Thursday, October 22, 2015

Celebration of Partners in Mission

Dear Partners in Mission of the Susquehanna Conference,

Grace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness, and Hope of the World.

I am overflowing with joy and gratitude as I share this exciting news with you. As of the end of August 2015, the individuals, congregations, small groups and friends of the Susquehanna Annual Conference have contributed close to $300,000 to Bishop’s Partners in Mission. There is absolutely no way that I can properly express my appreciation and excitement to each person and congregation for their generous support. Every gift, no matter its size, when added together, has made this awesome accomplishment possible. Thanks and praise be to God!

Because of the mission loving United Methodists of our annual conference, both Mission Central and the Imagine No Malaria Campaign of the United Methodist Church will receive a significant life-giving and life-saving gift. These worthy causes are the priorities of Bishop’s Partners in Mission. It was a moment of exceeding joy when the Cabinet and I were privileged to present a check of $143,380.09 to Mission Central on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, on your behalf. The Imagine No Malaria receives a check of $137,515.09. These gifts include some designated giving.

For too many of God’s children, malaria is a constant reality that shortens too many lives. Through your generous gift there will be more lives served and saved around the world. Over 620,000 lives, mostly children under age 5 in Africa, are lost from the preventable and curable disease of malaria each year. The efforts to eradicate malaria must go on. I would like you to know that the United Methodist Church, in partnership with prominent global organizations, is making a huge impact on stomping out this killer disease. The death rate from malaria has been cut almost by half in recent years. Our gift is a part of the $66 million dollars raised by our denomination towards the goal of $75 million dollars. I hope and pray that we will be able to raise $1 million dollars toward the denominational goal.

In 2014 Mission Central served nearly 1.9 million individuals. The total value of the resources and goods shared was approximately $7.5 million dollars. Mission Central is Susquehanna Conference in mission at its best. Once the mortgage of its facility is paid off, Mission Central will have significant additional funds from their operating budget to touch and serve more people in need. Our gift represents sizable progress toward eliminating its $1 million dollar debt. With you I am eagerly waiting for the day when we burn the mortgage. Your generous giving hastens the day.

As the circle of Bishop’s Partners in Mission continues to expand, heart-warming stories emerge. Let me briefly share some of them with you. One eight year old child of one of our pastors took $25.00 of his birthday money and contributed it to Bishop’s Partners in Mission. One pastor brought me a check of $1,043 and said, “This is for Imagine No Malaria raised by the children of my church.” Several congregations gave either all or part of their Christmas Eve offerings with an amazing result. Some congregations made a significant donation out of their funds. Some had a special offering. Some others presented “a surprise gift” when I visited them. During the annual conference this year, one of our pastors brought me a check of $120, one dollar for each of Bishop’s pushups. To my amazement, a person sent me a letter to inform me that he changed his mind and he is now going to give $5,000 a year for three years instead of his initial pledge of $3,000 a year. A gift from a small rural congregation showed their extravagant generosity. Indeed, some gifts represent the window’s mite. There are also many Leading Bishop’s Partners in Mission who have given $1,000 or more. No matter of the size of the gift, each gift represents a generous partner in mission who loves to tell the story of Jesus and his love. To each one of you, I thank you, thank you, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The Bishop’s Partners in Mission initiative will continue as long as this Bishop serves the Susquehanna Conference. I solicit your prayers and support that you continue to give as you have so generously given. 100% of the gifts received will go to either “Imagine No Mortgage” for Mission Central or the “Imagine No Malaria” denominational campaign.

Thanks be to God that we are a church in mission. Indeed, together we are making a difference in transforming the world. May God continue to richly bless and honor you, your loved ones, and your ministry. It is indeed my joy and privilege to serve God and the Church of Jesus Christ with you.

With you in Christ’s Mission,

Jeremiah Park, Bishop, Susquehanna Conference UMC

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