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Opportunities — June 30, 2005 {0325}

Opportunities — June 30, 2005 {0325}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — June 30, 2005

June 30, 2005    News media contact:  Tita Parham*    
800-282-8011     Orlando {0325} 

An e-Review News Item

North Central District invites all to worship celebration
By North Central District Staff

GAINESVILLE — The North Central District of the Florida Conference will hold a worship celebration July 10, 5 p.m., at New Covenant United Methodist Church, 3470 Woodridge Drive, The Villages (off CR 466 behind the Southern Trace Shopping Center).

The celebration is open to all clergy and laity of the Florida Conference and will feature the Rev. Dr. Geraldine W. McClellan, superintendent of the North Central District, as the keynote speaker.

The theme is "Drawing Together — Seeking God's Heart — Touching Our World:  Helping Churches Cluster Together to Make Disciples for Jesus Christ." The worship event will celebrate the formation of the North Central District and strengthen churches in their efforts to improve the effectiveness and health of the conference's United Methodist ministry in the state of Florida by drawing together — "strengthening our horizontal connection;" seeking God's heart — "apart from Jesus we can do nothing;" and touching our world — "Jesus chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last."

This North Central District is comprised of 96 churches and missions within the Florida Conference from Leesburg to Gainesville and from Mt. Dora to the Gulf Coast. It includes the 51 churches and missions from the former Gainesville District and 45 churches and missions from the former Leesburg District.

The North Central District is one of nine new districts formed after approval of the Florida Conference Cabinet's "Connecting for Transformation" proposal at the 2004 Florida Annual Conference Event. The recommendation called for the conference's 14 districts to be reduced to nine. The new structure takes effect July 1.

For more information about the celebration contact the district office at 352-376-6353.

Africa: increasing famine threat

United Methodist Committee on Relief Hotline

NEW YORK — Famine and food security continue to be primary concerns in eastern, western and southern Africa. 

Severe famine conditions are already present in several countries, and food aid is unable to meet the increasing demands.

A 21-year-old mother in Eritrea said, "We don't have enough to eat. ... We get just eight kg (about 16 pounds) of food aid for each of us every month."

For many, food assistance is helpful, but not enough. The need for food aid will continue for at least one more planting season because people have begun eating their seed supplies for lack of an alternate food source. When their seed supply is depleted, they will have nothing to plant for the next season.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) works to relieve famine by supporting Action by Churches Together and its emergency feeding program. UMCOR also works with local Methodist churches at their request in providing emergency food, seeds and tools to their communities. Gifts to UMCOR Advance #101250, All Africa Drought/Famine Relief, can help alleviate suffering in the region.

Other recent Hotline headlines include:

* Zimbabwe: caring for Zimbabwe's homeless;
* U.S.: a desperate journey;
* Afghanistan: refugees return home;

Donations to UMCOR Advances may be made by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted.

UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.

To learn how to support these and other ministries visit UMCOR's Web site at or the UMCOR Hotline at


*Parham managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.