Have you filled out your NCAA tournament brackets yet? It is exciting to have four of the men’s teams from Indiana in the tournament this year (Butler, IU, Purdue, and Notre Dame). It is also exciting to see the Purdue women’s team win the Big 10 Tourney and get a #2 seed in the women’s NCAA tourney. I really enjoy the March Madness of high school and college basketball.

March Madness has begun.

I hope that you and your church have also begun what I am calling the “March Madness for Missions.” I am inviting all United Methodists here in Indiana to “march against the madness of malaria and HIV/Aids.” I am asking every congregation to take a special offering during Lent with one-half to go to our United Methodist Global Aids Fund and one-half to go toward our “Nothing But Nets” campaign to provide mosquito nets for children in Africa to be saved from malaria. I have also asked every United Methodist family to purchase one net (for $10) through the “Nothing But Nets” campaign.

So enjoy the tournament. Cheer for your favorite teams. See if your bracket is correct. But don’t forget that we also want to use March Madness to stamp out these two killer diseases. With all of the resources available to us, it is utter madness that we continue to allow these diseases to take the lives of so many, including so many children.

Please help with our March Madness for Missions, and then enjoy the ballgames.

from Bishop Michael J. Coyner