NASHVILLE, Tenn. - United Methodist teachers and children's leaders are receiving a packet of information designed to get kids more involved in supporting missions around the world.
The packet from the United Methodist Children's Fund for Christian Mission is about children helping children, said Mary Alice Gran, director of mission education with children at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. The agency is cosponsoring the effort with the denomination's Board of Global Ministries.
The packet is a tool for mission education, and it includes information on how children can raise money to support mission projects that help other kids.
"When a congregation uses the packet consistently, year after year, the children of that congregation learn about children in other parts of the United States and the world as well as develop a habit of being mission-minded," Gran said. "When giving to others is fun as well as educational, the impact on the giving children can last a lifetime."
The Children's Fund for Christian Mission enables children to learn about and contribute to a select group of mission projects. The projects are chosen for their value in helping the children understand what it means to be in mission.
"The packet is a very important tool for congregations and the children," Gran said. "The exposure children can have to a wide variety of projects and places helps them to understand the needs of children everywhere. Children learn that children in other places may lead different lives but they have many things in common, too."
The fund raises about $200,000 for missions with children. The 2003 packet offers teachers and leaders of children examples of activities to raise money for the fund.
The Board of Global Ministries chooses six projects - three in the United States and three abroad - annually for support and study, and the Board of Discipleship prepares the teaching packet. The projects for 2003 are Ministry With Children in Namibia, South Africa; Wesley House Community Center in Knoxville, Tenn.; KIDTOWN! Grace United Methodist Church in Gary, Ind.; Community Outreach Program with Street Children in Mumbai, India; Wi'am Center: Trauma Healing Project in Bethlehem, West Bank, Israel; and Character Ministries: Culmore United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Va.
Each project receives an equal share of the money the fund receives, according to Gran.
Since there is no reporting number similar to those of the denomination's Advance Special projects, donors may send contributions directly to the United Methodist Children's Fund for Christian Mission, P.O. Box 340013, Nashville, TN 37203-0013. Include the name of the local church and address.
More information on the United Methodist Children's Fund for Christian Mission is available by visiting www.gbod.org/children; contacting Gran at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 7143, or [email protected]; or contacting Shirley Wu at the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries at (212) 870-3615 or [email protected]
By Albert H. Lee