The Global Church of the Nazarene is celebrating a major milestone in the long-time annual Alabaster Offering. Late this summer, the denomination reached the $100 million (USD) mark in giving to this fund since its inception in 1949 through Nazarene Missions International (NMI).
“This amazing benchmark represents ministry to multiplied thousands of people in the past, present, and future of the Church of the Nazarene through the land and buildings Alabaster has provided,” said Global NMI Director Daniel Ketchum.
The Alabaster Offering provides funds for buildings and property globally. While the Church is first and foremost made up of the people of God, and not a location, buildings for ministry help provide a sense of permanence for churches. Observers in many cultures have often said that when they saw churches, schools, clinics and homes for leaders being constructed, they knew the Church of the Nazarene was there to stay.
Since NMI began this offering, Alabaster has completed a total of 8,823 projects. These include churches and chapels, Bible schools and other school buildings, mission and district centers, missionaries’ and national workers’ homes, land and other projects.
Eighty percent of the Alabaster offering is given to the Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, Mesoamerica and South America regions. Twenty percent is given to the USA/Canada Region. No Alabaster funds are used for administrative costs.
“Because Nazarenes have given generously, the vision that God gave Rev. Elizabeth Vennum 63 years ago lives on, providing places for spiritual development, evangelism and disciple making, leader education, and physical healing that will continue for generations,” added Ketchum. “We encourage individuals, churches, districts, fields, and regions to celebrate with Nazarene Missions International as we begin the journey to the next $100 million for Alabaster.”