Connectional Mission Giving

White Gifts Sunday

Communion Sunday always inspires me, as I try to pray for everyone who comes forward to receive the host: parents with children mostly in hand, senior singles, teens in their social bunches, and the less mobile waiting to be served in their seats. But yesterday was also Epiphany Sunday, celebrating the Magi coming to the…

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Engagement, Mission and Generosity

            Yes, mission trips can have a downside (if travelers are patronizing or culturally clueless, for example), but plan on doing one in the New Year anyway. We can learn how to improve the hands-on mission, but the learning for the missioner can be priceless.             In an excellent Inspiring Generosity post on Nov. 7…

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Grieve, Hope, Respond

St. Paul once wrote that we grieve, but not as those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13). I saw that personally once, when I attended the funeral of a man who was the patriarch of his Hmong clan, some of whom were members of the congregation I served. The family had decided to have…

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Billy Graham

On February 21 of this year, the American evangelist Billy Graham passed into heaven, after 99 years of life and more than sixty years of Christian ministry. In that time, he reached more than 210 million people (face-to-face and by satellite feeds) in 185 countries and territories on six continents. Those efforts began in 1947…

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Epiphany — God Beyond the Boundaries

Most of us really like our comfort zones: the settings and situations in which we can feel confident in certain roles, know our neighbors or coworkers, and trust that nothing too unexpected and dangerous will catch us by surprise. But those Magi – the wise ones who followed that odd star to the Jesus’ birthplace…

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Mustard Seed Giving

Are you looking for that just-right Christmas gift for a woman who already has plenty of stuff? Giving a micro-loan to another woman in her name can be exciting and empowering to the women on both ends! I’ve put Women for Women International on my Christmas list. For twenty-four years, it has helped women survivors…

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Dec. 3 Global Migration Sunday

This Sunday, December 3, will be a special Global Migration Sunday, to raise awareness, give support, and pray for refugees and migrants around the world. Whether due to human conflict, persecution, or natural disasters, more than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. The United Nations Refugee Agency says that over 21…

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Impact Investing

“Impact investing” was a new phrase to me until I saw a piece on YouTube. The term refers to microfinancing: loaning very small amounts of money to individuals to help solve economic and social problems. Microfinancing is a market of about 100 billion dollars today, serving roughly 100 million people by giving loans of 50…

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December 2 #GivingTuesday

What a beautiful gift some anonymous donor has made for the United Methodist “#GivingTuesday”! For the one day of December 2, every gift made online to The Advance at www.umcmission.org/give will be matched, up to $1 million. “The Advance” is a collective term for hundreds of grassroots United Methodist mission projects in the U.S. and…

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Talking Mission

Remember all those church mission statements your congregation has painstakingly writtenover thepast years? Where are they now? I used to have a file drawer full of them, carefully formed in planning retreats, tried for a time and then filed away. But the only really great mission statement is the kind that sets our hearts on…

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