Consider ‘above giving’ generosity
By GLENN HANNIGAN
Are you looking to make a difference this Advent season and to reach out to the “least, last and lost” among us? If so, you and your church might consider supporting one of the numerous ministries supported by the North Georgia Conference.
“We talk a lot about apportioned giving, which is important,” said Jamie Jenkins, Executive Assistant to the Bishop, “but we should also look at ‘above giving’ generosity that is such a strong part of our United Methodist tradition. This is a great time of year for us to support mission organizations with special offerings.”
Individuals or churches can support various ministries by making donations through the North Georgia Conference Treasurer’s Office. Here are just a few examples of “Advance Specials,” from a long list of worthy organizations supported by United Methodists:
- Stop Hunger Now. This international hunger relief organization coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. The organization is driven by a vision to end world hunger and a mission to provide food and life-saving aid to the world’s most destitute and hungry in the most sustainable, efficient and effective manner. For more information, go to: www.stophungernow.org.
- MUST Ministries. Founded in 1971 and rooted in the Christian tradition, MUST addresses the basic needs of individuals, families, and children in the Marietta, Smyrna and Canton/Cherokee County communities. MUST brings people of many faiths together to respond to God’s challenge to minister to others with compassion and love, without judgment of the beliefs, background or circumstances of those who serve or of those being served. For more information, go to: www.mustministries.org.
- Action Ministries. This is a unified family of ministries with programs in communities throughout North Georgia: Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Decatur, Gainesville, and Rome. Among the services offered are case management, supportive, education, transitional housing, food and feeding, and residential addiction treatment. Action Ministries also offers transitional housing sites in communities throughout the region. For more information, go to: www.actionministries.net.
- Society of St. Andrew. This is a grassroots, faith-based, hunger relief organization working with all denominations to bridge the hunger gap between 96 billion pounds of food wasted every year in this country, and the nearly 40 million Americans who live in poverty. For more information, go to: www.endhunger.org.
- One Great Hour of Sharing. Gifts to this offering underwrite UMCOR’s “costs of doing business,” which allows 100 percent of every other gift to be used on a specific UMCOR project and not on home office costs. UMCOR has been awarded top ratings by both Charity Navigator and the American Institute of Philanthropy. For more information, go to: new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/give/oghs.
- Our Daily Bread. In 1989, Oconee Street UMC joined with Athens Urban Ministries to open the city’s first noon kitchen, Our Daily Bread. When it first opened, Our Daily Bread served lunch to a dozen people. Today it serves lunch to more than 125 people a day Monday-Friday, as well as breakfast on weekdays and a sack meal on Saturdays and Sundays. Our Daily Bread also distributes food, health, and hygiene items to guests and provides space for guests to receive legal assistance, nursing care, and VA assistance. For more information, go to: www.Oconeestreetumc.org.
- Imagine No Malaria. This is an initiative of the people of the United Methodist Church to raise $75 million to eliminate malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. In partnership with our brothers and sisters in Africa, the gifts and resources shared through Imagine No Malaria will empower an entire continent to achieve a sustainable victory over the disease. We will accomplish this goal together with a comprehensive approach to fighting malaria that includes improving prevention, education, communication and treatment. For more information, go to: www.imaginenomalaria.org.
- Heifer Project. This group works to empower communities to rise out of poverty by providing gifts of livestock, training for the community and veterinary care needed to make the project successful. Heifer Project works with the community to develop farms, businesses and education required for those in need to rise from chronic poverty. Contributors share in the project’s progress with annual updates and the stories of the people your gift has enabled to pursue a better life. For more information, go to: www.heifer.org.
This article recently ran in the North Georgia Advocate, the official print source of the North Georgia United Methodist Conference. For more information about the North Georgia Advocate, or to subscribe, please visit www.ngumc.org/advocate or call 678.533.1376.