TOWNSEND -- In what the Rev. Mark Brockmeier calls an ecumenical act of collaboration, local churches have united for a greater cause. He conceived FACET (Fund for Advancement and Community Enhancement) after wondering how he, and his church, Townsend Congregational Church, could better serve the community.
His idea was to combine the reach and resources of the three houses of worship that stand like sentinels on the east, west and north borders of the nearly 300-year-old common.
Along with leaders at St. John the Evangelist Parish and United Methodist Church, Brockmeier established FACET as a registered 501(c)(3) entity.
From treatment of opioid addiction to youth mentoring services, FACET bills its mission as a "Help us Dream" program for everyone in the community. Since its launch earlier this year, FACET has netted more than $50,000 in donations.
"That money will help us fund various programs and provide us with equipment to: welcome refugee families, offer a carpool service for seniors and whatever else the residents suggest."
The idea behind FACET is that individually the small churches are limited in what they can do for their respective congretations and for the greater neighborhood. Pooling resources the reach, and effectiveness, expands threefold.
Brockmeier also saves administrative fees on the management of the fund by keeping it in a greater trust.
"They charge us 1 percent per year to manage and invest the money," he said of the North Central Massachusetts Community Foundation, a Fitchburg-based organization that specializes in small-cap financial planning.
According to Brockmeier the social purpose of any local church is to help their neighborhoods.
"By not duplicating services, we can do more," he said.
To contribute to FACET, or to offer suggestions on how to best utilize the new resource, contact Brockmeier at 978-597-8925