Pictured above: Children at Mission Guatemala excitedly hold up their new school supplies.
Christmas is a significant time for many of us each year. A time to celebrate the bond of family, friendships and the many blessings that fill our lives as we remember the birth of Christ Jesus into our world. However, we still have neighbors who do not know the joy of this wondrous season, and many of them are children.
To help bring light and hope to this season, it is our tradition, as Hoosier United Methodists, to commit to prayer and support of the children of Indiana, the United States, and our world. We do this so that they may know the love of Christ. Through your faithfulness, over the past year, we awarded more than $150,000 to missions and ministries that feed, clothe, shelter and educate children. And, each year we are blessed as we continue to see an increase in the amount received for this offering. This is an encouragement to me and the many people that I am able to connect with those who have a passion of helping children live and thrive, as well as come to know that not only is there a community that cares for them, but that they are the children of God and persons of worth.
This year, I would like to thank you for your continued support of this special ministry offering and invite you, your family and your church to join me in praying for the children of our world both far and near. As we can all agree that Christmas without the love and laughter of children would be unthinkable.
Also, please join with me in giving to the Indiana Conference Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children to help meet special needs through ministries geared towards service. Children around the world suffer and die due to malnourishment, malaria and Ebola in Africa; armed conflicts in the Middle East; and growing poverty here in the United States. Our Conference Mission Team prays for and chooses ministries to improve and provide hope to the lives of children, and many of these ministries have direct ties to Indiana, making their outreach even more special to us.
As in the past, Christmas offering funds received this year will be allocated by percentages. The offering will be divided to help meet the needs of these ministry areas:
- Indiana Conference Outdoor Ministries will receive 20 percent to support first-time campers and children in need;
- The three Indiana United Methodist-related children and youth homes will receive 20 percent;
- Local outreach projects will receive 20 percent;
- United Methodist Advance Projects (national and global) will receive 20 percent;
- Bishop’s fund for emergency children’s projects and the promotion of this offering will receive 20 percent
The Conference Mission Team selects programs supported by this offering, and our Conference Special Offering Committee approves and manages the distribution of funds. These ministries are among those endorsed by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries or on our Conference Advance Specials list.
This past year Hoosier United Methodists awarded more than $150,000 through our connectional channels. It is my hope that we can continue building on this generosity to ministries that focus on the health and well-being of children throughout the world. Thank you for your generosity.
As your congregation celebrates the wonders of 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.
Grace and peace,
Bishop Michael J. Coyner
Please send your Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children, payable to Indiana Conference UMC, and mail to INUMC, Dept. 6089, Carol Stream, IL 60122-6089. Mark the memo: Christmas Offering. Thank you. You may also donate online here.
To learn more about the 2014 Christmas Offering, please visit the Conference website here.