Terre Haute congregation
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Terre Haute United congregation wants to help the home office of the United Church of God, an International Association, move to Ohio as soon as possible. So the board of directors here voted unanimously Sept. 13 to pledge $10,000or half the church's savings accountto help assist with moving expenses and is inviting other brethren who would like to help to get on the bandwagon.
To make it easy to help out, Terre Haute is making use of the tried and true public-television technique of a pledge drive. Pledge now and pay later to help pave the way from Arcadia, Calif., to Cincinnati.
An elder here, Jeff Osborn, got the ball rolling after someone from another United congregation discovered Terre Haute is locally incorporated and can issue receipts for tax-deductible contributions from U.S. residents.
"This person," Mr. Osborn said, "asked if I would be willing to set up a home-office-relocation fund."
Mr. Osborn discussed it with his pastor, Victor Kubik, who told him that United's council of elders was already in the process of passing a resolution to do the same thing out of the home office in California.
"So we took it to our local board," said Mr. Osborn, "and decided that it would be more supportive of the home office not to create a redundant effort."
As time passed and the council, chaired by Bob Dick of Kirkland, Wash., said it wanted to complete the move by June of next year, the Terre Haute brethren once again began to figure out ways to get involved.
"Our solution of collecting pledges was a complementary effort rather than a redundant one," Mr. Osborn said. "We're not going to collect money, but the promise of the money. Our congregation, to put our money where our mouth is, has pledged $10,000 out of its savings and has set that money aside. The $10,000 already exists."
The Terre Haute board did attach a string, however. "The move must take place before the Feast of Tabernacles of 1998," said Mr. Osborn.
"The concept of making a pledge and then offering to collect pledges from other individuals and congregations seemed to offer the perfect complement to the efforts of the home office. There is no duplication of effort, since the pledges won't even be collected until there are adequate funds for making the move."
Once people-individuals or congregations-make pledges, it is important to follow through on them, said Mr. Osborn, because the money will be counted on.
The brethren here have been involved in other fund-raising projects, including helping raise money to help 200 Sabbatarians living in Tajikistan evacuate to Ukraine because of a civil war being fought in their homeland.
"Our hope," said the Terre Haute elder, "is that this additional effort [to move the office] will be an encouragement to the council of elders. A number on the council have stated they're really determined to see this move happen by 1998, and we're hoping that this additional grassroots effort will create the kind of groundswell that we're going to need to generate the funds to make the move."
The pledges that come in to Terre Haute will not be collected until spring of 1998, which is also when Mr. Osborn hopes the entire $350,000 needed to move the office will be in place.
Arcadia has already collected some $91,000 for the move. Mr. Osborn hopes that effort goes well and that the combined efforts of the home office and the Terre Haute congregation will total the necessary amount by next spring.
The office move was authorized by the general conference of elders at its third meeting, in March of this year. Elders meeting in Louisville, Ky., voted 190-170 to transfer home-office operations from Arcadia to Cincinnati.
People who would rather send money now may mail it to the home office at P.O. Box 661780, Arcadia, Calif. 91066. Donations should be marked "Restricted for home-office relocation."
Or pledgers may write the United Church of God at P.O. Box 476, Greencastle, Ind. 46135. They are welcome to use an official form (such as the one above) or just send a letter. Mr. Osborn said he will ask The Journal to run periodic updates, probably in "Notes and Quotes," about the pledge drive.
The congregation here had saved up $20,000 over two years with the intent of constructing a building to meet in, but decided to put up half of that for the Cincinnati move. So far, besides the $10,000, a total of about $9,215 has come in as a result of the effort.
Mr. Osborn, who with his wife, Joan, has a daughter, Teri, 15, and a son, Jake, 11, said everyone is welcome to visit and fellowship with the congregation of about 50 members, which meets in the Senior Citizens' Hall in Terre Haute at 2:30 p.m. each Sabbath.
After this article was written, Mr. Osborn learned that another United Church of God congregation, the one in Albuquerque, is also accepting pledges for the relocation fund.
The Albuquerque oversight committee voted unanimously to accepted pledges and contributions for the home-office relocation. When the pledges are fulfilled, they can issue receipts for donations that are tax-deductible in the United States.
Write Home Office Relocation Fund, United Church of God Albuquerque, 10131 Coors Rd. NW, Suite 1-2-713, Albuquerque, N.M. 87114.
Counting the pledges at Terre Haute and Albuquerque, the total to date is $19,315.
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