In this video, Bishop Ward invites us to plan for generosity this upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
We celebrate the way that the United Methodist connection is a global family. We are profoundly connected with one another, offering to one another grace, mercy, compassion and love and receiving those same things through engagement with one another. This is the miracle of grace overflowing into the world.
In October, my husband Mike and I, along with Steve Taylor, our Director of Connectional Ministries, and Jaye White, our Director of Outreach Ministry, were in Vietnam for the annual meetings of the Vietnam Mission Initiative. For 20 years, The United Methodist Church has been present in Vietnam, and people have been drawn to the Light of Christ. Churches now abound in the country from the north, and the middle, to the southern Mekong area of the country.
These annual meetings gathered leaders first in the southern region, then in the middle region, and last of all in the region near Hanoi. Stories were told of overflowing mission. It was a great reunion of Methodist leaders who are dispersed across the country, working through their congregations in local villages as well as cities and towns. I share this example of Mission Initiative of our church so that we might celebrate all the places in which we are engaged in mission.
For 25 years, our annual conference has had a partnership with the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Bishop in Armenia has been in touch with a grand invitation for the 25th anniversary celebration of this partnership. It will take place in Yerevan next year 2018. The Christmas boxes, which many of you packed earlier in the year, have been delivered and will bring great joy to Armenian children very soon.
Together, as the seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas dawn, we plan for generosity. You’re invited to remember #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday is the annual day following Black Friday, a great day of shopping, and Cyber Monday, a day of buying things online, to observe #GivingTuesday, a day of great generosity.
This is a wonderful way to honor friends, relatives, at Christmas. Consider giving a gift this year in honor of those you love. Doing this through #Giving Tuesday through the Advance of our church will bless someone out in the world, and your loved one or friend will be greatly honored and blessed as well.
Together, the United Methodist connection is strong and overflowing. Thank you for your generosity, shared freely, into all the world.