I know what you’re thinking. I can almost see your faces coming through my computer screen; eyes rolling, arm hairs standing on end, frustration and anger welling-up inside; blood pressure rising. Some of you have even thrown this newsletter to the floor and have run off with your hands over your ears screaming, “Argh! MISSION SHARES! What good are MISSION SHARES?!? Ahhhh!!!! What has the Conference ever done for us?!?”
I don’t know if I can completely help you move through your fear of MISSION SHARES but I believe I can get you to see that MISSION SHARES are not a plague. In fact, they are a gift and a blessing. The United Methodist denomination created this program as a way to help churches of all sizes and settings live faithful the teachings of Jesus to care for the lost, downtrodden and weak of
this world. All denominations do this in one form or another. Churches in The United Church of Christ (UCC) participate in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) and Our Churches Wider Mission (OCWM).
The UMC prayerfully considered what great needs in the world the denomination would focus their mission and outreach on. The hope is that with a concerted effort and pooled monetary resource more work can be done. Sure, we could send our $25.00 offering directly to one of the MISSION SHARES ministries but it doesn’t pack as much punch as when it is sent along with thousands of other offerings. The difference can be waiting months for a enough money to purchase Flu vaccine to waiting days. Lives can be saved. Hope can be restored. And we can trust that while United Methodist Churches are working on these specific needs, other denominational churches are faithfully working on other areas of concern or perhaps a similar concern, like poverty, but in a different region of the world – including the USA.
So how do MISSION SHARES directly help PUMCST? All of our insurance rates are lower because, as a member of a denomination, we have GROUP insurance rates. Monies also go towards your pastor’s Pension/Retirement and Health Care (if we were a ¾+ time pastorate). Educational seminars, workshops and courses are offered to both clergy and laity thanks to the
monies collected through MISSION SHARES.
Simply stated MISSION SHARES connects us globally and regionally with the work of the broader church. Without this work/connection, we would be an inward looking-self serving church– neither of which is faithful, spiritual, or alive. Inward looking-self serving churches close. So how does paying our MISSION SHARES help PUMCST? It keeps us looking outward – to serve – to
thrive – to BE ALIVE!
May we growth faithfully together,