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Supporting Cast

May 29, 2012

I read an article recently about a small town that was dying. The residents decided for one year to buy anything they needed locally instead of driving to the nearest big city. They knew the products would cost a bit more in town, but they were willing to do this to save their town. And they did.

What if we supported United Methodist agencies and businesses? What if we bought all our Bible curriculum, VBS materials, etc. from Cokesbury and/or EcuFilm? What if we bought our coffee, chocolate, olive oil (fair-trade of course) from UMCOR? What if we made donations or gave of our time to a nearby United Methodist- sponsored soup kitchen or shelter? What if we donated or raised funds for Imagine No Malaria? The thing is, by supporting some of these, we are supporting people around the world. Ex: Cokesbury helps fund retirement for Central Conference pastors. INM provides a holistic approach to preventing deaths from malaria. Global agencies (ex: The Global Fund, United Nations Foundation) found our well-established UM-affiliated hospitals as valuable. That should translate into support.

Will it save our denomination? I don’t know, but if more money is coming through United Methodist avenues there will be more money going out into the world for missions. It could be a fantastic financial cycle. 

I’ve heard some frustration from United Methodists that don’t feel like Cokesbury or GBOD offer relevant curriculum or that they can find better material through Group or LifeWay. Cokesbury may not be the best, but it’s good. And with money coming in and a feeling of support and backing from the UMC community, maybe there can be a wave of excitement to go through our agencies and businesses which will show through their resources. Especially if we let staff or board members know of our support, but that we’re looking for better.

Would you buy materials from Cokesbury for a year?  What about buying coffee from UMCOR  for the church? What could you or your church commit to doing for one year?

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