Running a 5K...playing Wiffle Ball...saving lives...
June 06, 2014
Serious fun at next week's 2014 New England Annual Conference sessions.
Next week, as we United Methodists gather for our annual conference session, we will transform the world. Not so much through our holy conferencing or legislative actions, but through our generosity and commitment to eradicating a preventable illness from a continent that suffers way too much loss. New England Annual Conference members are used to joining together to serve and help others. In recent years, as we gathered for conference, we measured and filled thousands of bags of food for relief efforts. This year, we will rally around our campaign called Imagine No Malaria, a comprehensive program of education, development and prevention so that our sisters and brothers in Africa do not have to bury their sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, because of an illness that could have been prevented.
The Illinois Great Rivers Conference celebrated opening night of their conference this week with an offering of more than $39,000 for Imagine No Malaria, which pushed them past their goal of $2.5 million. They have been a leading conference in this effort. We have a hefty goal too, of $1 million (with a stretch goal of $1.5 million)…and we hope to announce next week that we are halfway there. We too will open our conference session in worship celebrating the lives we’ve already saved through this campaign and receiving an offering of pledges and gifts to march forward toward our completing our goal. We will have some fun with it…swatting mosquitos, running in a 5K and playing wiffle ball, but this is serious business, saving lives. I give thanks for the creative and resourceful ways that congregations have already joined together in this effort and I look forward to the stories and the renewed commitment that we share at our conference this coming week.
I invite you to join me in prayer for our Annual Conference session June 11-14. About 1200 of us, laity and clergy, special guests, and friends, will gather to celebrate who we are as United Methodists, to discern how God is calling us to live and serve together in Christ’s ministry, to commission, consecrate, and ordain new ministers, and to grow more deeply in love with God and our commitment to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. It will be fun, challenging, stressful at times…but enormously gratifying if the Spirit moves in and through us to do all that we can to make a difference for such a time as this. I look forward to seeing you there.
Connected in Christ,
PS: If you can’t join with us in person, please follow the conference session live at neumc.org/ACstream. join us on Twitter (@neumc, #neumc14) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/neumc), and even make your offering to INM online (www.neumc.org/inm).
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