GEORGETOWN—Cooperative Program giving in 2021 was the highest it has ever been in Southern Baptists of Texas Convention history, Executive Director Nathan Lorick told the SBTC Executive Board at its quarterly meeting Tuesday.
Lorick attributed the record amount—$27,283,572.03—to two things: a belief in cooperative missions work that encourages faithful giving, and also the quality of missionaries, church planters, disaster relief workers, and all other efforts “that the Cooperative Program fuels and sends.”
The record giving, he noted, happened in the midst of uncertain times that some felt might lead to a decrease in giving.
“Let’s not miss that today,” Lorick added, “that in the midst of people saying the sky is falling, I think God’s just getting started.”
Convention taking a ‘whole life’ approach to ministry
In other action Tuesday, the executive board unanimously approved two motions that will provide ministry for the most vulnerable.
One of the motions approved a reserves funding grant to be given to the Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The funds specifically will be used to purchase six ultrasound machines and training for pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) in Texas.
Each of the six PRCs have made urgent requests for the machines, as there has been a drastic increase in the number of women being served since the passing of the Heartbeat Bill in Texas. One clinic in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has reported a 48% increase in clients over the previous year.
The Psalm 139 Project aims to place 50 ultrasound machines in PRCs across the U.S. by Jan. 22, 2023—the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade case that provided legal protections for women seeking abortions in the U.S. ERLC representatives say ultrasounds offer a “window into the womb” which ultimately leads more women to choose life after seeing their babies.
On the other end of the life spectrum, the board approved another reserves fund grant to Mission Dignity, a ministry of Guidestone Financial Resources which serves to honor retired Southern Baptists ministers, workers, and widows struggling to meet basic needs through advocacy and financial assistance.
Mission Dignity funds 12 monthly gifts to approximately 263 individuals in Texas, of which 178 are widows or widowers. The reserves fund grant approved by the executive board will be used to provide a 13th check as a bonus/love gift over and above the normal 12 monthly gifts.
The executive board’s next meeting is scheduled for August 9 at the SBTC office in Grapevine.