Recognizing that interruption of regular income creates an emergency situation for the majority of ministers, recognizing the need of ministers to maintain good credit standing, and aware that many churches in forced termination situations may proceed in highly unethical and even in unchristian ways, the committee has a redemptive purpose for the minister and his family in a time of exceptional stress. It is the goal of Virginia Baptists to minister to the whole person in our ministry to ministers. The emergency fund is one part of that ministry. The committee administering the Ministers’ Unemployment Fund follows these guidelines:
- Use of the fund is limited to persons in forced termination situations in which the church has not provided adequate transitional income.
- Each situation is handled on an individual basis.
- Absolute confidentiality is maintained.
- Assistance given is a grant, not a loan.
- The fund seeks to alleviate emergency transitional need and is limited to the cost of sustaining health insurance and rent or mortgage payments.
- Persons are typically referred to the responsible committee through the designated person on the BGAV staff.
- Persons are asked to complete a confidential web-based form to share this need
- When the form is received, the information is shared with the Ministers’ Unemployment Committee for action.
- Applicants are interviewed in person, whenever possible, or by telephone and correspondence by a committee member. The applicant is requested to give complete information concerning his/her financial condition and special need.
- Grants are made on the committee’s best judgment as to amount and frequency, in reference to need. Typically grants are made for a period of three months with the possibility of adding a fourth month.
- If the need is obviously the result of poor handling of economic resources, the committee may provide or recommend management counseling.
- Applicants are encouraged to seek temporary secular employment as an aid in transition from one ministry position to another.
- The committee seeks to combine common sense, good judgment and a full measure of Christian compassion in its consideration of need and treatment of persons.
- When the committee makes a decision upon this request, the individual receives a response from the committee.
- Upon approval for funding, the office of the BGAV Treasurer will be notified to process payment to the individual.
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