Center for Missional Outreach News
Bishop Michael McKee of the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church shared a joint statement from the United Methodist bishops of Texas. The statement follows:
September 23, 2016
As bishops of The United Methodist Church in Texas we join with other faith leaders in our state to encourage Governor Greg Abbott to seek a pathway that will affirm the worth of all humankind.
As Christians and as Texans our values are grounded in respect and hospitality toward newcomers. Those values lead us to welcome refugees to our state. We recognize that these are difficult and complex times, but as Christians, we rely on Jesus Christ to overcome our fear of those who may be different.
The United Methodist Church in our Social Principles states, “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God … We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all.”
We ask for God’s blessing on those who will step in to serve in the absence of our state’s participation in the resettlement effort, for they are truly being the hands and feet of Christ.
ERT Training by UMCOR
Saturday, November 12, 2016
8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
The United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) is offering a class training individuals to be part of an Early Response Team on Saturday, November 12, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church. This class will provide you with the basic information you need about Early Response Teams.
Early Response Teams (ERTs) fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to clean out flood-damaged homes, remove debris, place tarps on homes, and otherwise help to prevent further damage, while providing a caring Christian presence.
ERTs are not a first-response group of emergency workers, nor are they recovery, rebuild, or repair teams. Under very specific guidelines, ERTs assist survivors, without causing further harm or being a burden to the affected community.
All ERT members are trained by authorized UMCOR trainers, and are given identification badges as evidence of successful completion of the basic class.
MINISTRY SAFE REQUIREMENTS
A background check and Ministry Safe certification is required for all participants. Once completed, download the "Ministry Safe Verification Form" from this website. The form must be signed by your church's ministry safe administrator. Bring this form with you and give it to your instructor.
FUMC McKinney, Tyler Street and White Rock UMC ERT deploy to Louisiana. More teams to follow.
Early Response Team (ERT) members mucked out houses in Louisiana after the flood waters receded. Clinton UMC, under the leadership of Rev. Ted Fine, served as our base for operations. In the three days we had boots on the ground, over 125 flood buckets and twice as many hygiene kits were passed out.
A small team canvassed the neighborhood entering homeowner’s info into a national database called CrisisCleanUp so that any group following us — the Baptists, Red Cross, more UMCOR teams, etc. — might be able to view and use the data we had gathered.
We prayed blessings of provision, peace and preference for every household we encountered. We had the privilege of helping two UMC pastors!
For me, the best part of the trip was hearing stories of the people. Miss Bobbie had fifteen kids. Nine have died — some violently. She wept and told us she had lost everything. Mr. Scott refuses to go to a shelter and is sleeping in a chair in front of his condemned trailer. Pastor Franklin seemed defeated when we arrived. The day before we left, I said to him, “You look better.” He pointed to the UMCOR work team in his house and said, “They brought hope.” Miss Vivian, 82, was born across the street. At night, she stays at her brother’s. During the day, she cleans alone, trying to save her family’s home.
Ideas for making your next World Communion Sunday special
This idea came from Rev. Janet Cavalier who is appointed to First UMC of McKinney, Texas.
If your church is involved in a mission outside of the U.S., ask your mission partner to take their cellphone and make a video of themselves, saying something short in their native language, such as:
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Then use this clip during worship.
To enhance the video, have them wear native dress appropriate for their country or setting. The background should make it obvious where they are, such as in front of a sign or prominent building. The more international mission partners you have, the more video clips you can collect and play in worship that day.
Another idea would be to worship simultaneously over Skype or some other kind of live video streaming service with your partner church. This helps the congregation to focus on your connection as one body, in Christ, and on your partnerships in global missions on World Communion Sunday.
Serve as a United Methodist Mission Volunteer for a Life-changing Experience
Your life can be changed by volunteering in mission. Become a mission volunteer. The opportunities for volunteers (U.S. residents only) are diverse, including such positions as case managers for refugees, teachers, pastors, camp directors, children and youth assistants, and health care administrators and practitioners. The length of service is a minimum of two months and can extend to two years or more.
Urgent Volunteer Requests
- Grace Children’s Hospital in Port-au-Prince — Haiti needs a project coordinator who would be responsible for reporting the progress of the rebuilding of the hospital and assisting the mission education encounter teams from the United States.
- There is an increasing number of refugees coming into the United States. They are victims of warfare or other forms of persecution and have physical and emotional trauma. Many have lost homes and family members. The Mission Volunteers Office has partnered with Church World Service in establishing volunteer placement sites for refugee services throughout the United States. There are urgent needs for volunteers.
All mission volunteers are expected to attend an Individual Volunteer Orientation/ Training weekend prior to mission service.
Reservations for training are due approximately one month in advance of the Orientation/Training session. There is a fee of $200 which covers food, lodging and training materials.
Mission Volunteer Trainings 2016
"Analyzing and Understanding Systemic Racism" Workshop
November 3-5, 2016
You are invited to take part in the “Analyzing and Understanding Systemic Racism” workshop on November 3-5, 2016, at Wesley United Methodist Church in Greenville, Texas. The state of race relationships in our society is a timely matter that needs to be addressed.
Dan Perkins, CCD board member and workshop planning team member, describes the event as an opportunity for those attending to “create a shared definition of racism. From there, the training will explore the realities of racism and how individual, institutional, and cultural racism manifests itself. And this workshop explores the effects of racism on both communities of color and white communities.”
Crossroads Roads Antiracism Organizing and Training of Chicago will lead the training, said Perkins. “Crossroads will lead participants to view the issue of racism and the task of dismantling racism from political, social, spiritual and ethical perspectives. The ultimate goal is to equip participants to organize to combat racism within their own institutions and communities.”
Perkins encourages all interested persons are welcome to attend. Leaders in government, public safety, criminal justice, education, finance, nonprofits, local community organizations and faith organizations are especially encouraged to attend.
The workshop occurs over two-and-a-half days. The workshop opens Thursday evening, November 3, and closes Saturday afternoon, November 5, 2016. Registration for the event begins now and goes through October 15, 2016. The cost for the event is $350 and includes meals and all materials. Comfort Suites Greenville is offering a special rate of $74.99 plus tax for participants. There are a limited number of scholarships available for the cost of the workshop.
Registration & Contact Information
Registration open through October 15, 2016
Rev. Alice Coder, Event Registrar
Workshop is sponsored by the North Texas Antiracism Team, the Corporation for Cultural Diversity Greenville and Wesley United Methodist Church of Greenville. Workshop will be led by Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training of Chicago.
Equipping Leaders to Take a Group Into a Disaster Zone
October 4, 2016
The NTC Center For Missional Outreach will be holding a class on group leadership within a disaster zone on October 4, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. in the North Texas Conference Ministry Center in Plano, Texas. The purpose of this class is to equip leaders who want to take a group into a disaster zone.
Training will focus on the unique aspects of disaster ministry, including:
- Working with survivors on-site
- What to expect from your host site
- Forms to use
- Safety issues
- How to be a servant leader
The curriculum will be the advanced UMCOR SA200 course "Early Response - Team Leader Training," with adjustments made for leaders wanting to take teams in the rebuilding phase.
The cost for the class is $10. The instructors for this course will be Rick Hill and Marji Hill.
The Louisiana Conference is ready to receive construction teams to help those whose homes were damaged during 2016 spring floods
In response to an unprecedented flooding event this past spring that affected much of North and Central Louisiana, as well as a number of the state’s southeastern parishes, Louisiana’s United Methodist churches are continuing to meet the needs of those affected by the devastating rains.
In the immediate wake of the floods, United Methodists and local churches stepped up to provide shelter and food, distribute cleaning buckets and health kits and to help with the process of mucking out flooded homes.
And now, Louisiana Conference UMCOR Long Term Recovery has been set up in three critical areas of the state to tackle the job of helping residents return to their once flooded homes — the North Shore (Slidell), Ouachita Parish (Sterlington/Monroe) and Vernon Parish (Near Leesville).
The Louisiana Conference is ready to receive teams from across the state and from throughout the country that are ready to give hope to those still counting their loss. Both skilled and unskilled volunteers are needed for the recovery effort. There will be skilled individuals to teach every level of volunteer how to do the work needed. And if you have a construction-related skill, we can put your expertise to good use.
Case management has been ongoing and many clients are ready to receive teams immediately. Team lodging is available in dorm type accommodations in churches and there are areas available to park recreational vehicles. Teams may be preparing their own meals; meal plans are available in some locations. Lodging and material costs are minimal.
Register Your Team
To register your team, contact Rev. Larry D. Norman, Volunteer Coordinator, by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 225-933-1881. At present, team registration is being handled individually.
Additional information and web site registration will be available soon at www.LA-UMC.org.
Thank you for serving as the hands and feet of Christ!