This Sunday, December 3, we will have a Preliminary Information Session from 11:30am-12:15pm where we will be exploring the approval of the finances for two ministry apprentices (Amelia M and Steve T) in 2024-2025. You may have also heard that James M will be volunteering part-time in 2024-2025, including auditing some units from the Australian College of Theology.
You may be interested as to why are we only exploring the finances of these appointments and not their suitability. The suitability question is answered by our Leadership Team who are required to minute a motion endorsing these gospel partners before the Presbyterian Church of NSW (PCNSW) will accept their application. From here the applicants are interviewed by members of PCNSW along with their potential trainer. Therefore, that process is already in motion with Amelia and Steve both having interviewed over the last month.
However, our Committee of Management, along with Leadership Team, felt it was wise to have a congregational meeting on December 10 regarding the finances of the roles as they can lie somewhat hidden!
Hidden? What do I mean?
Our MTS apprentices aren’t actually paid by SCPC. In fact they receive a scholarship from MTS Australia which is generated from generous supporters who give directly to the apprentice’s portal. MTS then draws the funds from this portal to pay the apprentice. So, in some churches around Australia the suitability of the apprentice is endorsed by the leaders of their local church, but the funding for the apprenticeship rests with the potential apprentice (and not the local church).
SCPC’s first ministry apprentice was in 1999, and since then we have set aside funds to support our ministry apprentices. Even when changes to MTS were enacted in 2015 we continued this heritage. So, when we put on an apprentice you will not see money leave our account to pay the apprentice. Rather, it is the funds in the apprentice’s portal that funds them, and this is where the magic happens… Some generous folk from SCPC re-direct their general giving to the apprentice portal to match their annual requirement. Hence, it is this general giving that will be missing from our general account in 2024-2025, that we wanted to highlight to the church family. It might not look like SCPC is paying for our ministry apprentices as their funds come from MTS, but it is people from SCPC that direct their giving to MTS that makes it all happen!
Make sense? Maybe not! Since 2015 our two treasurers have been guiding this process and so they are much more eloquent in explaining this than I am! Please come this Sunday and hear from them! And hear about how your generous giving is fuelling our gospel heartbeat on the ground with ministry apprentices.
Finally, have a listen to the Apostle Paul in Philippians celebrate their gospel giving and partnership – it’s enough to make a gospel worker’s heart sing!
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early
days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared
with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica,
you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Phil 4:12-16