You, Too, Can Sponsor a Delegate!
By Carl Stagner
For sixty delegates—each representing countries around the globe in which the Church of God has a presence—your support can make a world of a difference! Inadequate funds would prevent some countries from sending a delegate to the Global Gathering in 2013. But your gifts can cause this insurmountable obstacle to crumble. Several sponsors have already committed to covering a delegate’s expenses of travel, lodging, and food. You, too, can sponsor a delegate to the Global Gathering.
Or your church can sponsor a delegate. If sponsorship is too steep for your church’s budget alone, you can partner with other churches to make it possible. A number of flexible options are available so that you can give a delegate the chance to join us, in person, for this experience of a lifetime. Six Church of God congregations recently explained why they have committed ministry dollars to enable a delegate to participate in the Global Gathering in 2013.
“The Lord has blessed the Hillview congregation with a number of positive past experiences as we hosted choirs, missionaries, and leaders from other countries as they traveled through Kansas,” Pastor Dexter White (Kansas City, Kansas) explains. “We thought it well not only to support bringing a delegate to the Global Gathering but to also host that delegate, Byrum Makokha, in Kansas City.” Delegate sponsors have the option—only available for a limited time—to invite delegates to make a guest appearance at their church before or after the Global Gathering. “We know that we will be blessed by God because of our willingness to serve.”
“We support a number of Living Link missionaries,” Mark Shaner, pastor of student ministries and missions at East Side Church of God in Anderson, Indiana, explains. “But from Côte d’Ivoire, Larry and LeAnn Sellers are our staff missionaries. East Side Church of God has chosen to sponsor delegates from two countries—Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Sponsorship is our way to partner with the Global Gathering, but it also helps us in our mission to connect more deeply…to become more intricately involved…with a specific part of the world.”
Pastors’ Fellowship, based in Winchester, Kentucky, has decided to sponsor Filiberto Irola Calderon, of Argentina. “Every now and then, Pastor’s Fellowship is given an opportunity to live out the message of unity that is so prominent in the history of the Church of God reformation movement,” Gerald Rudd, steering committee chairman, explains. “The Global Gathering is one such instance. It would seem that we could do no less than to help a brother or sister from Argentina to have the means to be there as well.”
Many churches are, by themselves, not financially able to sponsor a delegate. But as three Midwest congregations are proving, cosponsorship is something all congregations can do. The pastors of Harvest Point Church of God in Lordstown, Ohio; Mt. Haley Church of God in Midland, Michigan; and Orchard View Church of God in Grand Rapids, Michigan, have led their churches to come together to support one delegate—Brother Sudipta Nanda from India. “Jonathan, David, and I are dear friends, and were sitting together at the NAC General Assembly,” Shannon New-Spangler explains. “We all wanted to participate, but we all pastor smaller congregations. It just sort of came out of our personal connection that maybe we could work together.” Shannon New-Spangler, Jonathan Frymire, and David Aukerman are younger pastors who are energized by the opportunity to connect with their delegate. “We all feel very strongly about the importance of networking and interconnectedness as part of ministry,” Shannon explains. “We also think that coming together at the Global Gathering is an important connection for ministers and leaders in other countries who might not otherwise have any opportunity for coming together as the church.”
Would you or your congregation be willing to sponsor a delegate to the 2013 Global Gathering? A gift of $3,000 will cover their expenses of travel, lodging, and food. Please contact Dewayne Repass (DRepass@chog.org or 800-848-2464, ext. 2121) or Carl Stagner (CStagner@chog.org or 800-848-2464, ext. 2113) to select the delegate or country of your choice and discuss giving options. To view a list of delegates in need of sponsorship, click here. For more giving options, registration information, and downloadable promotional materials, visit www.chog.org/globalgathering.