Native American Ministries Sunday – April 18
“When I was in seminary, I was honored to receive the Native American Seminary Award. To this day, it is one of the greatest honors bestowed upon me… It was a humbling experience to know that I had the approval and the support of The United Methodist Church and every local United Methodist congregation who participates in the Native American Ministries Sunday Offering.” ~ Rev. Matt Locklear (RO: Sandy Plains)
Please encourage congregations to give generously to the Native American Ministries Sunday offering on April 18. Contributions can also be made on-line anytime throughout the year. Gifts to Native American Ministries Sunday offering benefit the 13 churches in the North Carolina Conference that comprise the Native American Cooperative Ministry, which provides support for church growth and community ministries. In the last year, 3 Native American congregations have grown dramatically in worship attendance, one has continued to enroll children in a 4-star child care program, and the communities are receiving health education for diabetes management and smoking cessation, among other outstanding ministries.
Conference Youth Rally Day
Youth Rally Day will be Sunday, April 25 at NC Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount. Rally Day begins at 3pm with fellowship and recreation activities, and concludes with a worship service ending around 6pm. There is no cost to attend Rally Day although an offering will be taken for Youth Service Fund, and items for YSF and snacks will be available for purchase. Youth groups are invited to offer acts of worship during the worship service and to sponsor recreation activities – pre-registration of these requests is required by April 19. The details and sign-up sheet for Rally Day are being mailed to local church youth coordinators and are available at the Conference website: Youth.
5th Caring for Creation – April 8-11, Lake Junaluska
Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center’s 5th annual “Caring for Creation,” April 8-11, will help members of the faith community learn how to become caretakers of the Earth. Caring for Creation will offer 20 workshops, including “Biblical/Theological Foundations for Creation Care,” “Native American Spirituality and Creation Care” and “Mapping Your Ecological Footprint.” A pre-experience is available to spend 24 hours in a sustainable community. This conference flows from The United Methodist Council of Bishops’ pastoral letter and foundation document on “God’s Renewed Creation: A Call to Hope & Action.” For registration information please see: Caring for Creation. For more information on the Bishop’s pastoral letter, study guides, and implementation practices please see: Hope and Action.
Sleep Out to End Malaria – Imagine No Malaria
The United Methodist Church will mark this World Malaria Day, April 25, with a call to local churches to “Sleep Out to End Malaria” on the weekend of April 24-25. The sleep out events, in which individuals sleep overnight under imitation bed nets, coincide with the denomination’s official launch of “Imagine No Malaria,” an initiative that seeks to raise $75 million to eliminate death and suffering from malaria in Africa by 2015. For tool kit information to host an event, please see Sleep Out to End Malaria. For general information, go to End Malaria.
Red Bird Mission School – Need for Immediate Funding
Red Bird Mission School serves students from kindergarten through high school. From its campus in Red Bird Mission in Kentucky, it meets goals of providing a solid, challenging education combined with the values of The United Methodist Church. Enrollment fluctuates, but currently 220 students receive their education from Red Bird Mission School. It currently faces a serious significant financial shortfall and there is a great need for immediate giving and long-term commitment. Without such commitment, the Red Bird Mission school may close. To respond or learn more, please see Red Bird School.
Save the Date: Convocation on the Rural Church – August 23-25
Pastors of rural churches that are eligible for Duke Endowment grants are invited to make plans to attend Duke Divinity School’s 2010 Convocation on the Rural Church: The Grace of Rural Ministry. This event will be held Aug. 23-25 at the Embassy Suites Ocean-Front Hotel in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Using support from the Duke Endowment, costs will be kept to a minimum. Online registration opens May 24. Eligible pastors will receive more information and a link to the registration site prior to this date. Registrations will not be accepted before this time.
Change the World, April 24-25 – United Methodist Service Weekend
United Methodists are encouraged to begin planning now to join in “Change the World,” a denomination-wide event on April 24-25 that prompts members to join with others in their communities to make a difference locally and globally. During that weekend, United Methodist churches are encouraged to participate in a service or fund-raising event that effects positive, long-lasting change. The service could be revitalizing a food-pantry program, creating a new ministry to help the homeless, or increasing awareness of global health issues like malaria. Congregations can utilize existing ministries or initiate a new outreach event. For more information, go to Change the World.
United Methodist Commission on Religion & Race (GCORR) Advocacy Grants
The United Methodist Commission on Religion & Race (GCORR) Action Fund seeks to invest in and assist churches, community organizations, conferences, seminaries, and ecumenical bodies that nurture programs focused on dismantling racism. GCORR is offering more than $250,000 in grant dollars to congregations or organizations that want to assist or protect immigrants. The 2010 focus of the Action Fund is on action and advocacy. Programs receiving financial support through the fund will be those that provide action and advocacy efforts related to assuring the rights of racial ethnic immigrants and refugees. Applicants should be nonprofit and local church/action advocacy groups. Grants will range from $25,000 to $40,000. Deadline for applying is June 15. An Action Fund brochure can be downloaded from GCORR’s website as can an application form.
Disaster Response Academy in April
UMVIM/UMCOR is offering the Disaster Response Academy on April 26-29 at Warren Willis Camp, Fruitland Park, FL. The following classes will be available: Disaster 101 (Taught by UMCOR); ICS 100, 200, 700; Connecting Neighbors; Team Leadership Training, On-Site Management, and Volunteer Management; and Table Top Exercise. For more information and registration, please see Registration.