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During this Thanksgiving season, we want to thank you again for your investment in us. Because of your interest in what God is doing in His-story through this ministry, we want you to have the enclosed devotional, What Does the Lord Require of You? The 52 devotionals are written by 13 different writers and edited by Professor Lynn Buzzard (our Director of Legal Education and a Board member.) The focus is on Micah 6:8:
"What does the Lord require of you...But to do justice, love mercy,
and walk humbly with your God"
This theme is central to everything Advocates does. Until the 1930's, the verse was often seen displayed on law office walls and in judges' chambers throughout the United States. But when secularization began to take root and marginalize the role of faith in all spheres of society, posting the verse lost its appeal. Although the devotionals focus on Truth and Justice, the applications are not limited to just those called to "do law" for a living but apply with equal force to all who ask, "What would Jesus do?" In the Appendix you will find a helpful Ministry Synopsis on Advocates which explains our mission and method.
We have also enclosed Advocates International -- A Vision for Justice: 2000-2005, which shares a few priorities for the new millennium. It is an exciting and ambitious agenda for a small ministry to propose. It is only possible because we firmly believe in Phil. 4:13 that we "can do all things through Christ who strengthens" us -- which is my "life verse."
Finally, the enclosed golden-rod letter and brochure share one practical way for year-end giving that we believe is good stewardship. With the stock market soaring to record levels, giving away shares that have appreciated in value makes great sense. We hope you will consider this as one option in giving to Advocates this year.
Again, our thanks for your investment in us. As a result, in 1999 we were able to serve the needs of God's people on every continent in the world as we continued...
Living in His-story,
Samuel E. Ericsson
Advocates International - A Vision for Justice
2000 - 2005
Advocates International is guided in its mission and method by Christ's Good Samaritan parable. Working relationally, professionally and spiritually with those in law and related professions, Advocates seeks to encourage and enable a global network of skilled advocates committed to religious liberty, human rights, conflict resolution, reconciliation, and professional ethics. It puts into practice at all levels the Samaritan Strategy, as well as the Golden Rule, which Jesus said sums up the law. Advocates identifies those "innkeepers" within a nation committed to advancing these objectives and connects them globally with those of like heart and mind. By the end of year 2000, Advocates expects to have a network of skilled advocates in over 100 nations and by 2005, the network will reach over 150 nations.
The priorities for Advocates for 2000-2005 will be:
- In January, 2000, Advocates and the Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Fellowship will launch Global Voice, a joint internet network linking 2,500 parliamentarians from over 110 nations. Global Voice will be a means of educating parliamentarians on religious liberty and conflict resolution issues and mobilizing their support in specific cases. It will be a strategic tool to help address the crucial challenges facing the Church by Islamization and secularization. Budget: $50,000 per year.
- In November, 2000, Advocates will sponsor an International Convocation in conjunction with the Christian Legal Society national conference in Washington, D.C. The goal is to bring together leaders and other "innkeepers" representing Christian law fellowships from over 100 nations. The foundation for this Convocation has been laid in the two previous conferences in 1998 and 1999, reaching over 45 nations. Budget: $325,000.
- In June, 1999, Advocates opened a full-time office at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. Co-sponsored by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the office is fully funded through June, 2001. Anticipating positive results from this effort, Advocates plans to maintain the office through 2005. Budget: $35,000 per year.
- In July, 1999, Advocates opened its full-time office in Asia. It is building a network of 150 professionals committed to our mission and methods. Budget: $25,000 per year.
- In 1994, Advocates opened its full-time Rule of Law Institute office in Bulgaria. By 1999, the Institute had a network of 100 Christian lawyers making it the largest active group of Christian lawyers on the European continent. It is engaged in 28 specific projects and serves as the prototype for similar offices to be launched in Albania, India, Mongolia, Nepal, Romania, Russia, and elsewhere in countries of particular challenge to the Christian community. Budget: $30,000 in 2000, growing by $10,000 per year.
Total Budget for Priority Programs for 2000 - 2005: $1,000,000
November 18, 1999
How to Maximize and Multiply the Value of Your Year-End Gift
As 1999 draws to a close and the stock market remains at record highs, we want to draw your attention to one effective way of year-end giving that is particularly valuable to you and Advocates International.
Gifts of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other securities that have increased in value have a significant advantage over other gifts. The donor is allowed to take a tax deduction for gifts of securities at their current value (rather than their purchase cost) if they have owned them for at least one year and a day. The key is that you avoid paying capital gains taxes that you would otherwise have to pay if you sold the securities yourself!!
In other words, if you bought stock five years ago for $25 per share and their current value is $100 per share, then the tax deduction to you for your gift to Advocates will be the $100 current value --- not your original $25 purchase price --- and you pay no capital gains tax on the $75 growth in value!! It's hard to find a better way to give!
The enclosed brochure explains the concept in brief detail. If you would like to have an 18-page booklet giving even more detail on this effective way of year-end giving, simply call us and we will send you one right away. We also have an investment adviser available to help explain more fully the procedures for making these type of gifts.
As you can see from Advocates International --- A Vision for Justice: 2000-2005, we have an exciting and ambitious agenda for the years ahead. We invite you to have a key role in this agenda through a gift of appreciated securities as we continue...
Living in His-story,
Samuel E. Ericsson