By Lane Gardner Camp, Director of Communications, Memphis Conference
Source: Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church website | LINK
Memphis Conference United Methodist churches gave $46,515.74 in 2018 to the annual Lenten Hunger Offering (LHO). The money has now been distributed to feeding ministries inside and outside the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church.
The LHO has raised nearly $2.5 million for hunger-relief ministries since its establishment in 1983. It is a unique ministry of the Memphis Conference, planned and executed by the Connectional Ministries office.
The 2018 campaign was a milestone anniversary: 35 years. It ran from Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, to Easter Sunday, April 1.
The campaign name was shortened in 2016 from Lenten World Hunger Offering to Lenten Hunger Offering to better communicate local hunger needs alongside world hunger challenges.
A total of $46,000 has been distributed as follows. $500+ is being held back to produce campaign materials for 2019.
Dr. Joe Geary, director of Connectional Ministries for the Memphis Conference, said, “I commend the care and thoughtfulness that each ministry is using in making these distributions to fulfill the command from Matthew 25, ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.’”
Leaders in Giving
Dr. Debra S. Selby, M.D., chair of the Memphis Conference LHO praised the many churches that made financial contributions in 2018 and raised awareness about hunger and food insecurity.
Geary reported that giving and participation increased in 2018, compared to 2017. The Purchase District had the most churches participating (26) and all districts had at least 22 churches participating.
The following Memphis Conference churches (in alphabetical order) each contributed at least $750 to the 2018 LHO, according to the Memphis Conference treasurer’s office:
The largest contribution ($3,097) came from Enville United Methodist Church in the Tennessee River District. Leaders in the other three districts were Lone Oak United Methodist Church in the Purchase District, Dresden First United Methodist Church in the Mississippi River District and St. John’s United Methodist Church in the Metro District.
44 percent of churches that received LHO feeding ministry grants from their districts in 2017 participated in the 2018 LHO, reported Geary. “We need to encourage the churches receiving monies for their feeding ministries to participate in the Lenten Hunger Offering as it obviously blesses them and most importantly, others,” he said.
District giving totals for 2018 are:
2018 district totals collectively are less than the campaign’s overall total because they only include monies received in 2018. The overall total is higher because it includes monies carried over to 2018 from the 2017 campaign that were received after the 2017 offering’s distribution date.
Plans are now underway for the 2019 LHO campaign under the leadership of Dr. Selby. 2019 will be the annual offering’s 36th year. Lent in 2019 runs Ash Wednesday, March 6, through Easter Sunday, April 21.
Dr. Joe Geary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Debra S. (Debi) Selby at email@example.com