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 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