Friday, May 30, 2008

How one Conference took a campaign and made a slam dunk!

Here in the North Texas Conference the Nothing But Nets (NBN) campaign has really captured the interest of our local congregations. For a brand new program, the amount of interest we’ve seen in this initiative is outstanding. I believe this is because of the simplicity of the slogan “Buy A Net. Save A Life.” Everyone can understand that $10 buys a bed net that can save lives and prevent malaria, which kills a child every 30 seconds.

We started promoting this campaign by putting information in our conference newspaper, The Reporter. By August 2007, we had raised $62,935.61. We also had a 3-on-3 basketball tournament that started with the local churches, then went to the district level, then the conference level. Our conference winners then played the Central Texas Conference winners at General Conference in Ft. Worth this past April.

Since our basketball tournaments were spread out over many months, we were able to continually keep the NBN initiative before the congregations. We have now raised $113,801.74. A small church in Aubrey, Texas gave $200. Collectively, a lot of small donations can amount to something truly significant. Together, our conference has bought 11,380 bed nets. That is enough nets to drape all the beds in a small African town.

Imagine a town where no child dies of malaria. In this effort, I have truly seen the hand of God at work.

--Rev. Marji Bishir, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries with the North Texas Annual Conference

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Personal Reflection...

I had the opportunity last week to see a different kind a race. It was a whole series of boat races among rowers. Some just involve single rowers, some a pair of rowers, others a whole team. What really impressed me was to see the teams all working in synchronized movement. Perfectly timed, it produced powerful force to move the boats forward. Most of the rowers had their backs toward the finish line, but one member of the team had to stay focused on where they were going.

This experience happened right after General Conference in Ft. Worth, TX. While the people of The United Methodist Church are not in total agreement on every issue that confronts the church, four areas of focus were lifted before us where it is believe the whole church can pull together. Developing leaders, new churches for new people, Global Health and Ministry in partnership with the poor. Despite late evenings of wrangling with amendments to the substitute motion and all that, it seemed as we left that everyone is willing to pick up their oar and pull in this new direction.

The quadrennial budget for the church, presented on the last day of General Conference, was passed with an affirmative vote of 96%. Another strong indication that we’re focused and all ready to pull on the oars and move ahead. It’s what we hope for when we talk about the connectional giving that will make the shared ministry of this denomination possible. Great things are accomplished by the people of The United Methodists Church when we know where we are going and can clearly articulate how our pulling together can make a difference.

When we are pulling together, we can bring new, young leaders into the church. When we are pulling together, we can start new churches to reach new people. When we are pulling together we can reach out to those who live in the grip of poverty. When we pull together, we can bring an end to diseases like malaria.

--Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, Director of Communications Ministry, United Methodist Communications

Welcome to the Connectional Giving Blog of The United Methodist Church

If you’ve reached our blog, you are probably interested in Connectional Giving as it relates to The United Methodist Church. The purpose of this blog is to share connectional giving stories from around the conferences and world, personal reactions to how connectional giving has changed lives and commentary on interesting connectional giving articles found online.

To post comments to these blog entries, you need to become a registered user on Blogspot. To do this, visit and create a username and password, in the upper left-hand portion of the page. After you have registered, you will be able to post replies to the blog. If you have any questions or need help registering, contact me at

My name is Tracy Wood and I am the Web Coordinator for I have been tinkering on the web for about 12 years and the days of penning a letter for the postal mail seems very foreign. I have worked at United Methodist Communications for over five years.

If you have a blog idea, or would like to contribute to this blog, please email me and let me know! You can reach me at

To link directly to this blog, please use: I hope you will visit this blog often and become a regular poster.