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Cooperative Program giving meets budget at outset of fiscal year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Contributions through the Cooperative Program in October met the Southern Baptist Convention’s CP Allocation Budget for the first month of the new fiscal year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Morris H. Chapman.

The $15,886,642.51 received in October is $64,537.93 above the $15,822,104.58 budgeted, or 100.41 percent of budget to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America.

The $15,886,642.51 received in October, however, fell 7.97 percent compared to the first month of the SBC’s last fiscal year, in October 2004 when $17,263,172.52 was received, a difference of $1,376,530.01.

In designated giving, the $3,552,248.47 received in October was $350,810.80 above the $3,201,437.67 received in October 2004, an increase of 10.96 percent.

On Sept. 19, the SBC Executive Committee, acting ad interim on behalf of the Southern Baptist Convention, voted unanimously to use beyond-the-budget Cooperative Program contributions for SBC national causes during the first quarter (October, November, December 2005) of the fiscal year in three areas of extraordinary need among Southern Baptists in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

One-half of the total is earmarked for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (to aid faculty and students recover from losses and to help rebuild the campus), one-fourth will go to the three state conventions most affected by the hurricane (to keep ministers in the field and to assist churches in recovery) and one-fourth to the North American Mission Board (to support the extensive hurricane disaster relief operations).

The Executive Committee also voted to use beyond-the-budget Cooperative Program contributions received for last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, in the same manner -– sending $12,496,728.55 to aid in recovery needs from the massive destruction in late August.

The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ method of supporting missions and ministry efforts of state and regional conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Cooperative Program total includes receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 2004-05 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.

Designated contributions include the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund and other special gifts.

State and regional conventions retain a portion of church contributions to the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program to support work in their respective areas and forward a percentage to Southern Baptist national and international causes. The percentage of distribution is at the discretion of each state or regional convention.

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