God.” This year’s bicentennial celebration recognizes the mission work that has been done over the years.
The North Alabama Conference is celebrating the mission work of our congregations and organizations. You are invited to share your mission stories through an article or a short video. Send your congregation's stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.