Posted on Thu, Dec 15, 2016
Click to learn about this Christmas offering ministry
Methodism’s founder John Wesley said, "I look upon all the world as my parish." Wesley reminded us that we are called to step out of our little corner of the world to spread the good news, transform hopelessness into hope and help God’s children wherever they may be.
"I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."
—Matthew 25:35-36, NRSV
While it would be wonderful if we could reach out personally to everyone who needs our help, we know that is impossible. So we gather regularly with our congregation and put money into the offering plate, and through a carefully crafted system of United Methodist mission and ministry our gifts stretch around the world.
Your contributions to your local church not only benefit your local congregation, but also have regional, national and international impact through our connectional giving system. Most of the money you give is used to support the ministries of your local church. A small portion funds regional ministries.
Finally, a portion of your giving goes to the general church to support programs on a national and international level, which have been agreed upon by lay and clergy delegates of General Conference. We share the cost of these ministries, with each local church being responsible for contributing a fair portion or "apportionment."
The power of our collective giving enables us to spread the love of Jesus Christ, educate clergy, encourage cooperation with other faith communions, fund General Conference, nurture historically Black colleges and Africa University, and support bishops.
We can go beyond these primary gifts to the church and contribute to additional ministries through the Advance and churchwide Special Sundays with offerings. The Advance for Christ and His Church offers individuals and groups an opportunity to contribute to specific programs, missionaries and ministries of their choice. Six times a year, Special Sundays focus churchwide attention on specific ministries of the church such as promoting peace and justice and providing scholarships and student loans.
We live in a global village, and the world is our parish. When we give generously, our gifts do wonderful, life-changing things in the name of Jesus Christ
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