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Dec. 31 – World Service Special Gifts

A Moment for Mission

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all people.'" — Luke 2:10

No matter where you fall on the subject of the news media, there seems to be more bad news than good flooding our screens these days. The church is to be about the business of the Good News, for all people. The Good News, as in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Good News for the transformation of the world.

As The United Methodist Church, we are able to bring this Good News by what we can do together. 

There are opportunities beyond our apportionments that allow us to further our reach. Some of these opportunities are in giving to World Service Special Gift projects.

Anyone can give to these projects. The impact of giving to these projects is exponential. Those who receive assistance from World Service Special Gift projects in the form of education and training are not the only ones benefiting. Those who benefit from their use of education as they develop as leaders are affected as well. 

The World Service Special Gift projects do not receive advance funding. World Service Special Gifts are designated gifts made directly from individuals or churches. The Africa University Endowment Fund, Leonard Perryman Communications Scholarship for Ethnic Minority Students, the Methodist Global Education Fund, the National Anti-Gambling Project, and the Lay Missionary Planting Network are projects approved by the connectional board. 

Offertory Prayer
God, our provider, help us to be mindful that every good gift is from you and the greatest gift came in the form of your son. Remind us of our call to proclaim this Good News. May we be generous as we consider giving above and beyond, that we may be a part of shining light in a dark world. Amen. 

From Discipleship Ministries: First Sunday After Christmas Day – Holy God, we marvel at your love and faithfulness! At the right time, your Son Jesus lived among us and invited us to call you our heavenly Father. Because of his obedience, you have adopted us into your beloved family. We are grateful that you have brought us through challenging times in the past. As we look forward to the new year, send your Spirit to help us trust that you will continue to guide us. Let our gifts and offerings be pleasing in your sight, for this we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. (Galatians 4:4-7) 

Newsletter Nugget
World Service Special Gift projects are not the same as the World Service Fund apportionments that congregations contribute to each year. These special gifts are to be considered above and beyond the usual giving.

Why the distinction? In 1984, the General Conference agreed to pilot a program that would allow special appeals for giving that were outside of the previously determined apportionments and Special Sunday giving. This is the World Service Special Gift fund. 

Many of the World Service Special Gift projects have to do with education and leadership development. However, the National Anti-Gambling Project is also one of the World Service Special Gift projects. What a gift it is to stand up against gambling. Gambling and gambling addictions can cripple families, sometimes keeping them from meeting the most basic needs.

The world is in need of a church that shines light into the darkness of addiction.

Contributions can be made directly from individuals or churches, not only to the National Anti-Gambling Project but also to any of the other World Service Special Gift projects. 

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