Easter thank offering
Uniting Mission and Education has nominated five projects for its 2012 Easter Thank Offering Appeal.
The annual appeal is a source of funding for international and local projects that would struggle without such support.
These projects creatively share the gospel and engage in mission and ministry with people, have long-term benefit for individuals or communities, and work towards the whole gospel for the whole person.
This year’s projects are
- Overseas church partners lay leadership training.
UnitingWorld seeks to contribute towards the leadership training and church-based mentoring in Australia of lay leaders from overseas partner churches; to support the provision of recognised leadership training within the Uniting Church as Intensives along with accompanying church-based supervised short-term placement; and to build the capacity of local lay leaders, enabling them to return to their own situations, equipped to further develop the skills of others in their own contexts (the “train the trainer” model). The money raised will go towards airfares, insurance, registration costs and associated costs for leadership trainees, and resources for these leaders to take with them for ongoing development and use in training others.
- Pastoral care training in rural communities.
The Pastoral Counselling Institute seeks to assist lay leaders in rural areas by providing training units on listening skills, providing care and support, and training in how to respond to critical issues such as grief and loss occurring in isolated situations. This training better enables lay people to care for their communities. The money raised will be used to provide competency-based pastoral care training for rural congregations; and to provide follow-up supervision, both individual and group.
- Ministerial education in the Solomon Islands.
UnitingWorld seeks to work with the United Church in Solomon Islands (UCSI) to introduce a new South Pacific Association of Theological Schools-approved Diploma in Theology curriculum; this would offer a key group of emerging UCSI leaders the opportunity to complete this program as continuing education part-time in mixed mode, in order that graduates are better equipped for their role in the church, and will have a recognised, accredited award that can gain them entry into further education at another Pacific theological school. The money raised will go towards funding for this upgrade program.
- Indonesia children’s ministry leadership exchange.
Lugarno Peakhurst Uniting Church has been developing relationships with a number of churches in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. To further these relationships, they are offering four young leaders from Indonesia the opportunity to visit Sydney in October 2012, in order to build leadership skills while working with local leadership in running “Kids Games” – a large Christian school holiday outreach program within the immediate community. Funds raised for this project will assist participants with airfares and associated costs. The longer term benefits are that these Christian leaders will develop new skills to take back to their local churches.
- Eddie Dixon Centre.
This centre in Paddington seeks to provide nutritious lunches, showers, mental health support, referrals, spiritual and personal support for homeless and disadvantaged people in the inner city of Sydney. It provides a normalizing environment where rough sleepers can spend a few hours sheltered and fed, and where people who feel alone have a safe place to relax and connect with others. The money raised will go providing meals and other support.
There are various ways congregations can conduct the Appeal.
Some congregations have found it helpful to:
- Conduct the Appeal during the remainder of Lent, perhaps with a retiring offering.
- Use one of the offerings in the week before Easter (Maundy Thursday or Good Friday) to conduct the Appeal.
- Distribute envelopes in the week before Easter and receive them with the Easter offering.
- Give the material to their mission contact person and ask them to take responsibility for raising funds for a project.
- Help members to see the bigger picture of the Appeal either by reading out the details or by placing them in their weekly newsletter.
All envelopes should be returned to the EASTER THANK OFFERING, Uniting Mission and Education, Box A2178, Sydney South, NSW, 1235 soon after Easter so that the money can be put to work right away.
Cash collected should be made out as cheques payable to Uniting Mission and Education.
Contact the UME Administrative Assistants by phone, (02) 8267 4295, or by email.