April 11, 2018
To the Beloved Faith Community of the Susquehanna Conference:
This is an invitation to the people of the Susquehanna Conference to join Imagine No Malaria and the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners in promoting this year’s World Malaria Day on April 25, 2018 with the theme, Ready to Beat Malaria. Since 2013, you have been faithful in supporting our conference’s initiative via Bishop’s Partners in Mission to raise funds to support Imagine No Malaria and thereby unite with other organizations around the common goal of a world free of malaria, an ancient disease that is preventable, treatable, and beatable. I am grateful to you.
Since 2000, the global campaign against malaria has had remarkable progress. The United Methodist Church’s Nothing But Nets, followed by Imagine No Malaria campaigns along with the work of other global partners led world-wide malaria mortality rates to fall by an estimated 60% by 2015. It is estimated that 6.8 million deaths from malaria have been averted since 2001. However, the November 2017 report on malaria from the WHO indicates that progress against malaria has stalled. In 2016, malaria deaths worldwide stood at around 445,000, a similar number to the previous year. WHO writes that “We are now at a turning point. Without urgent action, we risk going backwards, and missing the global targets for 2020 and beyond.” Urgently, funding is needed to bridge major gaps in coverage of insecticide-treated nets, medicines, and other life-saving tools.
What will our response be to this life or death need of thousands? In observance of World Malaria Day I invite you and your congregation to find a creative way to beat malaria by raising funds for Bishop’s Partners in Mission. Here are some ideas things you can do:
- Choose a day for a fast– either April 25 or the Sunday before or the Sunday after, fast a meal and donate the money you would have spent on that meal toward Imagine No Malaria.
- Special collections — Involve Sunday School classes, life groups, church council members, and other groups in collecting funds on a designated day.
- Special offerings – On a Sunday around World malaria Day, designate a special offering for Imagine No Malaria.
- Pray – Every one of us can participate in unleashing the power of prayer for the conquering of this killer disease called malaria.
At the upcoming Annual Conference, there will be a special offering taken for Bishop’s Partners in Mission. If you would like to, you can save the funds you raised on World Malaria Day to add to your church’s offering given at the Annual Conference. Or you can send a check made out to the Susquehanna Conference to Susquehanna Conference Attn: Finance Office, 303 Mulberry Dr. Mechanicsburg, PA 17050. Be sure to put BPIM/INM – 7091 in the memo line of your check or on your church remittance report.
I am grateful for your continued acts of mercy, which, as John Wesley said, are means of grace. May God’s mercy and grace continue to surround and uphold you and your congregation as you respond in love to the opportunity presented to us on World Malaria Day.
With You in Christ’s Ministry,
Jeremiah J. Park