Evangelistic Association, Vision New England, Voluntarily Leaves ECFA
Vision New England, an evangelistic association founded in 1887, has voluntarily resigned its membership with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).
ECFA provides accreditation for organizations who voluntarily join and abide by its Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship, which encompass issues ranging from doctrinal standards to compensation to financial transparency.
“Our decision to discontinue participating in the ECFA certification is not any reflection on the ECFA as a ministry. We wholly support their work and focus,” Charles Galda, Vision New England’s president, told MinistryWatch.
“However, when we prioritized our spending for the year we determined those funds were better used for delivering services directly to the [c]hurch leaders and ministries who benefit from our work,” Galda added.
The group’s departure from ECFA was confirmed by ECFA Vice President for Member Accountability Jake Lapp, who said, “The ministry was a member of ECFA since 1987 and voluntarily resigned on March 29, 2021, as a member in good standing.”
Galda explained that Vision New England will continue to maintain “a high standard of financial transparency by sharing our Federal Form 990 on our website and our audited financials upon request.”
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Vision New England has received Guidestar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency and is a Four Star Charity with Charity Navigator.
To further reassure those who may be concerned about accountability after the break from ECFA, Galda pointed out “the vast majority of our donated funds are derived from leaders and ministries that are part of our governing structure and who participate directly in receiving the services of our ministry, creating a strong chain of accountability.”
According to its Form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service for 2019, Vision New England has 16 employees and 150 volunteers. It had approximately $720,000 in revenue and holds $5.38 million in assets.
First founded as the Evangelistic Association of New England, Vision New England began by employing evangelists and assisting them in their work of evangelism.
However, today its mission is more expansive by bringing “believers together across historical boundaries to accelerate their shared mission to make disciples whose lives reflect the redeeming love of Jesus, who do justice in serving their communities, and humbly and relationally share their faith in our Jesus who loves all people unconditionally.”
It is an association network of over 1000 ministries in New England, according to the ministry website.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, one way the ministry connected believers in New England was by hosting the GO Conference to encourage and equip Christians to reach unbelievers in the region.
Many of its events are now online. It will be hosting a Women in Christian Leadership Forum later in May, featuring Sarah Shin, author of Beyond Colorblind, a book about “how our broken ethnic stories can be restored and redeemed, demonstrating God’s power to others and bringing good news to the world.”
Vision New England embraces the Lausanne Covenant, formulated in 1974 with Dr. John Stott as chief architect. The Covenant, which has been adopted by many mission organizations, challenges “Christians to work together to make Jesus Christ known throughout the world.”
Charles Galda serves as president of Vision New England. He spent 30 years as a senior technology and finance executive, according to the ministry website.
The Board of Directors consists of 15 members from churches around New England, and it has an advisory board also with members like Dr. Michael Lindsay, former president of Gordon College and now president-elect of Taylor University.