Dee is coming home soon! Read her blog about her service in Palestine: deeswalkthroughthevalley.blogspot.com
Dee and EAPPI
Dee is coming home soon! Read her blog about her service in Palestine: deeswalkthroughthevalley.blogspot.com
A Place at the Table
2013 Bread for the World Offering of Letters
We live in the world’s wealthiest nation. Yet over 50 million Americans struggle to put food on the table. More than one in seven Americans—including nearly one in four children—live below the poverty line. In the US, hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty. Worldwide, 1.29 billion people still live in extreme poverty—on less than $1.25 per day.
What can we do: For the past several years, members and friends of FUMC have participated in Bread for the World’s annual Offering of Letters. Bread for the World is a nationwide Christian movement that seeks justice for the world’s hungry people by speaking out with one voice to our nation’s leaders about policies, programs and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist.
Writing letters to Congress is particularly important this year as lawmakers continue to negotiate the federal budget. Letters help give them the political will to protect programs that help hungry and poor people. Those programs are at great risk and any cuts will significantly harm the lives of thousands of people, including many Oregonians.
The 2013 Offering of Letters includes signing a petition to the president as well as writing letters to Congress. The petition asks the president to set a goal and work with Congress on a plan to end hunger in the United States and abroad.
What you can do: Letter writing opportunities will be held in the Commons on April 7th, 14th and 21st. All supplies, including sample letters, will be provided. Background information on hunger, poverty, federal and state hunger-related programs, and effects of the sequestration will be available.
Our faith teaches us not to give up hope.
We take seriously the Scripture’s call to
“Speak out, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
On March 24th, First Church is honored to welcome Stanley Imunyas, and Mary Gitari Imunyas, from the Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya. They will speak in the Fireside Room at Noon. A light lunch of Kenyan style stew, and salads will be provided.
Stanley is the director of the Hospital’s Community Health Department and AIDS programs, and Mary is the director of nursing.
The Maua Methodist Hospital was started in 1862 by the British Methodist Church. Today, it is the only full service health care provider in a district of 800,000 persons. It provides inpatient care for the critically ill. It offers community health training, personal hygiene training, school health services, and mobile medical services to many remote villages.
AIDS is endemic to the area. Through its AIDS Orphans Project, it provides community based programs, including food, primary education, and basic healthcare, giving orphans the chance to survive into adulthood with an opportunity for employment and self-sufficiency. Through its Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission program, it hopes to reduce the risk of HIV infection in newborns.
The work of the Hospital is supported by Methodists around the world through five Advance Specials, which allows Methodists to make targeted gifts in support of specific programs. For more information, visit www.umcmission.org.
On March 10th, First Church members met in Collins to put 1,241 items into 73 Layette Kits! The Layette Kits will be taken to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) West Depot in Salt Lake City, and eventually sent to mothers in need around the world and in the United States.
The Layette Kit Assembly Event was the brainchild of the First Church Volunteer-in-Mission Team that worked at the West Depot in June of 2012. UMW members approached UMW to request funds to purchase flannel to be used to make baby gowns, blankets, jackets and diapers. The Tabitha Circle and its sewing group spearheaded the sewing effort, and were joined by other First Church members and their friends who like to sew. When the supply of flannel was exhausted, the sewers contributed more fabric. By March 10th, the sewing group had made 140 gowns, 84 diapers, 34 jackets, and 31 blankets! One UMW member even knitted 100 baby sweaters!
The Global Missions Committee accepted the assignment to organize the assembly event, and to solicit contributions of the additional items needed to make 73 kits – primarily more diapers (438 in total!), and 146 one-sies. First Church members responded admirably to this request, with donations of both items, and also money to purchase the balance of the kit components.
While we celebrate the success of March 10th, the Layette Kit project will continue! Many of the sewers have expressed a desire to continue making gowns and other items, and we still have more knitted sweaters to be used! The Global Missions Committee will seek contributions from local merchants of flannel, diapers and one-sies. The original goal of the First Church Volunteer-in-Mission Team was to make “a Pallet of Layette Kits”. A pallet holds 196 kits packed into 28 boxes for shipment to those in need. If additional donations are received, stay tuned for another Layette Kit Assembly Event, as we work together to achieve this goal!
West Depot Pallet Prayer
Most Gracious and Loving God, we come together to do your work: One item at a time, One kit at a time, One box at a time, One pallet at a time, to serve One person at a time, who is, One from the multitude of your children in need, across this world. Amen
UMCOR West Depot – On March 3rd, the mission team that worked at the West Depot in Salt Lake City in June of 2012 will show photos in the Fireside Room at noon and talk about the work of the West Depot.
This will be an opportunity for those interested in the August 2013 Intergenerational West Depot trip to get your questions answered!
A light lunch will be offered by Global Missions Committee.
One Great Hour of Sharing - March 10th
Support United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)!
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) reaches people in more than 80 countries, including the United States.
It provides humanitarian relief when war, conflict, or natural disaster disrupt life to such an extent that communities are unable to recover on their own.
For more than 50 years, United Methodist congregations have been taking part in a special One Great Hour of Sharing offering, laying the foundation for UMCOR’s ministry of relief and hope.
Donations UMCOR receives through this offering, along with other undesignated gifts made throughout the year, cover UMCOR’s costs of doing business.
The donations make it possible for UMCOR to use 100% of all other contributions on the projects donors specify, instead of on administrative or fund-raising costs.
UMCOR does not receive United Methodist World Service or apportionment funds, so without the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering, UMCOR would not exist.
Please plan to contribute to this special offering on March 10th!
February 24 will be your next opportunity to support Palestinian farmers! Global Missions will be selling olive oil products from Canaan Fair Trade in Collins after the service. Visit www.canaanusa.com for a list of products. If you like, you can send your Pre-Order to GlobalMissions@fumcpdx.org.
In June/July of both 2011 and 2012, I had the great pleasure of participating in a UMC mission trip to Kenya. Last summer’s team had 16 members, including our leaders, Jim Monroe and Sue Owen (both recently retired UMC ministers from Oregon). Jim and Sue have led teams to Kenya for each of the past seven years, and now are full time volunteer missionaries in Maua, Kenya. Many of us have felt compelled to go again, so it’s easy to understand Jim and Sue’s commitment to the Kenyan people. But, it’s hard to convey in a few words just what made this experience so special.
Our work focused around two towns, Maua and Meru, which are located in central Kenya, to the northeast of Mt. Kenya.
In association with the Maua Methodist Hospital, we built a 10 x 20 foot house for a family orphaned due to AIDS, mudded walls for a new residential building for hospital staff, funded the installation of wells in drought stricken areas, and visited inspiring young men and women who have turned their lives around through the Hope Companions program.
We visited many schools and supported their efforts in various ways – through physical work, funding of projects, or just letting them know that somebody cares.
We stayed one week at an educational farm, where we got to build a fence, plant over 1000 trees in little black plastic tubes, and participate in a training event at a working farm.
The accommodations were less than cozy, the schedule rigorous, and the experiences often heart-breaking, but this was without a doubt the best experience of my life! Amid all the hardships, I got to see the amazing resilience of these people, and their seemingly limitless sense of hope and faith that God would take care of them. I saw the impact that our “first world” society has had on them – some good, some definitely not. This has inspired me to take more responsibility for my actions and choices here at home. It touched my soul in a way that nothing ever has before!
See some of Renee’s pictures here: View photos
Join Renee Harber on January 13 in the Fireside Room at noon as she speaks about the accomplishments of the 2012 UMC Kenya Team.
She was one of 14 volunteers from Oregon, Idaho and Washington who worked on various projects at the Maua Methodist Hospital, and on housing for Aids orphans.
Renee will show photos of those projects, and of the Meru Bio-Intensive Farm, which trains local subsistence farmers in methods of growing food and forage crops more efficiently.
A light lunch will be available.
General Board of Global Ministries
Street Children Ministry
UMC, MMC Cambodia
This Advent season, we with the Street Children Ministries in Cambodia celebrate with you the good news that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is born! Isaiah writes: “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” John the Baptist “prepared the way of the Lord” over two millennia ago, and we in Cambodia are privileged to continue preparing the way of Jesus by responding to his call to feed, clothe, and educate the poor and underprivileged around us.
We with the Street Children Ministries are preparing ourselves spiritually to glorify the Lord this Christmas by serving children who live on the streets of Phnom Penh, HIV/AIDS patients, and the sick through the Methodist Ministry of Cambodia (MMC) by the grace of God. The children, sick people, and the poor who we work with on a daily basis are preparing for this Christmas season as well! Children regularly come to church to learn more about and worship the Lord. HIV/AIDS patients join together to support one another in Christ and to worship weekly. The Street Children Ministry staff are excited to contribute their time, energy, and creative efforts into preparing outings, leading Sunday School, and teaching at orphanages. We are overjoyed with the unique opportunity we have to see the poor and marginalized in Cambodia grow strong in their studies, social skills, vocational skills, and in Christ.
We have seen in Cambodia that God blesses people through people. You have been such a blessing to us and the children, men, and women we serve through your support and prayers this past year, and we sincerely thank you. Without your prayers and generous gifts, we are not able to do this wonderful ministry for the kids, sick, and poor in Cambodia. I am so grateful to you for your help!
Please see the Christmas card drawn by our children attached hereto.
We wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year 2013!
Yours in Christ,
Clara M. Biswas
Team Leader of Street Children Ministries
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Each Sunday between now and December 23rd, you’ll see our Alternative Christmas giving table in Collins Hall after worship.
Staffed by program reps from Planet Church, Church & Society, and Global Mission, they’ll offer you easy ways to support life-changing programs by giving a gift in the name of your friend or family member.
Check it out this Sunday after worship.
In addition to olive oils (additional sizes), you can buy sun-dried tomatoes, green olive tapenade, sun-dried tahini, Chili Pepper infused oil, and other items.
Order in advance so you are assured of getting the items you want, and the quantity you need!
Delivery will be in Collins Hall on December 9th (check or cash only).
This 3-day training session will focus on Long Term Recovery, and will guide participants in assessing recovery needs, partnering with the Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN), managing recovery supplies, the National Disaster Recovery Framework, and other issues.
Sign up today for the workshop at www.ResilienceNW.org. The cost is $20.
Here is a link to the event flyer: Recovery Flyer 10-12-12 (pdf)
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission
Interested in Missions? Learn about mission opportunities and how to prepare for a Mission Trip.
Come join us for an UMVIM Training session on October 20, 2012 at Forest Grove United Methodist Church from 10 am to 2 pm.
Bring a sack lunch. Forest Grove UMC is at 1726 Cedar Street, Forest Grove.
There will be a cost of $40-50 to cover the printed material and background checks as needed.
Please contact GlobalMissions@fumcpdx.org if you are interested or have questions.