Michigan United Methodists gave over a quarter million dollars to General and Conference Special Sunday Offerings so far in 2018. Thank you for your generosity!
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 and most include an offering that funds the work of those programs. Special Sundays fall into two categories:
1. Churchwide Special Sundays with offerings
Churchwide Special Sundays with offerings enable United Methodists to offer refuge in times of disaster, promote peace and justice, provide scholarships and student loans, reach out to the community, teach skills to encourage self-sufficiency and share the love of Jesus Christ with God’s people everywhere.
- Human Relations Day (Sunday before the national observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday) strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youth. In 2018 Michigan congregations contributed $28,638.95;
- UMCOR Sunday (fourth Sunday in Lent) Previously known as One Great Hour Of Sharing, this Sunday pays the administrative costs of the United Methodist Committee on Relief enabling UMCOR to reach out through worldwide ministries of food, shelter, health and peace. Michigan in 2018 gave $132,248.53;
- Native American Ministries Sunday (third Sunday of Easter) nurtures mission with Native Americans and provides scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians. Michigan Conference 2018 $31,098.16;
- Peace With Justice Sunday (first Sunday after Pentecost) enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs. Michigan 2018 $25,800.18;
- World Communion Sunday (first Sunday of October) provides scholarships for U.S. racial- and ethnic-minority students and international students, on both undergraduate and graduate levels. $24,725.35 from Michigan in 2018;
- United Methodist Student Day (last Sunday of November) furnishes scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities. Michigan $7,659.58.
2. Special Sundays approved for Annual Conference offerings
Four Special Sundays are observed on dates determined by the annual conference. Offerings are used for ministries within the annual conference.
- Christian Education Sunday “calls the Church as the people of God to be open to growth and learning as disciples of Jesus Christ.” Michigan in 2018 donated $3,783.30;
- Golden Cross Sunday offerings are used for health and welfare ministries in the annual conference. Michigan 2018 $6,474.20;
- Rural Life Sunday celebrates the rural heritage of The United Methodist Church and recognizes “the ongoing crisis occurring in rural areas of the nation and the world today.” 2018 Michigan $3,413.34;
- Disability Awareness Sunday celebrates “the gifts and graces of persons with disabilities and calls the Church and society to full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community. $512.72 from Michigan in 2018.
It’s never too late to contribute to a Special Sunday initiative. Gifts are still being accepted for the 2018 offerings. And, of course, there is next year. Here are the 2019 Special Sunday Calendar of suggested dates with links to where resources may be found.
January 20, 2019 Human Relations Day
March 31, 2019 UMCOR Sunday
May 5, 2019 Native American Sunday
May 19, 2019 Golden Cross Sunday
June 16, 2019 Peace With Justice Sunday
August 25, 2019 Christian Education Sunday
September 15, 2019 Rural Life Sunday
October 6, 2019 World Communion Sunday
October 20, 2019 Disability Awareness
November 24, 2019 United Methodist Student Day
The Human Relations Day Offering is only five weeks ahead. Start planning now.