Second Sunday of Advent: Peace
Bishop Ward’s meditation this week is about the theme of peace for the second Sunday of Advent, as we prepare for the coming of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Connections
Clergy Benefits Academy at Myrtle Beach
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits invites all active clergy and spouses to attend the Clergy Benefits Academy in Myrtle Beach, SC Feb. 17-19. Registration is required and available online at www.gbophb.org. Click on “Events” and then click on “Clergy Benefits Academy.” There is information regarding registration, classes, hotels and day care on the website. Alternatively, for questions about the Academy schedule, call Renee Smith-Edmondson at 1-800-269-2244, ext 4273. For questions about registration, hotel accommodations or day care, call Anne Green at 1-800-269-2244, ext 4560.
December 2013 Advocate now online
The December 2013 Advocate is now posted online. Read about the state of children and poverty which was discussed at the Faith Summit in Wilson on Nov. 23 and the 2013 Pilgrimage for youth held in Fayetteville. Don’t have an online subscription? It’s only $8 for a year. Subscribe today!
Christmas Shopping can Benefit Local Churches/Agencies
The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), in partnership with some of the largest online retailers, has built a shopping tool that provides a cash benefit for a local church, church agency, or college/university/campus ministry when you purchase through the UMCmarket. Make online purchases from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, PetCo, PetSmart, Staples, Walgreens, Lowes Home Improvement, OfficeMax, Sears, Old Navy, FTD, and hundreds more retailers and have a portion of your purchase sent to a local church or a United Methodist-affiliated agency. You can even book travel through Travelocity. How does it work? Create an account at www.UMCMarket.org and designate the beneficiary of your choosing.
IRS Announces Mileage Rates for 2014
On Dec. 6, the Internal Revenue Service issued the 2014 standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be 56 cents per mile for business miles driven; 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. For more information, go to mileage.
UMC #GivingTuesday Generates a Record $6.5 million
The denomination’s General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) announced that the first-ever UMC #GivingTuesday generated a record $6.5 million online on Dec. 3. Nearly 11,000 donors in 34 countries gave more than 16,300 gifts through The Advance to mission and ministries they believe in. More