The mutual relationship called Covenant calls for the church to participate in the work of a missionary or deaconess through financial and prayer support and for that mission worker to share with the church firsthand experiences in mission. When a covenant is established, missionaries covenant to communicate with supporting congregations by letter at least three times per year about the ongoing ministries, needs, progress, and stories of their places of assignment.
The Covenant Relationship Program is one of three financial support bases for United Methodist mission personnel commissioned by the General Board of Global Ministries. Primary importance is the World Service Fund to which congregations contribute through their apportionments. Second is the undesignated Pledge to Mission of local United Methodist Women’s units. The third base of support is second-mile giving through the Covenant Relationship Program of the Advance for Christ and His Church.
Special projects related to missionaries and their work are supported as an “extra”, beyond the Covenant Relationship.
Every church in every place is encouraged to live out the disciple making vision of the South Georgia Conference by faithfully entering into a covenant relationship with a missionary commissioned and sent by the United Methodist Church on our behalf.
Contact your Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, the Advance Field Representative in your jurisdiction, or the Covenant Relationship Office at the General Board of Global Ministries (www.gbgm-umc.org) for an application and suggestions of mission personnel who need financial support.
"There may be a Conference Advance program, established and carried out in the same spirit of partnership as the general Advance program. A Conference Advance Special gift is one made to a Conference Advance Special project within the bounds of the Annual Conference upon recommendation by the Conference Board of Global Ministries or its equivalent structure and consistent with the goals of The Advance.” (The Book of Discipline, 2016, Par. 655.1)
Churches and individuals shall give priority to the support of the World Service and Conference Benevolences and other apportioned funds. Advance giving shall be voluntary and in addition to support of apportioned funds. (The Book of Discipline, 2016, Par. 819.5).
1. Projects shall conform with the Disciplinary provisions for Conference Advance Specials.
2. Projects seeking approval shall be located within the bounds of the Annual Conference or episcopal area.
3. Projects seeking approval should be in accord with the highest priorities of the Annual Conference's mission ministries and consistent with the goals of the Advance.
4. Projects shall be able to demonstrate an adequacy of the following:
c. Funding Plan (Advance Special giving is voluntary in nature. It is expected that a project not be entirely dependent upon such giving, but a reasonable amount of financial support should be cultivated from other sources, including persons participating in the program.)
5. Conference Advance Special projects shall demonstrate an on-going liaison relationship with a conference missional agency, or the General Board of Global Ministries on Conference request, to assure the project maintains consistency with the Conference Advance Special criteria.
6. Ecumenical projects shall have United Methodist representation on the governing board to be eligible for consideration as a Conference Advance Special.
7. A financial statement of 12 months activity by the project shall be provided upon request by the Conference Outreach Team (or its equivalent structure) at the time of application. If the project has not been in operation 12 months or has not begun at the time of application, a projected budget for 12 months may be requested.
8. An annual request for initiation of, or continuation of, a volunteer project beyond the bounds of the South Georgia Episcopal Area shall be required from the appropriate judicatory office in the designated area.
B. APPLICATION PROCESS
1. Conference Advance Special applications may be submitted by any of the following: local church, District Board of Missions (or equivalent agency), District Connectional Ministries Council or Conference Connectional Ministries.
2. An ecumenical project shall submit its application in consultation with the Superintendent of the district in which it resides, the United Methodist representation on its governing board and any appropriate agency.
3. The steps leading to approval include the following:
a. The application should be submitted to the Conference Secretary of Global Ministries by January 31.
b. The application will be presented to the full Conference Outreach Team (or equivalent agency) in its Spring meeting or at such time as seems practical. In special circumstances the Executive Committee of the Conference Outreach Team (or its equivalent structure), on recommendation of the Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, may act on an application prior to Annual Conference.
c. Projects receiving the recommendation of the Conference Outreach Team (or equivalent structure) are printed in the Annual Conference Book of Recommendations and submitted to the Annual Conference for its approval. Approved projects are then listed in the Annual Conference Journal.
May be obtained from the Conference Secretary of Global Ministries (PO Box 20408; St. Simons Island, GA 31522-0008).
1. Approval of a project should indicate a reasonable expectation of financial support from congregations and individuals within the Annual Conference. By approval, the Annual Conference assumes a responsibility to assure that a Conference agency or other group will develop communication and cultivation to achieve support.
2. Projects shall provide the Conference Outreach Team (or equivalent structure) with a financial statement upon request.
3. After approval, Conference Advance Specials should be properly identified by the code number assigned by the Conference Treasurer's office and used in all publications and publicity, including the Annual Conference Journal and remittance forms.
E. RENEWAL FOR CONTINUATION
1. All projects shall be reviewed for approval annually, following the applicable steps in Section B.
2. As of January 1, 2009, the Advance Special status number(s) will be immediately discontinued if the Advance Special Renewal Form is not submitted on an annual basis by the January 31 deadline each year.
F. DISTRICT ADVANCE SPECIALS
“With the approval of the Annual Conference, a district within the conference may authorize and promote Advance Specials for church extension and missionary needs within the district...” (The Book of Discipline, 2008, Par. 654.4)
1. The proposed project needs to be located within the bounds of the District.
2. The proposed project must be recommended to the Annual Conference for approval.
3. The District Board of Missions may inform the Conference Secretary of Global Ministries by following the process listed in Sections A and B for Conference Advance Specials. All projects submitted in this manner will be approved as Conference Advance Specials.
G. APPROVAL of ADVANCE SPECIALS FOR EMERGENCY REASONS
Contact: Conference Secretary of Global Ministries (PO Box 20408; St. Simons Island, GA 31522-0008; Phone: (912) 638-8626 or 1-888-266-7642).
Mrs. Allison Lindsey
Conference Secretary of Global Ministries