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Program Book 2013-14

Program Book 2013-14: Pledge to Mission Service for 2014

Living Our Calling

By Nichea Ver Veer Guy

A special program from A Calling for This Time-United Methodist Women Program Book 2013-14 to help women understand stewardship in giving so that ministries with women, children and youth can multiply.


Prepare

Prayerfully read through the lesson, thinking of ways to make this time together meaningful for the women in your unit or conference.

Materials

Gather the following items to use during the program:

  • Candle.
  • Coins and bills.
  • Colorful cloth for a table.
  • Cross.
  • Different kinds of containers (e.g., piggy bank, bank envelopes, jars, tin cans with World Thank Offering stickers, string bags or offering plates).
  • Musical instruments (e.g., Nepali singing bowl, Shofar Jewish horn and African drum to bring people together for worship).
  • Old issues of response magazine.
  • Pledge to Mission cards downloaded and printed.
  • Poster board or poster stock 8½ x 11.
  • The Faith We Sing hymnal.
  • United Methodist Women Bible (NRSV).

Room Setup

  • Design an altar or focus center with a colorful tablecloth using various kinds of containers for collecting money.
  • Display containers with coins and bills around them.
  • Designate a place to display the poster.
  • Add a cross, a candle and a Bible and place them all on the altar or focus center.
  • Assign a work area to prepare the poster.

Illustrate

Prior to the service, prepare a collage as a group that illustrates a mission area that you support using poster board or card stock. Select pictures of women, children and youth from response magazine or other local resources. Leave some blank spaces on your poster to show that there are other areas that need your support. This poster will be added to the focus center during the service along with the Pledge to Mission cards.


Pledge Service in the Conference

If the service is being held at a conference event, then a representative from each unit will come forward with her poster and briefly lift up what it represents and place it with her Pledge to Mission card on the altar during the service. You will want to make sure that you have given representatives Pledge to Mission cards prior to the event.


Learn

  • An individual member’s Pledge to Mission is the amount a woman gives to her local unit to help fulfill the PURPOSE of United Methodist Women.
  • The conference United Methodist Women pledges a specific amount to United Methodist Women’s national office for mission with women, children and youth and retains a designated percentage to be used for district and conference administration and membership development expenses.

Worship

Gathering

Instruments sound to bring people to worship.

Welcome

Leader: Welcome! We have come to celebrate the amazing gifts we as members of United Methodist Women offer: gifts of self, gifts that have been molded by our hands and gifts of our labors and sacrifice.

All who have come are welcome no matter what gift they are bearing.

God rejoices in our collective abundance!

Sing

Sing one of the following from The Faith We Sing hymnal:
“I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me,” no. 2153
“Sanctuary,” no. 2164
“Together We Serve,” no. 2175

Reading

Reader 1: Hear these words from 1 Timothy 6:17–19:
“As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.”

Leader: Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. They come as a token of love for a special holiday or a remembrance of a life passage. Sometimes they come in colorful paper and bows and sometimes they come in the moment of refuge as a warm blanket. Gifts impact our lives through change. They can be those deeds of love and moments of faith where willingness to share enables us to live out God’s hope.

We are going to take a few moments and ask you to dialogue with your neighbor about a time you received a gift that made a difference to you.

Discuss: How did the compassionate act of giving impact your life? (5 minutes)

Sound the instruments to bring everyone back together.

Leader: Remember the laws of tithing spoken of in the book of Leviticus? They were to be the gifts returned to God in appreciation for abundance.

Do you hear the simple sound of the widow’s mite as it fell into the bowl? It reminds us to come humbly before God and offer with confidence that which we can.

Can you feel the weight of the treasures of God that are stored in earthen jars? This encourages our faithful living to manifest and multiply as extensions of God’s earthly compassion.

I invite each and every one of you to come forward and place the poster of your work on the altar. Also, place your pledge card on the altar.


Pledge Service in the Conference

I invite the representatives from each unit to come forward and illuminate our path of Mission Giving with your pledge commitment and your illustration of compassionate ministry that your unit has committed  to.
Each unit will come forward, share their illustration and add it to the altar area with their Pledge.


Leader: We celebrate these treasures that women have to offer. They have placed within our care their coins of service, advocacy, justice ministries, mission education, spiritual growth and leadership development. They renew before God their commitment to faithful discipleship in mission. From these gifts, children will have schools, mothers will have health care, and youth will discover opportunities towards a stable future. Systems will be grounded with the diligence needed to sustain wholeness. Thanks be to God!

Reader 2: “Empower me to be a bold participant rather than a timid saint in waiting in the difficult ordinariness of now, to exercise the authority of honesty rather than to defer to power or deceive to get it, to influence someone for justice rather than impress anyone for gain, and, by grace, to find treasures of joy, of friendship, of peace hidden in the fields of the daily you give me to plow.” —Dr. Theodore Loder, retired United Methodist clergy from Philadelphia

Pause and Reflect

Leader: Mission Giving is the foundation for mission work through United Methodist Women. Your contribution enables a full and consistent response to human need, especially the needs of women, children and youth. It affirms the wholeness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a commitment to its proclamation in word and deed.

Mission Giving strengthens basic programs and projects. It also makes emergency response and exploration of new and evolving areas of mission possible.

  • How does our mission work support the PURPOSE and vision of United Methodist Women?
  • In what areas do we need to grow?
  • Let us look at the blank spaces on our posters—how can these places of need be filled through our giving?
  • How will we be changed through our giving?

Mission Giving

More than 70 percent of Mission Giving funds given by members go to programs and projects supporting women, children and youth, such as:

  • National and international institutions and programs.
  • Advocacy for women, children and youth.
  • Member support and leadership training.
  • Education and spiritual growth.
  • The Reading Program.
  • Deaconesses, home missioners and regional missionaries.
  • UMWOnline.
  • response magazine.
  • Grants.

AND SO MUCH MORE!

Around 20–30 percent stays with the local, district and conference organizations of United Methodist Women for local mission.

Only 9 percent is assigned for administrative costs.

For more information, go to www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/give.


Sing

Sing one of the following from The Faith We Sing hymnal:
“Grace Alone,” no. 2162
“Together We Serve,” no. 2175

Prayer of Thankfulness

Read in unison.

God of grace, we humbly come before you with our gifts. These are the gifts that represent the diversity of who we are and the wonder of what we can become. Challenge us to follow the path of compassion so as to engage us in continual mission with one another. Amen.

Benediction

Leader: “Make us worthy, Lord, to serve others throughout the world who live and die in poverty or hunger, give them, through our hands, this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give peace and joy.” —Mother Teresa of Calcutta, founder of Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic order of religious sisters

Additional Ideas

  • Have a speaker highlight an area of local mission.
  • Have an ingathering for a local school or shelter.
  • Put together an UMCOR kit and commission them to mission.
  • View a mission update from United Methodist Women or the General Board of Global Ministries websites.
  • Skype with a missionary!

Nichea Ver Veer Guy is the director of the National Board, West Michigan Conference, and chair of the finance committee of the United Methodist Women Board of Directors. She also serves as director of children and family ministries, Grand Rapids Trinity United Methodist Church.

Last Updated: 03/29/2014
 
 

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