The spring 2014 Builder’s Sunday just recently passed but the need and the call continues on.
Churches in the Iowa Annual Conference can choose any Sunday to take part in the Builder’s Call, a program that has for 30 years supported the Conference mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
The two annual calls benefit churches in the Conference undergoing capital building projects that will enable the churches to better reach people for Jesus Christ, said Rev. Scott Hibben, Leadership Development Minister for Evangelism and New Ministry.
Churches and individuals can support the Builder’s Call whether or not they official members.
“You don’t even need to be a member of the United Methodist Church,” Rev. Hibben said.
Builder’s Call members receive a letter twice a year calling for them to support a particular church’s capital need.
“We all know that many of our church buildings are in sorry shape,” said Rev. Hibben.
Numerous churches were built under different conditions with different needs, he said, and the physical plant just doesn’t meet the need any longer.
The Builder’s Call draws together the entire connection, to support churches in need of updating their facilities to better serve the communities in which they minister.
“A lot of our smaller congregations don’t have a lot of means,” Rev. Hibben said. “But there really is the need in the community.”
“By having partners across the state, it’s how we can be supportive of one another and supportive of communities with reaching people for Jesus Christ,” he said.
Requests must be for capital expenditures that will specifically benefit outreach to the church’s community.
Churches apply for the Builder’s Call through their District and applications are reviewed by the Conference Parish Development Team. The team’s recommendation for two churches to receive the Builder’s Call is taken to the Board of Global Ministries and then to the Appointive Cabinet for approval.
“We try to distribute the calls across the Conference,” said Rev. Hibben. “Big, small, rural, urban, across the state, we try to keep it in balance.
All proceeds of the Builder’s Call benefit the churches; the mailing is the only expense.
Rev. Hibben has seen first-hand the importance of the support from the Builder’s Call, when he was in ministry for a new church on the east side of Des Moines. It’s something he has not forgotten.
“I know from personal experience that can make can make or break projects for some churches,” he said. “How even a little bit from everybody can make a difference.”