Legacy Fund Annual Report 2015

May 28, 2015

Submitted by the Rev. C. Dennis Shaw
Legacy Committee Convener (without vote)

The Legacy Fund Standing Committee (LFSC or Committee) was formed by the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference (RMC) in 2011 to advise and make recommendations to the RMC Board of Trustees on matters related to the disposition of discontinued or abandoned local church properties as well as other assets as designated by the Trustees. The intent of the Legacy Fund is to provide critical funding for projects and encourage ministries that will make a difference and enhance vital congregations through new professions of faith, increased worship attendance, enhanced small group development, or assist the local church to be in active mission outreach to the local community and world.

It is our hope that high impact, innovative, and creative ministries are encouraged as a result of this fund. Measurable results are expected in a timely manner. Legacy Fund grants are by definition for projects that equal or exceed $10,000 in their scope. Regular reporting on the project is an expectation of the Committee.

The voting members of the Committee are representatives of the RMC Board of Trustees, Council on Finance and Administration, New Church Development, Appointed Cabinet, and Director of Mission and Ministry. There is a Convener appointed by the Trustees who facilitates the efforts but is without vote.

The Committee operates in concert with New Church Development by augmenting program and other funding required by new local churches. For example, the new local churches at Elizabeth, Colorado and in Frederick, Colorado (ICON) have been given assistance in the procurement of audio visual equipment and meeting space.

In addition, the Conference Board of Discipleship is a recipient of a grant they then use for smaller, more modest projects. We anticipate this continuing.

The Committee makes recommendations to the Trustees and has no authority to take action without Trustee approval. The most recent round of grant requests is pending approval by the Trustees and this page will be updated as soon as those recommendations in totality are approved.

In the nearly five years of providing these grants, the following logic appears to be solidifying in the actions of the Committee.

  • Cost sharing is an expectation. Requests that expect the Legacy Fund to pay 100% for any project are generally not approved. Cost sharing could be in terms of other partners or the local church itself. Other options are of course possible.
  • How the project will continue to be funded after the Legacy Fund resources are expended is an important consideration within the process.
  • A new demographic, not currently touched by the local church is important to the funding.
  • Aging infrastructure that is needed to sustain an existing congregation and its current demographic has not generally been successful in the procurement of a grant.
  • Building accessibility, asbestos abatement, parking lot maintenance, parsonage repair, and air conditioning have consistently not been approved.
  • Audio-Visual modernization for existing congregation is generally a “no” but this expense to help a new local church is generally a “yes.”
  • The payment by the local church of their connectional responsibilities is important. A church that is in arrears for building insurance and the pastor’s health and retirement benefits is not a strong candidate for a grant. Some exceptions have been made here on a case by case basis, but generally delinquency in these accounts is seen as an indicator of lack of vitality. A church does not have to be meeting 100% of their apportionment obligation but the apportionment payment is reviewed on all legacy grants.

The Committee plans to have two windows a year, given funds availability, where churches and conference agencies are invited to apply for grants.

  • The next window will open on July 1, 2015 and will close on September 15, 2015. To give sufficient time for the Legacy Standing Committee’s review and meetings to be held by it and the Trustees, we do ask that on that window there be no expectation of funds being disbursed on any of these approved grants until January 1, 2016 at the earliest.
  • We expect to provide a comprehensive report on the first 2015 grant window in August, 2015.
  • We expect our future windows to be January 1 to March 15 and July 1 to September 15. This will allow the Legacy Standing Committee time for review and to brief and explain the recommendations to the Trustees. We expect with such a pattern of open windows and meetings for funds to start their distribution in July and January respectively.