This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Foundation’s record year benefits MB church

HILLSBORO, Kan. — MB Foundation earnings set records in 2014, so the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches’ financial agency is sharing an unprecedented amount with the denomination.

“We want to put into practice our corporate passage (1 Tim. 6:17-19) by being generous and willing to share,” said Jon C. Wiebe, president and CEO, in a news release. “2 Cor. 9:11 says that we are made rich so we can be generous. While none of us would call ourselves rich, we still want to share this blessing with our family.”

Speaking Jan. 21 by phone, Wiebe anticipated distributing about $445,000.

MB Foundation typically gives a 10 percent Firstfruits gift to USMB, but this year it was raised to 11 percent.

“What they received last year was $77,000,” he said. “We’re predicting $160,000 at 11 percent with a good year. More than double.”

The increased giving is significant in comparison to the USMB budget and comes a year after budgets for all ministries were reduced and new projects, such as new church plants, were put on hold. In December 2013, the USMB Leadership Board approved a budget of $751,380 — a 19 percent reduction from the 2012-13 fiscal year. Last October the Leadership Board increased the budget for 2015 by 2 percent to $767,740.

In addition to the increased giving to USMB, the MB Foundation board of directors also decided to distribute $200,000 in a ministry rebate to borrowers such as churches. Also, $85,000 was divided among each of USMB’s five districts for a gift of $17,000 each.

“We’ve never done that before,” Wiebe said. “We have an abundance, and God’s blessed us to be a blessing.”

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