When you go to the Iowa United Methodist web page (www.iaumc.org) at the very top of the page are listed the links to: Log in, Districts, Staff, Find a Church, Clergy/Laity, and the dreaded - Forms. When you click on Forms you are taken to a page that has no less than 24 Form Types. Even the church is not given a reprieve when it comes to completing the required forms. However, there is one form I actually enjoy completing. The form I am referring to is the Rainbow Covenant Report Form. This is where all the yearly mission work of the church is recorded.
The form is divided into three kinds of mission work: First Mile Giving, Second Mile Giving, and Third Mile Giving. First Mile Giving occurs when a church's apportionments are paid in full. Second Mile Giving includes the Six Special Sunday Offerings we take (such as Human Relations Day, One Great Hour of Sharing, World Communion Sunday) and other missions we support during the year. The various Second Mile Givings are categorized by colors, hence the name of the form, the Rainbow Covenant Form.
Purple is the color of our Six Special Offerings. The other colors are indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Some of our other missions that are listed under the previously mentioned colors are:
- Builders Call
- Latino Center
- Heifer Project
- Habitat for Humanity
- Imagine No Malaria
The third kind of mission work, Third Mile Giving, includes missionary salary support and local giving. In 2013, we financially supported the missionary, Larry Kies. Our local giving included the following:
- Aid & Assistance
- Soles for Souls
- Shoe Box Angels
- Ecumenical Youth Group
- Angel Tree Gifts
This is not an all inclusive list of the missions you have supported this year. The Rainbow Covenant Form Report is not due until February 1 (why rush, right?). Hopefully by then it will be complete. But the Good News is this report reveals that you are a missional church. You have heard the call of God to share what you have been given with others. This is one form it is a joy to complete!
Thank you for giving. Your giving does make a difference in the lives of countless people. You are proof of the scriptural truth as written in 2 Corinthians:
"And God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity. He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts, which they receive from us. For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God's people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude to God. And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else." (2 Corinthians 9:10-13)