A Moment for Mission
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.
— Psalm 107:8 NRSV
Young children learn best about compassion when they are able to feel connected to a community and know that they can make a difference in the world. The United Methodist Church provides such an opportunity through the Children's Fund for Christian Mission. This is a ministry that moves beyond children collecting money to send to strangers in unfamiliar places and introduces them to children and communities around the country and around the globe. Participating in this ministry opens the door for children to gain a deeper understanding of life in differing cultures and socio-economic contexts. The resources available to local churches allow children to connect with and relate to children who do not have the same access to food, clean water and education while at the same time showing them that there is something they can do about it.
Each year a collaborative effort is made between the General Board of Global Ministries and Discipleship Ministries. The GBGM selects projects that relate to children and is later responsible for distribution. Discipleship Ministries develops resources that include stories and activities to help children in the local church connect with the global project. Projects can range from child agricultural programs, feeding ministries, orphanages, preschools and after-school programs.
The Children's Fund for Christian Mission is jointly sponsored by Discipleship Ministries and the GBGM and through gifts raised by local congregations.
God of Love, pour upon us, the gift of love to share with the world around us. Inspire in us a desire to make disciples of our children that they may begin to do your work in the world around them through service and generous giving. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost - God of wisdom, we are grateful that your Son Jesus calls even us his friend. He warns us to watch out for all kinds of greed. We struggle to remember that true life does not come from an abundance of possessions. Turn us away from seeking our own gain and mindlessly increasing our possessions. Empower us by your Spirit to be more generous toward you. Use these offerings to fulfill your purposes. We pray through Christ, our Savior and Friend. Amen. (Luke 12:13-21)
While there are 20 percent of children living in poverty, the majority of children living in the United States are living in situations where it is difficult for them to determine the difference between a need and a want. This is not the case for children who benefit from the projects funded by the Children's Fund for Christian Mission. These projects benefit children living in difficult circumstances such as extreme poverty and hunger, living without parents, or living in places where there is little to no access to quality education.
The Children's Fund for Christian Mission is more than a fund; it is a cooperative effort between the General Board of Global Ministries and Discipleship Ministries. Beyond collecting money, Discipleship Ministries has developed resources that tell the children's stories and include activities that help children gain a meaningful understanding of each project. Children have the opportunity to collect funds as a part of these activities. These funds go toward carrying out the projects in this act of stewardship and compassion.