First, I thank God for all of you. I thank God for the countless ways you have participated in the ministries of the church by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness. Recently I completed the 2015 Rainbow Covenant Form. The Rainbow Covenant Program provides a way for congregations within the conference to show their love for missions here in Iowa, across the United States and around the world.
At Oakland UMC the Mission Committee selects mission projects for our Third Sunday Mission Offerings. Last year you supported the following Third Sunday Missions through your generous offerings:
- Children & Family Urban Ministry
- Iowa Disaster Relief Fund
- Open Door Mission
- Sienna Francis House
- UMCOR Response International
- Society of St. Andrew Potato Project
- Living Gifts (Heifer Project)
- Larry Kies, Missionary in Zimbabwe
- Shoebox Angels
- Preschool Books
The United Methodist Church designates a number of Sundays throughout the year as opportunities for recognizing and supporting particular ministries. These are referred to as Special Sundays. In 2015 you financially supported the following Special Sunday Offerings:
- Human Relations
- One Great Hour of Sharing
- Native American Awareness
- Peace with Justice
- World Communion
- United Methodist Student
Offerings were also given to support the following missions:
- Builders Call
- Women at the Well
- Feeding Starving Children
- Strength for Service
- Strengthening Romania’s Families
- ZOE: Helping Children Help Themselves
- Aid & Assistance
- Food Gift Cards
- Angel Tree
- World Day of Prayer
- You also supported the designated Southwest District Missions:
- Carter Lake
- Hispanic Ministries
- Emerging Ministries
Because you paid the church’s apportionments in full in 2015, supported missions in the seven mission categories, contributed monies to support a United Methodist Missionary, and supported local missions, the Oakland UMC will receive the Rainbow Covenant Award, Third Mile.
In the book of 2 Corinthians, Apostle Paul encourages us to give trusting God to care for us.
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
Through your support and generous giving to the missions of the church, you are a testimony to what is possible when we put our trust in God.
Thank you for sharing your love of God in word and deed.