December 28, 2018
Dear Friends of ACT3 Network/The Initiative –
As most of you know by now ACT3 Network became The Initiative late this year. The official approval and paperwork was completed in September. Thus we enter 2019 as The Initiative.
Most of you also know that on June 30, 2019, I will retire as president. This decision does not mean I will stop doing what I love, which includes writing, spreading the vision of our community in small groups and one-to-one, and coaching new Cohort leaders for our future.) My plan actually frees The Initiative to grow and develop without me on salary and it also allows the ministry to develop without me in leadership or as a member of the board/council. (I will very gladly be a member of the community and continue to give my primary ministry to The Initiative.)
Personally, I look forward to a little slower pace of life. But I also believe this will be a life that is fruitfully filled with some remarkable opportunities to assist in the development of this community. My title, if one is needed, is founder of The Initiative. Through the collaborative work of a team of ten brothers and sisters we began this journey with the vision the Holy Spirit gave to us in Green Lake in June, 2016. We have taken very slow and prayerful steps to form this new community. We do not want to run ahead of God’s leadership but “keep in step with the Spirit.”
During the days of June 23-27, 2019, members and friends will gather again at Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin. At this meeting we will explore our oneness and how we can practically express and live this reality in our respective vocations and churches. We will also invite those who have discerned a call from God to covenant together to become the first members of this new community by formally joining in a closing service of prayer. All of you are welcome to attend Green Lake in June whether you purpose to join us or not. In fact, the majority of those present might not become members initially. You can follow all these plans at www.theinitiative.org.
Some months ago I encouraged those who received the ACT3 Weekly emails to sign up for the new emails from The Initiative. I do not intend to use this older ACT3 list going forward. (The lone exception might be to encourage this “switch” to the new email list once again in 2019.) We have lost about 80% of our mailing list by this move. But we believe this development actually trims our sails and keeps us connected to those who really want to stay in touch with The Initiative. If you want to receive messages about events, opportunities and plans from The Initiative please sign up today at www.theinitiatie.org. (See The Mailing List on our homepage.) These emails will be written by me until June and then others in leadership will rite them after I step down.
For twenty-seven years I have written a heart-felt appeal for donor support in late December. This year I have not sent a wide-ranging annual appeal letter to hundreds of donors. Rather, I sent my last regular appeal letter a few months ago in September. Even then it was a narrowly chosen list of friends who have been our donors in the recent past.
By this point in 2018 you have received many non-profit appeals. I receive many and respond to some. I cannot support them all. I do understand these appeals as a prayerful call to discern and give as I am able. Thus my final appeal in 2018, and for my career as president of this mission, is a private and personal letter.
You can use the Donate to ACT3 button in the upper portion of this email and your gift will go to the operating fund of The Initiative. (Legally the two names are both still acceptable for gifts for two years but the public non-profit name of this ministry is now The Initiative.)
In September, when we did our normal donor support mailing, I expressed the hope in that letter for gifts totaling $35,000-40,000. I wrote that such a response would help us meet our budget leading up to my retirement on June 30. We have received approximately $36,000 since that mailing. I am pleased and extremely grateful. I make this one final appeal to only a handful of my true friends in order that we might reach our goals and finish my work in 2019.
If you’d like to talk to me about this please you can email me at email@example.com. I am more than willing to explain anything you’d like to know about our future.
While I will retire on June 30 the work that I began does not end. In fact, I am not quitting. I will serve The Initiative, without board position or regular salary. I am the founder and vision leader for The Initiative. I hope to write, encourage others, and travel widely in support those who lead The Initiative. All financial support, beyond my salary, will help us staff a small office and maintain our web presence and general expenses. Support will also allow us to help people who want to connect with our community but are financially unable. So our financial needs do not entirely end with my retirement. (But our budget will be significantly less after July 1 for sure.)
As you pray about support for mission at year’s end please pray about giving to The Initiative. If I can answer direct questions, or help you in any way, please let me know.
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year,
John H. Armstong