Thank you for your faithful giving in 2012. Because of the generosity of Wisconsin United Methodists, we have increased the percentage of our Shared Offerings (apportionments) received over the past year above the previous year for the first time in several years. You did it! We did it! God did it! Thanks be to God!
We have started a positive trend in our efforts to increase our ministry and outreach from our congregations to the world. There is still a long way to go to reach 100% of our Shared Offering, but I believe God is the God of abundance, not scarcity, and we as God's faithful people live and give from our abundance.
I invite you to dream a God-size dream with me -- to seize a Spirit given vision for living out the fruit of the Spirit as we reach out and serve the world in Christ's name. This vision takes us beyond the limitations of our buildings and causes us to stretch beyond ourselves in partnership with others. In the coming months, I invite you to dream big -- to glimpse some God-size ideas and then act on them.
I join you in dreaming and taking action -- to fulfill our mandate from God to share in mission together:
- Let's reach a goal beyond 100% apportionments, to 110% or more. In congregations where we haven't yet reached the goal of 100%, let's strive to increase apportionments by at least 10%.
- Participate in Volunteer in Mission projects -- local, state, national, and international. I invite every United Methodist to be a Volunteer in Mission in 2013. If you are a "seasoned veteran", I invite you to organize a VIM experience for others in your congregation or Circuit.
- I dream of the day when every United Methodist congregation in Wisconsin is involved in at least one justice and/or mercy ministry in their community. I give thanks to God that so many of you are already involved in feeding programs, mentoring programs, English as a second language programs, health ministries, shelters, ministry to and with the homeless, children and youth outreach...the list goes on and on. And, I dream of the day when ALL of us are investing God's love in the people of our neighborhoods.
I believe God has BIG dreams for us Wisconsin United Methodists! And I look forward to living out those dreams with you.
Hee-Soo Jung, PhD
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).