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Rainbow Covenant Book Gets Revamp

Posted: February 26 2021 at 02:28 PM
Author: Diane Strzelecki, NIC Communications Specialist

Rev Mission Links Cover

The Conference Board of Global Ministries (CBGM) announces the release of a new conference mission-giving book called “Mission Links: Living the Beatitudes” which replaces the Rainbow Covenant book. Mission Links is the product of more than 12 months of prayerful, reflective work for the committee, which sought to update and refresh the book’s design and content while linking connectional giving to scripture.

Mission Links is scheduled for release in digital format mid-March.

Jesus’ blessings during his Sermon on the Mount as recounted in Matthew 5, known as the beatitudes, guided the new book’s organization and structure. In verses 1-12, Jesus offers a description of the various forms human goodness can take within the eight categories of the beatitudes. The projects and ministries described in Mission Links are matched with one or more beatitudes that allow the church to “advance” the cause of Christ and work for the public good. CBGM developed icons representing the beatitude “categories” and tagged each project or ministry with one or more icons to highlight its connection to Jesus’ blessings.

Committee members were assigned projects or ministries to contact for updates and media to help tell their story. While the committee revamped the booklet’s look and feel, they note that NIC’s commitment to global and local projects and people remains the same.

“The name and setup are different, but we have kept those missions that are still in operation,” said Kathy Carey, CBGM member. “Hopefully, this new format will draw attention to the appropriate mission the church or individuals want to support.”

The Rev. Shirley Pulgar-Hughes, Conference Secretary on Global Ministries, is enthusiastic about the new book. “The NIC Board of Global Ministries, passionate about its mission, has been wonderfully creative and busy, envisioning and reimagining our Connectional Giving Book, Rainbow Covenant,” she said. “Through months of hard work we have brought into fruition a new format that will enable the achievement of the vision and mission of Global Ministries with greater impact as we allow local churches to navigate successfully through a simpler book format.”

David Quinn, NIC Apportionments Administrator, notes that the book’s organization of projects under “Global Advances,” “US-Based” and “NIC Districts” allows churches or individuals to easily and quickly select projects that resonate with them and support the church over and beyond their apportionments.

“The Rainbow Covenant format has done an amazing job at ensuring that projects received adequate support during a time when the world needed it most,” Quinn said. “As much as we loved Rainbow Covenant and its color bands, it was time to refresh the look while looking ahead.”

Carey agrees that the new format is designed to support thoughtful connectional giving. “I think it makes it easier both for churches and individual UMC members who like to support a mission, maybe for an honorarium or in memory of someone,” she said.

Even with the revamp, Quinn says that the process for donations remains the same. The appropriate fund number(s) should be noted in the check memo line and checks should be sent to PO Box 5656, Carol Stream IL 60197-5646.

“Mission Giving will make it more transparent to local churches to see where their money is going,” Quinn added.

Mission Links is designed to educate local church congregations, mission committees or small groups about apportioned funds through connectional giving, help them give to Advances in a specific category, and deepen their knowledge of the missionaries our Annual Conference supports. CBGM members hope that Mission Links will deepen relationships between churches and the causes they support.

There is also an opportunity to structure giving around the conference goals, as many projects or ministries have an underlying commitment to growing and reaching new disciples of Jesus Christ, living out the conviction that racism is incompatible with Christian teaching, and increasing the number of highly vital congregations. Churches may use the new resource in many ways: reflecting on the beatitudes and relating them to connectional giving, “visiting” the country or city where a project or ministry “lives,” developing giving themes around the three conference goals, highlighting the impact of UMC members around the world and around the block, and much more.

“This is an amazing chance for churches to step up and support projects that will unite the Methodist faith in supporting those who need us,” Quinn said. Pulgar-Hughes looks forward to the publication of the digital resource. “As local churches make a commitment to support local, regional and international mission projects, the new book will refresh the church's mission mindset and ongoing ministry in the forthcoming post-pandemic context,” she said

Living the Beatitudes will be hosted both as a digital magazine and as an accessible PDF soon online. Churches can link their website, social media and email campaigns to the book. 

*CBGM member Kathy Carey contributed to this article.

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