The Love Offering for Missions is gathered 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 2017 Love Offering totaled more than $92,000. The United Methodist University of Sierra Leone School of Applied Health Sciences received 60 percent of that total, Emma Norton Services received 30 percent, and Volunteers in Mission Scholarships received 10 percent.
The 2018 Annual Conference theme is "Discover Joy: Live Deeply!" and funds from this year's Love Offering will to go three projects:
Recipient of 65 percent of 2018 Love Offering
In response to Hurricane Maria, Volunteers in Mission (VIM) trips from the Minnesota Annual Conference to Puerto Rico will commence in the fall.
As teams are formed and team leaders are trained, most of the funds will be used for construction supplies bought and used on the island. Some of the funds will cover the purchase of hygiene kit and cleaning bucket supplies. Additional funds will be used for scholarships for first-time VIM participants.
Recipient of 20 percent of 2018 Love Offering
The Freedom Schools Program is a six-week summer day camp experience for children. Its mission is to ensure that every child receives “a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start, and a moral start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.” Each year, about 50 scholars are part of Park Avenue UMC’s program, which aims to address the “summer slide” and to close the achievement gap.
Mornings are spent improving reading skills. In the afternoons, children participate in enrichment activities, including art, cooking, gardening, music/dance, and physical education. Love Offering funds will cover expenses for reading curriculum materials and for young adult mentors.
Recipient of 15 percent of 2018 Love Offering
NUMAS Haus provides emergency shelter and support services to homeless single women and their children in New Ulm and surrounding Brown County. Adjacent and connected to First UMC in New Ulm, clients are able to live there for up to 90 days as they complete a program that includes counseling, health and financial management, parenting and food preparation skills, and obtaining access to county social services and vocational training.
Upon completion, participants are encouraged to secure permanent housing but may not immediately be able to pay market-rate rent. Love Offering funds will be used to help families with transitional rent assistance for six to 12 months.
All churches will receive a packet with materials to help them promote the Love Offering to their congregations. Please share this giving opportunity! Here are electronic copies of those resources:
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church