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

Friday, May 29, 2009

Prayer Requests for Future Teams; Individual Volunteer Training; Helping the Displaced in Pakistan; Honduras & Sierra Service Project

PHOTO: A girl plays with a string in front of her family's tent in a camp near Mardan, Pakistan. Church World Service tents and blankets are helping to shelter displaced children and families in Pakistan.Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan


“Salaam” to the Individual Volunteer serving in Palestine: Dec.15 - June 2009
Yvonne Turner of Sierra Pines UMC is volunteering as an English teacher for youth at Hope School in Palestine through June of 2009. Yvonne first visited Palestine as part of an UMVIM Team led by Rev. Tana McDonald (Feather River Cooperative Parish) last year and felt personally challenged to offer her service and presence in solidarity with the Palestinian community. Yvonne has established a blog for family, friends and well-wishers to stay connected with her there. http://yvonnepalestine.blogspot.com/

Gary & Jeri Carson-Hull partner with a Tennessee UMVIM team to Swaziland, Africa: May 12 – September 16
Gary & Jeri Carson-Hull will be joined by a team from Tennessee to build and repair Methodist schools in Manzini, Swaziland (the largest city in the country). Chris McLain (the in-country VIM coordinator) will be keeping them busy with many projects over their 4 month stay as they travel and serve through-out the country. Gary and Jeri plan to keep family, friends and supporters up to date via their blog page at http://carson-hull.blogspot.com/

Medical & Connectional team serving the Ray of Hope Foundation in Kenya May 22 – June 5
Team leader Craig Wood of Glide UMC – San Francisco will be leading Glide UMC’s first UMVIM team! Glide UMVIM volunteers are doctors, nurses, teachers, photographers, videographers and social workers. The mission of Ray of Hope Foundation is to promote health, healing, medicine and education to the global community through the exchange of volunteers, technology, training, medical supplies and educational programming. Craig will be joined by Katherine Burke, Mark Hespeth, Joshua Biddle, Karen Oliveto, Travis Woodard, Robin Ridenour and Stephan Chase.

Care – A – Vaners construction team works in Mt. Shasta, CA: May 26 - June 3
Rod and Gloria Castor head up yet another group of nomadic volunteers who will go in mission, living out of their RVs while working on light construction and repair projects throughout California-Nevada Conference. The Care-A-Vaners has worked this year at Laton UMC and The East Salinas Family Center. Other locations are scheduled for this year—give us a call if you want to join them in this work.

San Ramon Valley UMC High School Youth Team to Laton, CA: June 20 - 27
Michael Stephenson and 4 other adult volunteers will lead a team of 18 high school aged volunteers to Laton UMC to continue repairs there. See the UMVIM website for photos. Projects may include exterior painting, the sanding and staining of church pews and the replacement of window screens. Michael will be joined by Mackenzie Dimler, Keegan Dimler, Matt Donatelli, Spencer Farady, Lindsay Garnick, Nick Johnson, Justin Koos, Ali Kuelz, Thomas Mannell, Lizzy Miskovetz, Lauren Nakaso, Evan Preece, Jack Jack Schramm, Paige Steffy, Ben TenElshof, Mark Warwick, Annette Warwick, Trevor Willis, Kevin Dimler, Crista Farrow, Paul Kuelz and Debbie Koos of Alamo - San Ramon Valley UMC.

Epworth UMC-Berkeley heads to Nicaragua: June 21 – July 3
Lloyd Elliott from Epworth UMC – Berkeley will take a second team of volunteers to a newly created UMVIM site in Nueva Guinea, Nicaragua to continue their relationship of support and friendship with the Ruben Dario High School. They will also be exploring possible mission opportunities related to health and healthcare as well as water quality and water erosion. Lloyd will be joined by Annette Cayot, Jim Lockwood-Stewart, Charles Lynch and Christina Kellogg of Berkeley - Epworth UMC Lynne McCoy and Pat Stout of Los Altos - Los Altos UMC.

Mother and daughter volunteer to join missionary daughter in Cambodia:
June 23 – August 12
Martha Parker of Mill Valley – Mt. Tamalpais UMC will join her daughter Katherine Parker ( A GBGM UM Missionary) in Cambodia to aid with projects there. Martha’s other daughter Janet Parker has been serving in the region since April 28th and will continue through June 12th. Martha’s background is in nursing and she has a community health and advance practice as the Mill Valley School district nurse. You can check out all the Parker’s activities at Katherine’s missionary blog:


If you are interested in serving in mission as an Individual Volunteer then come to the training event held June 25-28th at Aldersgate Retreat Center in Pacific Palisades, CA. For more information and to register please contact Landon Taylor at ltaylor@gbgm-umc.org.


The recent political crisis in the Swat region of Pakistan is forcing over 1 million people to flee for safety from heavy fighting in the North-West Frontier Province. UMCOR is providing immediate relief through partner organizations and is in contact with the Church of Pakistan regarding assistance.
UMCOR is supporting Church World Service (CWS) and Muslim Aid to deliver food, shelter, blankets and other supplies in the Mardan and Swabi district. CWS is setting up mobile health clinics to provide medical services to those in need and Muslim Aid is providing tents, mattresses and other needs including medical services.
Help support this effort with your gifts to International Disaster Response-Pakistan, UMCOR Advance #982450.

In Honduras, hundreds of thousands of families live in overcrowded, substandard rural homes that are vulnerable to flooding, mudslides and fire. Most are poorly built with weak foundations that cannot withstand heavy rainfall.

UMCOR is supporting a two-year grant for the Sierra Service Project of Carmichael, Calif., an incorporated agency of the California-Nevada and the California-Pacific Annual Conferences, to build 12 safe and secure homes for families in need. UMCOR is providing building materials and funds to hire local labor to supervise the work.

The Sierra Service Project involves North American youth and adult volunteers to assist in building homes in Honduras. For more information about volunteering with the Sierra Service Project team in the summer of 2010, contact Rick Eaton, executive director at rickeaton@sierraserviceproject.org or visit their website.
You can also give to Sierra Service Project, UMCOR Advance #982185 or Central America Emergency, UMCOR Advance #501300.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Safety Officer Training in the PNW Conference, Missionary Visits from Mongolia; Volunteers Needed to Cuba & Midwest; Sager Brown Volunteers Touch Live

Photo: Two Volunteers at Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, LA, help replace a homeowner's door, courtesy UMCOR

If you, or someone in your church needs to get certified as a DSO or have their certification updated we have a number of training opportunities coming up. May 24 - during Convo, lunch-time. $10 if not registered for ConvoMay 31 - Sand Point Community UMC, Seattle, 1pm, cost $10June 18 - Annual Conference at UPS, 10am, cost $10 If you would like to attend one of these events please send an email to: camping@pnwumc.org or call 1-800-755-7710 x 305


Rev. Nick Elliott, former Executive Director of UMVIM, SEJ, will be leading a 12 member construction team to Havana, Cuba. Team will assemble in Miami on November 30 and fly to Havana on December 1-10. We will be working on the Methodist Seminary in old Havana, worshipping in different churches, and learning about the Cuban culture.

Please email NickElliott@onlymyemail.com for an application. Special consideration will be given to persons who have never been to Cuba. Anticipated cost is $2250 from Miami.


Recent flooding and windstorms in the midwest have resulted in a great need for volunteers.
For more information about this need, view the attached document, or visit www.umvim.org/midwestflooding.pdf.


Helen M. Sheperd, a General Board of Global Ministries' missionary serving in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, is available for Covenant Relationship support in the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

She currently is making appointments to visit churches in California.

Read about Helen Sheperd's work in her May 2009 newsletter - and read her biographical information on the GBGM website.

Another GBGM missionary, Debbie Umipig-Julian, writes from Yokohama, Japan, "The worldwide economic status is influencing every fiber of our lives this season - definitely not good news, but let us not get tired of loving others, and making a difference wherever we are for God's glory and honor."

Umipig-Julian's third term in mission is nearing an end. Read her spring 2009 newsletter to learn more.


Volunteers working at UMCOR’s Sager Brown campus in Baldwin, La., do more than prepare emergency relief kits, they help their community with home repairs.
Sager Brown volunteers helped Bobbie, a Louisiana resident who after colon cancer surgery had to use a walker. Bobbie’s doorway was too narrow to accommodate her walker, so the volunteers brought tools and materials and widened her doorway. The volunteers also replaced her front door.

Barbara Snell, who directs of outreach ministries at UMCOR Sager Brown says there are approximately 80 applications from people in the community who are requesting home repairs—demonstrating a strong need in the Sager Brown community in addition to kit ministry that reaches around the world.
Support UMCOR Sager Brown Depot by giving to Material Resources, UMCOR Advance #901440

Monday, May 18, 2009

UMVIM News from Rocky Mountain Conference; Health Ministry

Photo: Carol Whitney (left) started a health community ministry at her church and is seen here visiting one of the church's members, courtesy UMCOR/Jeffery Austin.


SPRINGFIELD, CO UMC - Requests a mission team to come down and run VBS. Sleeping an food prep would be in the church and showers in congregants homes. Church would supply VBS materials. Contact Pastor Eric Feuerstein, 719-523-4425, efeuers490@aol.com

WARREN VILLAGE, Denver - Needs help on MAY 21 with its children's end-of-year picnic. There are also many needs year-round. Contact Naomi Taggart, 303-220-5035, ntaggart@warrenvillage.org.


If your congregation would like to start a health ministry, a practical tool is now available through UMCOR Health.

UMCOR’s “Introduction to Health Ministry for United Methodist Congregations” is a booklet that provides practical tools to develop an effective health ministry within your local congregation.

The booklet shares basic health ministry models and ideas for resource development.
Download your free copy today. For additional information on congregational health ministries, please click here.

UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking on any of the "Give Now" links.

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.
And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Future Teams & Prayer Requests from the Cal-Nevada Conference, Individual Volunteer Training, News from Individual Volunteer in Georgia, UMVIM Events

A mother holds her child at Kissy Medical Center in Sierra Leone, courtesy UMCOR

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-5 - NIV

Medical & Connectional team serving the Ray of Hope Foundation in Kenya May 22 – June 5
Team leader Craig Wood of Glide UMC – San Francisco will be leading a team of doctors, nurses, teachers, photographers, videographers and social workers to work with the Ray of Hope Foundation. The mission of this non-profit organization is to promote health, healing, medicine and education to the global community through the exchange of volunteers, technology, training, medical supplies and educational programming.

Korean UMC of Santa Clara Valley Connectional Team to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia May 24 - 31
Team leader Terry Won of Korean UMC of Santa Clara Valley will be leading a team of volunteers to Mongolia to do eye glass fittings and consultations as well as a photo ministry for locals in need. He will be joined by Taehwa Park, Benson Choi, Kiok Choi, Sunghwan Pae, Jonathan Shinn, Angela Shinn and Steve Park, all from Korean UMC of Santa Clara Valley.

Care – A – Vaners construction team works in Mt. Shasta, CA: May 26 - June 3
Rod and Gloria Castor head up yet another group of enthusiastic volunteers who will go in mission, living out of their RVs while working on projects throughout California-Nevada Conference. The Care-A-Vaners have done exceptional work this year already at Laton UMC, The East Salinas Family Center and other locations.

Please post this Prayer Request in your home, office, church or car…anywhere that you’ll be reminded to offer prayers of support and for the safety for these United Methodist Volunteers in Mission.

* Individual Volunteer Training

If you are interested in being an Individual Volunteer (IV) serving as a short-term missionary from 2 months to 2 years you are welcome to attend the IV Training. It will be held at Aldresgate Retreat Center in Pacific Palisades, CA June 25-28, 2009. For more information please contact Heather Wilson at umvimwj@hotmail.com or at 818-333-6730 or Landon Taylor at ltaylor@gbgm-umc.org.


Hello everyone,

It is spring in Tbilisi and lilacs are for sale everywhere. My students keep me supplied with big bunches of them so my apartment smells nice and fresh. There are wisteria blooming across the street and they are climbing right up the telephone line to the next apartment building. I have started my new project at one of the orphanages and put together a group of my students to go there two days a week and teach some classes there. They will teach English, of course, German, Georgian culture, and perhaps most importantly health and first aid. All of my new teachers are very excited. I was able to help one of my friends get a job as a "driver and personal assistant" to an American family. I'm thinking I should be starting my own employment agency here as I have helped so many people find jobs.

The breast cancer walk is on Sunday so along with Vic and Tiko, I am busily preparing for that. I am the Survivor Event chairperson. My friend Deanna sewed up some cute little pink ribbon bags that the women will receive full of goodies, my favorite bakery is "donating" a big pink ribbon cake, we will have flowers for the women and some of my students will do manicures for the women. Vic is in charge of the 5K run and my running team will participate in it. Women here tend to ignore things like breast cancer because they consider it a death sentence and by ignoring it they think it will just go away. They are ashamed, embarrassed etc. so we are trying to turn that attitude around. The Komen Foundation is one of the big sponsors of this event.

My Youth House graduation party will be next Wednesday. I have so many students that we have moved the event to a much bigger facility. Last year it was pandamonium because there wasn't enough room for the parents to even watch their children perform.

I sponsored a writing contest for my students and they could choose between someone on peace and tolerance or on "Is There God in Georgia?" It has been interesting reading there perspectives on these challenging topics.I head for the states on the 16th and am bringing three of my runners with me. They will run the Bolder Boulder 10K in Colorado, a 5K in Wisconsin and hopefully something in Missouri. While I am gone, Tiko will be taking four other girls to Baku Azerbaijan to participate in a muli-country school track meet. Georgians don't need visas to go to Baku so it is cheap and easy for them to do that but none of the girls have been to Azerbaijan which is a Muslim country. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying spring.

Love and peace,Kathy


TEXAS - Hurricane Recovery, June 6-14 - You are invited to join Sunrise United Methodist Church, which is hosting an UMCOR Hurricane Ike Relief trip to Galveston June 6 – 14. We have 30 – 40 from Sunrise going but have room for 70. Please join us! Trip is open to High School through Adult and the cost is $400 which includes transportation and floor space at a church (air mattresses are fine). Deadline to apply is May 16 at the training session (8am – noon, Fellowship Hall, Sunrise Briargate Campus). For more information call Matt Lurz, at 598-7013 x29 or email mattl@sunriseumc.com. Alternate contact, Teri Alcorn, 598-7013 x33, teria@sunriseumc.com

2) HEALTH and SCHOOL KITS for new UMCOR Depot in Salt Lake City - Be part of the exciting work of UMCOR! At Annual Conference, which starts June 17, we will be collecting UMCOR health and school kits for distribution to people in need all over the world. BEGIN TODAY collecting items for kits and send them with your pastor or lay delegate to Annual Conference! See attached flier for details or visit http://www.umcor.org/

3) BRIDGE of LOVE OFFERING - Again this year, the Bridge of Love Offering will be taken at Annual Conference. BEGIN TODAY collecting change to send with your pastor or delegate to Annual Conference! The offering will go to support our sister conferences in Angola, particularly young people, and for the new UMCOR Depot in Utah.

4) UMVIM TEAM LEADER TRAINING - Wednesday, June 17, Redlands UMC, Grand Junction, 1-4 pm. Contact Ann Fort, annfort8269@comcast.net to register.

5) DISASTER PREPAREDNESS/RESPONSE Training - Wednesday, June 17, Redlands UMC, Grand Junction, 1-4 pm. Learn how your church can prepare for a disaster and how the United Methodist Church responds to disasters. Contact Rev. Gary Haddock, pastor@rumcgj.com, 970-245-1478.

6) MISSIONS Dinner, Friday June 19, Conference Center, Grand Junction, CO, 5:30 - 6:30 pm. You are invited to this dinner, even if you do not attend Annual Conference. Keynote speaker will be Rev. Paul Jeffreys, award-winning author, photographer, and United Methodist Missionary, who writes about the work of the church around the world. He recently published, "Where Mercy Fails: Darfur's Struggle to Survive." Cost is $25. If you are not attending Annual Conference, please register for the dinner with Betsy Keyack, bkeyack@att.net by June 1.


After much consideration and conversation, a process is now in place for all upcoming authorized ERT trainees to have their badges made by UMCOR. Conferences may also continue to make and use their own ERT badges if desired.

The guidelines have been distributed to all currently authorized UMCOR trainers. This message is to summarize the procedure so that you, too, may understand the process.

UMCOR wishes to thank the jurisdictional representatives who helped in the finalization of this process. They are listed at end of this notice.

Badge process begins May 1, 2009
To qualify for the initial UMCOR ERT badge, a participant must:
· Attend the complete basic class led by an authorized trainer


United Methodists are taking on a new challenge to provide every child under five years-old in Sierra Leone with a long-lasting insecticide treated bed net. These nets will provide protection from malaria for those most vulnerable to the deadly disease.
To kick off the effort to raise sufficient funds for the proposed November 2009 net distribution, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is issuing a $200,000 challenge grant from its newly-established Anne Ryckman Fund.

UMCOR President, Bishop Janice Riggle Huie of Houston announced the grant and the challenge to the denomination's Council of Bishops, meeting in Bethesda, Maryland on May 6. The challenge is to United Methodist annual (regional) conferences and districts to match the funds. Many bishops responded to the challenge with personal donations totaling more than $1,000.

Take up the challenge to cover Sierra Leone with bed nets and save thousands of lives. Give today to Nothing But Nets, UMCOR Advance #982015. Every gift to this Advance between now and June 30, 2009, will go to save lives in Sierra Leone.

Monday, May 4, 2009



Several members of First United Methodist Church, Bakersfield will participate in a mission trip to Tonga, planned for July 21-August 4, departing from Los Angeles.

The team will be providing medical/dental and elderly care, doing repairs/construction, and conducting after school programs on one of the remote islands in the Kingdom of Tonga. Focus of the mission will be support of an elementary school, local clinic, and the local Wesleyan church.

"We are privileged to share hope along with medical attention, bring inspiration to the local teachers, nurses, and doctors, and spread joy with the children," reports a spokesperson for FUMC Bakersfield.

There may be room for two to three more participants on this unique mission team. Those with specific skills and those willing to be "utility players" are needed (medical personnel, skilled carpenters/builders, teachers, and those willing to help with cooking and serving).

Requirements are: good health, ability to travel the distance (the flight is 11+ hours, and there will be a short boat trip, as well), ability to stay in "rustic" accommodations, and a positive attitude and ability to get along with people under these conditions.

The approximate cost per person is $2,600. If you are interested in joining the team contact the Rev. Richard Thompson, FUMC pastor, immediately. Travel deposits were due in April. Call the church office at 661.325.1267 for more information.

If you cannot go but would like to support this mission trip, monetary contributions (to help the team buy building materials) will be welcomed, along with donations of:

Non-prescription reading glasses ("drug store glasses"), over-the-counter pain relievers, Band Aids, antibiotic ointments, "sample size" toothpaste, soft toothbrushes, small boxes of crayons, No. 2 pencils, erasers, white poster board, and blackboard chalk.

All donations may be dropped off at the FUMC Bakersfield church office, 4600 Stockdale, Bakersfield, CA 93309.

(Click here to read related story, "Mission Minute: Churches Partner to Ship Ambulance to Tonga.")


Your donation of cell phones at Annual Conference Session supports California-Nevada UMVIM teams through the Western Jurisdiction UMVIM program, providing travel expenses for part-time Jurisdictional UMVIM coordinator, Heather Wilson. Heather supports site assessments and communications with mission projects throughout the world. She is the "go-to" connection between Mission Volunteers, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), and Mission Personnel. She supports the UMVIM offices in California-Nevada and seven other annual conferences of the Western Jurisdiction.The hearing aids collected will be donated to the Rotary International project, "Help the Children Hear." This project collects and refurbishes hearing aids of all kinds and then provides them to needy children in the Tucuman Province of Argentina.

Some hearing aids are refurbished and sold, and the funds raised are used to purchase new hearing aids for the smaller children in the Province.

UMVIM Director Sue King, who coordinated the effort, thanks congregations for their willingness to help those less fortunate through these donations.

"Some of our UMVIM teams have distributed eye glasses and all of them benefit indirectly from the services of the Western Jurisdiction UMVIM program. Everyone donating is a part of UMVIM ministry through these important donations, even if they don't even leave home!"

(Click here to read main story, "Donate Cell Phones, Eye Glasses, Hearing Aids in Separate Bins at ACS.")


Volunteers are often needed to help in recovery efforts following a disaster in the US. In the initial weeks, and in some places, months, only specially trained volunteers such as those on Early Response Teams can enter an area. This is because immediately following a disaster there are many health concerns due to structural damage and water-borne illnesses. Additionally, disaster areas lack the infrastructure needed to host volunteer teams. For more information on how to volunteer in this area contact Heather Wilson at umvimwj@hotmail.com or at 818-333-6730.

When an area is considered safe and able to host volunteers, teams are welcomed through United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM).Oftentimes volunteers are needed for several years following a major event.To find out about groups from your area, contact your jurisdictional or conference UMVIM coordinator

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu News from UMCOR

Photo: Youth from Christ United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City volunteer at the new UMCOR West Office and Depot


Though it is hard to tell how much is hype and how much is serious concern surrounding the current swine flu outbreak, I wanted to send this email out today to let you know that UMCOR is monitoring the situation and to offer some resources for your use.

First, I would encourage you to check the UMCOR website for current updates. Both UMCOR Emergency Services and UMCOR Health are working to provide you with the most up-to-date information. Please check http://www.umcor.org/

This Sunday, May 3, many United Methodist Churches will include the service of Holy Communion as a normal part of their worship. The General Board of Discipleship has posted a great resource for the handing of elements. Please see: http://tinyurl.com/dgxnh2

For excellent general information on preparing and responding to the flu outbreak there is a "Faith-Based & Community Organizations Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Checklist" available at: http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/community/faithcomchecklist.html

There was excellent advice from Rev. Diana Holbert, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in East Dallas that was posted in a Washington Post blog. Rev. Holbert in an email she sent to her church members had these words of counsel:

"1. If you are coughing or sneezing, it's probably a good idea to stay home. Let us know and we'll send you a cassette tape of the service if you like!" says the pastor.
"2. If you are well, I encourage you to come together to worship and to pray for those who are sick or panicked."
She said she planned to preach this Sunday on the 23rd Psalm ("The Lord is my shepherd...") "Let's take a deeper look at what Psalm 23 has to say to us today. It may just be what the Doctor ordered," she wrote.
"Breathe peace, not germs."

We at UMCOR continue to pray for those who are sick and have lost loved ones already to this spreading virus. We will also continue to do all we can to offer information and respond as we are able. We encourage all United Methodists to,

Be There and Be Hope.

Tom Hazelwood
Assistant General Secretary
UMCOR Emergency Services U.S.
100 Maryland Ave. NE Suite 315
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202.548.4002
Fax: 202.544.4116
Cell: 703.624.3224


Volunteers have been hard at work preparing the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) West Office and Depot for the grand opening on May 30 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
According to director, Rev. Brian Diggs, "the outpouring of support from local United Methodists has been awesome." He continues, "There has been a constant flow of volunteers faithfully coming in to paint, clean, provide administrative support and organize supplies."

The organization operates UMCOR West in Utah and UMCOR Sager Brown in La. Says Kathy Kraiza who manages the operations of both depots, "UMCOR West will provide new mission opportunities for groups, especially those in the Western Jurisdiction. The Rocky Mountain region is a beautiful area to experience the community that comes with assembling relief kits."

An Invitation
The official opening on May 30 is open to all United Methodists and others who are interested in learning more about UMCOR West. Guests are invited to bring assembled kits or donate supplies as a "housewarming gift." The grand opening celebration is scheduled from 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Pre-registration is not required.

The day will include an afternoon barbeque at noon, ribbon cutting and consecration at 1:00, relief supplies workshop and a tour of the 22,000 square foot warehouse at 2:00, followed by fellowship and Q&A with UMCOR representatives. Says Diggs, "We are looking forward to hosting a community event, answering questions and exploring how we might fully put the Gospel into practice."

Annual Conference Participation
Diggs says, "We are thankful that Rocky Mountain, Pacific North West and Yellowstone have committed to collecting kit supplies at Annual Conference in June. Consolidating the shipments from each conference will decrease the shipping cost. It is also a great project around which each conference can focus its efforts. With full participation from the Western Jurisdiction,

UMCOR West will be stocked to respond when a disaster occurs."

UMCOR supply kits care for the most vulnerable people during times of crisis. They also sustain everyday life by providing basic necessities to people who lack ready access to essential supplies. These kits provide vital support for the work UMCOR does throughout the world. Donating kit supplies or financial gifts to purchase the supplies, makes a direct, tangible difference in sustaining people's lives.

Types of kits include: health, sewing, school, layette, bedding and cleaning buckets in addition to the new birthing kit. Detailed information about assembling kits can be found here.

To volunteer or donate supply kits, please contact: UMCOR West Office and Depot, Reverend Brian Diggs, Director, 1479 South 700 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84104-1605 Phone: 801-973-7250, Fax: 801-973-7916, Email: WestDepot@UMCOR.org

*Melissa Hinnen is the staff writer for UMCOR communications