Apportionments are not what we usually think of when we talk about our missions, but the truth is that we probably give more financial support to missions through our apportionments than any other way we support missions. The West Ohio Conference and the Ohio River Valley District of the United Methodist Church both apportion our church for ministry that all our United Methodist churches are working on together. It is amazing what almost 50,000 United Methodist churches around the world can accomplish together. We build hospitals, retirement homes, schools, universities, seminaries, church camps, abuse shelters, community centers, ministry centers, and churches - lots of churches. We train and deploy pastors, counselors, church musicians, chaplains, evangelists, missionaries, and many other types of full-time and part-time church workers. We operate 3 publishing facilities, and the largest chain of Christian retail stores in the U.S. We support a large internet presence and a $20 million dollar advertising campaign that includes everything from television ads to billboards. We operate one of the largest pension funds in the country to support our retired pastors and other church workers. We work together to do everything from digging wells to helping impoverished women set up micro-businesses, from helping people recover from disasters to tutoring children after school, from working for social justice to providing mosquito nets to keep children from catching malaria. We hand out $4.5 million in scholarships to college students. We publish all kinds of Christian literature, from Bible studies to Sunday school curriculum, from Christian reference books to the "Upper Room" daily devotionals. We work for racial peace and justice, as well as cooperation with other Christian denominations and other religions. It's amazing what all we can accomplish with our joint efforts through our conference and district apportionments.
Box Tops for Education are found on a variety of grocery items. These are gathered at the church's mission station, and then sent on to Red Bird Mission to be used to purchase educational materials used at the Red Bird School. Click on the following link for a four page listing of product box tops accepted. files/738/File/boxtops.pdf
Campbell Soup and Other Products have bar codes on the packaging. These bar codes are collected at the church's mission station, and then sent on to Red Bird Mission. Thousands of bar codes are gathered and packaged for return to Campbell's. They in turn donate money which is used to purchase vans, computers and other high cost items used at the mission.
Cell Phones can be recycled by dropping them off at the church. Some of them are reprogrammed to serve as 911 phones for domestic abuse victims. Others are used for parts and other recycling programs to raise money to help women and families, as well as protecting our climate.
Discretionary Fund is a fund we use year-round to help people in our congregation, our neighborhood and people who are traveling and stop for help. In the past this fund has helped people pay rent, catch up on utility bills, buy prescription drugs, pay medical bills, and even repair cars.
Gift Card Program is a source of income for financing mission projects supported by our church's Missions Committee. Our church purchases gift cards from area restaurants and groceries, and those businesses give us a percentage back to be used to fund some of our mission work. People can purchase these gift cards after our worship services, and get to use the full purchase price when they visit the restaurants and groceries.
Gift of Sight is supported by our donation of used eye glasses, as well as financial donations. This program provides free eye glasses to people in the U.S. and around the world. Used glasses can be dropped off at our church.
Help Me Grow is a program of the Butler County Children and Family Service agency. They help needy babies and pre-school children grow, literally. We help this agency do even more by providing them with formula, baby food, diapers and other food items.
Little White Churches are set out in our sanctuary and our Sunday school classes on the 1st Sunday of every month. Our members and friends drop their extra offerings into these churches, and these funds are used to underwrite many of the projects of our church's Missions Committee.
Living Water Meals are prepared by folks at our church, and then served every 4th Thursday at Living Water Ministry in Hamilton. These meals supplement the food budgets of people living in a very poor area of our city, and they provide impetus to people coming together for other ministries at Living Water.
Love Packages accepts donations of new and used Bibles, tracts, Christian books and magazines, Sunday school literature, devotional materials and other Christian materials. Our church helps Love Packages with the cost of shipping these materials to missionaries who put them to use in their ministries around the world.
Purple Food Bags are available all year long. Pick up a bag, and then take it with you the next time you go grocery shopping. Fill the bag with non-perishable food items, and then bring it back to the church. These food items are given to people who come into our church hungry, or are taken to Serve City's food pantry to help those who come there hungry.
Serve City Meals are prepared by folks in our church kitchen, and then served every 1st Monday at Serve City. These meals are provided to homeless people being cared for by Serve City.
Tutoring at Living Water Ministries is done after school by several of our members volunteering their time to participate in this ministry at Living Water.