Frequently Asked Questions

What is Releasing Ministry Alliance?

Releasing Ministry Alliance exists to support Spirit-led service among the Religious Society of Friends and beyond. It will offer a web-based, centralized directory of ministries. The directory will include information about the ministries: contact information to invite them to offer their ministry for you or your faith community, and a crowd-sourcing platform so that community members can assist in providing financial, practical and spiritual resources to people following leadings in ministry.

What do you mean by ministry?

Ministry is defined as sacred service to which one is called.  It may be offering workshops and retreats to groups, bearing witness to a condition, working with children, serving to alleviate a pressing need, working within an organization, providing pastoral care to those in need, traveling in Gospel ministry, or something else.

Isn't being a minister already a job you get paid for?

For some it is, but for many it isn't.  Especially among Friends, it is commonly a vounteer activity and many combine their service in ministry with a secular job for livelihood.  One aim of this project is to supplement the livelihoods of those people so they can devote more time and attention to their ministries.

Who can use Releasing Ministry Alliance?

Anyone following or wishing to support a Spirit-led leading is eligible to participate with Releasing Ministry Alliance. The project was founded by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) who thought of other Friends as their primary constituents but Releasing Ministry Alliance is not limited to Friends.

Ministries may be carried by individuals or organizations.  They can be non-profit or for-profit. Search criteria for the various ministries will be designed to allow filtering on these characteristics and more.

Yes, but what kind of Quakers are you talking about?

It is our intention to serve Friends from all branches of Quakerism: liberal, conservative, orthodox, and evangelical, and even people who are engaged in Spirit-led ministry who are not members of the Religious Society of Friends. We hope that the directory will be one way that Friends from different branches of Quakerism will get to know each other better.

How do I list my ministry with Releasing Ministry Alliance?

For now, please use this form to let us know of your interest.  When the database is ready to go live, we'll get you set up.

How do I support a ministry through Releasing Ministry Alliance?

When the database is live, you'll be able to search and browse the directory of participating ministries and consider which requested resources you wish to fulfill.  Then you may:

  • Make financial contributions on-line using our secure software; they will be tax-deductible to the donor through Releasing Ministry Alliance’s 501(c)3 status.  Your contribution will be acknowledged by an e-mail upon successful processing of your one-time or recurring gift. 
  • Contact the person directly using linked contact forms to offer other forms of requested support such as prayer, eldering, hospitality,  travel assistance, etc.  

How do I invite a ministry listed with Releasing Ministry Alliance to visit me or my group?

These arrangements will be made directly between the person or group making the invitation and the person offering the ministry.  You will be able to search and browse the directory of participating ministries and consider which suit your needs. We expect that people offering ministries will post summaries, testimonials, travel minutes or other endorsements, a description of their spiritual accountability structure, and video or audio clips if they're relevant.  You'll then make a contact via their personal contact form to invite the person to discern if they are led to serve you and/or your faith community.  

Why don't people who offer ministries just use existing crowdfunding platforms?

Some do, but Releasing Ministry Alliance will fill needs that are not met by other crowdfunding applications, including:

  • A way to spread the word about ministries through a centralized directory so that they may be invited to visit or serve.
  • A way to provide non-financial support, both practical (travel assistance, accomodations) and spiritual (prayer, eldership).

How do I know these people offering ministry are legit?

This project was initially envisioned primarily for ministries that are supported by and accountable to their home faith community.  However, all faith communities are not at a place where this relationship is possible and the ministries in their care should not be handicapped.  Instead, we will encourage people listing their ministries here to describe and document their connections to their communities and the accountability structures they have in place so that potential supporters can judge for themselves on a case-by-case basis.

Who operates Releasing Ministry Alliance?

Releasing Ministry Alliance’s founders are Viv Hawkins and Vonn New, two Friends who are engaging their ministries under the care of their local faith communities, and who see the need for and value in the services provided by Releasing Ministry Alliance. Releasing Ministry Alliance will be operated by a collection of people dedicated to supporting Spirit-led ministry by sharing resources. We are establishing a 501(c)3 organization.  We are seeking advisors.

 

Do you have a question that we haven't answered?  Please ask us!