January 2013 Report
“Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.” Acts 10:4
On behalf of the HOPE worldwide and Benevolence Service Team, we want to express our deep gratitude for the many ways that our brotherhood of churches has committed to supporting the poor through HOPE worldwide. In 2012, the support of the ICOC churches enabled hundreds of HOPE worldwide volunteers to distribute food and cold weather supplies, clean storm-damaged homes and manage call centers in areas of New Jersey and New York affected by Hurricane Sandy. This generosity helped start an outpatient clinic at the Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital in Kampot, Cambodia. Disciples empowered the inaugural Nicaragua Community Service Brigade team to provide vital medical care and education services to needy families (many of them our brothers and sisters in Christ). HOPE worldwide continues to value the partnership with the ICOC churches with the mission and purpose to meet the needs of the poor.
Throughout 2012, the HOPE worldwide and Benevolence Service Team met consistently and with representation from across the U.S., with 5-8 people in attendance on typical calls. Additional representation on the Service Team from ministers outside of the U.S. remains a goal. A highlight of 2012 was a Service Team meeting in San Antonio during the World Discipleship Summit. All Service Team members were in attendance, with their spouses.
The HOPE worldwide and Benevolence Service Team is made up of three subcommittees. Here are their reports:
I. Church Relations Subcommittee Report — JP Tynes, Chair
In 2012, the amount of unrestricted support from ICOC churches was $1.1 million – approximately the same amount as was given by churches in 2011. As a historical point of reference, when our church membership size was comparable to now, the ICOC gave HOPE worldwide $4.5 million in unrestricted support annually. In 2012, 88 out of the 226 first-world churches (39%) gave financial support to HOPE worldwide through the International Day of Giving. While there is obvious room for growth, there are pockets of excellence in financial giving. For example, the New York City Church of Christ has a goal for the International Day of Giving of approximately $150,000 and has exceeded this goal for the last two years – this year by more than 10%.
The Service Team has suggested that International Day of Giving take place a few weeks earlier than in previous years in order to not compete with travel schedules around the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. This year IDG will take place on Sunday, November 10, 2013. Plans also include requesting pledges from churches in order to help HOPE worldwide with managing budget expectations; encouraging quarterly or monthly contributions to assist with cash flow; and prioritizing unrestricted donations from churches. The Service Team wants to further engage the leadership of our fellowship of churches again on what they want “their charity to be”. We plan to hold discussions about these ideas with the Elders Service Team, and the Evangelist Service Team so that we can all be truly aligned in our vision for HOPE worldwide and its partnership with the ICOC.
HOPE worldwide presented at the International Leadership Conference portion of the World Discipleship Summit in San Antonio, as well as video presentation during the WDS general session. There was also a HYC reunion during the conference and a session for medical professionals that was attended by more than 500 disciples.
HOPE worldwide regularly communicates with church leaders through email and sends periodic videos to share with their congregations. HOPEww also publishes articles consistently on DisciplesToday.org and ICOCHotNews.com as well as sending out eNewsletters.
• This year HOPE worldwide Chapters grew in number, increasing to 118 Chapters and three affiliates across North America.
• More than 9,000 volunteers served over 38,400 hours in 31 states through 194 projects on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service coordinated by HOPE worldwide Chapters, American Red Cross partnering chapters, and nine organizations who were awarded grants from HOPE worldwide through funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
• To better equip local Chapters to respond to and prepare for natural disasters, HOPE worldwide held the first Disaster Summit conference in Houston, Texas. The Summit focused on developing strategies and proactive response protocols for before and after storms. The Disaster Case Management program was also initiated in 2012, giving Chapters an additional resource they can use to care for their communities in the wake of manmade or natural catastrophes.
• In the wake of incredible devastation and heartbreak following Super Storm Sandy, 1,325 HOPE worldwide volunteers – many of them also affected by the storm – served across northern and central New Jersey, Staten Island, and the hard hit areas of New York City and Long Island. Manning phone banks, organizing spontaneous volunteers, distributing over 20,000 meals and blankets, and gutting and cleaning houses our volunteers once again inspired me by what proved to be faith and compassion made visible by action. Among the heroes were Tri-State Chapter representatives Sheridan Wright, John Beene, and Dave Mitchell as well as the Central Jersey Chapter Director, Horacio Piccininno, who diligently served these areas and showed outstanding leadership during an extraordinarily difficult time.
• HOPE worldwide’s youth engagement programs were also a great success during 2012, sending nearly 200youth to Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Anchorage, Alaska; Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to serve in specialized projects to the poor and needy.
• The 5th Annual North American Chapter Think Tank brought together Chapter Directors, National Chapter Advisory Board members, church leaders, HOPE worldwide staff, and volunteers from all over the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. The Southern California Chapter hosted the event in Los Angeles, and attendees heard from Marco Pellizzeri, Bruce Williams, Gregg Marutsky, Shane Engel, and Will Archer, evangelists from Los Angeles, Omaha, San Diego, and Nassau, respectively.
III. Disaster Response Subcommittee Report — Sheridan Wright, Chair
• The Subcommittee has recommended that a Disaster First Response Fund be established to serve as the collection fund for donations to be distributed as disasters arise. This reserve fund would differ from the existing HOPE worldwide Disaster Relief Fund (established in the wake of specific disasters), in that it would be the first funds available for relief. The Disaster First Response Fund proposal has been submitted to the Evangelist committee for review.
• Following flooding in the Philippines, $30,000 was allocated to support the relief efforts. This funding provided temporary shelters and care for children and staff displaced from the Centers of HOPE worldwide. Many of the staff are members of Manila Church of Christ.
• HOPE worldwide and Ambon (Indonesia) Church of Christ provided cooking kits and hygiene kits to 2,000 families through a grant from United Nations, as well as provided disaster prevention trainings for local leaders and local government officials.
• Charles Ham, Global Disaster Response Coordinator for HOPE worldwide, conducted a Disaster Response Capacity Building Workshop on at the WDS in San Antonio. The training was attended by more than 30 international HOPE worldwide and church leaders.
2012 HOPE worldwide and Benevolence Service Team Members:
• John Causey (chair) – Los Angeles, CA
• Mark Templer (co-chair) – Pakistan
• Doug Arthur – Boston, MA
• John Brush – Miami, FL
• Robert Carrillo – San Diego, CA
• Herve Fleurant – San Antonio, TX
• Darren Gauthier – Chicago, IL
• Bill Hooper – Dallas, TX
• Gregg Marutzky – Omaha, NE
• Ray Nadon – Anchorage, AK
• JP Tynes – Orlando, FL
• Sheridan Wright – New York, NY
• Antonio Boyd (HOPEww) – Columbia, SC
• Charles Ham (HOPEww) – Jakarta, Indonesia
• Mandy Jordan (HOPEww) – London, England
• Randy Jordan (HOPEww) – Philadelphia, PA