North Pacific Union contains two of the largest conferences in North American Division — Alaska and Montana — in terms of geographic size.
Alaska is incredibly vast, with enough space to fit Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain and Portugal, all while having room to spare.
Montana, too, boasts impressive proportions, capable of accommodating Germany and more than half of Switzerland within its borders. To put it in perspective, you could fit the entire country of Japan within Montana and still have 1,304 square miles left. However, Montana has a population density of 6.86 citizens per square mile, starkly contrasting Japan's 899 citizens per square mile.
Despite their immense size, Alaska and Montana Conferences are among the smallest in the NAD regarding population and church membership. This poses a unique challenge for funding elementary education in Montana due to its sparse population. Consequently, Montana Conference faces annual struggles to support local churches in funding elementary schools.
Recognizing this challenge, an anonymous donor generously gifted Montana Conference with a $25,000 donation approximately 20 months ago to establish an Elementary Education Endowment Fund.
The Montana Conference Board of Directors has approved this endowment fund as well as how the earnings will be distributed:
- For investments up to $1 million, 25% of the earnings will be allocated for elementary education, with 75% reinvested.
- Investments ranging from $1 million to $2 million in the fund will result in 50% of earnings going to elementary education, with 50% reinvested.
- For investments between $2 million and $3 million, 75% of earnings will support elementary education, with 25% reinvested.
- Once the fund surpasses $3 million, 95% of earnings will benefit elementary education, while 5% will be reinvested to combat inflation.
As of Aug. 31, 2023, the Elementary Education Endowment Fund has received $71,114.14, representing 2.37% of our $3 million goal. While we have a long way to go, we are just now beginning to share this exciting endeavor. We believe that with the support of church members in Montana, assistance from friends of Montana and the blessings of our Lord and Savior, we can reach our goal to help grow Adventist elementary education across the state of Montana.
If you want to contribute to Adventist elementary education in Montana Conference, you can send your donations to the conference, specifying them for the Elementary Education Endowment Fund.
You can also contact Renae Young, Montana Conference education director, for more information. Additionally, when updating or creating your estate planning, please consider including Montana Conference's Elementary Education Endowment Fund.