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, 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