With the advent of grandchildren, our family Christmas celebrations have taken on new life. Children add such a special joy to the Advent-Christmas season. Unfortunately, too many children in our world don’t experience the joy of Christmas that we do.

That’s why I ask you to pray for all the children of the world each Christmas. As we pray, God’s spirit goes before us and hears our requests on behalf of all the world’s children.

And secondly, join with me in giving to the Indiana Conference Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children to help meet their special needs through children’s ministries. Children around the world suffer and die due to malaria in Africa, armed conflicts in the Middle East and even poverty here in the United States.

The Conference Mission Team has prayed for and chooses ministries to improve and give hope to the lives of children. Many of these ministries have ties to Indiana making their outreach even more special to us.

Christmas offering funds received this year will be allocated by percentages. The offering will be divided to help meet the needs of these children’s ministries:

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

Programs supported by this offering are selected by the Conference Mission Team and adopted by the Conference Special Offering Committee. These ministries are among those endorsed by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries or on the Conference Advance Specials list.

This past year more than $100,000 was received and distributed by Hoosier United Methodists through United Methodist channels. Hopefully, this year we can continue with our generosity to children’s ministries.

As your congregation celebrates Advent and Christmas, please include in those celebrations the Indiana Conference Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children. On behalf of the children in whose lives this offering will make a difference, I thank you.

Please send your Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children gift payable to Indiana Conference UMC to INUMC, Dept. 6089, Carol Stream, IL 60122-6089. Mark the memo: Christmas Offering. Thank you.