The Love Offering for Missions is collected within Minnesota United Methodist churches and delivered to annual conference session. It benefits international, national, and Minnesota missions. The conference Missions Promotion Team determines the annual recipients.
Donations to the 2016 Love Offering totaled more than $96,000. The Minnesota Council of Churches Refugee Services received 40 percent of that total, the United Methodist Committee on Relief received 10 percent to cover the cost of shipping more than 13,000 health kits that Minnesota churches assembled and prepared, International Child Care in the Dominican Republic received 40 percent, and Volunteers in Mission scholarships received 10 percent.
The 2017 Annual Conference theme is "Encounter the Spirit: Live Expectantly" and funds from this year's Love Offering will to go three projects:
Recipient of 60 percent of 2017 Love Offering
Sierra Leone has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world, and one in every five children die before their fifth birthday. The vast majority of the country’s citizens don’t have access to health services, and there is an acute shortage of trained health professionals. This portion of the Love Offering will be used to expand United Methodist University of Sierra Leone by creating a School of Applied Health Sciences in the city of Bo. Funds may be used for rehabilitating an existing classroom building, hiring staff, preparing a curriculum, and purchasing materials. The school will be adjacent to United Methodist-affiliated Mercy Hospital, where students will receive practical, hands-on training. Midwives, nurses, community health officers, and technicians who graduate from this new institution will significantly improve the accessibility and quality of health care throughout Sierra Leone.
Recipient of 30 percent of 2017 Love Offering
Emma Norton Services helps women, children, and families achieve victory over homelessness, mental illness, and chemical dependency. The Twin Cities-based nonprofit provides safe, affordable housing through Emma Norton Residence, which supports 50 women in transition at any given time, and Emma’s Place, which houses 13 families on a permanent basis. In addition to housing, Emma Norton Services provides case management, peer and individual support programs, youth programs, life skills and out-of-poverty training, mental health support, and advocacy for women with disabilities. Through Emma Norton Services, families receive resources and coaching to equip them on their path toward stability.
Recipient of 10 percent of 2017 Love Offering
Mission trips transform the lives of participants by giving them an opportunity to grow in faith and gain a new perspective of the world. Through the United Methodist Church’s Volunteers in Mission program, teams spend up to two weeks working on mission projects domestically or abroad. Most teams from Minnesota are engaged in hands-on projects that build infrastructure to ensure that nutritional, medical, and educational programs in developing countries become sustainable and locally run. Team members pay their own way, and the Love Offering helps offset the cost for first-time participants.
In late February, all churches will receive a packet with materials to help them promote the Love Offering to their congregations. Please share this giving opportunity!
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church