The Diocese of Massachusetts is now over halfway to its $20-million fundraising goal, with a little more than $11 million raised to date. "Generous donors continue to step forward with their support, and more and more of our congregations are joining the campaign in a spirit of collaboration and renewed enthusiasm for mission, which is at the heart of our campaign," Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE writes in the first issue of the Campaign Update newsletter, issued March 15.
The Together Now campaign was publicly launched in November and will fund an array of mission initiatives: $2 million as a tithe for global mission work; $2 million for environmental stewardship through “green” grants and loans; $4.5 million to create regional “mission hubs” and a mission institute (the latter a collaboration between Episcopal City Mission and Episcopal Divinity School); $7.5 million for ongoing and expanded ministry programs with children, youth and young adults; and $4 million for renovations to the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston to make it more accessible, more energy efficient and better configured to both host and model innovative worship, ministry and public witness.
Even as the fundraising continues, the campaign is bearing fruit: First grants from the campaign's $2-million mission tithe have been designated--for a new hospital in Uganda and vocational training and health care ministry in the Diocese of Jerusalem--and congregations will soon be able to apply for matching funds for their own mission projects, with money available early next year.
"The story of our campaign is still underway," Shaw writes in the update. "Much remains to be done if we are to reach the $20-million goal that will help us make real our vision for joining God's mission in bold and creative ways. Please spend some time with this update, share it with others, consider the participation of your congregation and pray for this ambitious effort we've undertaken together. I believe this campaign is one way that God is calling us forward, and the Holy Spirit is leading the way."