INDIANAPOLIS – Through the generosity of Hoosier United Methodists this past Advent and Christmas, $100,000 has been distributed to assist children in need here in Indiana, across the United States and around the world.

Members of the Indiana Conference staff working with leaders of the Mission and Advocacy Ministry Team have allocated funds from the 2009 Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children. This offering was received during December 2009 for distribution this year. The Christmas Offering task force met in March to distribute funds to the United Methodist Women and the Indiana Camping scholarship program, however the rest of the distributions came after conference staff members met on Sept. 27 to allocate funds to national and global children’s ministries.

The delay in distribution of funds was due to new conference staff and a new way of making decisions as a new conference rather than a committee of the Indiana Area.

Of the nearly $100,000 received, the offering is being distributed among the United Methodist Women School of Christian Mission, children around the world suffering from disasters, United Methodist-related children and youth homes in Indiana, projects for children across the United States and children’s ministries globally.

2009 Offering

More specifically, here is how the Bishop’s Christmas Offering was allocated:

United Methodist Women School for Christian Mission scholarships for children and youth $1,500.

Indiana Conference Camping Scholarships $24,000

Children and Disasters totaling $30,000

  • Global Education: Hope for the Future South Africa Relief and Development $5,000,
  • Hot Lunch Program for children in Haiti $5,000,
  • North Rampart United Methodist-related Community Center in New Orleans $3,000,
  • Save Wesley United project to repurpose a church building into a much needed skills training center for culinary art, film and music industries working with unemployed youth. $5,000,
  • Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach (SOHO) $5,000 for food for children in Swaziland, Africa,
  • Spiritual Care Team supplying the children of Dulac, La. $2,000,
  • Pakistan Flash Floods UMCOR $5,000.

United Methodist-related children’s homes in Indiana totaling $4,500 divided equally among

  • Bashor Children’s Home in Goshen,
  • United Methodist Youth Home in Evansville and
  • Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home in Lebanon.

United States projects for children totaling $30,000

  • Red Bird Mission School in Beverly, Ky. $15,000,
  • McCurdy Mission School in Espanola, N.M. $5,000,
  • Henderson Settlement School in Frakes, Ky. $5,000 and
  • Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso, Texas $5,000.

Global projects for ministries to children totaling $15,000

  • Kamina Orphanage in North Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo $3,000,
  • Babyfold of Old Matare Fairfield Children’s Home in Zimbabwe $3,000,
  • Street Children Ministry in Cambodia $3,000,
  • Shade and Fresh Water project in Brazil $3,000 and
  • Jerusalem Infant Welfare Center West Bank, Israel $3,000.

In addition to this allocation, conference staff members also reserved $10,000 to be used by Bishop Coyner for emergencies involving children’s ministries, such as a disaster response for children.

2010 Offering

The task force has decided to change the emphasis of the Bishop’s Christmas Offering to a more conference and state centered offering than before. Traditionally, one-third of this offering was designated for children’s ministries here in Indiana, one-third for children’s ministries across the United States and one-third for children’s ministries globally.

The goal for the 2010 Bishop’s Christmas offering is $100,000, however funds received will be allocated by percentages. Here is how the offering will be divided to meet the needs in these children’s ministries:

  • Indiana Conference Camping program will receive 20 percent to go to first-time campers and children in need;
  • Indiana United Methodist-related children and youth homes will receive 30 percent;
  • Indiana Conference-related Operation Classroom will receive 10 percent;
  • Local outreach projects to be named next year will receive 20 percent;
  • Bishop’s fund for emergency children’s projects will receive 10 percent; and
  • United Methodist Advance Projects (global and national) will receive 10 percent.

Promotional materials for the 2010 Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children will be announced next month. Those materials will be available and distributed to congregations in mid-November. Materials will be available online at

Staff members working with the Conference Mission and Advocacy Team on the Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children include: Jim Bushfield, LeKisha Reed, Dan Gangler, Jennifer Gallagher and David V. W. Owen.