COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT NEWS
The Community Engagement Team is the new name for what was the Mission Team in legacy Yellowstone Conference and Compassion Ministries in legacy Rocky Mountain. Community Engagement encompasses many ministry groups in the Mountain Sky Conference. It is committed to engaging with communities across the United Methodist connection and around the globe. One way in which the conference does this is by advocating with and on behalf of a number of different groups found both inside and outside of the conference borders. Another way is by engaging in missions with those in our world who are in need. This link takes you to a full list of the ministries and teams in Community Engagement.
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM), missionaries, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), disaster preparedness and response, and the Advance, are all a part of The Board of Global Ministries, and are included in Community Engagement. As an introduction to Community Engagement, over the next few months each issue of the newsletter will highlight the different ministries, and how churches across the conference have been involved in those ministries, and how you can be involved now.
Last month's newsletter introduced the Rev. Lourdes Calderon as the Hispanic/Latino ministries coordinator. It is with great sadness that we announce that Lourdes, a missionary with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, will be taking a leave of absence to take care of her mother. We are most appreciative of Lourdes’ passion and interest in our Hispanic and Latino ministries, and are grateful for the relationships which she fostered to prepare for another coordinator and missionary. We pray for her and her family as she returns to Anthony, New Mexico and feel confident that our ministry paths will cross again.
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM)
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) is a grass-roots movement of the United Methodist Church that began in 1976. UMVIM exists to promote, encourage, and enable Christians to exemplify Christian love In action through short-term mission service in the United States and abroad. UMVIM provides opportunities for service by developing and nurturing relationships with domestic and international leaders. Volunteers are laity, clergy, young, old, and have different vocations and abilities.
Dr. Don Skillman, from St. Paul’s UMC in Helena, Montana, is leading a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) team to Brazil from Jan. 11-21, 2019 to work at the border with refugees from Venezuela. Click here to read more about the team and how to contact Dr. Skillman.
In November, a team from the Mountain Sky Conference will be going to Puerto Rico in response to last year's devastating Hurricane Maria.The team is being led by Marilyn White.
If you are interested in joining a team, being a team leader or want to know more about UMVIM, Debby Irby is the coordinator for the Mountain Sky Conference.
The United Methodist Church has over 300 missionaries serving in more than 60 countries around the world. Missionaries come from many places and backgrounds and witness and serve in dramatically different locations and cultures. The Mountain Sky Conference has covenant relationships with 12 missionaries. These missionaries serve all around the world, including Donna Chat Pewo who serves as a Church and Community Worker at the Clinton and El Reno Church and Community Ministry of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. Churches are encouraged to form a covenant relationship with missionaries and support them financially and with their prayers. Contact Laurie Day to learn how you can connect with a missionary.
Ken Cruz is a missionary serving in Cambodia with the Community Health and Agricultural Development (CHAD) program working as a Community Development Specialist. He has served there for 11 years. Above you see him meeting with the Christian Social Concerns Committee and working with a group building an incubator. The work he does encompasses the needs of people in their spiritual lives as well as their physical needs. Follow the work of CHAD on Facebook.
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the humanitarian relief and development arm of The United Methodist Church (UMC), a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization operated under the auspices of the General Board of Global Ministries. UMCOR’s work can be categorized into three major areas:
1) Humanitarian Relief / Disaster Response
2) Sustainable Development
3) Global Health (in collaboration with Global Ministries)
One of the many ways churches can support the work of UMCOR is by visiting and working at the UMCOR West Depot in Salt Lake City. Contact Brian Diggs to plan a visit and work at the depot. UMCOR has been instrumental in responding to the people's needs in response to floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and blizzards. Your support of UMCOR makes a difference in the lives of people in our areas and around the world.
Disaster Preparedness and Response
There are many ways that you and your church can be involved in this dynamic ministry. Gary Haddock and Dawn Skerritt are the disaster response coordinators for the Mountain Sky Conference. This link will take you to the Mountain Sky website with more information. These are some of the programs included in disaster preparedness and response:
- Connecting Neighbors – This is a disaster preparedness program focused on the church, helping individual congregants and your church make plans so that they and their community are ready for the next disaster. For more information contact Debbie Irby.
- Early Response Teams (ERT) – ERT’s fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to clean out flood-damaged homes, place tarps on homes, and otherwise help to prevent further damage, while providing a caring Christian presence. There are nine people in our conference who can lead trainings. If you are interested in being trained contact Linda Wilson.
- Disaster Spiritual Care (DSC) – This program is designed to meet the need for trained and credentialed persons to provide spiritual care services to survivors of disasters. Contact Gary Haddock or Dawn Skerritt
- Long Term Recovery – After a disaster strikes, the recovery process is usually much longer than all parties realize. The United Methodist Church and UMCOR can provide expertise and resources to help a community during this process.
The Advance is an official program of The United Methodist Church for voluntary, designated, second-mile giving. When you give to The Advance, 100% of your money goes to the project you choose. There are projects related to missionaries that you can support, also projects that support UMCOR responses to disasters. Click here to go to a list of projects.
The "Missionhood" of all believers
By Christie R. House
Mission trends emerge slowly, with some churches out in front and others taking a wait and see approach. The good news is—congregations are searching. Some congregations struggle with what they think is a traditional approach to mission, searching for something new and innovative. They may not realize that mission theology and practice has been changing and evolving all along. What we envision as “traditional” may not even exist anymore.
Whether your church is strongly involved in mission work, or struggling to find what works for your church community, this article can be very helpful. It shares the variety of ways that churches have found to engage in 'mission'. “We are to make disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world,” noted Joanna Dietz. “You can’t transform people without knowing who they are. Relationship is where true transformation happens.”
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The Conference Communications Office strives to inform and connect clergy and laity to the missions, ministries, news, and events of the Mountain Sky Conference of The United Methodist Church. We welcome the submission of news and requests (job openings, ministry materials) that benefit the local church and serve the mission of our larger connection. Go to the Communications Guidelines page online for more information on how to submit items and to get resources for your communications needs.
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