By: Christa Meland
With more than a year of the Imagine No Malaria initiative remaining, the Minnesota Conference had raised $2,121,558 as of the end of July—84 percent of its $2,529,775 pledge.
Many churches have found their own unique ways to support the campaign, which the global United Methodist Church launched in 2010 and which aims to raise $75 million by 2015 to eliminate malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
Minnesota is well ahead of most other United Methodist conferences in terms of the amount raised to date. Churches within the conference have also given well beyond the conference’s initial $1.8 million goal.
On August 15, 357 United Methodists from 30 churches across Minnesota came together to cheer on the Twins at Target Field and enjoy fellowship with friends and colleagues from across the connection. “United Methodist Day” at the ballpark attendees also helped raise money for Imagine No Malaria: $3 to $4 from the sale of each ticket will go to support the initiative—$1,258 in total. (That sum will be included in the Imagine No Malaria totals through August, which will be tallied in early September.)
“I see the evening as a great opportunity to bond with friends from our church in a casual way . . .” says Linda McCollough, community outreach coordinator at Excelsior United Methodist Church. About 25 people from her church attended the game.
McCollough adds that the Twins’ ninth-inning hit, which lifted the team to a 4-3 victory, made the game all the more exciting.
“Watching the fans from our church high-fiving, hugging, and jumping up and down with smiles puts frosting on another Methodist night at Target Field!” she says.
Churches should continue to remit funds to meet their own Imagine No Malaria pledges so that the conference reaches 100 percent of its total pledge before the campaign ends late next year.
Christa Meland is director of communications for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church