Opportunities — Aug. 6, 2006 {0527}



e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service
      
 

Opportunities — Aug. 6, 2006

Aug. 6, 2006    News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011  
tparham@flumc.org    Orlando {0527}

An e-Review News Item

Churches get ready for annual Open House Month

By Susan Crawford**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — September is Open House Month, and Igniting Ministry is intent on letting every local congregation know the time to prepare is now.

September is a pivotal month for communities and families. It’s the beginning of a new school year. People who’ve relocated to a new community are just settling in. Families are organizing their lives around new activities and new schedules. During this month, United Methodist churches are encouraged to engage their communities and share Christ’s spirit by reaching out to spiritual “seekers.”

Open House Month is the single most intense expression of The United Methodist Church’s “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.” theme. The new “I Believe” national television messages begin airing Aug. 28 and run through Sept. 17. Churches should prepare now to take advantage of the denomination’s high visibility during these three weeks by broadcasting their own, individualized messages to their friends, neighbors and potential new friends.

Online, http://www.ignitingministry.org offers MediaWarehouse.org, which is filled with free downloadable welcoming and advertising resources to help connect local congregations’ efforts to the “I Believe” campaign. Resources include customizable newspaper ads, door hangers, direct mail pieces and bulletin covers.

IgnitingMinistry.org (See: Welcoming) offers both general ideas on how to prepare for Open House Month, as well as many specific ideas and tips for events that extend a welcoming hand to the community. National Neighborhood Day is Sept. 17 and offers an extra opportunity for congregations to open their doors. Also available on the Welcoming pages of IgnitingMinistry.org are successful ideas churches around the country have devised to reach out to those around them.

Igniting Ministry is communicating directly with local churches during August. Its message regarding Open House Month: Get ready now.


Youth, young adults invited to participate in short-term mission trip to Russian orphanage

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — Winsome Spirit, a mission organization that is an advance special program of the Florida Conference, is coordinating an opportunity for youth and young adults to visit several orphanages in St. Petersburg, Russia, and partner with Holy Trinity United Methodist Church in a unique outreach mission effort. 

The short-term mission trip will take place in either March or December 2007 during the spring or Christmas break, depending on how quickly the team is organized. Winsome Spirit mission trips are usually 12-day experiences.
 
Winsome Spirit will hold a fund-raiser Aug. 21-Sept. 21 that has the potential to raise the entire cost of the trip for participants. 
 
Individuals who are interested in participating are invited to attend a planning meeting at the Starbucks on Beacon and Florida Avenue in Lakeland Aug. 21 at 6 p.m.

Those who are not able to attend the meeting or would like to be placed on an informational e-mail list may contact Michiel Crawford at Michiel@Earthlink.net or call 863-683-5196.

More information about Winsome Spirit is available at http://www.WinsomeSpirit.org.


Workshop focuses on rejuvenating relationships

By St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Staff

ST. PETERSBURG — A workshop titled “Rejuvenating Relationships” will be offered by St. Luke’s United Methodist Church at 4444 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, Aug. 26, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Dr. Craig Moore, the church’s pastor and Dr. Gloria Willcox, family counselor will lead the workshop, helping participants learn skills to strengthen their relationships.

The workshop is designed for those who are in a relationship and thinking about marriage, as well as those who have been married for many years. It’s also for singles, helping them prepare for meaningful relationships.

Concepts and themes are taken from “Soul-Healing Love” by Beverly and Tom Rodgers and “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.

St. Petersburg Theological Seminary students will attend to facilitate one-on-one communication.

A light snack, nursery and children’s activities will be provided. Interested individuals may contact the church at 727-321-1335 to reserve space.

The cost is $25 per couple or $15 for singles. Checks should be made payable to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, noting “counseling” on the memo line. Scholarships are available.

More information is available by contacting Wilcox at gtwilcox@aol.com.


Jazz festival reaches out in St. Petersburg

By Stephanie Henningsen**

ST. PETERSBURG — For the second year in a row, McCabe United Methodist Church will partner with WSJT 94.1 FM to offer a Jazz Festival in south St. Petersburg. This year’s event will be Sept. 3 at 3 p.m. at the church, located at 2800 26th Ave. S.

The festival, which serves as an outreach ministry for the church, is free and will feature performances by local and nationally recognized artists, including Eric Darius, Shawn Brown, Mike MacArthur, Theo Valentin, Taabu and “BK” Jackson II. Vendors will also be on hand with food and beverages.

Other event sponsors include Drs. Reggie and Mendee Ligon, Dr. Keith Brady, “Power Broker Magazine,” Regions Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Urban Development Solutions, ASAP and Lee Roy Selmon’s.

More information is available by calling 727-824-2817 or e-mailing Stephanie Henningsen at queennoir7@yahoo.com.


United Methodist Women’s spiritual retreat focuses on theology of mission

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — “Resurrection Women” is the theme for the Florida Conference United Methodist Women’s spiritual retreat Sept. 8-10 at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park near Leesburg.

The retreat is designed to increase the understanding of and commitment to God’s mission to women, children and youth. Leaders are Jackie Whitehouse, Nancy Bearden and Myra Martin.

A registration form is available at http://gbgmchurches.gbgm-umc.org/flaconferenceumw/Spiritual%20Enrichment%20Retreat%20form.doc.
Individuals who would like to stay together should send in their registration forms together.

The cost for the weekend retreat, including room and meals, is $110 per person. The commuter cost is $50; the cost for children age 3 and older is $40.



Workshop provides tools to help with ministry to single-parent families

By Kim Shockley**

ORLANDO — Ninety-five percent of single parent families in America do not worship anywhere on
Sundays.

The Florida Conference’s East Central District is offering a workshop Sept. 23, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., at Casselberry Community United Methodist Church to help local congregations reach out to this important segment of their communities.

The workshop will focus on how churches can offer a place of acceptance and spiritual growth for single parents and their children, assist people in recovering from divorce or the death of a parent or spouse, meet real needs of single-parent families with practical ministries, and minister effectively with children and youth growing up in single-parent homes.

Keynote speakers are the Rev. Sue Nilsen of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church and Brenda Armstrong, director of Mercy Tree Ministries. Attendees will also be able to participate in two workshops.

The cost is $90 for six people per church and $20 per person beyond that number. Lunch is included in the cost.

More information is available by contacting Kim Shockley at kshockley@flumc.org or 407-873-7300, extension 2.


HCA classes on church health, worship offered this fall

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — The Florida Conference Healthy Church Academy (HCA) is again offering its Growing a Healthy Church and Worship and Praise for Transformation courses this fall.

HCA 101: Growing a Healthy Church will be held Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 6-7 at Orange Park United Methodist Church in the North East District and Jan. 5-6 and 19-20, 2007, at Asbury Theological Seminary’s Orlando campus.

This four-day course provides 32 contact hours and three continuing education units. Participants will meet each Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Growing a Healthy Church is the only required HCA session. It is designed for clergy and laity who would like to recognize and grow a healthy church. It provides the theological and Biblical foundation for being the church, a practical understanding of a healthy church, tools to develop or reclaim a vision and mission as a church, and communicate and integrate healthy church strategies into the life of a church and its community.

The cost is $240, which includes learning materials, lunches and refreshments. Scholarships are also available.

The sessions at Orange Park United Methodist Church are sponsored by the North East District Leadership Council. Session leaders include the Revs. Kendall Taylor, Jeff Stiggins, Mont Duncan, Linda Mobley, Joanem Floreal and Larry Rankin.

Orange Park United Methodist Church is located at 2063 Park Avenue (US 17), Orange Park FL 32704; 904-264-2241. Interested individuals may visit http://www.opumc.net/ for directions and contact information.

HCA 801: Worship and Praise for Transformation (formerly HCA 1401) will be offered Sept. 30 at First United Methodist Church of Perry and Oct. 21 at St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Orlando.

Each session is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and provides eight contact hours and three-quarters of a continuing education unit.

The session is designed to give worship leaders and worshipers a theological and biblical foundation for planning and leading worship that draws people closer to God. It provides tools to help participants organize worship teams and create and celebrate sustainable worship and praise week after week.

The course was first offered last March to help churches achieve the worship fundamental that is part of the Bishop’s Fundamentals, goals each conference church is being asked to reach this year. The worship fundamental has a measurable goal of increasing average worship attendance by 5 percent and an effort goal of having an active worship planning team for every Sunday service in 2006. An explanation of the fundamentals is available at http://www.flumc2.org/page.asp?PKValue=925.

Tuition is $60 per person and includes materials, lunch and refreshments. Partial scholarships are available upon request.

Individuals who cannot attend the session may request that one be held in their district by e-mailing Larry Rankin at lrankin@flumc.org.

HCA is the creation of the Florida Conference offices of New Church Development, Congregational Transformation and Connectional Ministries. All courses are for laity and clergy. Congregational teams are especially welcome.

HCA courses are linked to a church’s life cycle and Natural Church Development minimum factor and support the various leadership roles in the church. Courses are provided at churches throughout the conference and the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park near Leesburg. All are designed to help new congregations form and existing ones transform.

Churches are encouraged to invite HCA coordinators to work with them and design classes and workshops that fulfill the congregation’s transformational, disciple making and outreach needs. Churches are also encouraged to suggest course ideas that address learning needs.

Lodging, registration and additional HCA course information is available at http://www.flumc.org/hca.


Deacons to study community building

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Responding to Florida Conference Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker’s fundamental challenge for the church to reach out to the community, Florida United Methodist deacons will gather for a 24-hour study retreat on community building Oct. 1-2.

The session will be held at the Life Enrichment Center (LEC) in Fruitland Park near Leesburg from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday.

The study focuses on Eugene Peterson’s book “Christ Plays in 10,000 Places.” Before the session, deacons should read the third chapter, titled “Christ Plays in Community.”

This retreat is scheduled a day before the conference’s School of Ministry and is for all deacons.

The cost is $65, which includes food and lodging at the LEC. Interested individuals should contact Winnie Dean at wdean@flumc.org to register for the Deacons Study Retreat. The registration deadline is Sept. 15.

More information is available by contacting Vicky Walker at VWalker@hydeparkumc.org or 813-253-5388.



“It’s All About Jesus” at fall United Methodist Men’s retreats

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — From Friday evening to Sunday morning men will gather to renew friendships and grow spiritually at the 2006 United Methodist Men’s spiritual retreats Oct. 6-8, 13-15 and 20-22 at the Life Enrichment Center and Warren W. Willis Youth Camp in Fruitland Park near Leesburg.

The weekend retreats are an opportunity for men to get away from their routines, spend time together in a relaxing environment, be in the company of other Christian men and experience uplifting music and messages addressing the issues men face on a daily basis.

Speakers for the weekends include the Revs. John Barrett and Jim Hollis, with music by Ross Kimura, the worship leader at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Largo, Oct. 6-8; the Revs. Blake Lorenz and Charley Reeb, with music by the Higher Ground praise band from First United Methodist Church of Coral Springs, Oct. 13-15; and John Riley, Ed Diaz and Rev. Scott Smith, with music by Grace Like Rain from Aloma United Methodist Church in Winter Park, Oct. 20-22.

The cost for each weekend is $120 per person at the Life Enrichment Center and $105 per person at the Warren W. Willis Camp. The costs for those staying at the Family Campground are $31 for the campsite, $30 per person for the program and $38.50 per person for meals.

More information and a registration booklet with a registration form are available at http://www.ummflconf.org/06%20mens%20booklet.pdf. The registration booklet contains directions to the Life Enrichment Center, information about the speakers and suggestions on ways to invite others to attend the retreat. A DVD is available to help promote the retreats within a congregation. It includes a three-minute promotional clip and a longer 19-minute segment that could be used at men’s meetings or church dinners to encourage men to attend the retreats. Copies are available by contacting the United Methodist Men’s office at 877-815-3692.

More information is also available by contacting Don Heishman at ummflconf@verizon.net.


Conference offers ‘inspiring and equipping’ ideas for practical ministry

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Van Dyke United Methodist in Tampa is offering a conference titled “Real Ideas for Real Church” Oct. 7-8 to help churches discover practical tools and ideas that work to make a difference in people’s lives.

The conference is for pastors, church staff and volunteer leaders. Each day will begin with a continental breakfast and group session. Participants will then break into smaller groups, choosing from among 30 different workshops. Within the conference, participants will have three general sessions and four breakout workshops that include practical applications and hands-on opportunities.

The workshops are designed around many ministry needs and focus on such topics as planning worship, beginning and sustaining small groups, nurturing nursery aged children, developing a congregational care network and others. One workshop is titled “Controlled Chaos: Middle School Ministry”; another is “Taking People from Pew Potato to Sold Out Servant.”
 
There is no limit to the number of people from one church that can register. The cost for early registration by Sept. 15 is $60 per person for up to four people, $50 per person for groups of five to nine and $40 per person for groups of 10 or more. After the Sept. 15 date the costs are $75, $65 and $55 per person, respectively, for the specified group sizes.

A list of workshop titles, the conference schedule and a link to register online are available at http://www.vandyke.org/page.cfm?id=636

Interested individuals may obtain more information by contacting Karen Peel at kpeel@vandyke.org or 813-968-3983, extension 145.



Adult Appalachian Trail Hikers needed

By Mary Ann Cantwell**

Those who have a passion for hiking and nature are invited to register now for the annual Adult Appalachian Trail Hike Oct. 15-22.

Two hiking opportunities will be offered: backpacking on the Appalachian Trail and site camping at Vogel State Park in Georgia, with day hikes in the surrounding mountains.

Participants will meet at the Warren W. Willis Youth Camp in Fruitland Park near Leesburg Oct. 15 at 7:30 a.m. Community gear will be distributed and packs will be packed for the trip to Georgia.

The cost of the six-day activity is $120, which covers transportation, meals while camping, insurance and community gear. Hikers need to furnish a warm sleeping bag, tent, sturdy hiking boots, personal gear and money for food while traveling.

The group is multigenerational. The minimum age is 18. Requirements for participation are a love of the outdoors, ability to enjoy physical activity that requires some exertion (especially for the backpackers) and a sense of humor. The group size is limited.

Interested individuals may request an application by calling the Florida Conference Center at 800-282-8011, extension 192; writing to Florida United Methodist Conference, P.O. Box 3767, Lakeland, FL 33802; or e-mailing hleab@flumc.org.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting Mary Ann or Gene Cantwell, Adult Trail Hike coordinators, at 352-394-2506 or macantwell@juno.com.


UMCOR needs funds for Middle East crisis

By Elliott Wright**

NEW YORK — The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has issued an urgent appeal for funds to assist civilians caught in the renewed fighting in the Middle East.

“Our funds for Middle East emergencies are painfully low,” said the Rev. Paul Dirdak, UMCOR’s chief executive, on July 25. “As Christians and as a denomination, we need to equip ourselves to do our part in responding to humanitarian needs in this tragic situation.”

Contributions should go to the Middle East Emergency Fund, No. 601740, of the Advance for Christ and His Church, the United Methodist designated mission giving fund.

This general fund allows UMCOR to respond to civilian needs on any front in the confrontation, Dirdak said.

“We are concerned for all civilians in this ongoing crisis,” he explained. “We have a number of options for channeling assistance into Lebanon, Gaza and Israel. We are deeply involved in the dialogue among humanitarian groups as to how to best respond to the emergency.

“We can do very little unless the United Methodist people are, yet again, willing to dig deep into their pockets for dollars that can translate prayers into action,” he said.

A small contribution of $5,000 has been sent from general UMCOR funds for emergency aid in Lebanon. Another $20,000 grant is in the emergency approval process.

UMCOR has years of experience working with refugees in the Middle East and assisting families and individuals affected by periodic wars there. It has several partners with which it can work in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank. In Israel, the agency relies on United Methodist missionaries to identify clinics and other facilities serving those in greatest need.

“The humanitarian aid of The United Methodist Church knows no political or national boundaries,” Dirdak said. “In recent weeks, we have been concerned with families in Gaza affected by Israel bombing. Now we are also concerned about civilians in Lebanon and about civilians in Israel whose lives are being torn apart by the military action.”

The latest round of violence began with the abduction of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of eight others by the Hezbollah militant group, operating out of Lebanon. Israel responded with an attack on southern Lebanon. The violence on both sides has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Lebanese and Israeli civilians, while displacing more than a half-million Lebanese, according to news reports.

Checks may be written to UMCOR, designated for “Middle East Emergency Fund,” Advance No. 601740, and placed in church collection plates or mailed directly to: UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068. Credit card donations may be made by calling 800-554-8583. Online donations can be made at http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/donate.cfm?code=601740&id=30.

One hundred percent of the contribution goes to the Advance ministry indicated.


Clergy invited to explore new Doctor of Ministry degree program at Wesley Theological Seminary

By Ingrid McIntyre**

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Clergy who wish to be considered candidates for upcoming Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) degree programs at Wesley Theological Seminary are invited to the campus for a Doctor of Ministry Exploration Day Sept. 12, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., to learn about new tracks focusing on faith and the health of communities.

The Faith and the Health of Communities Doctor of Ministry degree is designed to expand the leadership capacities of religious professionals working on the boundaries of faith and public health practices. Drawing on the combined resources of Wesley Theological Seminary, the Interfaith Health Program of Emory University in Atlanta and Methodist Healthcare of Memphis, the program will equip leaders of congregations and institutional ministries to address individual, community and global health issues with vision steeped in theological realities and practice committed to forming new alliances that more may know “there is a balm in Gilead.” The first two-week term of full-day seminars are: Jan. 2-5 and 8-12, 2007. Applications are now being accepted; the deadline to apply is Oct. 1.

Upcoming Doctor of Ministry tracks that will be offered include: Spirituality and Story and Church Leadership Excellence, beginning May 2007; Campus Ministries, beginning January 2008; Life Together: Spirituality for Transforming Community, beginning May 2008; and Pastoral Theology, Care and Counseling, beginning January 2009.
 
The Doctor of Ministry is a 30-academic-hour program for clergy who want to pursue focused study. Applicants must have a strong academic record in their Master of Divinity from an institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and been in active ministry for three years since graduation. Beyond earning the degree, the seminary hopes Doctor of Ministry graduates function as resource persons for the local and regional church.

Individuals interested in attending the Doctor of Ministry Exploration Day may contact the Office of Admissions at Wesley Theological Seminary at admiss@wesleyseminary.edu; 202-885-8659 or 800 882-4987; or 4500 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016-5690.

Details and application materials are available at http://www.wesleysem.edu. Questions may be directed to Dr. Lew Parks, director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, at dmin@wesleyseminary.edu or 202-885-8670.


Church business administrators meet at Lake Junaluska

By Southeastern Jurisdiction Staff

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Southeastern United Methodist Association of Church Business Administrators (SEJ UMACBA) will hold its annual meeting Sept. 11-14 at the Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center.

The fall date is a change from the usual August date.

Reservations for housing may be made by calling the Lake Junaluska Reservations office at 800-222-4930, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

More information, including a copy of the conference’s brochure, is available at http://www.sejadministrators.com.


Fall Fling retreats for older adults set for October

By Southeastern Jurisdiction Staff

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Older adults who want to meditate and learn in the beauty of a mountain setting in North Carolina are invited to attend The Fall Fling retreats Oct. 10-13, 17-20 and 24-27.

The program offers a variety of inspiring speakers and activities, as well as mini courses in Bible Study, devotions and worship and free time for excursions or to relax.

The program is held at the Southeastern Jurisdiction assembly grounds at Lake Junaluska and sponsored by The Intentional Growth Center.

The featured speaker for the Oct. 10-13 Fling is Bishop Richard Looney, president of The Foundation for Evangelism at Lake Junaluska. He is a graduate of Emory and Henry College and Candler School of Theology. As an ordained elder he served appointments in the Holston Conference. Looney was elected to the Episcopacy in 1988 and served the South Georgia Area for three quadrenniums before retiring in August 2000.

Dr. Evelyn Laycock is the featured speaker Oct. 17-20. She is a graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College and holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Emory University. She served as a religion professor at Hiwassee College and is a well-known Bible study leader and author.

Dr. Bill Carter will speak at the third Fling. He is a graduate of Emory and Henry and has a Master of Education degree from the University of Tennessee and Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University. He is the author of a number of articles and books and has served as a United Methodist minister in the Holston Conference.

The cost for each weekend is $238 per person, double occupancy. Single, triple and quad occupancy are $307, $217 and $205, respectively. The fee includes the program cost and room and board from dinner Tuesday through breakfast Friday. Commuters are welcome.

A registration form and information are available at http://www.sejumc.org/uploadedFiles/SEJ/Ministries/SEJ_Agencies/IGC/Fall%20Fling%202006.pdf.

More information is also available by contacting The Intentional Growth Center at 800-482-1442, extension 384, or 828-452-2881, extension 384, or by e-mailing bclauser@intentionalgrowthcenter.org.


General Board of Church and Society urges support of comprehensive immigration reform

By General Board of Church and Society Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Comprehensive immigration reform is being considered by both the Senate and House, and it is vital that both are reminded what people of faith value in regard to undocumented migrants.

The key values United Methodists are advocating include providing a legal path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants. Opportunities with minimal obstacles should be provided for all those who want to settle in the United States and become eligible for permanent residence and citizenship.

Protecting the rights of workers and reuniting families are additional values. The nation needs a worker visa program that adequately protects the wages and working conditions of U.S. and immigrant workers and provides a path to permanent status. Wider legal channels are necessary so that workers can be admitted legally, also lessening exploitation and trafficking of persons across the border. One of the driving factors of immigration, as well as America’s most cherished values, is family unity. Those waiting in line should have their admission expedited, and those admitted on work visas should be able to keep their nuclear families intact.

Churches can participate in a campaign that began July 4 and runs until Labor Day to raise awareness and commitment among Christians about the concerns of immigrants. What does the Bible say? What do people of the United Methodist Church believe? What day-to-day challenges do new immigrants face? How can United Methodists address these concerns with prayer?

The goal of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) of The United Methodist Church is to lead people from prayer to action, and it is asking 100,000 faithful United Methodists to sign a pledge expressing their personal support for comprehensive immigration reform at http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/pp.asp?c=fsJNK0PKJrH&b=1826565. The pledge is: “We pledge ourselves as followers of Christ to stand with our immigrant neighbors who have come to the United States from throughout the world. We recognize immigrants as human beings made in the image of God and we prayerfully commit ourselves to support laws that affirm their dignity, preserve their families, and acknowledge the value of their presence among us.”

Study guides to print and use each week are also available on the Web site. 

Concerned individuals may obtain more information on immigration issues or send a pledge card by mail by contacting Bill Mefford, GBCS’s director of civil and human rights, at bmefford@umc-gbcs.org or 100 Maryland Ave. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002.


United Methodists encouraged to wear bracelets in support of rebuilding hurricane damaged churches and communities

By Diane Denton**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As a symbol of continued solidarity and commitment to the communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina, United Methodists can wear bracelets sharing the Katrina Church Recovery Appeal logo, “rebuilding churches and communities.”

Money from purchases of the maroon wristbands will support the appeal made by the bishops of The United Methodist Church mobilizing church members to participate in long-term recovery efforts to the region devastated by Katrina last summer.

With members scattered and buildings destroyed, many churches in the affected areas still seek the assistance of caring United Methodists to restore their mission and ministries.

The appeal focuses on the needs of clergy, church staff and mission personnel in the affected areas and on the United Methodist facilities — churches, retreat centers, urban ministries, retirement facilities and mission centers — that were severely damaged or destroyed. Many were underinsured, with insufficient coverage for damage due to rising water.

Wristbands are $2 each, with free shipping for orders of 50 or more. They may be ordered by calling toll free 888-346-3862 or online at http://www.umc.org/churchrecovery. Churches are encouraged to sell the bracelets as a local fund-raiser.

In addition to purchasing bracelets, contributions to the Katrina Church Recovery Appeal can also be made online via credit card or through local church offerings labeled “Bishops’ Appeal 818-001.”

The Council of Bishops has asked congregations to take a special offering for the Katrina Church Recovery Appeal Aug. 27, the Sunday closest to the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s first strike to the United States coast Aug. 25, 2005.


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*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**McIntyre is Enrollment Counselor at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C. Denton is associate director of United Methodist Communications Public Information, Nashville, Tenn. Hodges is on Virginia Theological Seminary staff. Shockley is the East Central District congregational transformation coordinator. Henningsen is a member of McCabe United Methodist Church, St. Petersburg. Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service. Cantwell is Florida Adult Trail Hike coordinator. Wright is the information officer for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Crawford works in the national Igniting Ministry office of United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tenn.




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