Our Christmas Offering - An Open Letter to The Church

Dear Church Family, 

This Christmas brings with it a season of new beginnings for our church family. From my appointment to our church in November, our family’s move into the parsonage to all of the new guests visiting our church home, it is a thrilling time to be part of the family here at Centerville UMC. 

As we celebrate the birth of our Messiah, it is also important to remember the hope that comes with Christ’s birth. It is a hope rooted in the belief the world is different because of Jesus. It is a hope established in the belief that as Jesus’ followers, we are different. 

This year, let’s step out in faith and show the world just how much Jesus has changed our lives. We can do this by giving 100% of the Christmas offering to those in need. 

Half of your generous giving will support mission through apportionments. Apportionments are our connection to the larger United Methodist church. These funds are used to support ministries around the globe, and to help churches in need of assistance. Apportionments are our way of saying we believe in the larger church, and we are in this together. A good example of how apportionments are used is to deploy missionaries to cities around the U.S., or to support a new-church start in a dying community. Apportionments are critical to the larger church. 

The other will benefit the work to end malaria through Imagine No Malaria. Imagine No Malaria is a global campaign to end an awful disease which takes the life of someone in Sub-Saharan Africa every 60 seconds. You and I are blessed to live in a nation with resources to eradicate malaria within its borders, but our global neighbors still live day to day fighting a disease that lives among them. So, here is the reality—if enough people get behind the fight against malaria, we will end this disease in our lifetime. 

Connor (my 8-year-old son) says it well, “Dad, that could be me. Those kids are no different from me.” The truth is, any one of us could be in their situation—the only thing which makes us different is where we were born. 

Let’s unite this Christmas and give Jesus a birthday present He would be honored to receive. Let us give the gift of placing others before ourselves—the gift of love and hope. 

Our Centerville UMC goal is to raise $15,000 this Christmas. We are preparing for Christmas Eve worship attendance to be 600 people—if each of us gave only $25, we could save a life, ignite a church and give the thrill of hope to those in need. 

Together in the Mission,

Tony