by Gary A. DeLong, Chair, Outreach Committee
I write as the current chair of the AHCC Outreach Committee, a position that over the years has been held by many people in our church, who, along with committee members, have been faithful stewards of the streams of revenue entrusted to Outreach from the general church budget, from the generosity of our own Thrift Shop, and from restricted endowment funds such as the Buchanan Fund.
As our church is currently committed to a new level of transparency and information sharing about governance and ministries, members of the Outreach Committee thought it would be good to highlight the Buchanan Fund, an AHCC endowment fund, which last year helped support the mission program of our church with a total of approximately $30,000 from its annual earnings.
The description in the July 1961 will of the Buchanan’s, states that one-half of the income from this fund shall be distributed at the discretion of the pastors and Deacons, and the other half shall be distributed at the discretion of the pastors and Deacons specifically for Foreign Missions. For the past several years, the pastors and Deacons have approved $7,000 to help support our denomination, the United Church of Christ, and the other “Foreign Mission” half was approved to go toward supporting AHCC member-involved programs, most recently, Habitat for Humanity ($10,000), a faith-based housing program in Canada, and Adopta Una Familia ($10,000), a mission serving the poor in Ecuador. Another $4,000 is reserved to support small but vital Faith in Action programs during the church year under the leadership of Rev. Mia Douglas. The Buchanan Fund dollars are in addition to $150,000 from the general budget awarded to local non-profits serving greater Hartford. In 2017, a total of forty-two grants were awarded totaling $203,224, reflecting the combined generosity of member giving, endowed fund earnings (Buchanan and others) along with $20,000 of Thrift Shop generosity.
One purpose of this article is remind any member of AHCC involved in foreign or international mission work that they are eligible to apply for a Buchanan Fund award. The deadline for applying for funding from the Buchanan Fund for this year is March 15, 2018.
This amazing ongoing annual support from the Buchanan Fund comes from members whose memory has grown a bit hazy to us at AHCC. If there are current members who knew anyone who might have known the family of AHCC members Paul Rutherford Buchanan and Florence Wadhams Buchanan, we would love to know more about them, and maybe even be put in touch with any surviving family members to express our ongoing gratitude. A bit of sleuthing on the Internet revealed that Paul was from Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, went to Philips Exeter Academy and then on to Cornell, graduating in 1911 as a mechanical engineer. Florence went to Vassar College where a scholarship named for her is still awarded annually. It appears that Paul and Florence at one time lived at 594 Prospect Ave. in Hartford. We don’t have information about any children.
If ever there was a motivator for our members to consider a planned gift to AHCC in their estate, Paul and Florence Buchanan are among the best examples. Think of the good that AHCC has been able to do in the world for the past 57 years with their decision to remember us in their will. I think they, and all the other faithful members who have remembered AHCC in their wills, are worthy of a standing ovation.