1.UMVIM is an approved United Methodist ministry.

2. The mission projects are vetted and screened.

3. Volunteer teams can continue their relationship with the project site they served at via The Advance and missionaries.

4. All are welcome to serve.

5. Training, forms, insurance, etc. available

6. It's simple. Contact umvimwj@hotmail.com to get started!

Faith in Action

Faith in Action

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hands-On Chain Saw Training for Early Response Teams (ERT); Travel Ban to Cuba; Red River Flood Watch; & Missionary Carol Partridge Visits

Photos: Havana Cuba coastline (top, courtesy theodora.com), Missionary Carol Partridge (middle, courtesy gbgm-umc.org), Red River in North Dakota (bottom, courtesy latimes.com)
Chain-Saw Training for Early Response Teams (ERTs)
Bob Lee of Los Altos UMC, CA and Dave Drew of Gardenerville UMC, NV have been hard at work putting together hands-on chain saw training for Early Response Teams that attended last falls UMCOR trainings in Los Altos, CA or Reno, NV. The training is also open to ERT trained folks trained at other times in the past, too! We can offer the training in May 15-17 for one or two days (depends on numbers of responses!) PLEASE, REPLY PROMPTLY-- we need to know how many of you would be willing to commit your time, travel and $17.25/day for food to come to the training May 15-17th at UM Camp Lodestar

This training will offer hands on, supervised, safe practices to help our Early Response Teams understand the way to approach debris removal that disasters create. ERTs will also come away with the ability to recognize when they don’t have the expertise to take on some jobs..

Topics covered are: site safety, maintenance of the saw, safety of surrounding workers, safe operation of running and non running saws, safe approaches to stressed wood piles( how to avoid pop ups, sling backs & widow makers etc.) PPE (by OSHA standards at minimum). We will issue a CA-NV UMC certificate that lists the topics covered and states the participants have successfully met the standards of training as a ERT chain saw operator and are registered with CA-NV conference and UMCOR.

The training location is Camp Lodestar in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California, near Wileyville, CA. See description here http://cnconsole.brickriver.com/files/oImage_Library_FQADXU/about_our_camps_and_campsites_BNT9FTXW.pdf
The camp is glad to provide housing for us AND we will provide free brush and tree-cutting for the development of their ropes course--all while getting our hands-on training and certification! If you are flying in, Sacramento (SMF) would be a good airport to use.

The first Chain Saw Session starts Friday evening with Safety and Maintenance instruction. All day Saturday is hands-on training cutting brush and trees. If we have enough interest, we will do two sessions—max of 10 people each session.

Also, we are trying to schedule an UMCOR instructor for a Friday evening/ Saturday Early Response Team training. So, if you didn’t do ERT at Los Altos or Reno last fall, you can sign up this time!

Bob and I are hopeful that a group of 10 who are already ERT trained could begin with Safety and Maintenance on Friday evening with “hands on” on Saturday and another group from the ERT class held Saturday could do Safety and Maintenance Saturday evening with “hands on” on Sunday.

Students will be required to provide their own safety equipment, sharpening tools and saws maybe even a wedge if they have it. Also fuel and oil.
Safety equipment is mandatory and should include: Hard Hat, Safety Glasses, work boots, chaps, lightweight leather work gloves & hearing protection.

All volunteers need to complete the attached GBGM insurance form and send it to CA-NV UMVIM office. CA-NV UMVIM will cover the cost of the insurance, but ALL must send the original, signed GBGM insurance application by May 1, 2009.

If you want to register for the training, please contact:

Eddie Frutchey
Administrative Assistant for UM Volunteers in Mission
California-Nevada UM Conference
P.O. Box 980250 West Sacramento CA. 95798-0250 (mail)
1276 Halyard Drive, West Sacramento CA. 95691 (location)
Office: (916) 374-1584
Fax: (916) 372-5544

If you have questions about the training, please contact:

Bob Lee
Cell 650-468-1612
Home 650-941-0260
Email carm-lee@pacbell.net
140 Hamilton Court
Los Altos, Ca. 94022


Sue King, PhD
Director of Volunteers in Mission
California-Nevada UM Conference
P.O. Box 980250 West Sacramento CA. 95798-0250 (mail)
1276 Halyard Drive, West Sacramento CA. 95691 (location)
Office: (916) 374-1582; Mobile: (916) 202-3879
Fax: (916) 372-5544

Churches Ask For End To Cuba Travel Ban

NEW YORK (UMNS)-U.S. Protestant denominations and agencies, including the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and Board of Church and Society, are asking Congress to lift the travel ban that severely limits their interactions with churches in Cuba. The letter to Congress notes that the decades-old ban particularly reduces the ability of national and regional church groups to send delegations to Cuba and support church partners in that country. Congress recently passed legislation that permits U.S. citizens with relatives in Cuba to visit more often and for longer periods than in the past. The relaxation of the restrictions on relative visits did not affect the general travel ban. The letter asks for support of H.R. 874 in the House and S. 428 in the Senate, bills that would lift the travel ban.

Red River Flood Watch in North Dakota & Minnesota

Residents near the Red River, the border between Minnesota and North Dakota, are continuing to watch cautiously for breaches in sandbag levees.

Although the river continued to recede - dropping to just above 38 feet early on March 31 as a snowstorm blanketed the region - melting snow could bring a second flood crest by mid-April, the National Weather Service said.

"Half a dozen homes of people in Grace United Methodist Church (in Moorhead, Minnesota) are in imminent danger if a levee were to fail," the Rev. Craig Haberman, Grace's pastor, told his North Star District superintendent, the Rev. Alan Bolte. "Members in our congregation [who are] affected are evacuating, either out of town or to homes on higher ground here in Fargo/Moorhead."

On March 29 - the day after the river crested - about 78 people, fewer than the usual 105, attended Sunday morning worship at Grace church. Haberman extended that morning's time for sharing joys and concerns so people could learn and share news on how others are doing.

The Rev. Duane Gebhard, pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Crookston, Minnesota, said that though water was receding in the Red Lake River, Crookston members were most concerned that ice jams could raise the river levels several feet.

In many riverside towns, residents who had not evacuated were urged to block household drains to prevent household flooding. Several still experienced basement seepage. Rural areas lie outside the zone protected by levees. Some farms are flooded or isolated by surrounding floodwaters. Some town and city streets are under water.

Bolte said that a number of United Methodists from around Minnesota have traveled to Fargo/Moorhead to help with the sandbagging task, including groups from Litchfield, Grace (Fergus Falls), and Alexandria United Methodist churches.

Other congregations have begun preparing cleaning buckets as prescribed by United Methodist Committee on Relief.

Making an assessment
The Rev. Heather Klason, Minnesota Conference disaster response coordinator, foresees entering the area in the coming week with the president of Minnesota Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters to make an assessment. Clean-up will probably begin in a few weeks.

"I ask for prayers for all the folks who are in the path of this flood, including our pastors, our churches and all of the communities and families who live outside of the communities, some who have already lost their homes," Bolte said. "Pray the levees hold. Pray for those all along the Red River as the amount of water increases as it flows north.

"I also lift praise to God for all the efforts of volunteers who have given their time and energy to do this massive work," he said.

Those interested in sending volunteer teams to the flood area are asked to contact Lorna Jost, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission coordinator for the North Central Jurisdiction, at 605.692.3390 or umvim-ncj@brookings.net.

Teams would not be deployed for another three or four weeks, according to Jost, but probably will be needed for many months to come. Volunteers are asked to refrain from directly contacting pastors in the Fargo/Moorhead area.

UMCOR is coordinating donations to assist communities affected by the Red River flooding. Drop checks in church offering plates or mail them directly to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Write Advance #901670 Domestic Disaster Response, Red River Floods, on the memo line. Credit card donations may be made online or by calling 800.554.8583.

*Rebeck is Director of Communications for the Minnesota Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Missionary Carol Partridge in Cal-Nevada Conference

Carol Partridge, a General Board of Global Missions Missionary serving in Macedonia as Director of Christian Education, will give a presentation of her work at a dinner gathering hosted by Epworth United Methodist Church in Fallon, Nevada on Monday, April 6.

The church is located at 280 E. Stillwater Avenue, Fallon, NV 89406.

If you're interested in attending, contact Kathy Fraker at kathyfraker@charter.net or 775.867.3095.

For information about Carol Partridge's other scheduled visits, view Confirmed Itineration Schedule here or contact Laddie Perez-Galang, Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, at 510.396.2347 or laddieg@pacbell.net.

To learn more about Carol and her missionary work in Macedonia, read her biography, found on the GBGM website, or visit her website at http://www.carolpartridge.com/.

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