If you missed worship on January 18, you missed an important and exciting announcement. During Advent this year, we celebrated A Different Kind of Christmas. We encouraged everyone to cut back on their spending for family and friends and then to match their giving to family and friends with giving to those in need. Our focus was on three outreach efforts to benefit children in need: Jubilee Christmas, the Bishop’s Christmas of-fering for Children; and Hat and Mitten trees to collect hats, gloves, mittens and scarves for children at Miller Elementary and LUM’s After School program. And all of you certainly rose to meet that challenge!
Jubilee Christmas saw a giving increase of 15% over 2013. Kristi Evans shared that, in 2012, there was not enough giving to cover normal and necessary pur-chases. Because of that difficulty, in 2013 we reduced the number of families from 22 to 20. This year, we stepped out in faith and increased the number of fami-lies to 22. Through your generosity, each family was able to receive one large gift (such as a bicycle or bas-ketball and hoop) for their children. And there were an adequate number of toys for parents to pick out what matched the needs and interests of their child. Many of these families do not have stable incomes and strug-gle throughout the year to provide for their children.
Your generous giving allowed these parents to be heroes in their children’s eyes on Christmas morning.
The Bishop’s Christmas offering for children benefits children here in Indiana and around the world. 1/3 of the offering benefits our United Methodist Chil-dren’s Homes here in Indiana. 1/3 provides scholarships to children in financial need so they are able to attend one of our United Methodist summer camps. The remaining 1/3 supports other UM children’s outreach efforts around the world. In 2013, giving to the Bishop’s offering for Children was $292. This Christmas the giving more than doubled; it was $639.
In the Sundays leading up to Christmas, it was beautiful to see the two Christmas trees in our sanctuary blossom with the color of children’s hats, gloves, mittens and scarves. The number of items donated were 130. And an additional monetary donation in-sures that we can continue to provide warm hats and gloves for children in need throughout this cold winter.
Thank you for your generosity! Children here in Lafayette, around our state and around the world were tremendously blessed through your giving.
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