We have a special financial need coming up in early 2018 in order to continue funding the “grant” that covers my teaching position at the seminary. When First Evangelical Free Church in Rockford, IL found out about this need, they offered to match any special giving toward the grant. If you can make a special donation toward our ministry between now and the end of January, that donation will be doubled by First Free. For more information (how to give, FAQs) please click through.
Our Special Funding Need
In a post earlier this year I explained that in April I became officially employed by the seminary where I teach in Slovakia. Money for my position is provided by our mission, ReachGlobal, using funds we have raised. The money is sent as an annual lump sum through an official grant agreement between the seminary and ReachGlobal. It does not increase my total salary but it does involve some extra costs and since we have been undersupported, it appears we will not have the funds in our account to cover the grant for 2018–19.
This probably raises a lot of questions. Why bother with the grant? Are you employed in two places? How can I make a matched donation?
Please read on. In what follows I explain more about our situation and how to give so that the funds will be matched by First Free’s matching donation.
How to Give
Thank you for your interest in giving to our ministry.
Any special gifts above your regular giving to our ministry are eligible for the matching grant (up to $6,500 for a total of $13,000). As usual, donations can be made to our mission, EFCA ReachGlobal. When you make a donation between now and January 31, please clearly mark it as “Patterson m1314 seminary grant“. Click on one of the links below to make a donation by credit card or check.
OK, there aren’t actually any frequently asked questions but I’m trying to anticipate them.
Who do you work for?
Both my salary from ReachGlobal and my salary at the seminary are funded through giving to ReachGlobal that has been designated for our ministry. ReachGlobal has a grant contract with the seminary so that at the beginning of each year money we have raised for our ministry is sent to the seminary in a lump sum (about $13,000) to cover my entire gross salary at the seminary for one year.
The seminary must provide ReachGlobal with annual reports accounting for the grant money and the agreement must meet US standards for international grant agreements.
Do you get two salaries?
Yes and no. Yes, each month I get one pay check from ReachGlobal and one from the seminary. However, the total of my ReachGlobal salary plus my seminary salary plus Jana’s salary through Narnia Elementary School must be less than the total allowed by our ReachGlobal support schedule. That total figure is based on a US pastor of an average size church with adjustments for cost of living differential (Slovakia relative to US), years of service, etc. So no, I don’t get a double salary.
This sounds convoluted. Why not just get one salary from ReachGlobal?
If I’m not on salary with the seminary then none of my research activity is credited to the seminary. Because it’s easier for me to be engaged in international research than it is for my Slovak colleagues, I have the potential to make a significant contribution toward our research ranking. For example, my new book on Genesis is coming out with a prestigious Dutch publisher. That amounts to big points toward accreditation, which is crucial for our seminary’s existence. Also, being officially employed by the seminary means I am more vested in the school and that in turn increases my influence and expands my ministry.
But doesn’t it mean extra overhead costs?
Not as much as you might think. I pay US taxes on my US salary and Slovak taxes on my Slovak salary. I don’t pay double taxes on any part of my income. Slovakia does have higher taxes and there are additional taxes or benefits that must be covered, but there are no additional overhead costs in terms of office space, computer, etc. And there are some benefits. For example, I have an office at the school and we have basically free health care in Slovakia.
If your salary is the same then why do you have this special financial need?
Theoretically, after the lump sum comes from ReachGlobal at the beginning of the year, less will come out of our mission account each of the following 11 months and so it should be replenished in time for the next lump sum. However, since our monthly support has been less than our expenses, our account was not replenished this year. This matching donation from First Free in Rockford will cover the next grant for 2018–19. We also realize we need to redirect some of our time toward finding new monthly support.
We would appreciate your prayers for new support that will help our ministry in Slovakia achieve long-term viability.
If you’re interested in becoming a regular financial partner, you can do that through both of the means described above or through electronic funds transfer. See the links below:
If you don’t get all the funds you need for the grant, will you still be able to serve at the seminary?
Yes, I will. If our financial situation does not allow us to provide the lump sum for the grant in 2018–19, then I will continue to teach at the seminary under a volunteer contract. This allows me to continue teaching but it seriously hampers my ability to help the school with accreditation (crucial for the survival of the school) and it decreases my influence at the seminary.
Can I give directly from my bank via “bill pay”?
Yes, you can. But I’m not sure how that works. If all you need is an address then you can do so through “EFCA Donor Services, 901 E 78th St., Minneapolis, MN 55420” and again, be sure to clearly note “Patterson m1314 seminary grant”.
For more information please contact EFCA donor services at [email protected] or (800) 745-2202.