AC22 Special Offering
Love & Support for Ukrainian Refugees
This year’s Annual Conference special offering will support United Methodist Churches in the Baltics providing care and assistance for Ukrainian Refugees.
Since the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the North Alabama Conference has reached out in love to our brothers and sisters in Eastern Europe as they have sought to restore physical health and to reclaim and rebuild Christian communities and houses of worship. This wave of care from a groundswell of churches in the North Alabama Conference changed many lives.
Over the years, the North Alabama Conference has partnered with United Methodists in the Baltics in numerous ways. We have supported two missionary families (Patrick and Hannah Friday and Dale and Kelly Clem), hosted 250 children (the Children of Chernobyl) from Belarus who spent summer weeks in North Alabama homes and churches, provided support for seminary students to lead new churches, sent numerous mission teams and funding, collected coats and supplies, sponsored pilgrims on Emmaus walks, established Baltic Chrysalis, welcomed young people as delegates to Sumatanga’s International Peace Camp and built Camp Wesley for Latvians and Lithuanians to have their own “Sumatanga.”
Millions of Ukrainians have fled their homeland and are in need of care. Each family has unique needs and our United Methodist friends are trying to respond to their new neighbors with limited resources. Our fellow United Methodists are providing direct relief to refugees whose physical and spiritual needs are great. For example, in Lithuania, a church set up one family in a church-owned parsonage and spent $860 to help the family to settle in. Churches are also inviting their guests to come to worship, and some refugees are actively sharing their musical gifts and presence in worship.
Now we have another opportunity to partner through our financial and spiritual support. We are being invited to reach out to our neighbors to support their ministries and witness in this time of dire emergency and great opportunity to extend the love of Christ.
This year’s North Alabama Annual Conference special mission offering will be sent through The Advance with 100% going directly for United Methodist refugee support. Churches are invited to send their offering to the Conference and earmark checks for “Love and Support for Ukrainian Refugees.” Annual Conference members may also bring your church’s offering to Annual Conference.
The offering will be collected on Thursday morning, June 23, during the service of Holy Communion.