This is the month that the Indiana Conference set to ask every local congregation to give a special offering to support our various United Methodist campus ministries in the state.  Your congregation is free to set that offering any Sunday that works for you, and in fact, given how many of our churches are taking special offerings to help with relief and recovery in Haiti, you can even stretch your date to a later Sunday this spring if that fits better into your local church schedule.

Information about our special offering for campus ministry is available online online (www.inumc.org/campusministry).  I understand that there has been a problem with the delivery of the offering envelopes in some parts of the state.  They were supposed to arrive in churches last week, but as of Friday we know some churches had not received them.  Rev. Brian Durand, our Indiana Conference staff person for Youth, Young Adults, and Campus Ministry, is helping to coordinate this special offering, and Brian is  trying to find out where those envelopes may have been lost or delayed in the mail.  This delay might be another reason for your church to wait and receive this special offering later in February or early March.

Meanwhile, this is the month we are invited to focus upon those campus ministries and to pray for their effectiveness.  I have been impressed by some of the “testimony” we have received from our students whose lives are being blessed by these ministries.  Here are two examples:

Our campus ministry has been important in support of me and others as we discussed going into full-time ministry.  - Melissa Zimmerman, senior at Depauw University

This place...is a home away from home.  If United Campus Ministries had not been there, I would not be at college right now. - Ayrielle Kristin Davis, student at Indiana State University

These ministries deserve our support, and we are relying upon the generosity of local churches and local individuals to provide much of that support.  So please give generously when your church receives this special offering.

Thank you.