Each year, churches in the Minnesota Annual Conference take a Love Offering for missions in conjunction with our Annual Conference Session.
The theme of the 2021 Annual Conference—taking place June 22-24—is “Jesus. Waymaker.” The Love Offering provides the opportunity to experience the joy of doing way-making work with Jesus—feeding the hungry, reaching out to the migrant, and providing ongoing opportunities to touch lives with God’s compassion and grace.
Bishop David Bard invites congregations to pray about and participate in the Love Offering as a generous expression of God’s wild and extravagant love.
Our Love Offering this year is dedicated to feeding the hungry and ministering to migrants. The funds from this year’s offering will to go to: The Methodist Border Friendship Commission (50 percent), host churches of Ruby’s Pantry (20 percent), the Matthew 25 food distribution (20 percent), and Volunteers in Mission scholarships (10 percent).
If you wish to donate by check, send a check to Minnesota UMC, 122 W. Franklin Ave., Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Be sure to put "Love Offering" in the memo line.
Recipient of 50 percent of 2021 Love Offering
The Methodist Border Friendship Commission (MBFC) is a ministry of the El Valle District of the Rio Texas Conference of the UMC. It supports a number of immigrant and refugee service organizations along the Texas border.
One such organization is La Posada Provencia shelter in San Benito, Texas. For over 30 years, La Posada Provencia has served individuals and families who flee to the United States due to political oppression, natural disaster, and other life-threatening actions in their native countries.
Currently it provides housing, English lessons, and life skill classes for six-12 months to about 24 people who are awaiting resolutions to their legal cases. These clients also receive assistance navigating paperwork and the complex immigration process. School-age children are enrolled in local schools so they don’t fall behind in their education.
Due to a recent influx of immigrants, La Posada is also helping more than 20 newly arrived immigrants and asylum seekers per day with meals and shelter before they continue to their destination. La Posada provides them with backpacks, clothing, snacks, and children’s activities for the final leg of their journey.
Funds from the Love Offering will help provide supplies, shelter, and transportation for both the long-term and short-term clients.
Recipient of 20 percent of 2021 Love Offering
Albert Lea UMC, First UMC (the Coppertop) in Duluth, and Forest Hills UMC in Forest Lake each host monthly Ruby’s Pantry grocery distributions at their churches as a way to live out Jesus’ call to feed the hungry and love our neighbor.
For a $20 donation used to cover food storage and transportation, each guest receives an abundance of high-quality grocery items. Between the three churches, groceries are provided to about 750 households each month. This portion of the 2021 Love Offering will be shared by the three churches and will be used to purchase supplies needed to facilitate the distribution and to pay for shares for families who are unable to pay the $20.
Recipient of 20 percent of 2021 Love Offering
Originating at Spirit River Community UMC in Isanti 12 years ago, this food distribution ministry has been relaunched as a partnership between Spirit River, the Spirit River Foundation, and Coon Rapids UMC. Matthew 25 is based on Jesus’ words: “Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.”
Once a month, groceries sourced from corporate and community partners are prepared by volunteers and distributed to everyone who comes, no questions asked. Currently, groceries are freely given to 600-800 families per month. Soon, a second location in partnership with St. Andrew Lutheran Church in East Bethel will serve even more people. This portion of the Love Offering will be go towards the purchase of storage shelves, a pallet jack, refrigerators, and packaging materials so that Matthew 25 can expand its ministry.
Recipient of 10 percent of 2021 Love Offering
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (VIM) participants of every age serve in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Most teams from Minnesota spend up to two weeks working on hands-on projects in construction, disaster response, teaching, health care, and packing supplies for overseas shipment. Team members pay their own way, and every year, 10 percent of the Love Offering goes to help offset the cost for first-time participants.
In addition to the Love Offering, congregations can collect and donate supplies to make tornado kits for the Midwest Mission Distribution Center, a depot of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Collection will take place July 9 and 10 at collection sites across the state. More information about tornado kit collection is coming soon.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church