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Convener's Corner — December 2012

.....From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much will be asked.” Luke 12:48

And so it is with Minnesota Via de Cristo. We are truly a blessed ministry and we have been given much. Since Via de Cristo began in Minnesota in the early 1980’s nearly 17,000 individuals have joined our Via de Cristo journey that starts by being invited to a weekend retreat. We truly have been given much and we get fed more each day as we live our Via de Cristo. These 17,000 weekenders come from more than 575 weekends. Imagine the lives that have been touched and renewed because of Via de Cristo. Yes, we truly are a blessed ministry.

We have just finished celebrating Thanksgiving – a time for reflection on all that we have. It is no different with your Via de Cristo Council. We continually give thanks for those that answer the call to support this ministry. That support comes in many different ways including prayer, serving on a weekend team, sponsoring a weekender, providing palanca for a weekend, or giving a financial gift. I want to take a few minutes to talk about the financial condition of Minnesota Via de Cristo. The annual budget for our ministry is $130,000 per year and our budget is set each year to break even. We fund our expenses through weekend sponsoring, JOG, contributions through United Way and Thrivent Choice, and the Annual Appeal. Approximately 62% of our income is received from the weekends we hold. The rest of the money must come from these other sources. We are in the midst of the Annual Appeal. Our intention is to raise $45,000, or 35% of our needed income, from the Annual Appeal. We are off to a good start with this year’s Appeal and the Council is very thankful for the gifts that we have received so far. To continue to thrive as a ministry, it is important that we, as a 4th Day Community, continue to support Via de Cristo through the resources we have available to us including our financial resources. The Council takes Luke 12:48 very seriously. We know that you have entrusted us with running an efficient ministry and we hold ourselves accountable to the 4th Day to do so.

$130,000 may seem like a lot of money for a mostly volunteer ministry. So, you may ask, “Where does the money go?” 35% of our expenses go to holding our weekends; 50% for administration including supplies, maintaining our trailers, insurance, salaries, etc.; and the remaining 15% for outreach and to support the National Lutheran Secretariat. I wanted to share this information with the 4th Day because we received a letter in response to the Annual Appeal questioning how the money that is given to Via de Cristo is used. As I stated previously, our ministry is run very efficiently as we do not have a large reserve balance but rather we use the monies that are entrusted to us to support our mission.

If you are interested in learning more about our finances, the Minnesota Via de Cristo website includes the Council meeting minutes that include discussion of the ministry’s finances. Also, all Council meetings are open to any member of the 4th Day to attend and ask questions of the Council. Last, each and every member of the Council would be happy to discuss the Council’s finances with anyone that desires. We are an open organizations when it comes to the finances.

We are a blessed ministry, no doubt. We know that much will be asked of us because much has been given to us. I am hopeful that each of you had a blessed Thanksgiving!

Merry Christmas!

Bob Cedergren
Minnesota Via de Cristo Convener

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