By Jorge Navarrete
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” — Galatians 6:9
It has already been reported, in the Advocate, but it bears repeating that last year the people of the Mississippi Annual Conference gave more money to apportionments than ever before. Part of this generosity, $1.1 million, was shared with the general church World Service Funds. In addition, Mississippi churches sent in an additional $228,692 in “second mile giving” in support of missionaries and missionary projects throughout the world. Add to that the fact that more than 30 Mississippi churches led volunteer mission trips went to Africa, Latin America, Russia and other overseas locations.
Part of this generosity was also shared with our Mississippi Methodist community centers, Children’s Home, Choctaw Mission, United Methodist Hour, Baddour Center and so many other missions and programs throughout the state. Add to this the contributions made directly by the specially designated special Sunday offerings and the many generous individuals and church donations in response to local and national emergencies and disasters (plus the large number of volunteers going to serve in these areas).
Mississippi has been recognized nationally as being the most generous state, and last week I heard on the radio that it has been recognized also as the most religious. Well, we already knew or suspected as much, but what does it say about us as people? It demonstrates that we have Christian hearts that care about our neighbors across the world and our neighbors close to home!
While we should feel good about being faithful to our Christian mandate to do good and our Methodist tradition of personal piety and social action, we need to acknowledge that in the midst of a lost and hurting world we cannot afford to become complacent. We must continue on our journey to draw closer to God and our neighbor. As we traverse through the current economic recession in this the poorest state we cannot forget that many more of our neighbors are in need now and that the organizations that help them need more than ever our prayers and financial support.
Thank you friends for continuing to give, pray and serve.
Navarrete serves in the Connectional Ministries in the area of missions.