Who Is My Neighbor? (2017 in Review)


One of the things I enjoy about the end of one year and the beginning of the next are the various ‘Year in Review’ segments in the news.  Although there are plenty of things for which to be sad (deaths, wildfires, flooding), I love to remember the incredible blessings God has allowed us to witness.

There are many members of our Calvary family ministering to our community everyday in ways we don’t even know….and we celebrate their faithfulness to God!  There are also some things that we do as a church that we can easily identify…..and I want to make sure all of us see this full picture so that we can celebrate the faithfulness of our God.

Calvary tithes (gives 10% of our donations) to ministry beyond our walls.  In Matthew 25, we read these words of Jesus, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me,  was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”  (For the full effect, read Matthew 25:31-46.)

The Outreach Team has the responsibility of determining where the funds go.  Rounded off to the nearest 100, here’s how your tithe was used in  2017:

The Baby Fold                    $11,000
Faith in Action                       5,000
Home Sweet Home Ministries         11,300
Habitat for Humanity                 10,000
Midwest Food Bank                 10,000
Buliisa Water Project                 10,000
Haiti Church Build and Missions         14,700
Elmira Sellu (Missionary in Sierra Leone)       2,500
Illini Fighting Hunger (food packaging)       2,900
Mom and Me Camp                   2,000
Flood Relief (UMCOR)               5,000
Operation Christmas Child               1,000
Linda Unger (missionary in Nairobi)          3,000
Red Bird Mission                    1,000
ISU Wesley Foundation               5,000
Bloomington Township Community Care       1,000
Calvary’s Good Samaritan Fund          1,500
Flood Bucket Supplies                  500
Suubi Works (Uganda)              3,500
Our Conference Our Kids              3,500
Parkside Elementary Special Olympics         950

The United Methodist Church requests 6 special offerings which help various people in need and Outreach also contributed $600 to each of those 6 areas.

In addition, the church proudly contributes to the General Church (the United Methodist Church as a whole) through a benevolence asking called the World Service Apportionment, which supports a plethora of ministries throughout the world. Through the World Service Fund, we join hands with United Methodists around the world to help those in need.
Of course, it’s not only financial support that we provide…..people volunteered in nearly all of the above ministries and donated food, clothing, and gifts to many of God’s people.

So…..Calvary’s year in review, in part says that God was very faithful to allow us to fulfill the instructions of Jesus written in Matthew 25.  Thank you for being a part of God’s work throughout the world in 2017!

About the Author
Debbie Reese is the Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC