INDIANAPOLIS – Whether helping teen moms with their children in Elkhart, Indiana, building a deck at a children’s home in Nome, Alaska, for kids to socialize or providing supplies for a year-round weekly children’s Christian education program in Haiti, the generous gifts of Hoosier United Methodists have provided for the social, physical and spiritual needs of children around the world all during the year through the Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children.

Thank you for your generous contributions. They make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children.

In fact, United Methodists from across the state gave more than $133,000 during the 2011 Christmas Offering. Most of those funds were allocated and recently distributed to more than 20 children’s ministries in Indiana and around the world, to help meet the special needs of children, not just during Christmas, but throughout the year. A small percentage of those funds are used for the promotion of the offering.

The Indiana Conference Mission Team has prayed for and chosen ministries to improve and give hope to the lives of children. Christmas offering funds received in 2011 were allocated by percentage guidelines to meet the needs of children’s ministries in Indiana, throughout the United States and internationally:

  • Indiana United Methodist Conference Camping program received 20 percent ($20,000) for first-time campers and children with financial need;
  • Indiana United Methodist–related children and youth homes received 30 percent ($30,000), split three ways to our conference-related children’s homes at United Methodist Youth Home in Evansville, Bashor Children’s Home in Goshen and the Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home in Lebanon;
  • Indiana Conference-related Operation Classroom received 10 percent ($10,000) to meet children’s needs in Sierra Leone and Liberia;
  • Local Indiana children’s outreach projects received 20 percent (actually $24,500. See below.);
  • Bishop’s reserve fund for emergency children’s projects can receive up to 10 percent (or $10,000);
  • United Methodist Advance Projects (global and national) received 10 percent ($10,000. See below.).

Programs supported by this offering were 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 are on the Conference Advance Specials list.

Indiana ministry projects at $24,500

  • $2,000 East Tenth United Methodist Children & Youth Center, Inc. in Indianapolis
  • $2,000 Vida Nueva Ministries in Indianapolis
  • $2,500 Brightwood Community Center in Indianapolis
  • $1,500 Children and Parent Services (CAPS) in Elkhart
  • $1,500 Hilltop Neighborhood Center in Valparaiso
  • $1,500 Royal Family Kids Camp in Crown Point
  • $1,500 Baby Closet supported by several churches in Fort Wayne
  • $2,000 Kokomo Urban Outreach with food to child­ren in Kokomo
  • $1,000 Bunker Hill UMC summer Lunch Bunch program for children in Bunker Hill
  • $1,500 Bethel Shop ‘Til You Drop Mall back-to-school program in Washington
  • $1,500 JAM Club and Clothe-A-Child and Christian education program in Otwell
  • $2,000 Gobin Memorial UMC SEP and TALKS Two ministries for children through Gobin Memorial UMC in Greencastle
  • $2,000 SOS (Serving on the Streets) faith-based outreach to children in Clay County
  • $1,000 Youth and Young Adult Mission Service Fund – This past year United Methodist Women of Indiana provided scholarships to youth serving on a mission team or other volunteer work.
  • $1,000 provided for children (Chi-Mi-Ca) and youth (Yo-Pe-Mi-Ca) to attend the Indiana Conference School of Christian Mission. This is great mission education for the youth of the conference.

National and International ministry projects at $10,000

  • $1,500 Cornerstone Family Ministries of Tampa, Florida
  • $1,500 The Friendly Center of Toledo, Ohio
  • $3,000 Nome (Alaska) Community Center
  • $2,500 Nueva Esperanza, a children’s project of Mission Guatemala
  • $1,500 Haitian Artisans for Peace International weekly VBS for 200 children
  • $1,000 Kissy Hospital’s Well Baby Clinic in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Now is a good time for local churches to decide whether or not they wish to participate in the 2012 Bishop’s Christmas Offering. Promotional materials for the offering will be distributed to each congregation across the Indiana Conference the beginning of November as well as posted on the conference website at www.inumc.org.

For more information about the Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children, contact the Rev. LeKisha Reed, associate director of the Indiana Conference Mission and Advocacy Team, at lekisha.reed@inumc.org or call her at the conference office at 317-924-1321.