December 06, 2013
United Methodists made history this week as we collectively gave over $6.5 million to missions in one day on Giving Tuesday. That’s only the online donations…we haven’t even counted the checks! Praise God for the generosity of faithful Christians in our church. It is a testament to the power in our numbers and the spiritual commitment of our sisters and brothers in the connection. We can do so much more together when we join our hearts in one spirit.
That spirit is making a big difference in the lives of our clergy through the creativity, vision, and generosity of the Preachers’ Aid Society. If you don’t know about their work, I hope you will take a look at all they do to take care of retired and active clergy. One of the best gifts they give is the higher education loan program. If you are a clergy person serving a church, the PAS will finance your loan for you at 6.25% BUT if you pay it on time, you only pay 1.25% interest! That’s a huge savings, allowing you to be more faithful in stewardship.
Another great way to save money and give back at the same time is by ordering your church resource materials through Cokesbury. If you don’t already know about the great work of our United Methodist Publishing House and Cokesbury.com, please take some time to explore their new and improved website. Through our connection our denomination is able to publish our own materials and resources, saving costs and allowing us to return the profits into our mission and ministry. Currently, Cokesbury profits are given to support the pensions of clergy in the central conferences, places that have not traditionally offered retirement benefits. Everyone receives a 37% discount (and sometimes more) on books and resources, which is now more competitive with online retailers. Another plug for Cokesbury…the store now comes to you! If you’d like to take a closer look at VBS or Sunday School supplies, adult curriculum, etc. Bradley Keefer is our conference’s community resource consultant and he will personally deliver items for you to look at and then will come pick them up when you’re done. (Many of these resources are also available for free to borrow from our conference resource library.) If you’d like to know more about what Cokesbury has to offer your church, contact Bradley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-861-7139.
If this blog entry sounds like a commercial…it IS. But it is a commercial for our own gifts and resources within our church. It is a celebration of what we have to offer from the best of what God has given and entrusted to us.
May we all strive to be good stewards…saving and giving all that we can to transform the world.
Connected in Christ,