Members of the Nazareth United Methodist Church prepare for the arrival of Global Ministries staff in Kindu, East Congo.
United Together in Giving
By Thomas Kemper*
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As we approach the season of giving and enter into our second year of UMC #GivingTuesday on December 2, I am reminded of the extravagant generosity of United Methodists all around world and the spirit of partnership in which we give to mission.
Earlier this year, during a visit to East Congo, I visited Nazareth United Methodist Church in Kindu, a church that the General Board of Global Ministries supported by funding construction of a new church. The wonderful thing about this construction is that 80 percent of the materials, labor costs, and the actual bricks used to rebuild the church were supplied by the East Congo Annual Conference and the church members themselves—only 20 percent of support came from Global Ministries. This demonstrates a partnership that leans away from dependency toward the empowerment of local communities to be leaders in their own development. It is also the avenue of the mission path we have been traveling, for quite some time now, as a global, connectional church.
The church’s holistic response to those in need is an expression of our faith, a confirmation of our discipleship, and a witness to our love for our neighbors—as we walk alongside them as partners. And, when we give to those with whom we serve in ministry, our gifts are maximized, far beyond what we can ever think, ask or imagine.
Part of the reconstruction of Nazareth United Methodist Church in Kindu included a new metal roof that now shelters community church members. Photo: Christie R. House
This year, we once again have that opportunity to maximize your support. When you or your church makes an online donation to any project or missionary through The Advance on December 2, 2014, your gift will multiply. Global Ministries will allocate the matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million* in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 2 between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST.
On this day you can connect with the missional strength of The United Methodist Church. Your unique gift can help communities build churches, strengthen leaders, empower women through vocational training, educate children, and equip hospitals and clinics. You can support a missionary who is sharing the love of Christ or support the relief efforts of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), which alleviates human suffering by responding to the needs of those recovering from a natural or civil disaster.
When Methodists are united in giving, when we bring our gifts together, we participate in the physical and spiritual restoration of God’s people and creation.
The Advance is a channel in The United Methodist Church that connects us in mission. And you can be confident that 100% of your gift will support the project you designate. Administrative costs are paid for by the apportionments of United Methodist churches. One Great Hour of Sharing covers UMCOR's administrative costs, which receives no apportionment funds. The Advance has more than 950 Methodist-related projects and more than 300 missionaries who have gone through a review process and are accountable for how funds are used.
I encourage you all to partner in giving and watch how God will maximize your gifts in the year to come.
Thank you for your faithful support and compassionate spirit.
*Thomas Kemper is the General Secretary for Global Ministries.
*Global Ministries will allocate the matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 2, 2014, between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.