Our 2013 Annual Report
Cover photo of Burrage Library at Olivet College courtesy of Bruce Snyder
A Letter from Congregational Foundation President
Dear Friends of the Congregational Way,
As the outgoing President of the Congregational Foundation, it is my honor to be a
part of bringing you this, the first Annual Report, on behalf of the partnership between
the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches and the Foundation.
We hope that you find this Annual Report not only informational, but you also enjoy
seeing how the work of the Association and the role of the Foundation assist in
building and sustaining our Congregational Way. Since its founding ten years ago,
the Congregational Foundation has worked quietly to begin building a plan for the
financial stability of the Association and all the works it performs. 2014 is our year to
emerge as the major fundraising arm for the Association, and we look forward to new
and creative ways to engage our membership and the people that they serve.
We are proud that 2013’s Christmastide Shared Ministries
Appeal experienced a nearly 30% growth over the previous
year. This means that our donors understand the value
of the Shared Ministries Fund, and unrestricted giving,
in the delivery of the Association’s services. In addition
to the annual appeal, we are proud to offer numerous
opportunities for our donors to help in their desire to
advance the Congregational Way through planned giving
opportunities, including the 1620 Society, annuities and
As the Foundation carries out its robust development plans,
we look forward to working with you in completing our
mission of long-term financial stability for the Association.
James A. Hopkins
Jim Hopkins is the outgoing President of The Congregational Foundation, which aims to manage assets in accordance
to donor wishes and seek new opportunities to raise funds for the vital work of the NACCC. A lifelong member
of Riverpoint Congregational Church in West Warwick, Rhode Island, Jim has thirty-five years of experience in
manufacturing operations and is a veteran board member and trustee of numerous nonprofit organizations.
From Our Interim Executive Secretary
What an exciting time to be a part of the National Association of Congregational
Christian Churches and Congregational Foundation leadership team!
2013 helped clear the way for 2014 to be a significant year of growth and change for
both of our organizations. The Association will be busy completing our organizational
restructuring. With continued expansion of our services through the task teams of our
new ministry councils, we are striving to improve and strengthen our communication
with member churches. The summer will also bring the launch of our new website
design, as well as our 60th Annual Meeting & Conference, held June 28-July 1 in
Capitalizing on growing interest and clearer
communication, a renewed NACCC paves the way for
the Congregational Foundation to build on the energy
and enthusiasm of a revitalized Association, so 2014
will be a year of intense learning and activity. We are
constructing the framework for a development and
marketing plan that will help us move toward greater
financial stability. We are also employing more robust
fundraising strategies to complement the spirit of our
United by a common mission, both organizations look forward to consolidating
efforts and focusing on creating a shared message, a brand identity if you will, for our
particular enactment of the Congregational Way. Thank you for sharing with me in
this great new day and time in our Association’s history!
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Casey vanderBent
Interim Executive Secretary
National Association of Congregational Christian Churches
Interim Executive Director
Rev. Casey vanderBent has served as the NACCC’s Interim Executive Secretary since April 2013. Rev. vanderBent
received his Bachelor’s at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls and his Masters of Divinity in 2000 from United
Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Rev. vanderBent is a graduate of the Congregational Foundation for
Theological Studies and served NACCC churches in Minnesota prior to his appointment to the NACCC position.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONGREGATIONAL
ADVANCING THE CONGREGATIONAL WAY
MISSION & OUTREACH
SHARED MINISTRIES FUND
The Shared Ministries Fund
serves as the Annual Fund
for the Association and it
helps pay for operations,
staffing and facilities.
1. Member Churches contributed $306,032 toward
NACCC's operations in 2013
2. Individual donors contributed $30,203 toward Shared
Ministries in 2013
3. The average giving church contributed $7.90 per
Every Dollar Given to
Missions…Goes to Missions!
The Missions and Outreach
Council strives to select
projects that are distinctively
Christian and Congregational.
1. Donors gave more than $27,000 in disaster relief
2. NACCC collected more than $24,000 in General
3. 42 different missions received aid from NACCC and
its member churches and volunteers in 2013
NACCC'S 2013 MEMBER CHURCHES
For nearly 60 years, the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches has been helping
light the Congregational Way. Here is 2013 by the numbers.
Center for Congregational Leadership
A testimonial by Rev. Mary Biedron
It is out of passion to explore my personal faith and professional desire to seek ways to engage those whom I
am privileged to minister, that I sought out the Center for Congregational Leadership (CCL). This ministry of the
National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, administers educational programming for seminarians
and all of us who serve our churches as lay ministers or leaders.
My congregation and I have found the Center for Congregational
Leadership to be an effective and unique resource in the following ways:
Seminars and Webinars: Members of North Church have attended CCL
seminars on stewardship and developing an online presence for the church.
The participants found the events and the follow-up resources outstanding.
Congregational History and Polity: Our Confirmands, as well as a group of
interested adults, are studying Congregationalism using the Online Polity
Curriculum. This resource promotes understanding of the tradition and its
expression in the local church.
Research Resources: As a Doctor of Ministry student, I have used the materials that the Center has
catalogued and made available online. Additionally, the library contains a treasure of rare books on
Congregationalism that are unavailable elsewhere.
Special Programs: The CCL Director and support staff have been responsive to requests for information and
networking and put together an excellent seminar on church government and organization for churches in
our regional Association.
Drawing upon the strong historic Congregational value of "an educated clergy and a literate laity" I wholeheartedly
encourage member churches of the Association and their congregations to support, and utilize, this important
repository of knowledge and learning.
Rev. Mary E. Biedron has been the Senior Minister at North Congregational Church in Farmington Hills, MI since 2011. She is a CFTS
graduate currently working on her Doctorate of Ministry. Mary is married to Glenn Biedron; they have three daughters.
CENTER FOR CONGREGATIONAL LEADERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS
By REV. DR. D. ELIZABETH MAURO
2013 marks the fifth year anniversary of the Center for Congregational Leadership. Focused on initiatives
for leadership development for clergy and laity and service to member churches, 2013 has been a banner
year. Our new Church Member Handbook helps churches better engage their
relationship with the NACCC and its benefits. An online Congregational History
and Polity class has been launched and is enrolling students. Work continues on
the digital library, giving access to documents of Congregational interest. We
continue to hold seminars and webcast them for coast-to-coast participation; we
coordinate advising services for churches, including strategic planning, conflict
management, and pastoral searches. Located on the campus of and in partnership
with Olivet College, the Center represents the college’s founding heritage and is
a resource to the college. Praying for God’s continued blessing, I look forward
to the next five years as we grow and thrive on behalf of our member churches.
Rev. Dr. Betsey Mauro is the Dean of the Center for Congregational Leadership at Olivet College. She received her Master of Divinity degree
from Earlham School of Religion and her Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Throughout her ministry, Betsey has
been active in Hospice, as both a chaplain and advisor. Dr. Mauro is married to Paul Smith; they have one daughter.
Magazine of the Congregational Way
Six years from now, in 2020, we will celebrate 400 years of Congregationalism in America.
I’m pleased that The Congregationalist is part of the effort to help us “Build on a Rock”
as we share our way of church life in the future. To appreciate the impact of our ageless
magazine, you need look no further than sample contents of recent issues:
• A pictorial essay on the amazing 40-year project of the
Minneapolis “Needlers” who developed a cycle of four
huge seasonal tapestries to hang in their church’s guild
hall ( March 2013 ).
• A practical summary of how, and why, churches should do
employee evaluations, by Barry Szymanski ( June 2013 ).
• Comprehensive coverage of the NACCC’s Annual
Meeting and Conference at Orlando and the Quadrennial
International Congregational Fellowship meeting in
London ( September 2013 ).
• A ground-breaking article by Richard J. Boles on
membership by African-Americans of the Colonial period—
Phillis Wheatley, Newport Gardner, and many others—
in predominantly white Congregational churches; and
a thoughtful account of the Congregational Library’s work preserving the “hidden
histories” of our churches, by Peggy Bendroth ( December 2013 ).
• Three perspectives on pastoral retirement and church transitions, from Randy Hase,
David Kaiser-Cross, and Mark Jensen ( March 2014 ).
• Plus the latest news from our fellowship of churches and NACCC missions, and a wealth
of other useful information.
The Congregationalist is your magazine, the “kitchen table”
of the Congregational Way—the kind of magazine that could
be published only by Christians who care deeply about Faith,
Freedom, and Fellowship.
Thank you for your support.
Larry Sommers is a member of Heritage Congregational Church in Madison,
WI since 1980. A retired communications specialist, he has been editor
of The Congregationalist since 2009. His wife, Joelle Nelson Sommers, is a
A Congregationalist since 1958, Ms. Sherry Glab has been affiliated with the
National Association of Congregational Christian Churches for more than
40 years. A loyal contributor to the Shared Ministries Fund, the Association’s
Annual Fund, she also sits on the Editor’s Round Table, a leadership giving society
for The Congregationalist, and she is member of the 1620 Society – a planned giving
society within the Congregational Foundation.
First inspired to become more active within regional and national organizations while a
member of St. Paul’s Congregational Church in Claremont, California, Sherry Glab has been
active within the CAL-WEST regional association, serving currently as the Parliamentarian,
and nationally she has been the Moderator and an Executive Committee member for the
Currently, Ms. Glab attends Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona, CA.
Why are the works of the Association important to you?
Sherry: Without it we (my church) would seem so isolated. Even though many of our
members will not serve, or even attend meetings, I believe they still want us to be a part of
something larger than the local church.
What, in your opinion, is the most important work of the Association?
Sherry : The relationship with other churches
in the different regions of the country.
As a member of the 1620 Society, what
message would you share with others
regarding the importance of planned
Sherry: I am still pretty new at this, but it is
a real feeling of satisfaction to give back to
an organization which has done many good
things for me. I do hope we can financially
get set on the right path and I hope this is
one way to help.
The Association and Foundation are most grateful to Ms. Glab for her generosity of
time, talent, spirit and treasure to help sustain our organization and mission to help
advance and illuminate the Congregational Way.
Congregational Foundation Highlights
• The Foundation’s investment balance is at $3.5 million, up from $2.5 million at the end
of March 2013. (Unaudited number provided as of March 31, 2014)
• For the second year in a row, contributions to the Shared Ministries Fund from
member churches exceed the $300,000 level; this is first time since the 2006-07 fiscal
year that has happened!
• Individual giving in 2013 exceeded budgeted expectations by more than 14%.
• There was a $3,000 increase in the annual Christmas appeal for unrestricted funds.
2014 to date...
The Foundation is honored to be able to manage and administer the planned gifts of its
generous donors in accordance with their wishes. The Grants and Awards Committee recently
awarded scholarships and grants on behalf of two of our long standing funds - the Providence
Fund and the John Calvin Richard Fund. Congratulations to this year’s recipients.
The Providence Fund exists to help Active Member Churches of the NACCC in sending a
delegate to the Annual Meeting and Conference.
Atkinson Congregational Church—Atkinson, IL $500
Bear Creek Congregational Church—Robbins, NC $500
First Congregational Church—Elkader, IA $500
Gahanna Community Congregational Church—Gahanna, OH $500
St. John’s Congregational Church—Garber, IA $300
John Calvin Richard Fund
The John Calvin Richard Fund was established by his family as a loving and living memorial. Since
his love for music and theater performance was a large part of his life, this annual grant is given
to a NACCC Active Member Church of 200 members, or less, that is planning a fine or
performing arts event in their church.
Sebago Lake Congregational Church—Standish, ME $500
(First Annual Sebago Lake Art and Music Spectacular – June 28, 2014)
A gift to the Congregational Foundation will ensure the ongoing
programming and future financial stability of the National Association
of Congregational Christian Churches for their members. Planned
giving options, like the ones listed below, could allow you to make a
generous gift to the Foundation while improving your tax position.
GIFTS OF CASH
Your cash donation can have an immediate impact on the ability of the
Foundation to aid in the Association’s works.
GIFTS OF REMEMBRANCE
A legacy gift will ensure that a significant event, or person, will live
on through the works of the Association.
You can remember the Foundation in your will by simply incorporating
a simple statement of intent to gift a portion of your estate to the
Foundation for either unrestricted or restricted use.
An annuity is a popular option to make a significant gift to the
Foundation through the exchange of a security for a guaranteed fixed
income for the remainder of your life.
GIFTS OF INSURANCE
Make the Foundation a beneficiary of one of your policies and help
We can’t all leave treasure, but we can leave a LEGACY.
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