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

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Heather Wilson, UMVIM WJ Coordinator

Friday, December 14, 2012


Superstorm Sandy News

Greater New Jersey, Pennsylvania-Delaware and New York Conferences are all open to combination ERT-volunteer teams. They are asking for a ratio of 1:3 ERT- trained to non-trained team members in hopes of increasing the number of volunteers and the awareness of ERT.
For any questions regarding volunteers, please email Greg Forrester at umvimnej@twcny.rr.com

    New York Conference : www.nyac.com - 5 sites open. Teams can register online.
  • Greater New Jersey Conference : www.gnjumc.org - 9 sites open. Can register online. Not a lot of assessed locations - your team may have to do some assessments along with relief work.
  • Peninsula-Delaware Conference. Schedule teams through the Disaster Response Coordinator, Rich Walton, pastorrich@att.net.
  • West Virginia Conference - Contact Jenny Gannaway at jennygannaway@frontier.com

20,000+ Cleaning Buckets have been sent to NY and NJ, however they are still needed. Please consider using a day this Advent Season to create additional Buckets. More information can be found at this link: http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies
The Western Jurisdiction Deploys Three ERT Teams
to Respond to Superstorm Sandy
In addition to numerous financial donations, the Western Jurisdiction has three ERT (Early Response Teams) teams that will be serving the victims of Superstorm Sandy this month and in January.  Two of the teams are from the Cal-Pac Conference and the other team is from the Pacific Northwest Conference.  ERT teams provide a caring Christian presence during the early phases after a natural disaster/emergency.  They have been trained and certified via a partership between UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission) and UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief).  If you are interested in being trained as and ET please contact Heather Wilson at umvimwj@hotmail.com or at 818.333.6730.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Volunteer Opportunities

Joplin, MO: Are you interested in serving in the rebuild efforts in Joplin?  They are in need of volunteers through Rebuild Joplin.  If you want to schedule a team contact Maria at Maria.Olson@rebuildjoplin.org.  For more information please visit rebuildjoplin.org. and also connect with your UMVIM Conference Coordinator to let them know that you are serving in Joplin.
Guatemala: Additional volunteers are needed for a mission trip to the Western Highlands of Guatemala January 12-19, 2013. The service project will focus on community repairs needed as a result of recent earthquakes suffered by the highland Maya communities, as well as community and preventative health activities. No previous building or health experience necessary, and volunteers need not speak Spanish- translation is provided. The all-inclusive trip cost is $985 plus the cost of airfare. The team leader is Ben Blevins, and Volunteer leader for this team is Marilyn Blagg of the Staunton District. Please contact Marilyn for more details at marilynblagg@hotmail.com.

Kenya, July 2-19, 2013: Seeking team members to play an active part in His Great Commission in Kenya! Kenya Partners, a faith based non-profit arising out of a UM church mission initiative, has openings on the July 2-19, 2013 team to Nakuru Kenya. Combined team of those interested in medical, construction, education, soccer and VBS at boarding school for 700+ students and women's economic empowerment. All work coordinated with UMC leadership in Kenya. Extended stay/internships/alternate dates available. Contact diane@kenya-partners.org 336-210-3765
Haiti:  Hollywood UMC (CA) will be taking their 4th mission trip to the impoverished country of Haiti from January 18-26, 2013. They have openings on the team for experienced mission volunteers. If interested in joining the mission team or to make a donation towards their trip, please email the team leader, Michael Kelley.  His email address is: DisasterResponse@HollywoodUMC.org. The all inclusive cost per mission volunteer is $2,000.

Monday, November 12, 2012


GREATER NEW JERSEY is ready to receive ERTs - the door is open the invitation extended all ERTs.
You must be self-sustaining groups - churches will provide housing but you must do your own meals and be ready for flexible conditions.
Only self-starters should respond as this will be a door to door cleanup in some of the areas. Eight churches have been identified as host sites.
Greater New Jersey - send email to: DisasterResponse@gnjumc.org
You will be contacted by a representative of the GNJ conference disaster team.
Please list : Name and contact info, Church, Annual Conference, team size, dates available to respond
MEANWHILE - continue to collect supplies for Cleanup buckets and Health kits. We have already distributed thousands and will need thousands more.
Your gift to UMCOR US Disaster Response, Hurricanes 2012, Advance #3021787, will help UMCOR to be with storm survivors over the long term of
their recovery. PRAY!!!
Should you have further questions or concerns please contact the UMVIM NEJ office so as to allow the affected conference Disaster teams the time necessary for their work.
Greg Forrester, UMVIM NEJ Coord.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012



Entire coastal towns underwater. Millions without power. A paralyzed New York City. Damage that can't even be tallied until the water recedes. Yet within the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, The United Methodist Church is offering sparks of hope.

Joseph Ewoodzie, disaster response coordinator for the New York Conference, was, by the hour, naming more and more communities with what he calls "major hits" by Hurricane Sandy. "Long Island has been devastated," he said. "In Connecticut, Fairfield and Bridgeport were hit really hard. People are rowing boats down the streets."

But as Ewoodzie received calls reporting new damage, he also received news that churches were opening their doors to evacuees, checking on communities, and praying for people who will go home only to find they've lost everything.

In Shelton, CT, where power outages were spotty, the Shelton First United Methodist Church was open for people without power to charge their cell phones and simply touch base, as severe pockets of damage were revealed, said the Rev. Heather McClendon Sinclair, pastor.  "We are using Facebook as a tool for communication, and it has done quite well for us," she said. "Aside from opening up the church, our response at the moment is to use a call list we put together before the hurricane to make sure everyone is okay. After tonight into tomorrow, when the waters recede, we will be stepping up the cleanup response."

As requests streamed in for UMCOR's cleaning buckets and health kits, Ewoodzie wished to remind people that recovery in his state will be going on long after Hurricane Sandy leaves the headlines. "The real ministry awaits us in the months, and even years, to come," he said. "Let us stay with the affected people until they recover. Let them feel confident that we will stay with them until they make a healthy, holistic recovery."

In New Jersey, many evacuees were still out of their homes, said Carol Brozosky, an Early Response Team leader. "The barrier islands are just completely destroyed," she said, "and across the state, the damage is so severe and so spread out that it's difficult at this point to name the worst-hit communities. But clearly the coastal towns really bore the brunt."

UMCOR has issued $10,000 emergency grants to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, Greater New Jersey Conference, New York Conference, New York Disaster Interfaith Services, and the North Carolina Conference.
Even as the US. reeled from the storm, Haiti and other Caribbean countries in the storm's path were also struggling to recover. The United Methodist Church was helping to meet the needs of storm survivors in Haiti, where Hurricane Sandy killed 51 people.

Because of UMCOR's support and emphasis on disaster preparedness, response in Haiti was strengthened, reported UMCOR’s head of mission in Haiti. "I think organizations based in heavily affected areas were able to respond with what they had on hand—which is good news that preparedness planning is helping to mitigate some of the storm effects," she said.

But needs in Haiti—as well as in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Jamaica—are serious and ongoing. As communications increase, UMCOR continues to support its local Caribbean partners as they meet the needs of hurricane survivors.

Help bring hope to those in Hurricane Sandy's path. Please donate to UMCOR US Disaster Response, Hurricanes 2012, Advance #3021787 . You can also text the word RESPONSE to 80888 to give an immediate $10 donation.
*Susan Kim is a journalist and regular contributor to www.umcor.org.
Photo courtesy washingtonpost.com

Monday, October 29, 2012



The deadline for the Transformers retreat is this coming Thursday, November 1, 2012 and it is fast approaching. We are looking to have youth from every mission area and need your help to recruit and encourage your youth to attend. The cost of the event is $85, we are suggesting that the youth pay $35 and the church or mission area pay $50.
Transformers is a retreat for youth in leadership and youth leaders to learn about a particular topic and put together a program to bring back to the church and local community to help transform the world.
This year’s retreat will focus on Wesley’s tenet of “Do No Harm”, we will be looking at the topic of bullying and putting together programs to help educate others about bullying and help to eradicate it.
Please see the attached brochure and application. For more information go towww.calpacyoungpeople.org or contact Erin Foellmi at efoellmi@cal-pac.org or 626-568-7360.

Hurricane Isaac Teams Needed in Mississippi:Teams are needed for roofing, drywall and other home repair. Affordable housing through Camp Love ($15/day) is available as well as at several churches. Teams will need to be self sufficient and ready to contribute toward the cost of materials. Inquiries should be directed to Beth Dean, Mississippi Committee on Relief Program Coordinator at: disastercenter.msumc@gmail.com or beth@mississippi-umc.org. Calls can be made to 1.866.435.7091.

UMVIM Team to Cuba Needs Volunteers:
Hyde Park UMC is leading a team to Cuba and has open spots. Dates of trip at 2/23-3/2/2013. Flight will be from Tampa to Havana. For more information, please email Drema Muller at

UMVIM Team to Haiti Needs Volunteers:
Epworth UMC is sending a construction team to Fond Doux, Haiti to repair damaged areas after Isaac. Dates of trip at December 9-15, 2012. For more information, please call Ed Cerne at 919.408.6359.

Northern Colorado Long Term Recovery Group Needs UMVIM Volunteers:
Need volunteers who are willing to work with tree removal, road repair and winter preparations of private residences that were affected by the High Park and Estes Park fires over the summer. For more information, please email Nancy Boswell at

UMVIM Team Needs a Nurse Anesthetist:
Dr. Young Choi is planning a cataract surgical mission to Honduras January 5-13, 2013 at Hospital Loma de Luz in Balfate. He needs a nurse anesthetist to complete his team. Please email Dr. Choi at

College and Young Adult Mission Camp in January:
M25 Mission Camp in Marietta, GA is hosting a MLK Weekend Camp to serve downtown Atlanta. Students and Young Adults will work with the homeless and also will serve in a soup kitchen. There will be a worship service each night. For more information, please check their website:
www.m25camp.org and contact Gabe Barrett at gabe.barrett@mtbethel.org.

Monday, October 15, 2012



The Northern Colorado Long Term Recovery Group is looking for UMVIM volunteers who are willing to work at tree removal, road repair, and winter preparations of private residences that were effected by the High Park and Estes Park fires this past summer. They are requesting that a VIM work team be available to work October 25-27. For anyone interested in leading a team for the October date or for a future time, they should contact the following individual:

Nancy Boswell
Christ UMC
301 East Drake Rd.
Fort Collins, CO 80525


Photo:  High Park fire blazes near homes, courtesy coloradodaily.com.  Fire is out but there is need of repairs.

Friday, September 21, 2012

UMVIM Teams Welcome for Hurricane Isaac Clean-Up

The Louisiana Conference is ready to welcome UMVIM teams to the clean-up from Hurricane Isaac.

Hurricane Isaac arrived on August 29, 2012 on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. And though Isaac did not bring about the amount of damage caused by Katrina, a reported 178,000 residences around the New Orleans area were hit. Hardest hit are many areas that were not usually in the flood prone areas.
As you know, volunteer teams provide both spiritual and physical support to those who are in need of friends. Volunteers bring the gift of God’s love as they swing hammers, gut homes, hang sheet rock while taking time to talk and laugh and hug those whose lives have been turned upside down. Your help can change lives and show the light of Christ in word and action.
We are currently organizing a team of case managers, a project manager, and a volunteer coordinator to oversee the work of response and repair. Several Early Response Teams have been hard at work following the storm. They will complete their initial response by September 30. The ongoing response phase will begin on October 1, 2012. We are now inviting our UMVIM friends to register to come to the Gulf Coast to help with this ongoing response. Every team must have a trained and certified UMVIM team leader.
Volunteer housing has been organized in five churches in close proximity to the worst hit areas. There will be cots, restrooms, kitchens, showers, and washers and dryers available for visiting groups. The case managers will be identifying those who need help the most, and the project manager will provide the guidance for the work to be done.
Please contact your UMVIM Conference Coordinator and volunteer today to serve on a disaster response team by visiting <http://www.la-umc.org/pages/detail/1761>
Photo: courtesy www.toledoblade.com - house flooded in New Orleans after Hurrance Isaac

Tuesday, September 4, 2012



Friends, we are very thankful for your messages of support and offers to help through ERT's and long term mission teams in these days after Isaac. We are still in the stages of evaluation and will be better prepared to receive you and make assignments toward the end of the week. It appears that much of the work with be mucking out and helping victims of the disaster to recover from flooding. You will understand that in some places we are still waiting for the flood waters to recede so that more accurate evaluations can be made. We will definitely need your help so please keep us in mind and in prayer. Announcements will be made soon regarding registration of teams and areas of need.
Larry D. Norman
Director LAVIM
(photo: flooding in Louisiana courtesy enstarz.com)


Individual Volunteers Bill Borah of Sacramento – St. Mark’s UMC continues to serve in Haiti.
Viri Batiratu of Centennial UMC serves in Fiji.
Pam Oliver-Lyons of San Jose - Wesley UMC awaits assignment.

North Gold Country Circuit United Methodist Churches Host Team (North San Juan UMC, Downieville UMC & Sierra City UMC)Susan Kopp leads and serves with Danny Kopp, Roberta Foster, Gary Foster and Nita Browning of North San Juan UMC. They welcome teams and individuals of all ages to visit, serve and be a part of the marvelous rebuilding and transformation that is happening through volunteers and the Grace of God. Contact Susan Kopp for more information on how to serve (530) 913-7589 thekopps@sbcglobal.net For general information visit http://www.cnumc.org/vim/detail/39

Los Altos UMC Team to North San Juan UMC – October 6
Hal Taylor of Los Altos UMC, Fred Skeen of Sierra Pines UMC and Danny Kopp of North San Juan UMC will serve and welcome volunteers to join them. Contact Hal Taylor @ 650-967-5531 hitaylor@sbcglobal.net

Hope UMC – South San Francisco Hosts Teams - July 10th, 2012 & beyond!Dee Anne Paron and members of Hope UMC seek teams to visit their church and serve there for a construction / building rehabilitation project for all areas of congregational life for use in serving community members. Visit http://www.cnumc.org/vim/detail/83 for more details. Contact: Dee Anne Paron @ cell: 650-619-7296 home: 650-589-6555 HopeUMC@hopessf.org or daparon@comcast.net

Richmond – Good Shepherd Team UMC to Japan –August 28 – Sept 8Tak Yamamoto and Janette Yamamoto of Richmond - Good Shepherd UMC lead and serve with Nancy Ardell and Zachary Ardell-Smith of San Leandro First UMC, Patsy Obayashi and Patrick Chow of Palo Alto Aldersgate UMC.You can follow the Team Blog at www.umvimjapan2012.tumblr.com

Los Altos UMC Team to Minot, North Dakota –August 31 – Sept 15Bob Lee and Hal Taylor lead and serve with Carl Clemm and Brent Taylor of Los Altos UMC and Brian Hite.

CARE – A - VANers Team to Shasta Camp – Mt. Shasta, California – September 4 - 12 Rod and Gloria Castor of Sunnyvale - Trinity UMC lead and serve with other CARE – A – VANers.

Livermore – Asbury UMC Team to Tuscaloosa, Alabama – September 22 - 29 Steve Elliott leads and serves with Bob Hoffman, Bill Groth, Roger Everett, Jeff Clark and Dick Crawford of Livermore - Asbury UMC.

Alamo - San Ramon Valley UMC Team to Thomas, Haiti – September 28 – October 6
Warren McGuffin leads and serves with Terry Sherman of Alamo - San Ramon Valley UMC, Sara Glazebrook and Sean Ryan.

South Reno UMC Team to Sylvania, Alabama – September 29 – October 6
Torben Schroder leads and serves with Dawn Pidlypchak, Annie Hodge, Diane Schroder, William Weishuhn, Susan Boon, Mary Ortega, Christian Weishuhn, Marylyn Parmelee, Stan Marshall and Cheryl Eckert of South Reno UMC.

Sacramento – Japanese UMC Team to Japan –August 26 – Sept 7Paul Nakamura leads and serves with Sakiko Yuki, Keiko Kato and Wayne Shimizu of Sacramento - Japanese UMC.

Thursday, July 12, 2012



The following teams have openings for you to serve on them.  These teams as well as other future teams can also be found at this website on the "Want to Join a Team/Future Teams" Page.

Wilderness Community United Methodist Church is taking a medical mission team to the Andes Mountains of Peru October 14th to 21st. The team leader is looking for 1-2 physicians to join the team. The cost of the trip is $2000 which covers airfare, lodging, meals and all ground transportation. The team will be leaving from Washington Dullas on October 14th and landing in Lima and then taking an additional flight to Ayacucho Peru on October 15th. The team will conduct 3-4 days of free medical care for the indigenous Quechua Indians of the villages around Ayacucho. Please contact Becky Van Renan for furthur information at sokrmom21@gmail.com

Mission spots are available for a two-week trip to Kericho, Kenya with Dallas First UMC. The approximate cost of the trip is $3000 to $3500 plus vaccinations. The dates of the trip are September 15 to September 29, 2012. Dallas First UMC sponsors a pre-school and feeding center for disadvantaged children in Kericho so the focus of the trip will involve working with the children at the school among other activities. If you are interested, please contact Melette Meloy at mlmeloy@soundsolutionsco.com.

Rice and Beans Ministry Opportunity:
Rice and Beans Ministry in Costa Rica will be trying to feed 15,000 families this Christmas. If your church would like to take on a few families and decorate food bags and cover the cost of food bags ($12/bag) please email Fred Curry, President/Director. They are also in need of individuals and teams in December to help deliver the food bags and pray with the families
Photo of Peruvian mother and child courtesy peru.org.


UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) is responding to wildfires that have destroyed a growing number of homes and forced thousands of people to evacuate throughout the western US. In Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and other states, churches are offering immediate care for evacuees even as they gather resources for long-term recovery.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has issued $10,000 emergency grants to the Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, and New Mexico annual conferences.
In New Mexico, where the Little Bear Fire destroyed or damaged at least 224 homes, the newly formed Little Bear Recovery Team has opened a center at which fire survivors can receive help. Within this ecumenical effort, United Methodists are leading a case management process under which more than 90 cases were opened on behalf of fire survivors as of early July.

Meanwhile, hot spots continue to flare up as record drought lingers over a large portion of the US. “The heat is so intense that the fires literally ignite the inside of the house,” said Knuckey. “It's a profound disaster.” Read more.
Help UMCOR continue to respond to the western US wildfires. Please contribute to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670

Photo courtesy www.umcor.org taken by Myranda Hoffman


You can find news on upcoming training events also at this website on the "Training Events" Page.

UMVIM Team Leader Training July 22, 2012
Pasadena First United Methodist Church in Pasadena, CA.  For more info please contact Heather Wilson at umvimwj@hotmail.com.

Individual Volunteer Training August 1 - 5, 2012
Salt Lake City, UT/UMCOR Depot West.  Please attend this training if you are interested in serving in mission for 2 months to 3 years.  For more information please contact Malcolm Frazier at mfrazier@umcmission.org

ERT (Early Response Team) Training
Ontario First UMC in Ontario, CA.  Training from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.  To find our more information and/or to register please contact Becky Ewing at RVEwing@msn.com or 909.391.2461.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Young adult missioners courtesty

LIVING STONES FOR TRANSFORMATION - Celebrating Young Adults in Mission

Celebrating Young Adults in Mission event August 2-5, 2012 in Arlington, VA at the Hilton Crystal City Hotel.  Please visit www.umcmission.org/celebratingyoungadults for registration information.


You can now find this website by typing www.umvimwj.org

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Cambodian Youth courtesy www.btinternet.com


The registration for the 2012 Cambodia Consultation is now open. You may either download and print the Cambodia Consultation 2012 brochure and mail it in or register online at 2012 Cambodia Consultation.

Please join us on September 20-22, 2012, in promoting our mission work in Cambodia. 

First United Methodist Church
2201 East Hebron Parkway
Carrollton, TX 75010
(469) 568-1240

Hosted by:
First United Methodist Church of Carrollton, Texas
North Texas Annual Conference
Methodist Mission in Cambodia
General Board of Global Ministries
The United Methodist Church

Thank you,
Laddie Perez-Galang, Coordinator
2012 Cambodia Consultation


A well for health at Camphor Mission in Liberia
 courtesy www.umvim4health.blogspot.com.
If you work in the health care field and/or want to be part of serving as a medical volunteer please check out the UM Health Volunteer website at www.umvim4health.blogspot.com.  For more information please contact Jane Dunn at:
Jane Dunn
Cell 630-605-1020


Children in Haiti courtesy advent-umc.com


UMVIM and UMCOR in Haiti have announced that medical teams are now welcome to schedule mission service to existing partner health programs in the Port-au-Prince area. These programs include King's Hospital; Partners in Development (PID); Grace Children's Hospital; and HUEH TB Clinic, Hospital General. In addition, UMVIM volunteers are invited to mission service at one of the nine Methodist Church of Haiti (EMH) clinics or to participate in the EMH Mobile Clinic pilot project.
For more information, or for any questions, please click here to read the full press release and/or email Susan Meister.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Youth Mission Opportunity - Urban Ministry, Birmingham, AL:

The Joe Rush Center for Urban Mission offers a full-service mission camp for junior high, high school, college-aged and older persons. The goal of the Rush Center is to strengthen relationships between volunteer groups and homeowners in the community over a can of paint and a paint brush. They offer opportunities [for this summer] in house painting for low-income homeowners (primarily those who are elderly and/or disabled). The work is designed to give your group opportunities to reflect, discuss, and pray about these important matters of faith: mercy, poverty and justice. They promise that your group will have time for spiritual formation and community building. Their prayer is that you leave tired in body, but refreshed in spirit and empowered to work for change. Currently, they have openings in July and the last weekend of June. For more information, please check out their website and/or email Danny Jones.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


M25 Youth Mission Camp:
There are open dates this summer at the M25 Youth Mission Camp. Students will stay at Mt. Bethel UMC in Marietta, GA and will work with a homeless ministry in downtown Atlanta. For more information, please email Gabe Barrett at gabe.barrett@mtbethel.org.

Team Openings on Team to Estonia:
Traveling from St. James UMC in Athens, GA to Estonia July 6-19, 2012. 3-4 Team openings in construction on a building at Camp Gideon. Tools will be provided. The cost of the entire trip is estimated at $1900. Contact Dave Himmelsbach dshimmels@charter.net for more information.
Team Opening on Team to Hawaii:
Will be leading VBS and working with Wainae UMC in rural Hawaii.  We will also work with homeless in Wainae and Honolulu.  Cost is $1225 per person and dates are August 13 - 20, 2012.  If interested please contact Heather Wilson, Team Leader,  at 818.333.6730 or at umvimwj@hotmail.com.  Young Adults encouraged and partial scholarships available to them.  Open to all....
Photo: Homeless in Hawaii often create tent cities on rurual area beaches as they get kicked out of tourist areas.


Position open: Haiti Respone Plan Team Coordinator. One-year assignment. Prefer someone with Haiti and UMVIM experience. Position available May 24. For more information, email Mission Volunteers, volunteers@umcmission.org or call 212-870-3825
Susan Meister
US-based Communications & Calendaring Coordinator
Find us on the web at www.umvimhaiti.org

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ministry Opportunity in Alaska


The Trapper Creek Lutheran Fellowship of Trapper Creek,
Alaska is seeking qualified applicants willing to spend 3 – 5 months (May –
September) in the beautiful Mat-Su Valley serving as pastor to a warm Lutheran Fellowship
seeking to grow in spirit and in outreach to their community.
We are especially interested in an ordained retired pastor
(and spouse), or trained lay missioners, who could either take up residence in
our church (we have special accommodations for visiting pastors), or who would
like to park their RV next to the church.

The church is surrounded by woods and is delightfully secluded. We will gladly accept applicants from the ELCA Lutheran, USA Presbyterian, United Methodist, or Episcopal denominations.
Responsibilities include the following:

Preaching and worship leadership for our Sunday

Pastoral care

Reaching out to folks in Trapper Creek

Involvement in special summer programming to
draw people to the church

Teaching a weekly Bible study for adults

Potential for outreach to seasonal workers in
Denali National Park

Trapper Creek is located on the Parks Highway between Anchorage and Denali National Park.
We are a small fellowship averaging 10 – 25 for Sunday
worship. We are praying for someone to come help us grow during the months of sunshine, fishing, and sightseeing. The schedule will allow for ample time and
opportunity to see a great part of Alaska.

We also have wonderful guides in our congregation that can show you a
part of Alaska not available on the tourist bus.In return for ministry, we are offering a place to stay,friendship, and a $600 monthly stipend. This will be a great way to experience Alaska while
strengthening the ministry of Trapper Creek Lutheran Fellowship.

Please email your interest and questions to the following address:

Rev. Robert Hicks, revrch@gmail.com
All applicants must supply a standard résumé
and letters of recommendation.

Thank you for considering this once in a lifetime
opportunity for ministry and adventure!
Rev. Robert Hicks, Executive
Director, Mat-Su PLUME Outreach

Thursday, March 29, 2012


The Rx Consultation is set for Highland UMC, Detroit Conference, for May 4-6, 2012 and registration has been opened - see box on the left or click here! Shannon Trilli, head of UMCOR Health and the other workshop leaders are eagerly working on their materials and will bring you an excellent program - geared towards taking medical teams into the world to serve and empower others to serve in turn!
We will present a diverse set of options for medical missions. Please check out the Rx flyer and help spread the word! Another presention by, Judy Bruun (WI) and Jody Pratt (W MI) will be on their "extreme mission" experience, from the Amazon jungle to the city dump of Lima, Peru. It was a contrast in illnesses, nutrition and everyday life of these wonderful and resilient people. Video by Liliana Garcia, team member There will be a workshop and plenary on the Colonias Prject in Pharr, TX whichis located in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, about 6 miles from the Mexican border. Although many folks are bilingual, about 80% of the adults say they do not speak English at all or don't speak it very well. We are in Hidalgo County, the poorest county in the United States and pretty much function on a shoe-string budget most of the time. The Colonia (Rural) project (CBH) is one of three major programs that our project offers to low income families. The other two programs are Project Ignite (ESL, GED, Job Readiness Training, and Small or Home Based Business Start Ups); Cultural Arts and Community Theater.
These two programs are offered in the downtown area of Pharr, although some of our students also come from rural areas to attend the classes. Although we receive a lot of our support from the United Methodist Church, we are also a Community of Shalom--so we partner with other denominations and faiths as well as organizations and community agencies to bring about systemic change in the community and encourage & support personal empowerment for our students so they can break the bonds of poverty, become employable and financially self-sufficient. Elva Michal, Ph. D. (Pharr Literacy Project & Cultural Arts Center)


A disaster response construction team is being formed to help repair or replace private homes
destroyed by a tornado in the Henryville, Clark County, Indiana area. Your
efforts can help rebuild family lives by putting people back in their homes where they belong.

We need your help!
Prayers, payers and players can help by:

Praying for a safe and successful effort,

Donating to help pay for team expenses,
building materials and supplies, or

Joining the work crews and being one of the

The Tornadoes Effects

On Friday, March 2, 2012, dozens of tornadoes blew through the Midwest and the South, flattening homes and businesses, disrupting power and communications utilities and killing
about 320 people in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia,
and Virginia.

The monster multi-vortex EF-4 tornado with winds up to 175 MPH which ripped through
Henryville, Indiana left several people dead and others reeling from the
damage. Most news media carried the story of the mother and father that were killed in their house while their infant child was blown into a nearby field where he was found but later
died. The tornado destroyed 30% of the three-school complex in Henryville and heavily damaged the rest, leaving about 1.200 students, over a dozen of them now homeless, without classroom space.

Many TV news programs showed photos of school buses pushed into buildings or otherwise wrecked. Three days later, heavy snow fell which severely hampered the clean-up efforts.
There are many stories from the twisters. The high school band teacher’s car was found
inside the library. A dog was rescued alive from house rubble several days later. Jeremy
Sweeney helped his neighbors evacuate before the tornado hit. A woman and her daughter protested but decided to leave their home at his insistence, and the house was later blown off its’
foundation and came to rest about 70 feet away.

A man one street away died, but everyone on Jeremy’s street survived. As the team
prepares for this year’s mission trip they will host several fund raisers: an
“eat out dinner” at Fresh Choice on Monday, April 16; a concert with Sonoma
Chanson in our sanctuary on Sunday, May 6; another “eat out dinner” at Mary’s
Pizza Parlor on Monday, June 11 and the family BBQ at Stony Point on Saturday,
August 25. We hope you will support us
in these efforts and donate generously.

How to sign up:
If you are interested in joining the team,
pick up a brochure on the welcome table or check us out at the FUMC website www.fumcsantarosa.org

Then come to the informational meeting in the Carriage House on May 15 at
7:00 PM. Registration forms and a $100 deposit are due by June 19.

Friday, March 9, 2012


UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) NOTICE RE: VOLUNTEERS TO IL, KY, IN
UMCOR has received a number of communications from eager volunteers, many of whom are trained and ready to respond to the recent disasters to help. UMCOR is requesting your help - Conference Disaster Response Coordinators and UMVIM Coordinators in particular - to help to get the word out as a reminder to all these dedicated servants about one of UMCOR's basic principles for disaster response.
UMCOR's disaster response training is based on the principle that the disaster response is "owned" by local community. If and when the Annual Conferences are overwhelmed, they will reach out to their neighbors for help.
Early Response Team members know that they must be invited into another annual conference, and this is true of all volunteers. The Annual Conferences affected by these recent tornadoes are managing the response and taking a measured approach to assessment and planning for next steps. The Conferences have reported that they have sufficient human resources and are able to respond; there is no need to extend an invitation for help from outside of the local area.
Tom Hazelwood, Assistant General Secretary for UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response reports the following: "At this time, all of the areas of IL, KY, and IN are over-run with local volunteers. Every site that I have visited this week has more volunteers than can be managed. Some of the communities are dealing with pre-existing environmental issues, and the Conferences are working with emergency managers who are managing the clean up in these communities."
It is great to know that United Methodists are deeply committed and ready to respond! The offer of assistance is appreciated, and there may be opportunities for volunteers to assist in the future. In the meantime, please graciously respect the direction of the affected conferences. Visit the conference web sites for updates regarding volunteer opportunities.
Thank all for caring so deeply, and for affirming our shared values and priorities in disaster ministry!
Catherine Earl, MSW
US Disaster Response
United Methodist Committee on Relief
100 Maryland Ave. NE, Suite 315
Washington DC 20002
Office: (202) 548-4002
Mobile: (202) 680-8824
www.umcor.org >
photo courtesy ibtimes.com, tornado damage in IL.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


April 14-21 Jon Nelson, SW TX, jonelson8@cs.com
May 2-10 Chuck Newman, Central TX, chucknewman@earthlink.net
May 14-22 DeAndrea Dare, Central TX, DeAndreaDare@aledoumc.org
May 28- June 6 Leslie Slutz, Virginia, leslie.handot@cox.net
June 9-16 Sue Babcock, Rocky Mtn, steveandsue@montana.com

Tuesday, March 6, 2012



INDIANA -This afternoon (Mar 6), Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner, the Rev. Charlie Wilfong, South District Superintendent, and the Rev. Dave Powell, Indiana Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, will be touring areas of southern Indiana devastated by the recent storms. Hopefully, Tom Hazelwood, Associate General Secretary and Director of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, will join the group.

In the meantime, The Indianapolis Star this morning had a picture of Pekin United Methodist Church volunteers sorting food, clothing and supplies for survivors of Friday's tornadoes, which carved a swath through New Pekin. During the weekend, there have been several more deaths, injuries, homes destroyed and damage. The Governor has signed a disaster declaration so aid is being recruited.

Tom Hazelwood with UMCOR has called to offer support and help. At this point we have more questions than direct answers, but we are preparing for when it is appropriate for us to respond. Any offerings received this past weekend for Indiana Disaster Response needs to be sent by church treasurers directly to INUMC, Dept. 6089, Carol Stream, IL 60122-6089and marked "Disaster Response."

Here are immediate needs:


Cash is the most helpful gift right now. Send donation to the Indiana Conference Disaster Response through your local church treasurer, or through the United Methodist Committee on Relief online at www.umcor.org.

For southern Indiana in-kind donations, take them to 700 Patrol Road, Jeffersonville, Indiana off HWY 62 Open 24/7 Office phone 812-287-0090; 812-287-0026.

Items needed include:
Safety supplies
Gloves, workGloves
mitralN95 masks
Dust masks
Tubs for supplies

Call the reception center before you leave home as volunteer needs are still being assessed. The Volunteer Reception Center is located at 723 Spring Street in Jeffersonville, Ind. It's open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 812-287-0519, 812-287-0522, 812-287-0523 or 812-287-0521.

Right now, the Volunteer Reception Center needs people with disaster response training. Next week, disaster response personnel will probably be ready for United Methodist Volunteer In Mission groups for clean-up and repair, and will need to go through Bonnie Albert, our Conference Volunteers in Mission Coordinator. Contact here at bonkay@hotmail.com ; bonpotee@yahoo.com, or call 219-464-1447.

The District Superintendents and District Disaster Response Coordinators are already in the areas and will be specific on the most helpful ways for us to respond. Prepare to help when appropriate. Powell told the Indiana Conference Center this morning that only trained (and badged) Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) from the Indiana conference are being accepted into the area.

If you are UMCOR-trained and would like to volunteer to help, contact Powell at david.powell@inumc.org; davidpowell@danvilleumc.org or call 317-339-0013 (cell).

Here are a couple of do's and don'ts on how to respond:
Don't just go to the scene to help! They are still in emergency phase and rescuing those in need. Untrained persons, no matter how caring, will only hinder rescue efforts.If you want to see what has happened, watch TV and/or look at the web. Traffic is already bad and cellular bandwidths are jammed.Don't send clothing until asked. Responders and survivors probably won't be able to sort it or use it at this time.

Pray for the people and areas affected and the First Responders on the scene.Donate to the Indiana Disaster Response offering for the Indiana Annual Conference or donate directly to UMCOR online at www.umcor.org.

Do plan to help when the area opens to responders.If you are trained as an Early Response Team (ERT) member, begin planning, forming your team and gathering gear.If you are good at hammer and nails, plan on responding in a week or so as needs are identified and prioritized.Volunteer opportunities will be announced on the conference web page under disaster response and VIM as information becomes available.Pray again.

PRAYER: O God, as always we turn to You in times of trouble, knowing that Your loving care covers our lives like a hovering dove. You are already weeping with those who weep, You are already comforting those who have lost loved ones or valuables, and You are the One who promises that nothing can separate us from Your love. So we turn to You, O Lord, praying for those who are victims of the storms and asking for safety for those who remain behind. May the strength of our human efforts to help them be surrounded by Your divine strength and compassion. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.Thank you for your generous response to this need.


Pastoral Letter on Harrisburg Tornado

Beloved in Christ Jesus: Like many of you, I was awakened yesterday morning with the news that our sisters and brothers in Southern Illinois are once again dealing with the aftermath of another weather-related disaster. Tornados cut across the southern Illinois region leaving a path of destruction to the community of Harrisburg. As we watch developments on television, our hearts ache, knowing that we are called to respond.

Although the news from Harrisburg and the surrounding area keeps unfolding, six have been confirmed dead, including an on-duty nurse at the Harrisburg Medical Center; 100 were treated for injuries; nearly 300 homes have been damaged or destroyed and 25 businesses have sustained damage or are completely destroyed in this community. The tornado has also touched the Harrisburg First UMC, as several have lost their homes.At my direction yesterday, Cache River District Superintendent Roger Russell, in coordination with the Conference Offices of Connectional Ministries and Communications, is directing our Conference's response. Our team is monitoring developments and communicating ways in which we can be of assistance in cleanup and recovery.

The Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chatham has already responded with personal dignity,school kits and cleaning buckets to assist in the early stages of responding to this disaster. Rev. Russell has asked Rev. Pete Ryan, pastor of Joppa-Oak Grove UMC's and Rev. Ed Hoke, pastor of Herrin UMC, to serve as the Cache River District coordinators for this effort. I have already been in contact with the United Methodist Committee on Relief, which remains on standby to assist the conference. Harrisburg First UMC has taken the initiative to be a disaster response center and is providing a vibrant and healing presence to a community still dealing with the shock and trauma from a disaster of this magnitude. And the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling is working with Harrisburg First UMC to put into place a support network for spiritual care for the community and the region.

While assessments are being done, there are several things for which United Methodists can do:

Pray for the people of Southern Illinois. Above every thing else, we can uphold our sisters and brothers, knowing that in these times where our faith is tested, God is the nearest.

Take up an offering for the Conference Disaster Relief Fund, Conference Advance Special 6800. These funds will be invaluable in the days and weeks ahead as we respond.Contribute to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. This Special Sunday offering, which will be taken in IGRC churches on March 18, helps pay the administrative overhead that enables UMCOR to respond and allows for 100 percent of your giving to go to the designated area of need.

Collect supplies for the various kits provided by the Midwest Mission Distribution Center. These supplies will replenish the MMDC inventory so that it will be ready to respond to the next disaster. You can get the list of supplies from the hyperlinks above.Participate in Early Response Training.

If you feel God is calling you to this ministry of disaster response, consider getting trained. Ironically, a training event was already scheduled in Harrisburg on March 17 with a second training event slated for Kewanee on April 14.

Consider assembling a team to assist in the rebuilding. There will be need for persons who have construction, plumbing and electrical skills. But there will also be ways in which folks with other skills and talents can lend a hand. A team of eight from Marion that have undergone Early Response Training are already positioned to respond. We will need to be able to respond as soon as assessments are completed. Contact IGRC ERT Coordinator Steve Schoeffel or Christy Blickensderfer in the Conference Center at 217-529-2473, to see where you can connect. Steve will be staging the Early Response Teams and will be working with Rev. Pete Ryan and Rev. Ed Hoke to deploy those teams where they are needed.

It is in these times that the people called United Methodists are at their best, providing a ministry of presence and offering care and compassion for those in need. Let's do our part!

Your servant in Christ Jesus,Gregory Vaughn Palmer
Resident Bishop

Saturday, March 3, 2012



The Sacramento Japanese United Methodist Church (SJUMC) – Garden Church is sending a 2nd UMVIM team to Japan in response to the recent invitation from the Tohoku Disaster Center. The Tohoku Disaster Center has requested assistance due to the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011.

The SJUMC UMVIM Team departed Sacramento on February 26, 2012 and will return March 9, 2012. The six member team consisting of Yuri Kimura, Betty Hirata, Yvonne Kato, Mary Nakamura, Paul Nakamura, and Joyce Oshiro is excited to go and all are currently in the process of completing the necessary preparation. The weather will be very cold (High/low: 40 /27 °F) and the team expects the work to be both physically and mentally challenging. In spite of this, all of us are looking forward to assisting the citizens of Sendai and Northern part of Japan on behalf of the church while letting them know that they are not forgotten.

Check out their blog at www.sacjumcjapanumvim.shutterfly.com/

-- Rev. Motoe Yamada, Senior Pastor SJUMC(Garden Church), 6929 Franklin Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95823 TEL 916-421-1017 www.sacjumc.com * World Council of Churches Central Committee member www.oikoumene.org/en/home.html * Asian American and Pacific Islander Clergywomen Association (AAPIC) Chair www.aapicumc.org

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ubuntu Explorer Team Dates;

Ubuntu Explorer Journeys

These are short-term mission service opportunities for United Methodist Women to interact with the world through mission partners. Explorers will expand their understanding of issues that impact the world and their community through mutual learning with women from other cultures. There are four opportunities for 2012.

Philippines: September 2-14, 2012

Northern Ireland: September 14-23, 2012

Haiti: October 14-20, 2012

Sierra Leone: December 1-12, 2012

For more information and/or to request an application, contact: IMCWD@gbgm-umc.org or call (212) 870.3719. Please include "Ubuntu Request" in the subject heading of your email. Photo of Ubuntu Explorer Team to Cote D'Ivoire courtesy new. gbgm-umc.org.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012




Are you intersted in leading a volunteer team or finding out more about what is involved in leading a team or serving on one? Then attend the United Methodist Volunteer in Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Training at Santa Monica First UMC March 17, 2012. It will be held from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and lunch will be provided. The training will cover information on places to serve, types of teams, different volunteer ministries, what to pack, insurance, why God calls us to serve, and fellowship with other like-minded individuals. The training manual is $25.00. There is no charge for the training session itself. To register please contact Heather Wilson at umvimwj@hotmail.com or by phone at 818.333.6730. You may also contact Robert English at r.english@santamonicaumc.org. Please register by March 15th. For more UMVIM news visit http://www.umvimwj.blogspot.com/. Thank you.

MISSION WITH CHILDREN IN COSTA RICA (photo above: children in Costa Rica courtesy aumc.org.)

Rice and Beans Ministry in Costa Rica Base Camp Week:July 7-14. A week set aside each year to work with churches from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama coming together to serve with churches from the US in Costa Rica. It is a week of children's ministry and food ministry filled each morning and night with spirit-filled worship. Will serve 5000-7000 kids in VBS and visit 750-800 families in the food ministry. The cost of the week is around $1550. If you are interested, please contact Fred Curry at fred@rabmin.org.


A mission team from Lexington, KY traveling to Haiti April 26-May 3 has a few slots available. If you are interested, contact Greg Graf at Gregory.Graf@insightbb.com.


The Russian Initiative Feb 2012 newsletter.


The Global Justice Volunteers Program is a short term service opportunity designed for young adults ages 18-30. Small teams of volunteers will spend 10 weeks learning and working alongside local communities throughout the world. Participants will explore the role and responsibility of the church to engage in mission, ministry, and service which seeks to transform our world into a more just place.

This short term experience provides an opportunity for young people, all over the world coming from a diverse range of backgrounds, to spend their summer in service. Purpose of the ProgramGlobal Justice Volunteers is based upon a concept in which Christian mission is understood as a challenge to amplify the human cries in situations where the world is profit-centered, not people-centered.

In other words, Christian mission takes place where people raise awareness of the issues, mobilize collective efforts, and address the root causes of injustices; in order that all of God's children may live in peace, harmony, and be reconciled with God and one another. The program provides opportunities for cross-cultural exposure, learning, and service. Through this program, a space is created for individuals who are willing to make short-term commitments to service and/or mission and who desire to explore the links between faith and justice.

Program Calendar
Candidate Application Deadline: March 9, 2012
Participant Notification: April 2012
Program Dates: June 3 - August 8, 2012
Orientation: June 3 - June 9, 2012
Service Internship: June 10 - August 4, 2012
Debriefing and Discernment: August 5 - August 8, 2012
Application Process:
Attachments1. Personal References2. Pastoral Reference3. Application for GJV
For more information please go to this website, or contact Kendra Dunbar.