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Opportunities — Nov. 4, 2004 {0190}

Opportunities — Nov. 4, 2004 {0190}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — Nov. 4, 2004 

Nov. 4, 2004    News media contact:  Michael Wacht*    
407-897-1140     Orlando  {0190}

An e-Review News Item

Volunteers needed for gleaning projects

By Tita Parham**

ORLANDO — The Society of St. Andrew has two gleaning projects planned in the coming months and is looking for at least 100 volunteers to help collect fruit from local groves.

The first gleaning event is Nov. 20, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Monroe grove behind Golden Gem in Umatilla.  This grove consistently yields one tractor-trailer load of fruit that is used for Thanksgiving food boxes, according to Kathy Forth, Florida program coordinator for Society of St. Andrew. Volunteers will also be needed Dec. 4, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., for a gleaning project at Cloud grove in Eustis. 

The recent hurricanes that hit the state have damaged much of this year's citrus crop, making the fruit yielded from the gleaning projects even more necessary, according to Forth.

For more information contact Forth at 407-650-1956 or 800-806-0756.

Developmental disabilities task force offers resource, looks for information from churches 

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — The United Methodist Task Force on Developmental Disabilities is offering two resources to help congregations develop ministries to individuals with developmental disabilities: the newly revised Gateway Club curriculum and resource packet.

The Gateway Club material offers practical suggestions and tips to help congregations develop ministries with youth and adults who are developmentally disabled. The resource packet addresses camping and other programming opportunities and includes stories shared by people with special needs who are active in their local United Methodist church. It also includes an extensive resource bibliography.

The task force also has a Web site to help connect United Methodists who work in ministries with individuals who have developmental disabilities. The site provides opportunities for exchanging information about raising congregational awareness and including children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities in worship, Christian education and the life of the church. The task force is asking congregations and individuals to share their experiences and ministry failures and successes for inclusion on the Web site. Stories, program ideas, photos, and questions should be submitted to Carol Lenhart at or c/o Asbury United Methodist Church, 1533 Springhouse Rd., Allentown, PA 18104.

Contact Pat Cook at 913-682-8517 to obtain a resource packet and information about the Gateway curriculum.

When it's time to change worship: worship with integrity

By Dean McIntyre**

NASHVILLE — John Middleton, a retired United Methodist pastor who, these days, engages in a variety of activities, including writing hymn texts and a monthly newsletter, has written an informative and thought-provoking article, "When It's Time to Change Worship." In it he discusses the oft-trumpeted call, "Worship with integrity!"

Just what does that mean? What is appropriate in worship, or not? How do we consider issues relating to traditional-contemporary-blended and formal-informal styles in light of integrity? How does this relate to issues of congregational seating, hymnal versus projection, use of drama and dance, organ-piano-keyboard, guitars and drums?

After referring to Brian Wren's framework for understanding the attitudes that undermine our worship (pragmatism, narcissism, and entertainment), Middleton identifies his own benchmarks of integrity in worship: liturgy, theology, anthropology and context.

Middleton's article can help those involved in planning and leading Christian worship, as well as those engaged in the pews. It may be found on The Center for Worship Resourcing worship-preaching-music Web site at

Society of St. Andrew offers way to simplify Christmas

By Carol A. Breitinger**

BIG ISLAND, Va. — There's one gift that fits all, pleases all and feeds thousands of people who are hungry, all while making the holiday season less hectic and more meaningful.

Individuals may make a donation to the Society of St. Andrew in honor of special people in their lives. The national nonprofit, hunger-relief organization will then send the honorees a Christmas card announcing the gift.

Proverbs 22:9 provides the theme for the Society of St. Andrew's Christmas Card Gift Donation program this year: "Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor."

Each $10 gift, announced with the Society of St. Andrew's Christmas card, honors an individual and helps feed 1,000 hungry people.

The Christmas card is the ninth in a series and was designed at no cost specifically for the Society of St. Andrew by Annis McCabe, a prominent Virginia artist. The 5 x 7 inch card includes original artwork and a spiritual message and scripture.

The United States grows more than enough food to feed every hungry American, every day, but wastes more than 96 billion pounds of food every year, leaving millions of Americans, including 12 million children, hungry. The Society of St. Andrew, its volunteers and financial supporters work to bridge the hunger gap by saving food that will go to waste-surplus citrus, damaged, but edible produce, such as potatoes-and providing it to those who are hungry. The organization is an Advance Special, #801600, that strives to keep pace with the need for food by the poor and unemployed.

The organization works with farmers, volunteers, feeding agencies and individual supporters to save and distribute 30 million to 40 million pounds of fresh produce each year at a cost of about one cent per serving.

Card orders can be placed by phone at 800-333-4597, fax at 434-299-5949, online via e-mail at or on the organization's secure Web site, Orders may also be mailed with a donation to the Society of St. Andrew, 3383 Sweet Hollow Road, Big Island, VA 24526. Orders should be received by Dec. 1 to ensure delivery by Christmas. The Society of St. Andrew will make every effort to expedite late orders.

Please provide names and addresses of recipients and how each card should be signed; the sender's name, address, daytime phone number and e-mail; and VISA, MasterCard or American Express account number and expiration date if the order is being charged. Checks should be made payable to Society of St. Andrew.

For more information about the Society of St. Andrew's hunger relief work through its Gleaning Network, Potato Project, Harvest of Hope and Hunger Relief Advocate Initiative call 800-333-4597, email or go to

GBOD offers conference for leaders building healthy churches

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — Lay and clergy leaders working to help build healthy local churches are invited to attend The General Board of Discipleship's (GBOD) Healthy Churches: Transforming the World Leadership Conference Jan. 27-30 in Houston.  

The conference will provide resources to help conference leaders transform churches into growing, vital and relevant congregations that are meeting the needs of the community they serve. Each of the conference's main worship plenaries will focus on a key component of "Building Healthy Churches to Transform the World." Following each plenary, participants will gather with their annual conference groups to discuss strategies that will make their annual conference churches healthier.

The conference will provide creative leadership examples, worship, networking opportunities, training for specific annual conference tasks and many of the denomination's connectional resources. More than 80 optional sessions will focus on innovative, relevant and spiritual leadership.

The foundational principle of the conference is the belief that great leaders must be spiritually grounded and able to provide effective leadership, according to the event brochure.

Featured speakers include Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, Bishop Janice R. Huie, Dr. Leslie Griffiths, and Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

A number of costs will be covered for 18 representatives from each conference invited by the conference director of Connectional Ministry. The registration fee for additional district and local church leaders is $430 for single occupancy lodging for three nights, the opening reception, and one dinner and lunch. If attending with a roommate, the cost is $275 per person/double occupancy. Participants who bring their spouses will be responsible for paying half the room rate, plus their spouse's expenses for the two meals and reception for a total of $275.

For more information contact Nancy Dunlap, GBOD, at; 1-877-899-2780, extension 7141; or P.O. Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203-0003. Event details are also available at

Plan now to attend the Family Camp Thanksgiving weekend

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — The Florida Conference Family Camp will offer its annual Thanksgiving weekend camping event Nov. 24-28 at the family campground in Leesburg across the road from the Florida Conference Warren W. Willis youth camp and adjacent to the Life Enrichment Center.

The weekend will include a Thanksgiving potluck lunch, devotions, breakfast Saturday by the Florida chapter of the National United Methodist Campers ($1.50 per person or $5 per family), a program each evening, worship service Sunday morning and a special program by Sherri Woodstuff, a district lay leader, and featuring the "Hearts Desire" Christian women's trio from Middleburg.

The recent hurricanes caused significant damage to the family campground and other areas of the Leesburg property. Work teams have been clearing debris, but workers may still be needed during the weekend. Those attending the Thanksgiving camp are invited to volunteer. Interested campers should bring chain saws, work clothes, gloves, rakes and safety glasses

There is a $5 registration fee, an $11.75 fee for water and electric hook-up, and a $14 fee for full hook-up. Tents, trailers and motor homes are welcome.

The Florida United Methodist Conference sponsors four family camping events each year. One goal of family camp is to provide an opportunity for worship, recreation, sharing, fellowship and enjoyment of the outdoors with fellow Christians in an attractive, safe and clean setting. The family camping events are held at the conference camp ground at Leesburg during long holiday weekends: Presidents' Day in February, Memorial Day in May, Labor Day in September and Thanksgiving in November.

For more information contact Betty Ashmead, registrar, at 352-489-3221.

UMVIM collects money for hurricane victims

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — The Southeastern Jurisdiction's United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) is asking United Methodists in the Southeastern Jurisdiction to contribute to its first-ever request for a second mile giving for disaster response.

The donations will be used to help UMVIM provide disaster response to areas affected by this hurricane season's recent storms, including Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti.

Tax-deductible contributions can be made to UMVIM, SEJ and sent to SEJ UMVIM Office of Coordination, 315 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 750, Decatur, GA 30030, attention Rev. Nick Elliot. Donations of $100 or more will be recognized in SEJ UMVIM's special giving program Fellowship of One Thousand.

UMVIM coordinates and provides opportunities for teams of volunteers to work at home and abroad in mission opportunities "to build relationships with all God's share the love of Christ in multiple ways," according to its Web site. The types of work teams include work teams from a local church, district, conference or surrounding community that work on a building project in a mission setting (usually a church, school, clinic or home); disaster response teams that respond after a major disaster, such as a flood, hurricane, tornado or earthquake; medical teams of health care professionals that serve in a location for one to three weeks; teaching teams that serve in a variety of academic settings; and special interest teams, such as those working nationwide to rebuild burned churches.


*Wacht is director of Florida United Methodist Communications and managing editor
of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Parham is editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service. McIntyre is  director of music resources for the GBOD's Center for Worship Resourcing. Breitinger is communications director for Society of St. Andrew nationwide.