Today is Giving Tuesday, and is the PERFECT time to help make a real difference in the world. Prayerfully consider helping end hunger in our lifetime with a gift to Stop Hunger Now. Below is an open letter from tour CEO, Rod Brooks.
Today is #GivingTuesday! Have you contributed to Stop Hunger Now? For today only, as part of UMC #GivingTuesday, gifts made to Stop Hunger Now through Advance # 982795. will be matched.* As always, when you give to us through The Advance, 100 percent of your gift directly supports our work; overhead costs are covered through other channels.
UMC #GivingTuesday is an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of cheerful Christian giving by making a donation to Stop Hunger Now through The Advance. When you make an online donation December 2 you will unite with others to maximize impact and show the world the transformational power that can happen in one day…when Methodists are united.
Last year on UMC #GivingTuesday, United Methodists collectively raised a record $6.5 million online through The Advance . We received $32,000, and thanks in part to those gifts, in December 2013 we were able to distribute more than 2 million meals to people around the world who suffer from hunger.
Thank you so much for your faithful support and for multiplying your impact by making a generous online gift today for UMC #GivingTuesday.
Grace and peace,
Rod Brooks, President and CEO
Stop Hunger Now
P.S. Take a selfless selfie holding a sign saying why you are supporting Stop Hunger Now on Dec. 2 UMC #GivingTuesday. Make sure to include www.umcmission.org/give and tag us in the post so we can share it.
*Global Ministries will allocate 2:1 “matching funds” up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on December 2, 2014, between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.
I just read a wonderful article by Bishop Sandra Steiner Bell in the March 22nd issue of the UNITED METHODIST REPORTER. Entitled “Faith in Christ calls us to seek justice, end poverty,” the piece uses child poverty statistics in West Virginia to introduce the larger issue of people of faith working toward peace and justice.
The good bishop states that believers are responsible for leading works of charity and justice that will alleviate the injustice that fills our world. In her words, “This is the body of Christ engaged in action that creates structural change in society to reduce and eliminate poverty.”
The bishop points out that there is no “purely spiritual answer to the pain of the poor.” Amen! We have to take action if we are to achieve a world where justice reigns. Faith, advocacy and action on behalf of the poor and hungry are all necessary ingredients in achieving justice.
She quotes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr who once said:
The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization…The time has come to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.
We need to thank this enlightened episcopal leader for her call to action. Again, in her words, “As the people of faith, may we be bold!”
Here in Kenema it’s almost eight o’clock in the evening. That’s good because I have ordered my dinner and will soon have something to eat. Breakfast was over 12 hours ago.
Also, the sun has gone down. That means the temperature has started to drop. A third reason for joy is that the electricity is turned on at seven. Now I have internet, which, although somewhat sketchy, works sporadically.
The 133rd Annual Conference of the Sierra Leone Methodist Church continues to go well. Anyone who has attended an annual conference in the United States would be right at home. The worship and singing is a little more spirited, perhaps, but the basic routine is the same. There are reports on top of the reports and recognitions abound. Then there are greetings brought by episcopal leaders from other denomination.
And of course, the conference is hours behind according to the calendar of events. That is to be expected, an no one seems unduly worried.
The nice part for me is that everyone expects the preaching to be spirited, and no one is watching the time. My sermons seem to be well received and I haven’t put anyone to sleep.
I have been able to reconnect with so many of my friends from my time in Sierra Leone during the war. It’s been a treat to catch up and share memories. I am also truly impressed with the progress the church has made since I was last here.
More to come once I have the opportunity to get back online.
My trip is now well underway. I am now in Jackson, Mississippi where I will meet Mike Ward tomorrow morning.
We are here to talk with some friends and supporters of Stop Hunger Now’s work in South Sudan. That will be fun, especially since we just received word that the two school buildings we have been building in the village of Old Fangak have now been completed, and work is progressing on finishing the Women’s Center, as well.
After lunch I head back to the airport to begin my flights to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and I am truly excited. It’s been years since I have been back, and I cannot wait to see the progress that has been made since all the fighting stopped. It will be my first visit to the country when the entire nation is at peace.
I have been asked to participate in the Sierra Leone Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. That should be a treat, especially since I will have the opportunity to spend time with a number of my Sierra Leonean friends. We have a lot of catching up to do.
From Jackson I fly to Atlanta. Then it is on to New York. From New York I have a direct flight to Accra, Ghana. My last flight is from Accra to Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. I arrive there around 3:30pm on the 15th. Once I arrive in Sierra Leone I have about a three or four hour drive to Kenema, the site of the Annual Conference.
Fortunately, I don’t speak until the 17th. A day to get over the jet lag is going to be appreciated.