Annual Conference Love Offering
Received May 3 – May 22
Our Offering will be presented by our Lay Member, Deb Noren at the 2018 Annual Conference Session the last week of May.
Each year, churches in the Minnesota Annual Conference take a Love Offering for missions. The offering is brought to the annual conference session—a gathering of United Methodist clergy and laity from across the state. Funds from this year’s Love Offering will to go three projects: Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery Trips, Park Avenue UMC Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program, and NUMAS Haus.
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.
In response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and left millions without electricity and water when it touched down last fall, Volunteers in Mission (VIM) trips from the Minnesota Annual Conference to Puerto Rico will commence this fall. As teams are formed and team leaders are trained, most of the Love Offering 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.
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.