In the first large group gathering held since the COVID-19 pandemic, The United Methodist Church in Indiana made a significant impact through their Missional Offering: 2,463 school kits to provide for children in need and $111,425.25 were collected to support refugee resettlement.
The Conference theme beckoned all to Love God, Love Neighbor at the 2022 Indiana Annual Conference. In this worship, Hoosier United Methodists were inspired to love the ones whom God loves through works of compassion and justice.
The Missional Offering for Annual Conference was designated for Afghan neighbors in Indiana, resettling after political unrest in the summer of 2021. Indiana Methodists are serving alongside and supporting agencies such as Exodus Refugee Immigration, Church World Service, and other organizations and churches that are co-sponsoring families. In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the funds are extended to include others who might come to Indiana for safety and resettlement.
The school kits were facilitated by Midwest Mission Distribution Center, one of eight cooperating depots in the UMCOR Supply Network. The school kits included scissors, crayons, notebooks, paper, pencil sharpener, ruler, pencils, and erasers. In some areas, children lack access to books and essential school supplies. These kits may be some children’s only educational resource. In addition to the 2,463 kits, $1,519 was donated to fund additional kits.
During Annual Conference, Hoosier United Methodists gave generously. On Thursday evening, the total was $29,747.20. By Friday afternoon, that offering had grown to $78, 585.50. On Saturday, the total was $102,373.72. Final tallies for the offering with gifts given after Annual Conference brought the total to $111,425.25.
Bishop Julius Trimble said, “United Methodists respond when the picture is painted clearly of the need, and the vision is cast for the lives that will be blessed by our response. In my 40 years of ministry, I have learned that we do not worship a God of scarcity. Churches of every size and location loved God and loved neighbor via our missional response at Annual Conference. Thank you to Rev. Glen Howell from the United Methodist Foundation and the laity and clergy who want children and families to be blessed. You came through in 2022!”
When God gathers people together for worship, they are moved to good works. Indiana Methodists worshipped God through song, scripture, and sacrament at Annual Conference. As they did so, their love for God was poured out into love for their neighbors. The Annual Conference Missional Offering, given sacrificially and with unceasing prayers, is a gift of faithfulness that exemplifies the shared mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Thanks be to God!