A portion of the Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children goes to conference camping scholarships.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children Committee allocated on March 26 a record $140,000 to children and youth ministries in Indiana and around the world most of which was given during Christmas 2013 ($120,000).

Whether assisting with a children’s day camps in Franklin, a preschool in Indianapolis, a Christmas shopping store in South Bend, a summer food program in Newburgh, schools in Sierra Leone and Liberia, children and women caught in human trafficking around the world or providing camp scholarships for Hoosier children and youth to go to summer camp at a conference camp site, the generous gifts of Hoosier United Methodists have provided for the social, physical and spiritual needs of children around the world through the Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children.

Thank you for your generous contributions. They make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children. Most of those funds were allocated and recently distributed to more than 20 children’s ministries to help meet the special needs of children throughout the year.

The Indiana Conference Mission Team has prayed for and chosen ministries to improve and give hope to the lives of children. Christmas offering funds received in 2013 were allocated by percentage guidelines to meet the needs of children’s ministries in Indiana, throughout the United States and internationally.

Here are the amounts being distributed to each of these ministries related to the Indiana Conference:

  • Indiana United Methodist Conference Camping program were allocated $28,000 (or 20 percent) for first-time campers and children with financial need;
  • Indiana United Methodist- related children and youth homes was allocated $28,000 (or 20 percent – $9,333 each) including conference-related children’s homes at United Methodist Youth Home in Evansville, Bashor Children’s Home in Goshen and the Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home in Lebanon;
  • Bishop’s reserve fund for emergency children’s projects was allocated up to $28,000 (or 20 percent). Of that amount, $10,000 was allocated to the 2014 Indiana Annual Conference Session outreach project Kids Against Hunger. The rest will be used as emergency funds for children’s ministries at the discretion of Bishop Mike Coyner.

Indiana children’s ministry projects totaling $28,000 (or 20 percent) are being distributed in this way:

  • $2,230 – Spring Hill Day Camp at Grace UMC in Franklin,
  • $2,230 – East Tenth UMC Children and Youth Center in Indianapolis,
  • $2,230 – Rainbow Ark Preschool, a ministry of St. Andrew UMC in Indianapolis,
  • $1,730 – Ultimate Frisbee Outreach of the Smith Valley UMC in Greenwood,
  • $2,730 – Family Preservation Program, a ministry at the Indiana State Women’s Prison,
  • $2,230 – Jubilee Christmas Store, a ministry of Broadway Christian Parish UMC in South Bend,
  • $2,230 – Noble House Ministries, Inc., a homeless/crisis shelter serving the men, women and children of Noble County,
  • $2,480 – Hamilton County Kids Coats, an outreach of four UMCs in Hamilton County,
  • $2,480 – Children’s Clothing Center of Delaware County, Inc.,
  • $2,480 – Newburgh UMC Summer Food Program,
  • $1,230 – Greencastle TALKS Mentoring affiliated with Gobin UMC,
  • $2,480 – 14th and Chestnut Community Center, Inc., after-school program for inner-city children K-12 in Terre Haute, and
  • $1,230 – Youth and Young Adult Mission Service Fund provides scholarships to youth to serve on a mission team or to do other volunteer work, a ministry of United Methodist Women of Ind.

National and International ministry projects of $28,000 (or 20 percent) are being distributed in this way:

  • $15,500 – Operation Classroom educational ministries to Sierra Leone and Liberia United Methodist-related schools,
  • $3,000 – Children, Poverty, and Violence (GBGM Advance #14680A) supports initiatives which seek to engage children (under 18 years old) living in contexts of poverty and violence to become engaged in addressing issues in their communities,
  • $3,000 – Assistance to Trafficked Women and Children (GBGM Advance #3021031) provides refuge, counseling and skills training for victims of sex trafficking and prostitution,
  • $3,500 – Native American Children’s Fund (Advance #583581) assists children of limited income families with school clothing scholarships. It also assists graduating seniors of limited income families with scholarships to assist with graduation expenses, and 
  • $3,000 – Alabama Rural Ministry (Advance #721001) provides a summer day camp and after-school ministry.

Programs supported by this offering were selected by the Conference Mission Team and adopted by the Conference Special Offering Committee. These ministries are among those endorsed by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries or are on the Indiana Conference Advance Specials list.

Now is a good time for congregations to decide whether or not they wish to participate in the 2014 Bishop’s Christmas Offering. Promotional materials for the offering will be distributed to each congregation across the Indiana Conference the beginning of November as well as posted on the conference website at www.inumc.org.

For more information about the Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children, contact Allison Curts, associate director of the Indiana Conference Mission and Advocacy Team, at allison.curts@inumc.org.