Moment for Mission
"And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them." – 2 Corinthians 5:15, NRSV
As United Methodists, we continue to look to the guidance of John Wesley in our theology of grace, our works of piety and mercy, our pursuit of social holiness and our governance of the church. This includes our stewardship and fiscal responsibilities. Wesley advised believers to give generously. "Having, first, gained all you can, and, secondly saved all you can, then give all you can," he said. Wesley encouraged individuals to be wise as well as generous.
We want to know our gifts to the church will be used well, that our generosity will benefit God's kingdom work. The General Administration Fund underwrites and finances those administrative tasks that keep the church accountable financially and holds the church to its commitment and identity. The fund implements administrative oversight, supports the legislative processes of the church, and curates The United Methodist Church's rich history.
But it's not all behind-the-scenes work. The General Administrative Fund also supports The United Methodist Church's legislative process, making possible General Conference every four years and the special session of General Conference in February 2019 in St. Louis. At that conference delegates will try to discern how The United Methodist Church will grapple with human sexuality questions that threaten the unity of the denomination. Our gifts to the General Administration Fund are critical to the church's survival.
God, guide us to be the church that lives for you. Help us to be committed to integrity and faithfulness in our stewardship, our administration and our identity as United Methodists. Encourage us to give generously to support the work that holds us accountable. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fourth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide –Mysterious God of Infinite Love, we often wonder what we can contribute to the realization of your reign on earth as in heaven. We seem the most unlikely of candidates to offer any gifts to the fulfillment of your mission, yet we are the ones you have chosen. We offer our gifts this morning, but more than these, we offer ourselves. We pray this in the name of Jesus, your son, who called us into discipleship. Amen. (1 Samuel 15:34–16:13)
If you have ever sung "Blessed Assurance," you are familiar with a popular hymn written by lifelong Methodist Fanny J. Crosby. Did you know Sojourner Truth was a traveling Methodist preacher? Did you know the Methodist Church divided over slavery? Did you know there once was a central jurisdiction that put all of the African-American churches in one segregated conference? This was dissolved when the Methodist Church and the Evangelical Brethren Church merged into The United Methodist Church 50 years ago.
For many years, United Methodists and their predecessors have strived for education for all and have been involved with several historically black colleges and universities. Our beloved church has worked to end malaria, responded to disasters and combatted Ebola. United Methodist history is rich and diverse. We have much to celebrate and many opportunities to learn from our mistakes. Our gifts to the General Administration Fund ensure our history is preserved. Please give generously.