Friday, August 11, 2017

Cooperative Program Dog Days of Summer Round-Up

Here are a few items that have accumulated regarding our venerable Cooperative Program.

CP receipts by the Executive Committee through July are up. About $1.9 million more than for the same period last fiscal year. With two months to go in the fiscal year it’s almost certain that the Executive Committee will be able to show an increase in CP receipts. This figure only includes CP received in Nashville. The Executive Committee also reports receipts of designated funds (mostly Lottie and Annie). This figure is down from last year about $13.8 million. Most of the decline is due to last year’s big jump in Lottle Moon receipts.

CP expenses for the annual meeting are down substantially.    It costs a bunch of CP dollars to put on our annual meeting. Our Executive Committee spends only about 1/6 of what they used to spend on this. Give them high praise and credit for this. You can read the article and chase down exactly what caused such a steep decline. It looks like both increased revenue and decreased expenses. No one is more efficient in spending CP dollars than Frank Page, seems to me.

Executive Committee adds some “CP Catalysts”     The EC has engaged (er, employed on some remunerative basis?) a quartet of pastors to promote the CP among younger pastors. Check the article and photos, not a gray hair among these guys. BP can be forgiven for reporting that these guys will be “casting vision” for the CP. I hate the cliche. The state conventions are the primary promoters of the CP but there is nothing wrong with the EC trying to fill in some holes here. They’ve got the money, see above.

SB reporter says we should consider a “global” CP.  OK, I’m intrigued. The CP is already global but Seth Brown, Content Editor for The Biblical Recorder the NC state convention paper, lists 10 reasons to consider a “global CP” in regard to membership in the SBC. Seems some international churches are making CP gifts through SBC state conventions but cannot have messengers to the SBC annual meeting. There are no SBC churches outside of the United States (territories, protectorates, etc. also?). I can’t for the life of me think how an international church could be in any country that doesn’t have more needs than the US. I’m not seeing the problem here, Seth.

Disaster relief crews are working in different places. BP has a story, DR chainsaw units deploy after Tulsa tornadoes. I get that headline space is scarce but “DR chainsaw”? Sounds like a slasher horror movie. I love the DR work and have done a bit of it. It is often touted at the top of any “where your CP dollars go” talks. Some clever soul should be able to quantify this. DR is a very minor expense for state conventions.

The South Carolina Baptist Convention tried an early retirement incentive for employees. The idea was to pare down staff and get CP expenses reduced to a more manageable level. It didn’t work with a net loss of personnel of only one. Most state conventions have had to make very difficult decisions and the SC CEO said they were ready for all possibilities. It’s not like they can raise additional revenue by telling churches to send more money. They have a very nice HQ building that is worth a chunk of change, though.

Baptist Global Response, a non-CP funded, non-SBC entity relief organization is celebrating its tenth birthday. BGR “heartily endorses” the CP. It seems natural that many who read this will wonder exactly how this fits, since BGR receives funds from Southern Baptist churches and individuals. You can learn more here and here. Read those before starting a grumble-fest.

The Florida Baptist Witness, the state paper for Florida Baptists, goes kaput as an “cooperating ministry” of the Florida Baptist State Convention. For now, though, it stays as a “ministry within the Florida Baptist Convention organization” although only digitally. Confused? So am I. I think this is the same as what Georgia did with The Christian Index. The board of trustees (or directors) ceases to operate. The FBW continues as a department of the state convention. If someone figured out what it cost per issue in CP dollars to continue mailing physical papers to declining subscribers the move would make perfect sense. Count me, though, as one who misses holding a physical paper in his hands and getting a little ink residue on my digits. No ink on anyone’s digits digitally, though.

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I don’t care what the astronomical experts say about the origin and meaning of “dog days.” I’m sticking with my image of a mangy dog flopped in the cool shade under the front porch of a cracker box, deep south domicile and too lazy in the oppressive heat and humidity to do much other than offer a few desultory wags of his tail when the beloved master walks by.



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