I am overwhelmed with the generosity of the United Methodist people here in Indiana. Oh I know, we talk a lot about budget problems, about the need to cut back on expenses, and about how some of our churches and communities are struggling. But we are a generous people, and we are a people who have resources, and when we work together we produce amazing results.

The latest proof of our generosity is the report I have just received from our two conference treasurers about the giving of Indiana United Methodists to rebuild the Methodist Church in Banda Aceh, and also the total giving for relief to those impacted by the Tsunami.

Here are the results through the month of April:

Gifts to rebuild the church in Banda Aceh:

  • North Indiana Conference = $50,235
  • South Indiana Conference = $75,185
  • Total = $125,420

Additional giving for Tsunami relief:

  • North Indiana Conference = $352,491
  • South Indiana Conference = $433,343
  • Total = $785,834

Total for both the church rebuilding and the tsunami relief = $911,254

Wow! Almost a million dollars! That is a great response to a great need. And I know from correspondence from some of our pastors and churches that there are more gifts in route to the conference offices. Wow! We can be proud of our response.

How do you explain such generosity? I find myself coming to these conclusions: (1) we have the money -- we as United Methodist people are a people with resources, (2) we are generous when given the opportunity to share with others in need, (3) the more specific the need, the greater our response, and (4) we really do want to make a difference in the world by working together as United Methodists.

Wow! All I can say is: Thanks be to God!

from Bishop Michael J. Coyner