Grace and peace to you, generous people of God. I celebrate with you today that faithfulness through the apportionments of our annual conference to date is one percent above the amount given last year, which was one percent above the year before. We are living well into the invitation of Paul to Timothy to be very generous, to be abundant in good work – to give.
Through giving, we express our faith and share the grace which has come to us through Jesus Christ. Thank you for your generous gifts, for your trust in our connectional way of living and for your commitment to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of this world in every place, in every community through effective leaders and healthy congregations.
As we look toward the future, the Christmas season is not that far away and I invite you to mark Tuesday, Dec. 3 on your calendars. On this day, there’s an opportunity to give through the Advance of our church, a gift to mission – for missionary salary support or for a mission project which is dear to your heart; to possibly give an honorary gift to a friend or relative at Christmas.
On this day, #GivingTuesday, the first Tuesday in December, Dec. 3, every gift will be matched by the General Board of Global Ministries. Gifts of any size, up to $10,000 will be matched. If you give $20, $40 will be sent to the mission you designate. If you give $100, it magically becomes $200. It is an opportunity to double your gift.
It’s my hope and prayer that great generosity will flow across the North Carolina Annual Conference, particularly on this day. So let those in your congregation and community know of this way of giving most generously, as we honor those we love as Christmas comes.
In these and other ways, your generosity is making a difference in the lives of people in our communities and around the world. Thanks be to God for the indescribable gift of Jesus Christ.