By Bunny Wolfe
IGRC Missions and Outreach Coordinator
Beginning January 2015, there are some significant changes in the IGRC Five-Star Giving Program. These changes were adopted to help IGRC congregations renew their Five-Star recognition. The new and combined categories should help churches of all sizes to quality.
A significant reduction in Five Star churches became evident when the qualification for missionary salary support changed to require a Covenant Relationship with United Methodist missionaries based on $5 per member or $2,500 per congregation. Although there were churches supporting missionaries at their currently yearly level of membership, calculation was done on the printed statistics from the previous year’s charge conference reports. The intent was to create a closer and more meaningful relationship between local congregations and missionaries. The reality of potential membership discrepancy made it difficult to calculate which churches qualified as donating $5 per member.
The following is the new Five Star Giving categories for 2015. The full information will be posted to the conference website mid-December. Beginning January of next year, this category will simply require donation to missionary salary support and the requirement to be in Covenant Relationship will no longer be in effect.
Two other noticeable changes combine both donations to UMCOR and General Advances into one category. A completely new category requires participation in at least three general church offerings throughout the year.
Below are the new Five Star Categories for 2015: