The 2013 Session of the Indiana Conference voted to launch a campaign to raise $1.6 million to continue our long-term support of Africa University. The goal includes providing an endowed professorship in Agriculture, along with additional endowed student scholarships. Those of you present for the 2013 Session may remember the enthusiastic response to the Africa University Choir and to the launch of the campaign. In the fall of 2013, each of the 10 districts held rallies to promote the campaign, and we had speakers at each district rally who were AU students or graduates.
So our campaign is well underway, and we have raised over $856,000 to date in pledges and payments. The funds are being received through our United Methodist Foundation of Indiana, Inc., and then the funds are distributed on to the Africa University Foundation in Nashville, Tennessee, and distributed to AU as needed. That process protects the value of our gifts, rather than having the funds rise and fall with the economies in Africa.
Now we are moving into the local church phase of the AU campaign, and we are inviting all of the United Methodist congregations in Indiana to bring your pledge for the AU campaign to your charge conferences this fall. Those pledge cards will be submitted to the Foundation, which will send reminders and also receive the actual gifts. Some individuals may still want to make commitments to the AU campaign, so here is the link to the Foundation website which provides more information:
Every gift counts in a campaign like this. Some individuals have given major gifts for which we are grateful, and many local churches have collected funds from Vacation Bible School and other efforts. Every gift counts.
Next March, I will be leading a group of Indiana United Methodists to travel to Africa University to present the results of our campaign and to celebrate our continuing partnership with that amazing university. Along the way we will also visit Victoria Falls and go on an animal photo safari. You are welcome to join me on this trip, which we are coordinating through Educational Opportunities (the tour group which also coordinates our Holy Land trips). If you need a brochure about the trip, please contact the Indiana Conference Service Center office or go to the website for Educational Opportunities at:
I am delighted with our progress with our AU campaign. Let's keep moving forward and complete this important effort.