Opportunities — May 10, 2006 {0483}



e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service
      
 

Opportunities — May 10, 2006

May 10, 2006    News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011  
tparham@flumc.org    Orlando {0483}

An e-Review News Item

Aldersgate Sunday designated as Pray for Cuba Sunday

By Renee Kincaid**

Aldersgate Sunday celebrates the day John Wesley attended a service on Aldersgate Street in England and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He called this the “second blessing” and from there continued his ministry and life, full of the Spirit of God.

The Florida United Methodist Conference is designating Aldersgate Sunday as “Pray for Cuba Sunday” because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the churches in Cuba. All Florida United Methodist churches are encouraged to take time May 21 to pray for Cuba and the conference’s sister churches there.

The Methodist Church in Cuba began with the support and outpouring of the Florida Conference. The church in Cuba has had a long and difficult journey during 46 years of living under an atheist and socialist government.

In the early 1960s, there was a great exodus of both Cuban and American missionaries and pastors. Only eight Cuban pastors remained in Cuba to serve a dwindling membership of approximately 9,200 Christians.

During the 1980s, Cuba’s Christian youth began to seek God in new and unique ways. They began reading Scriptures, speaking in tongues and praying for the sick. They were guided by the Holy Spirit to fast, hold night vigils and receive God’s blessings. Dedicated laity began meeting in homes to worship God, preaching His word and evangelizing in nearby fields. The churches began to grow and become alive with the outpouring of the Spirit.

Today, there are 221 active Methodist churches in Cuba, each with six to 10 house-missions in the field, and about 60,000 in worship. They have fervently and faithfully believed and lived, knowing that “Greater is He that is in them than he that is in the world.”

More information about the relationship between the Methodist Church in Cuba and the Florida Conference is available at http://www.flumc2.org/page.asp?PKValue=265.


Disaster training offered for local church groups

By Lin Arnold-Skrovanek**

LAKELAND — Due to the disaster history of Florida, local Florida Conference churches interested in receiving training for response after a disaster are invited to attend Local Church Disaster Team training session scheduled throughout the state.

Each church and its members, as well as anyone in the community, are encouraged to make plans to attend one of the training sessions.

When a disaster happens, churches are in a better position to help families, survivors and neighbors get back on their feet. Because of the in-depth training available, churches will be more effective in helping the community get back on its feet.

One way to help is by forming work teams. Teams are currently needed in more than 20 counties still recovering from the 2004 and 2005 storms. Work teams can include representatives from various groups within the church, including administrative council, United Methodist Men and Women, finance committee and trustees, missions and evangelism, youth leaders, and those who are multilingual. A variety of workers will enhance a church’s ability to prepare for and respond to disasters.

A team application kit is available on the Florida Conference Web site at http://www.flumc.org/hurricane_watch/volunteer_team_application_forms_packet.pdf. The kit identifies team skills, as well as alerts the Florida Conference Storm Recovery Center (SRC) to the needs of the team regarding sleeping facilities, kitchen needs or RV hookups. The kit also includes important information regarding insurance, medical information and a list of needed supplies.

Completed applications should be sent or faxed to the SRC so staff and volunteers can place teams in areas, matching the team’s skills with the area’s needs.

All types of skill levels are needed and team members assist with a variety of tasks, such as replacing damaged roofs, walls mildewed from flooding, electric outlets and plumbing or completing simple yard cleanup. Teams also work to make homes safe and secure by covering damaged roofs with tarp, removing water and mud from homes, and removing trees and other damaging debris.

Local Church Disaster Training dates are May 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at United Methodist Church of the Palm Beaches, 900 W. Brandywine Rd., West Palm Beach; May 31, 3-4 p.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m., at the “Witness With Power” 2006 Florida Annual Conference Event at the Lakeland Center in Lakeland; June 10, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church, 112 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park; and June 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 500 W. Platt St., Tampa. Registration for all training sessions at local churches begins at 9:30 a.m.

Individuals may register for Local Church Disaster training by calling the SRC at 800-282-8011, extension 149. Voice mail messages should contain a name and contact phone number.

More information about disaster response is available at http://www.flumc2.org/page.asp?PKValue=61. More information about training can be obtained by e-mailing stormrecovery@flumc.org.


Resources available to help churches reach out, strengthen welcoming ministries

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — The Florida Conference has been partnering with the national Igniting Ministry (IM) office in Nashville to help local churches obtain the resources they needs to have open hearts, open minds and open doors and reach goals outlined in the 2006 Bishop’s Fundamentals.

Those resources include welcoming door hangers that will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the “Witness With Power” 2006 Florida Annual Conference Event June 1-3. Representatives from interested congregations are invited to pick up the quantities they need for their churches at the IM booth in the Ministry Expo at the annual conference event.

The national IM office has provided 50,000 door hangers to the Florida Conference at no cost. Churches may use the door hangers to invite and welcome their neighbors during the annual Open House Month in September or at any time during the year. One side of the door hanger can be tailored to provide brief information about the church. A sample of the door hanger is available on the conference Web site at http://www.flumc2.org/page.asp?PKValue=748, under the Resources and Tips link and then the Company’s Coming link.

The “Living Our Promise Trainer’s Toolbox” is also being made available to Florida Conference churches at a cost of $6, instead of the regular $35 charge. Both the Florida Conference and the national IM office will pay a portion of the cost so interested churches will only need to pay $6.

The toolkit includes 12 sessions, each with its own emphasis, that can be used to train congregations on enhancing their welcoming, inviting and discipling ministries. Sessions focus on incorporating welcoming ministries into worship services in order to teach regular attendees how to be more welcoming. Included are several weeks of sermon ideas, children’s messages, video clips, bulletin inserts and other resources. Other sessions provide step-by-step instructions on training ushers and greeters to be more welcoming and small groups, leadership teams and other interested members on the importance of a welcoming spirit.

The toolbox comes with a training manual, CD with handouts, and DVD/VHS tape sets — everything that is needed to lead a training session. While this is not a program to use as a 12-week study, it has flexibility to work toward training a congregation in a few weeks.

More information about this resource is available at http://www.ignitingministry.org/resources/toolbox.aspx.

This offer is good for one kit per church. To order a kit, churches should send a check for $6 (payable to Florida Conference Treasurer, with Living Our Promise in the memo line) by May 29 to Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church, c/o Caryl Kelley, P.O. Box 3767, Lakeland, FL 33802. Those ordering a kit should also provide the church’s name and address; a contact person, mailing and e-mail address, and phone number; and the check number.

Once the kits are printed and delivered, they may be picked up at district offices (except for those churches in the South East District — kits will be mailed to those churches). Churches will be notified by e-mail when their kit is available for pick-up.
 
Information about Igniting Ministry is available at http://www.flumc2.org/page.asp?PKValue=214. Information about the Bishop’s Fundamentals is available at http://www.flumc2.org/page.asp?PKValue=925.


Annual conference delegates have opportunity to give gift of life

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — According to BloodnetUSA.com, nine out of 10 people will need blood sometime during their lives. Blood is in constant demand for treatment of accident cases, surgeries, cancers and many other illnesses, which means the need for blood affects nearly everyone.

Delegates to the “Witness With Power” 2006 Florida Annual Conference event have an opportunity to help ensure a supply of blood is available to meet current and emerging needs by donating blood. The BloodnetUSA bloodmobile will be at the annual gathering June 2, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., as part of the Ministry/Health Expo.

Donors must be at least 17 years old (a signed consent form is required by donors in this age group), weigh at least 103 pounds and not have donated blood within the last 56 days. People older than 80 may donate if they are a regular donor or have a letter from their doctor stating they may donate.

According to the Bloodnet Web site it usually takes about 30 minutes for screening, donating a unit and a short rest period after donating. The actual donation time is five to 10 minutes.

A free t-shirt will be given to each registered donor. More information about donating blood is available at http://www.bloodnetusa.com.


Summer Camp plans to ‘renovate’ lives

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — The Florida Conference Camp and Retreat MInistry will once again be providing a place where children and youth can gather for summer camps and life-changing, “renovating” experiences.

Located on the shores of Lake Griffin in Fruitland Park, the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Youth Camp will again provide nine weeks of summer camp May 29 to July 29. Each week runs Monday through Saturday.

Themed “Renovate,” the curriculum for this year’s summer camps is based on II Corinthians 4:16: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

Registration is now open for campers in grades four to 12. Camp weeks fill up quickly, and campers are encouraged to register as soon as possible. A camp brochure with registration information is available at http://www.umsummercamp.org/FCUMC-Web/DesktopDefault.aspx.

Three age-related camps run at the same time. Children’s Camp is for rising fourth- and fifth-graders. Children’s campers come together to make new friends, worship God and learn who Jesus Christ is in their lives. Middle School Camp is for rising sixth-, seventh- or eighth-graders and is designed to help hundreds of middle school students from around Florida meet each other and experience the love of Jesus Christ together. High School Camp is for high school students who want to experience camp as a way to strengthen and deepen their relationship with Christ. These campers will explore ways God will be at work in their lives in college and beyond.

All camp weeks are led by a team of more than 90 counselors and include a variety of age-appropriate activities — games, swimming, crafts and skills, nature lore, drama, ropes course and others.

The cost for a week of camp is $335 to $355. Costs and space available for each week can be found at http://www.umsummercamp.org/FCUMC-Web/DesktopDefault.aspx.

The summer camp brochure posted on the Web site also includes important information about the Appalachian Trail Hike June 3-10, Wilderness Week July 2-8, Creative Spirit Week June 19-24 and High School Group Week July 10-15, as well as programs taking place at the Life Enrichment Center and Riverside Camp (formerly South Florida United Methodist Camp) near Alva, including Adventure Camp July 3-8, Mission Immersion Camp July 9-15, Grandparents Camp July 17-20 and July 24-27, Family Gathering Camp July 1-4, and Camp Pioneer June 26-July 1.

Registration information on all camping programs can be obtained by contacting the registration office at 800-282-8011, extension 179. General information on all camping programs is available by calling 1-866-UMCAMPS (862-2677) or Mike Standifer, Warren W. Willis Youth Camp director, or Heather Pancoast, assistant camp director, at 352-787-4345.


Applications being accepted for mission trip to Honduras

By the Rev. Dr. Larry Rankin**

The Conference Global Mission and Justice Committee, along with the conference United Methodist Volunteers in Mission and the Celebrate Jesus Ministry, are coordinating a mission trip to Honduras, Central America, Sept. 4-12.

The purpose of the trip is two-fold: 1). to hold a Celebrate Jesus Mission week with the host United Methodist Church in Danlí/Quizgualagua, Honduras, and 2). to work with the local church on construction projects.

The missionaries in the field there are the Rev. Doralbis Hidalgo, clergy member of the Methodist Church in Cuba, and her husband, David Sardiñas.
 
The cost, including traveling from Miami, airfare, room and board, is estimated at $1,300 per person. The team is limited to no more than 11 people, including two team leaders.

This is a Florida Conference Healthy Church Academy sponsored mission and spiritual formation experience.   
 
Individuals who would like more information or an application should contact Icel Rodríguez at Irodriguez@flumc.org or Rankin at lrankin@flumc.org. The application deadline is June 15.


Volunteers needed for Riverside camp events

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Opportunities abound for people who enjoy the experiences found in “old-style” camping.

The Riverside Camp (formerly South Florida United Methodist Camp) near Alva is offering several camps this year for youth in grades six and up. Martha Pierce, director of Riverside Camp, is looking for adult volunteers to help make the camps a success.

Fishing, archery, kayaking, water sports, campfires and hayrides are all part of the Adventure Camp week July 3-8. Through the theme “Experience Creation,” campers and adult volunteers will come to understand the marvels of ecology and better appreciate the wonders of nature and God.

Mission Immersion Camp July 9-15 is a hands-on mission experience. Participants travel to a variety of local ministries to help with an assortment of activities. Campers will learn they have a vital role to play in the missions and ministries of the church and will study how individuals can be peacemakers and bring healing to the world.

Both camps are for grades six to eight. Pierce said volunteer counselors should be willing to lead Bible study, spend the day with the children through the activities and dine with them. Counselors also sleep in the same building with campers. Children of counselors may attend camp for free.

Pierce is also looking for a camp nurse to stay on site for one or both weeks, a musician or team of musicians to provide music at various times during the day and worship each night, and a multi-media person to run sound equipment, projectors and computers and take pictures.

The Mid-Winter Retreat Dec. 27-30 offers another volunteer opportunity. This camp is for those in grade six and up who enjoy a wilderness camping experience. Campers will learn to cook over an open fire and build a lean-to, among other outdoor adventures. Counselors will be expected to rough-it alongside campers. Adults with outdoor skills are appreciated.

Adults interested in volunteering should contact Pierce at 863-675-0334 or mpierceriverside@yahoo.com.


Men’s rally for Christ celebrates ultimate ‘internet of faith’

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Men from three conferences — Florida, South Georgia and Alabama-West Florida — are invited to gather at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center June 17 for the Men’s Rally for Christ.

This year’s theme is JESUS.LIFE@GOD. Attendees will celebrate the ultimate “internet of faith” connection of eternal life with God through Jesus Christ.

The event’s worship leader is Bishop James Swanson Sr. from the Holston United Methodist Conference. Other keynote speakers include John Riley, a well-known inspirational speaker who strives to communicate great truths in a simple, understandable manner. Dr. Riley Short, a retired United Methodist pastor from Lakeland and presently serving as a professor of evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, will also speak.

“Higher Ground,” the contemporary praise band from First United Methodist Church of Coral Springs, will provide music for worship.

The cost for the rally is $25, including lunch. Students pay $15. A registration form is available at http://www.ummflconf.org.

For more information contact Don Heishman, registrar, at 877-815-3692 or dheishman@verizon.net.


Celebrate Jesus needs summer mission team members

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — No experience is necessary for a Celebrate Jesus Mission team — just a willingness to share spiritual gifts and the love of Jesus with others in practical ways. Celebrate Jesus Missions provide the opportunities.

Two missions are scheduled this summer, one in the Tampa Bay area June 10-17 and the second in the Tallahassee area July 15-22.

Mission team member are needed to help make these missions a fulfilling experience for all. Information and application forms for either or both area events can be found at http://www.cjmission.org/forms.htm.

Mission team volunteers will participate in a variety of community outreach ministries, including coordinating Vacation Bible School, working with the elderly, coordinating dramas, visiting, leading small groups, or listening and praying with others.

All ages may apply. Volunteers under age 18 must have a parent or guardian complete a medical release form available on the Web site at http://www.cjmission.org/forms.htm. A pastoral reference is required for all mission team applicants. Application fees are $100 per person or $150 per family for each Celebrate Jesus mission.

The Rev. Dan Johnson, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville, said the 2005 Celebrate Jesus mission changed people’s lives. “We all are changed — our church is changed. There is a new sensitivity to people who are ‘on the edge of church,’ and a new passion and desire to reach out and to reach up. I am changed,” he said. “This was a powerful experience for each of us in our church, and we are ready to move forward with greater enthusiasm and passion for the cause of Christ.”

A listing of host churches and leadership, directions to the mission events, prayer needs and other information is available at http://www.cjmission.org. Interested individuals may also contact the Celebrate Jesus office at 407-893-7305, Celebrate.Jesus@CJMission.org or Kathy Furlong, the incoming executive director, at kathy@CJMission.org.


Arts at St. Johns offers ‘Conversations from a Hyphenated Florida’

By Carol Hoffman-Guzman**

MIAMI — The Arts at St. John presents a new series of panel discussions centered on the positive contributions of diversity, biculturalism and Florida’s immigrant communities.

The panel series is titled “Conversations from a Hyphenated Florida” and emphasizes people finding positive solutions for the struggles of living in a multicultural community.

The panels will be held at St. John’s Church United Methodist Church, 4760 Pinetree Drive, Miami Beach. They are free, open to the public and supported by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council (the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities).

The series opens May 23, 7-9 p.m., with a panel titled Who are you?: Identity in a Multicultural Community. Panelists include Jeannette Egozi, director of Ayuda, a family/youth program; Eveline Pierre, director and founder of the Haitian Heritage Museum; and Saul Gross of Streamline Realty and a commissioner for the city of Miami Beach.

The second panel June 13, 7-9 p.m., is titled Being Gay and Bicultural. David Cornell, board member of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, will moderate the panel. 

Future panels include Art/Culture Bridging Ethnicities and Cultures; Here or There?: Where is Your Home?; Faith Traditions & Spirituality in a Multicultural Community; Diverse Neighborhoods – Maps, Spaces and Boundaries; Women and Multiculturalism; Bicultural Spouses, Partners & Families; Multiculturalism in the Health Field; and Being a Bridge or Crossover in a Plural Society.

Panelists are still being sought for this series.

More information may be obtained by visiting http://www.artsatstjohns.com, calling 305-613-2325 or e-mailing artsatstjohns@bellsouth.net.

Arts at St. Johns is located at St. John’s Church United Methodist Church. Programs are supported by funding from Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council, the Pillar Trustees of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs (the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor & Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners), State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs (Florida Arts Council & National Endowment for the Arts), Florida Humanities Council (National Endowment for the Humanities), Dade Community Foundation and the St. John’s United Methodist Church.


Clergy invited to renew their spirits by discovering the Sabbath

By Caryl Kelley

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Busy lives with overworked schedules need to be renewed and refreshed. Clergy have an opportunity to do that July 10-14 through the 2006 Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) Ministers Week.

The focus of the week is helping clergy enjoy life and renew their spirit by discovering Sabbath at the lake and back on the job. Clergy will be offered opportunities for renewal through inspiration, learning and fellowship.

This will be a family-friendly week with a variety of activities for families, as well as morning workshops, keynote addresses and evening worship services. Children’s ministry activities will be available for infants through fifth grade. Afternoon activities will be open to spouses, teens and children of registrants, including hiking in the Smokies, silk painting, reflective arts, yoga, creative writing, music for relaxing and Sabbath spots at the lake.

Platform leaders are the Rev. Wayne Muller and Billie Fidlin. Muller is an ordained minister, therapist and author. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and has spent the last 25 years working with Bread for the Journey. Fidlin is associate council director of Care of Children, Youth and Young Adults at Risk for the Desert Southwest Annual Conference. She speaks as a consultant and motivational presenter to churches and organizations seeking to work in the mission field.

Evening worship speakers will be Bishops Hope Ward, Will Willimon and Al Gwinn of the Mississippi, North Alabama and North Carolina annual conferences, respectively.

A brochure and registration information is available at http://www.sejumc.org/sejac/news_articles.cfm?id=753. A brochure with a list of scheduled classes is available at http://www.sejumc.org/uploadedFiles/SEJ/Ministries/57072%20proof.pdf.


2006 School of Christian Mission asks how to ‘harvest peace’

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Shalom, Peace, Salaam to all. These three words all mean peace and are the spiritual growth study theme for this summer’s United Methodist Women’s (UMW) School of Christian Mission week July 11-14 and weekend July 14-16.

The second focus within the school is “Globalization, Its Impact in Our Lives.” The countries that will be studied are India and Pakistan.

Participants in the spiritual growth study will discuss important questions relating to peace including, “Why does religion incite such violence? Why is God portrayed as violent in sacred scripture? What is the path to peace? What is the price of peace?”

Study leaders for the spiritual growth study are the Revs. E. Keith Ewing, Janet Horman and Sara Cameron.

The school of mission brochure reads: “Today, in this time of globalization — when what occurs in one part of the world, whether it concerns wealth, poverty, abundance and scarcity, affects people in many other parts — it is appropriate for UMW to focus on issues of the economy. Where and how do the economic policies of globalization touch the lives of ordinary people?”

Leaders for the globalization study are Dana Jones, Mary Melvin and the Rev. Joe Agne.

The third theme of the school repeats last year’s focus on the countries India and Pakistan. This study will examine the heritage and diversity of the cultures of these two countries, exploring the root causes of conflict (religious and border) and the Christian’s response. Study leaders are Nancy and Brij Khare and Rosemary Gagliardi.

Classes are offered for children and youth at both the weeklong and weekend schools. Child care is also available.

The 2006 School of Christian Mission will be held on the Florida Southern College campus in Lakeland. Costs for adults for the weeklong and weekend schools are $132 and $80, respectively, if the registration form is received before June 27. Beyond that date costs are $140 and $90. The commuter fee is $32.

Costs for youth and children for the weeklong school are $130 and $85, respectively, if registration is received by June 27. After that date costs are $140 and $90. Weekend costs are $85 and $55 for youth and children, respectively, by June 27, and $95 and $65 after that date.

Registration forms and information are available at http://gbgmchurches.gbgm-umc.org/flaconferenceumw/2006scm.htm.


Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center offers ministry and learning activities

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Whatever the season, the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) Conference and Retreat Center at Lake Junaluska offers opportunities for learning and relaxing in the mountains of North Carolina.

This summer the center is coordinating a number of youth week events, including the Southeastern Jurisdiction Convocation for Young People. This annual, spiritual life convocation for ages 13 to 30 and the adults who work with them is July 23-27.

This event will include times of worship, spiritual formation development in groups and directed workshops for equipping and formation of youth and young adults as leaders. Other activities include daily roundtable discussions, an artist village and sessions on personal spiritual disciplines.

A registration form is available at http://www.sejumc.org/sejac/ministries_youngpeople.cfm?id=136 or http://www.sejregistration.org/index.asp?Eventid=109.

Fees vary from $244 to $280, depending on housing options chosen. Rates are based on quad occupancy and include housing, program fee and meals.

“Terra Incognita” is the theme for the Southeastern Jurisdiction Older Adult Conference Aug. 7-10. It is designed for anyone over the age of 55 and for people who work with older adult ministries in their congregations.

The event is coordinated by the SEJ Association of Older Adults, whose mission is to enrich the lives of older adults, affirming the gifts, graces and wisdom born of experiences that older adults bring to ministry within the church world.

Participants will experience worship, Bible study, keynote addresses, workshops on issues related to older adulthood, and networking and fellowship. A professional track will be offered for people working with older adult ministries in their congregations.

A brochure, contact information and group registration forms are available on the SEJ Web site at http://www.sejumc.org/sejac/ministries_lay.cfm?id=158.

The 2006 Choir Music Weekend Oct. 27-29 is a weekend of singing and sharing for choir members and their leaders.

Participants will learn eight new anthems, which will be used in the culminating Sunday morning worship service. In addition to rehearsals, there is instruction in vocal technique and workshops on hand chimes, conducting and building the music and worship ministry of a church.

More information can be found at http://www.sejumc.org/sejac/ministries_lay.cfm?id=466.

More information about SEJ Conference and Retreat Center events can be found at http://sejumc.org.


UMCOR requests donations of money, supplies, prayers

By Thomas Hazelwood**

NEW YORK — United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is responding to the recent violent storms and tornados that rolled across five Midwestern states, killing 28 people and injuring dozens of others.

UMCOR is in contact with each affected annual conference and is supplying the Memphis and Arkansas annual conferences with emergency grants to assist them in their initial recovery efforts. The same will be done for other conferences. Gifts to UMCOR Advance #901670, Domestic Disaster Response, will help in recovery. They may be designated to a particular storm area by marking that information on the memo line of checks.

UMCOR responded when three earthquakes shook western Iran March 30 and 31, killing 70 people, injuring more than 1,200 people and damaging more than 200 villages. The organization is working with the International Blue Crescent, whose immediate response includes distributing food staples and blankets to 1,000 families. Donations to this UMCOR response can be given to Advance #982450, International Disaster Response, Iran Earthquake.

Emergency supply kits are also still needed. UMCOR’s relief supply warehouse, UMCOR Sager Brown in Baldwin, La., continues to send supplies to hurricane survivors, as well as people UMCOR serves around the world. The five most-needed items include cleaning supplies, flood buckets, bedding, layette kits and school kits. More information about supply needs can be found on Sager Browns’ “Top Needs” page at http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor/05/sagerbrowntopneeds.cfm. Donations toward the purchase of supplies can be made through UMCOR Advance #901440, Material Resource Ministry.

Individuals may visit http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor/ to find out more about UMCOR’s ministries.


VBS kids asked to be heroes in fighting hunger

By Carol Breitinger**

BIG ISLAND, Va. — The Society of St. Andrew’s 2006 Vacation Bible School Mission Project, “Heroes Fighting Hunger,” gives children the opportunity to be true heroes in fighting hunger.

Through daily, biblically based stories and activities, children learn there are people who are hungry and what Jesus meant when he said, “You give them something to eat.”
 
The Society of St. Andrew, a national nonprofit hunger relief ministry (Advance #801600), provides a free mission outreach program for churches to use in conjunction with their VBS programs. As VBS kids learn about hunger, they are encouraged to be heroes by donating their nickels and dimes to feed hungry people. Each VBS is challenged to raise at least $50 for the Society of St. Andrew. Each $50 contribution provides nearly 2,500 servings of fresh, nutritious food to hungry Americans.
 
This year’s mission project, “Heroes Fighting Hunger,” coordinates with Cokesbury’s 2006 VBS package and can be easily adapted to any VBS theme.
 
Last year, 189 churches used the Society of St. Andrew’s VBS mission project, and participating children raised enough money to provide nearly 750,000 pounds of fresh produce to feed hungry children and adults through the society’s hunger-relief ministry. On average, each participating VBS raised nearly four times the goal of $50.
 
Churches may order a free sample kit of the “Heroes Fighting Hunger” VBS Mission Project. The kit includes daily stories and activities geared to both younger and older children. All materials are free. There is no obligation.
 
To request a kit churches may contact Susan Allen at the Society of St. Andrew at 800-333-4597 or sosachurch@endhunger.org or fax their request to 434-299-5949. More information about the Society of St. Andrew and its hunger relief ministry are available at http://www.endhunger.org.


United Methodist mission agency issues call for new missionaries

By United Methodist News Service

NEW YORK — After having placed a moratorium on new missionary recruitment and assignment in 2002, the General Board of Global Ministries has now launched a campaign to recruit at least 20 new missionaries for outside the United States.

GBGM announced “The Next Missionary May Be YOU” effort at its meeting of directors in April. R. Randy Day, GBGM general secretary, said the previous moratorium was due to financial shortfall including a decline in investment income.

“We are looking for missionaries in 2006 and 2007 for service in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Israel/Palestine,” said Edith Gleaves, who heads the Mission Personnel unit. “We need missionary pastors, educators, health and social workers, children and youth workers, administrators, and specialists in rural and construction ministries.”

Missionaries are typically assigned for three years during which they are provided health benefits and education for dependent children. Currently there are 229 missionaries fully supported, with 50 of those inside the United States.

Partial support is provided for another 120 persons. These include Church and Community Workers, Hispanic/Latino Plan missionaries, Alaska missionaries, and short-term young adult missionaries. These persons are “commissioned” personnel. “To commission” means to send forth for special service.

Another 100 persons are “non-commissioned” mission personnel, and the agency helps to support 293 persons in mission selected by partner churches around the world. There are 119 deaconesses and home missioners who are commissioned by the board but find their own places of service.

“All United Methodist missionaries must, first of all, have a strong faith in Jesus Christ,” Gleaves said. “They must love the church and feel called to work hard — very hard — in spreading the Gospel and in serving other people in ways spiritual and material. Our missionary roster is truly international in terms of race, ethnicity, culture, and nation of origin.”

Other requirements may vary depending on the assignment, though all are expected to participate in fundraising and growing support from volunteers. Requirements can be found at http://gbgm-umc.org/who_we_are/mp/documents.cfm.   

Interested persons should contact the mission personnel unit of the Global Ministries board at 475 Riverside Drive, 3rd Floor; 212 870-3660; or awilson@gbgm-umc.org.

A recruitment flier suitable for posting on church bulletin boards can be downloaded online at http://gbgm-umc.org/who_we_are/mp/docs/missionaryflyer.pdf.


Interpreter magazine seeks clergy, ideas for feature articles

By Caryl Kelley

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Interpreter, United Methodist Communications’ resources magazine, will feature women in ministry in its July-August issue.

The staff is looking for mother-daughter clergy “pairs” to include in the feature about role models and the future of women in ordained ministry. Names and contact information may be sent to Joey Butler, managing editor, at jbutler@umcom.org.

The September-October issue will feature stories of significant interfaith relationships and efforts (especially those that have developed since 9/11/2001). Suggestions may be sent to Kathy Noble, editor, knoble@umcom.org.

Interpreter continues to seek unusual success stories about local churches for “It Worked for Us” in Interpreter and Interpreter On-Line. Ideas may be e-mailed to Deborah White, associate editor, at dwhite@umcom.org

Good visual stories about United Methodists making a difference for UMTV may be sent to Fran Walsh at fwalsh@umcom.org.


Music opinions requested

By Amy Campbell Smith**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — At the 2004 General Conference a joint research study on music and worship needs in the church was requested by The General Board of Discipleship and The United Methodist Publishing House.

Input is needed from across the country from people with knowledge and interest in the music and worship life of United Methodists. A questionnaire that covers a wide variety of music- and worship-related issues is found at http://spss.cokesburyresearch.com/ResearchConsultants/index.htm. All who are interested are invited to offer their input.


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*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
** Arnold-Skrovanek is director of the Florida Conference Storm Recovery Center in Lakeland. Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service. Rankin is director of the Global Mission and Health and Wholeness ministries of the conference’s Connectional Ministries office and dean of HCA. Kincaid is secretary of the Cuba/Florida Covenant Team. Hoffman-Guzman helps coordinate the Arts at St. Johns ministry. Hazelwood is with United Methodist Committee on Relief, General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, in New York. Breitinger is communications director for the national office of the Society of St. Andrew in Big Island, Va.  Smith is executive director of research and planning at The United Methodist Publishing House.




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