On June 23, 2020, the North American Division (NAD) Committee voted a stimulus package of US$10 million to provide financial assistance to the division’s conferences through its unions. This comes at a time when COVID-19 has impacted many Adventist members and entities.
“The North American Division recognizes the financial challenges facing the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America due to COVID-19,” the proposal stated. “Careful consideration has been given to the current and future financial health of the North American Division relative to the amount of the appropriation provided.”
The proposal recognized that the division needs to retain the ability to continue providing critically-needed services, and exists to serve its field.
“The North American Division wishes to accomplish two things with this action,” stated Randy Robinson, NAD Treasurer. “First, to provide an additional financial boost to conferences who are hurting as a result of COVID-19, and second, to make sure we can maintain current levels of regular appropriations for as long as possible, even during a difficult economy.”
NAD Treasury used detailed financial information, including metrics for measuring the health of the organization at the division level, to determine a recommended appropriation in the amount of US$10 million. The formula used to determine this number, simply put, is: balance sheet cash (cash plus investments) minus (restricted net assets plus all payables).
“Using 2019 year-end and interim April 2020 financial information, it is determined that the NAD is able to appropriate up to a total of [US]$10,000,000 for the benefit of conferences financially struggling as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” read the proposal.
The funds would be split into two rounds of funding for conferences and an additional funding source for NAD ministries: US$5 million in unrestricted round one funding to be distributed to the NAD’s nine unions and the Guam-Micronesia Mission (GMM) disbursed primarily based on tithe contributions; US$3 million of round two funding available to the nine unions and GMM, distribution to be determined on a need-only basis later in 2020 after an evaluation of round one appropriations; and US$2 million earmarked for need-only distribution for NAD entities including Adventist Information Ministries, North American Division Evangelism Institute, Christian Record Services for the Blind, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Oakwood University, AdventSource, Seminars Unlimited, and Adventist Media Ministries.
“We are pleased to be able to offer these funds to places in the church that are hurting the most,” said Robinson. “We are family, and when one hurts, we all hurt. We want to do our part to alleviate that hurt, and we are glad to partner with our Unions to do so.”
“If the NAD can help our churches and entities during this time of struggle and uncertainty, we must,” said Daniel R. Jackson, NAD president. “I’ve said this before and still believe it to be true: this division is the most faithful and cooperative division in the world. Mission, and spreading Christ’s messages of hope and wholeness, is a part of who we are as Adventists.”
Jackson added, “I’m humbled when I consider the faithfulness and generosity of our people — beyond the money. God is faithful, and He will see His people through.”