Shared Identity

God has given us family members around the world that we support through our prayers, presence and gifts. Sometimes we cannot go where the need is so we send our prayers, we send our missionaries and we send our money. This is who we are; we are a global expression of God’s family. Our United Methodist Family includes:

  • 69 Episcopal Areas (Bishops oversee these areas)
  • 135 Annual Conferences
  • 309 Hospitals, Clinics and Health Centers/Posts
  • 41,589 Local Churches
  • 55,346 Clergy Members
  • 5,541,338 Church School Participants
  • 11,221,781 Professing Members

Whether people are aware of what United Methodists believe or not, they have come to realize that when a disaster happens anywhere in the known world, United Methodists are normally one of the first to show-up. Sometimes we show-up so fast that the Red Cross has to tell us to “wait a minute”. We show-up because United Methodists all over the world support our “United Methodist Committee on Relief” (UMCOR). One-hundred percent of any gift given for disaster relief goes directly towards the intended project. Not one dime of our (UMCOR) donations is used for salary support or administrative cost. Do you know why? Salaries and administrative cost are covered through our apportionment giving process.

Every time we worship, this is who we are:

  • Highland Hope United Methodist Church
  • Mississippi River District (78 Churches)
  • Illinois Great Rivers Conference (850 Churches)
  • North Central Jurisdiction (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Dakotas-Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin)

Our ‘Shared Identity’ includes a diversity of cultural, racial and social experiences and a host of theological expressions. Here at Highland Hope our family includes those with Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Nazarene, etc. background whose journey has led them to discover a home with us. Together we create a ‘Shared Identity’, as part of the Body of Christ with a vision to “Always have an answer for the hope…. with gentleness” I Peter 3:15. We live in covenant under one polity that is articulated to us via The United Methodist Book of Discipline (BOD). We are a covenant people who choose to allow our ‘Shared Identity’ to shape the way we spend our time, our talent and our money both personally and corporately.

Embrace the Joy!

“Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, “How are we robbing you?” In your tithes and offerings! Malachi 3:8 NRSV”

 

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