Alternative Giving options this Christmas

I have always been thankful for my family’s ability to give good gifts. They always found the practical items that were actually wanted.  I remember the year that my husband and I received the gift of a dishwasher – I think my husband shed a few tears of joy!  But, as I grow older, it seems we need less and less stuff (practical or otherwise). In recent years, we have begun to exchange...
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Mixed Messages

I just finished shopping for and wrapping gifts for a family in my community.  Each year the Sunday school class I’m a part of adopts a family through the local school.  We buy gifts, food, and other items to help make their Christmas a little brighter.  As I wrapped these gifts today, a number of thoughts and emotions have been flooding through. I think of all the stories I’ve heard and...
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Giving Tuesday

We all know about Black Friday.  That dreaded for some, exiting for others day when stores open before the sun and crowds of people rush for great deals on all kinds of, well, stuff. Out of Black Friday have come several other days much more generous in spirit.  One is Small Business Saturday, where people are encouraged to shop locally.  Then there’s Cyber Monday for those of us who enjoy...
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Debbie leads a special needs ministry for youth at Newburgh UMC in Newburgh, Indiana (find out more here).  I asked her to share a little about what it is like to run this type of ministry program.  I hope it can be an inspiration to others doing special needs ministry and a helpful resources to those thinking of starting one in your own church.  -Allison Curts Our Special Needs Ministry has...
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Should we Send a Team? A Historical Perspective (A Mission Trip FAQ)

As our churches, mission committees, and us as individuals consider what it means to be “doing mission work,” there is always a challenge of knowing when to financially support a cause or when to be hands on.  Taylor Walters Denyer (executive director of Friendly Planet Missiology) has provided some wonderful insight on how to work through this question.  I appreciate Taylor...
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Money: Joy or Burden?

Whenever you gather people to talk about mission work in church (or perhaps just about any type of ministry), the subject of money always seems to surface.  How do we pay for it?  Is it in the budget? Serving others is no exception.  Though some community outreach can be done for free or super cheap, money usually ends up being involved.  From my encounters across the state, it seems that...
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