A message from Bishop Devadhar: Christmas Giving Challenge

January 23, 2020

Dear Beloved in Christ: 

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, 
and all that is within me, 
bless his holy name. 
Bless the Lord, O my soul, 
and do not forget all his benefits — (Psalm 103:1-2, NRSV) 
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, 
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. 
(Psalm 115:1 NRSV) 


What shall I return to the Lord 
for all his bounty to me? 
I will lift up the cup of salvation 
and call on the name of the Lord, 
I will pay my vows to the Lord 
in the presence of all his people. (Psalm 116:12-14, NSRV) 

I write to you today, praising and adoring our Creator God, in and through the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for God's outpouring of love, grace, and mercy upon our Conference, worldwide ministries, and mission through the generous and sacrificial sharing of your resources. 

While visiting our districts this past fall, I shared my passionate witness about how mission has blessed me personally and

continues to bless the people of God across the globe irrespective of their background, ethnicity, caste, creed, orientation, or national origin. (Hear my witness).
With the support of our Cabinet and the Conference Committee on Finance and Administration (CCFA), I shared with you why it is important to support the goal of fulfilling 100 percent of our obligation to World Missions at such a time as this. 

As part of our Christmas Giving Challenge, we invited you to share the cost of 60 cups of coffee, so we could participate in our worldwide missions and conference benevolence without violating the will of the Annual Conference by dipping into our reserves. 

We are grateful and celebrate the ways you responded to the challenge! 

The great stories and witness shared by our District Superintendents, along with powerful stories and excitement coming from many quarters, continue to inspire me. I am so proud of each one of you and all our churches!

I would be failing in my duty if I did not share with you the wonderful results of your participation in our call to help make our dream a reality. 

Three hundred eighteen (318) churches paid 100 percent of their mission shares and 49 of these churches paid more than 100 percent! I know that some of the churches that did not make that goal tried their level best, and many of their members participated in the Christmas Giving Challenge.

In addition to your generosity, we benefited from market appreciation on our investments and provisions made to save money without jeopardizing our important ministries.  

Last night, upon receiving the preliminary report of our income and expenses, with all our bills having been paid, our CCFA declared its unanimous decision to pay 100 percent of World Missions. 
Friends in Christ, this accomplishment would not have been possible without the bounty that came through your generous support of the Christmas Giving Challenge, a strong stock market, and the faithful stewardship of our Conference leadership, including the Extended and Appointive Cabinet and our dedicated CCFA.   

It is also a great joy to note that in addition to meeting all obligations, we are in a position to put money into Conference reserves!   

As soon as the CCFA meeting ended, I read my Bible and thanked God: an amazing God doing amazing things through the wonderful churches and generous children of God here in the New England Annual Conference! 

In my Indian tradition, I say Namaste, meaning “I greet the Divinity in you!” From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! 

With a holy hug to each and every one of you! 

In Christ’s love, 

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar