Grand Rapids District News
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The Connection is also attached as a pdf for
those who wish to print and share with others
Check out the NEW Grand Rapids District website at www.grdistrictumc.org
Please submit GR District church event info to Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to visit Laurie Haller’s Leading from the Heart Blog
Local Church News
Ubuntu Gathering Center Campaign Reaches All WMC Churches
The GR District AU Task Force assembled informational materials, including a DVD that has been sent by
mail to the remaining WMC churches to promote this project to members and friends. The Ubuntu Gathering
Center campaign has raised more than $313,000 in cash and pledges toward the $500,000 goal largely from
GR District churches! Arrangements have been made with the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan to
house the collected funds until the campaign ends on December 31, 2012. Click here for the Michigan
Methodist Reporter article about the Ubuntu Gathering Center. Click here to view the Ubuntu Gathering
Center video on youtube. Check out the GR District Ubuntu Gathering Center fundraising website at
www.AfricaUniversity.org to learn more. Would you like an AU Task Force member to speak at your
church? Call Liz in the GR District Office to make arrangements at 616.459.4503 or by email at
Summer Events at Sparta UMC
Saturday, August 20 from 8:30-11am Free Community Breakfast at Sparta UMC, 54 East Division.
Sunday, August 21 at 7pm Worship in the Park, Sparta UMC’s uprising service at Rogers Park in
Sparta. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets to relax and listen to the praise band.
Tuesday, August 30 from 6:30-8:30pm at Sparta UMC, 54 East Division, Back-to-School Kickoff
with games, food, prizes and music! Free gift for all students pre-K through 12th grade. Enter to win a
backpack filled with supplies and an IPOD!
Click here to view the flyer. Questions? Please call the church office at 616.887.8255.
Missionary Paul Webster Visit
You are cordially invited to join us at Coopersville UMC, 105 68th Ave. N, in Coopersville, on Tuesday, August
30 for a potluck dinner followed by a presentation from Rev. Paul Webster, our missionary in Africa. Paul will
share his ministry at the Mujila Falls Agricultural Centre in Zambia.
5:45 PM – Gathering Time
6:00 PM – Potluck Dinner
6:45 PM – Paul’s presentation (a free will donation will be accepted)
We hope you can join us! The Missions Committee of Coopersville UMC.
Moms Alive! Rockford UMC Mom’s Group
Rockford UMC would like to invite you to our mom's group called Moms Alive! Moms Alive! is for moms with
kids of all ages! We meet every Tuesday morning from 9:30-11:30am in the church lounge. The meeting
schedule follows the Rockford School calendar and only meets on school days. The first meeting is Tuesday,
September 13 and will include devotions, snacks along with planning the fall calendar. Child care is provided!
Donations are accepted to pay for our childcare coordinator. The mission of Moms Alive! is to provide a social
and supportive atmosphere for mothers in a Christian setting through education and outreach.
Calling all Care Ministry Leaders and Parish Nurse Providers!
Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:00am – 11:00am; Rockford UMC; 159 Maple Street; Downtown Rockford.
A DISTRICT WIDE CARE MINISTRY MEETING TO:
Meet volunteers and employees doing the same work
Participate in a study of "Deacons" (what are we called to provide our members)
Review "Parenting in the Pew: Guiding your Children into the Joy of Worship"
Share ways to bring more volunteers onto your team!
RSVP to Susan Witte; RUMC Care Ministry Director; email@example.com.
WANTED: Used Commercial Playground Equipment
Vergennes UMC in Lowell is interested in any used commercial playground equipment that may be available
for their new playground. Please contact Carol at 616.897.6141 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have
equipment or information to share.
Music Director Opportunity
White Pines UMC in Belmont is looking for an energetic, enthusiastic musician to lead our Praise Team band
and worship music! If interested, please contact Pastor Dale Hotelling at email@example.com.
Youth Ministry Coordinator
Vergennes United Methodist Church, a multi-generational church in Lowell, seeks an energetic, creative, part-
time Youth Ministry Coordinator (15 hours/week) to focus on the leadership of Middle and High School
students. Key responsibilities will include cultivating relationships, developing and coordinating weekly
programming, and working in a team. Candidates must possess a strong personal faith in Jesus Christ, a
passion for teenagers, and a deep desire to disciple youth. The candidate should demonstrate an ability to
recruit, equip and lead volunteers, and possess teaching skills for a youth group setting. Post high school
training in children or youth education or ministry preferred. Wage variable depending upon education and
experience. Please direct all questions and resumes via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call
616.897.6141, or for more information go to www.vergennesumc.org/youth.html.
Organist & Choir Director Positions
St. Paul's UMC, 3334 Breton SE, Grand Rapids, is accepting applications to fill two positions: of Organist and
Choir Director. Resumes and/or requests for information may be sent to email@example.com. Deadline
is August 15, 2011 or until filled.
East Nelson United Methodist Church, 9024 18-Mile Rd., Cedar Springs, is looking for an energetic musician
who is able to transpose and sight read music, and is able to communicate this with our singers. Occasionally
they will be required to select the music for worship. East Nelson UMC is a warm welcoming church and our
music is a blend of contemporary and traditional hymns. There is fair compensation for the qualifying
candidate. Applicants may contact the church by phone at 616.676.0661 or contact the staff by e-mail at
Grand Rapids District News
GR District Fall Church Conference Schedule
Click here to view the GR District church conference schedule which contains 1 on 1 appointment times,
SPRC meeting times (prior to the church-charge conference) and elder assignments. If you have
questions, please call Liz in the GR District Office at 616.459.4503.
BE A PART OF A WEDNESDAY LECTIONARY STUDY AND SUPPORT GROUP!
We are a group of area pastors, including UMC, UCC, and Seventh Day Adventist. We meet at Rockford First
Congregational Church (192 Bridge St.) on Wednesdays from 12:00-1:00 PM. We work one week ahead on
lectionary texts and take turns presenting the texts for study and discussion. We also share prayer time and
snacks each week. This fall, we plan to start meetings on Wed., Sept. 14. If you're interested in knowing
more or getting on the schedule, please contact Mary Ivanov (Cedar Springs UMC) at 616.696.1140 or
firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so that we can get our schedule prepared by Sept. 1.
This Mission Trip Kept Congregation at Home
Lowell First UMC did a mission trip within its own community, July 29 - August 4, 2011. Over half the average
worship attendance participated and provided 1,700 volunteer hours over 7 days to fix 36 homes and hold a
VBS at a local mobile home park! Click here to read the full story.
Time to re-enroll for FREE Interpreter Magazine
It’s time once again to enroll and re-enroll pastors and church leaders so they can receive free subscriptions to
Interpreter magazine - the denomination’s top-rated resource for ministry tips and tools. The 2012 enrollment
forms will be mailed directly to each church, and they should arrive shortly. Your support for taking advantage
of this subscription opportunity can make a difference. Pastors are encouraged to fill out his or her enrollment
forms as soon as they receive them, and to take advantage of the opportunity to equip ten of their leaders with
this important “how-to” publication.
Ministry Matters is a collaborative online community where church leaders can:
Search thousands of free resources including Bible study, teaching and reference tools, sermon
starters, articles, blogs, videos, music, and more.
Create and store personal or shared resource collections for streamlined research and preparation.
Connect with other ministry leaders with whom you share common responsibilities, concerns, and
How to Join: During the Beta period, you’ll have full access to the wealth of online information and resources
at MinistryMatters.com all at no charge. Act now to seize this special opportunity! Once the Beta phase
closes, many of Ministry Matters premium resources will be available only by subscription. Ministry Matters
will feature two paid subscription levels, offering over $5000 worth of quality Bible and reference content for a
fraction of the print price. But for now, it’s all free for Beta users.
VIM Haiti Team forming for Baudin Agricultural School
Dave Selleck has returned from Haiti and is working out details for another mission trip to the school. The
next group will be a maximum of 8 persons. The construction at the school will focus on rails for cement steps
for safety, roof work with drainage issues and some sidewalks between buildings as recommended by Lauren
James of UMCOR. There is interest in having part of the team provide a VBS experience, with the elementary
school. The estimated dates to go are February 3 – 12, 2012, depending on travel arrangements. Cost and
project estimates are in process. If you are interested in going or supporting this trip, please contact Dave at
UMCH B2B Program a Success
Something new and exciting is happening at the United Methodist Community House in Grand Rapids! Get a
group together and plan a visit to the United Methodist Community House! Click here to watch the B2B-
Believe to Become video on youtube. For more info or to arrange a tour, please contact UMCH at
Thrive: A New Refugee Support Program at South Wyoming UMC
Thrive is up and running at South Wyoming UMC thanks to a generous start-up grant from GR Metro
Ministries. Thrive is currently assisting with transportation for refugee children to a local summer tutoring
program and working through a cultural broker program to partner people with refugee families. They are also
exploring other areas to move into through discussions with community partners and hope to begin a new set
of exciting ministries in the fall. Want to learn more about Thrive at South Wyoming UMC? Check out their
website at www.refugeesupportgr.com or contact director Jessica Gladden at 616.206.4477 or email Jessica
Peaceful Remembrance of September 11, 2001
Forty Days of Prayer for Children. This downloadable resource is especially for children who have no
remembrance of 9/11, but will see images and hear stories over the next several weeks. The resource
includes prayers for each day, scripture, songs, book recommendations, and activities. Click here to view the
Forty Days of Prayer for Children pdf.
Growing Together on the District .
This is a feature of the Connection where GR District churches can coordinate ministries, develop
partnerships and promote the sharing of resources. This information exchange directly relates to the GR
District vision statement “Growing Together and Reaching Out”. If you have something to share, are looking
to borrow items, or need feedback on information related to resources, please email your info to Liz in the
GR District office at email@example.com or call the office at 616.459.4503.
Is your church gearing up for its annual fall stewardship campaign? If you plan to use Adam
Hamilton’s “Enough” program, Leighton Church has 2 DVD’s with leader’s guides for $10.00 each
and 3 of the books available for $5.00 each. Also available are resources for Bill Hybels’ “Just Walk
Across the Room” study. 2 DVD’s (one hasn’t been opened) with leader’s guides for $10.00 each
and 2 participant’s guides for $5.00 each. If interested, contact Stacey Aman at
Stacey.firstname.lastname@example.org or 616.891.8028.
Clark AT Home
Clark At Home provides many Medicare certified home health services as well as a variety of personal
services to qualified residents of Grand Rapids. Questions? Please call Clark At Home at 616.233.4142 or
visit their website at clarkathome.org.
Hands Across the City Event on Saturday, October 1
The Hands Across the City event, called "La Nueva Esperanza: New to the Neighborhood," will be held
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 from 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM at 1933 Buchanan St. SW (the former Olivet UMC
building). The day will include:
opening praise and prayer led by Rev. Jorge Rodriguez and son Joel
serving together across language and culture
simple landscaping and cleanup of building, grounds and neighborhood alleys and streets
authentic ethnic lunch
stories of ministry triumphs and struggles of the LNE congregation, GRASP and other ministries
official re-naming of the building, including placement and consecration of the new sign
Click here for the bulletin insert. Click here for the on screen announcement. Click here for the poster.
GR District Fall Lay Speaking Classes
The next round of Lay Speaking classes for the GR District will be in held in October with both Basic and
Advanced classes offered. There is a 10 student per class minimum, so please register before September
15. You will be notified if a class will be canceled due to low registrations. Click here to view and print a flyer
to post in your church.
Basic Class-Instructor-Jody Pratt
Advanced Class-Social Justice-with Instructor Don Williams
Classes will be on Thursdays, October 13, 20, 27 from 6:30-8:30pm at Carlisle UMC, 1084 76th St., in
Byron Center. To remain certified you must complete course work every 3 years. To register, please email
Jody Pratt email@example.com. For additional information, please contact Liz in the GR District office at
616.459.4503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Albion District FALL LAYSPEAKING CLASSES – NOVEMBER 4-5 at Wesley Woods
The Albion District will be offering fall Lay Speaking classes as a weekend retreat at Wesley Woods on Nov 4-
5. For additional information visit the Albion website at www.albiondistrict.org look under Resources or call the
Albion District office at 269.962.7760.
Heartland District Fall Lay Speaking Classes
September 24 & October 8 from 9am-3pm at Ithaca UMC, 327 E. Center, Ithaca, MI 48847. Participants must
attend both Saturday classes in order to earn credit.
Lay Speaking Ministries Basic Course Led by Larry Wyman (required before any advanced courses
may be taken) —12 spaces left!
Click here for more information and a registration form. Registration deadline is September 16. Contact
Melanie at email@example.com or 989.773.5140 if you have any questions.
Grand Rapids District August Calendar Grand Rapids District September Calendar
August 9 GR District Bd. of Mission Mtg. September 14 UMW Luncheon (AU presentation)
5-6:30pm Conf. Center Rm. 101 12:30pm So. Wyoming UMC
August 31 GR District Leadership Dev. Mtg. September 15 GR Dist. AU Task Force Mtg.
2-3:30pm Conf. Center Rm. 101 10am until noon Conf. Center Rm. 101
September 17 UMW Annual Mtg.
9am-3pm Grandville UMC
September 19 GRD Leadership Council Mtg.
4:15pm Conf. Center Rm. 101
September 19 Superintendency Comm. Mtg.
**Reminder** 4pm Coopersville UMC
Laurie is on renewal leave
through September 5 September 27-30 Cabinet Meeting
West Michigan Conference News
Click here to access the 2011 Fall Church/Charge Conference Forms
West Michigan Conference School of Mission Recap
Check our photos on the West Michigan Conference School of Mission Facebook page and click “like” to
receive our updates! Click here to read the short report about this summer's school.
Equip Your Leadership with MARC
Church Leaders - as you put in place your fall programs don’t forget to utilize MARC, your Michigan Area
Resource Center. Browse the website at www.marc-web.org, and find a wealth of material ready for loan
including small group study resources, stewardship helps, children and youth programs, UMW and UMM
program material, etc.!!! There is no need to log in when visiting MARC, just click on the advanced search
bar, type in your needs, then either email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org, or give Betsy a call at
888.217.1905. Not a member? Join for ½ price for the remainder of 2011. Click here for the 2011
membership form. MARC looks forward to equipping you and your ministries!
West Michigan Conference Funding 2013
This application form and timeline have been developed for all churches and ministries seeking funding from
the budget of the West Michigan Conference. Please use the attached form and submit it to both your district
office and the Conference Center no later than September 9, 2011, in order to be considered for the 2013
budget. The same form is to be used for requests for funding from your District, the Conference Board of
Global Ministries, and Racial Ethnic Local Church. You need to submit only one form for these groups. Click
here to download the application form.
Orientation for Provisional Elders or Deacons
Those seeking to complete materials with the goal of becoming provisional elders or deacons at Annual
Conference in June of 2012 are invited and encouraged to attend one of two orientation sessions to be held
on Monday, August 29, at the Conference Center, 11 Fuller SE. The first session will run from 10am until
noon and the second session will run from 1-3pm. Please e-mail Lillian French, Provisional Registrar, of your
preference for morning or afternoon so that materials can be provided for you. Questions? Please contact
Lillian at email@example.com.
Meet Your Delegates
West Michigan elected a 12-member delegation, chaired by GR District Superintendent Rev. Laurie Haller, to
participate in the 2012 General Conference in Tampa, FL. Meet all 12 face to face in this month's Michigan
Area Reporter. Click here to read more.
West Michigan Conference Children's Ministry Blog
Are you involved in working with children in your church? Conference Coordinator of Children's Ministry,
Glenys Nellist has a blog, which serves to support, encourage, and inspire all Children's Ministry leaders!
Please visit the blog and become a follower, so that you can connect with other Children’s Ministry leaders to
grow this vital part of God's Kingdom. Questions? Please call the GR District Office at 616.459.4503.
CELEBRATE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION SUNDAY!
Is your church ready to celebrate Christian Education? Each September, we invite congregations to celebrate
the impact of this vital ministry by designating one Sunday as Christian Education Sunday. This year, it will be
held on September 18th, although you are free to choose any date which will suit you. I would encourage you
to celebrate this special day in your church, not only by recognizing and celebrating persons involved in these
ministries, but also to give your congregation the chance to contribute financially to the Christian Education
Fund. Half of the offering stays in your congregation and the other half goes to the West Michigan Conference
so that grants may be awarded for Christian Education projects. Click here for a downloadable bulletin insert.
Thank you! Glenys Nellist, Conference Coordinator of Children's Ministry.
The Russian Initiative team has returned from their mission trip to Resurrection UMC and Camp Crystal in
Voronezh, Russia. This group would welcome the opportunity to share their story with your church. If
interested, please contact Jody Pratt by email to schedule a time or to learn more firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Michigan Area Haiti Task Force Website
Visit www.mahtf.org for information and resources on the activities of the Michigan Area Haiti Task Force. .
MissionInsite Demographic Information Available to all Local Churches in WMC
We are pleased to announce that the West Michigan Conference has now subscribed to Missioninsite.com, a
comprehensive demographic provider. With this MI tool, every church and Agency in the Conference now has
access to up-to-date demographic information. Gone are the days of submitting the fill in the blank form and
waiting 30 days, or more, for the report to return. With MI you can sit at your computer and generate a report
in a manner of minutes. In most cases the time to print the report is far greater than the time to generate it.
So how can you get started? Simply follow the How to Register instructions then go to Missioninsite.com the
rest is easy! Questions? Call the GR District Office at 616.459.4503.
WMC UMW SUMMER 2011 Highlights e-newsletter is available by clicking here.
Website Aims to Equip and Empower
A new website aims to equip and empower local churches to become vital and healthy congregations.
UMVitalCongregations.org is designed to help churches move through a process of evaluation and
assessment as they begin to set goals, and then find key resources to help them achieve those goals.
Click here to read more.
Encountering the God Who Heals Seminar
Rev. Dr. Bobby Cabot, pastor at Bear Lake and Arcadia UMCs, will lead another 3 ½ day seminar on inner
healing on September 14-17, at Sunfield UMC. Check in begins on Wednesday, September 14, at 6 p.m. The
Seminar times are:
Wednesday (9-14) from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Thursday (9-15) and Friday (9-16), 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday (9-17) 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Seminar includes a 200 page workbook (designed for use in your local church), practicum materials and
meals. Housing is on your own, however early registrations can request free host housing. Cost for first rime
attendees is $185, couples are $265 ($105 savings), and Alumni are $145. Please register by contacting
Pastor Jeff Shrock, Sunfield UMC, 227 Logan Street, Sunfield, MI 48890, 517.566.8448, or email Jeff at
email@example.com. Questions? Please contact Dr. Cabot at firstname.lastname@example.org or
231.557.0166 for further information or a brochure.
Leading the Middle Size Church-Virtual Online Seminar
Intro to Leading the Middle Size Church Distance Learning Opportunity Fall Offering. Four 90 Minute
Teleconferences on Tuesday October 4,11,18,25, 2011 at 4:00 PM EDT. Before entering the ordained
ministry, Rev. N. Burton Brooks, Jr. was a member of the faculty of the School of Business and Economics at
Longwood University where he specialized in the areas of management and finance. He earned his B.S. and
MBA degrees from Virginia Tech and the M.Div. degree from Duke Divinity School. In over 20 years of
ministry, Burt has served as a consultant and pastor of small, medium, and large membership churches. He
currently serves as Senior Pastor of Brandermill UMC in VA. His interest is in assisting pastors and church
leaders to develop practical organizational and management skills for more effective parish ministry.
Click here to register. Questions? Please call 800.482.1442 or email email@example.com.
Healing From A Broken Place Conference in DeWitt
This first of its kind in Mid-Michigan, this conference will bring together clergy from all walks of religious life
with survivors of profound trauma, experts on medical diagnosis, and mental health providers. Presented at
St. Francis Retreat Center, 703 Main Street in DeWitt, on Thursday, October 13 from 8am until 3pm. Click
here to view the conference brochure with complete details including registration info. Questions? Please call
866.669.8321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mission School of the North: All Things Made New
Detroit Conference and West Michigan Conference Mission School of the North: All Things Made New will
take place on October 17-18 at Gaylord UMC, 215 Center St., in Gaylord. Faith-filled—we believe that out of
the rubble and ashes of devastation will come new life—a life of hope, a life of abundance, a life of joy for the
journey. 2011 Mission Studies:
“The Journey: Forgiveness, Restorative Justice & Reconciliation” led by Rev. Jana Lynn Almeida
“Joy to the World: Mission in the Age of Global Christianity” led by Joanne & Rev. Joseph Perez
“Haiti: Challenges and Hope” led by Dr. M. Rene Johnson & Rev. Dave Morton
Cost is $60 ($50 for first-time attendees) includes 3 meals. Lodging & breakfast are additional on your own.
Scholarships are available to first-time attendees. Registration deadline is October 10. Click here for
additional information, registration form and grant application.
Explore the Splendors of Ancient Egypt
Travel with Educational Opportunities and Group Leader Rev. Ann Emerson February 14-23, 2012. The
group will explore the Great Pyramids in Giza, trace the ancient route of the Exodus and visit Mt. Sinai and St.
Catherine's Monastery. Passengers will experience the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities in Cairo and cruise
down the Nile River into the heart of this wonderful country. Old Testament scriptures will be studied as the
group travels through the country. Cost begins at approximately $3,500. For a complete brochure, please
contact Rev. Emerson at 810.327.6468 or email@example.com. Information can also be found at
www.eo.travelwithus.com/find_trip and enter the travel code EG12 and departure date 021412E. Registration
is encouraged by October 1st.
Current & Continuing Prayer Needs Grand Rapids District Mission Statement
Ed Edwardson, chair of the GR Dist. Our Mission is to connect and support vital
AU Task Force, is having eye surgery ministries of Jesus Christ.
Sandy Williams, wife of retired pastor Our mission calls us to:
Nolan Williams, at home. Train, equip, encourage and coach
clergy and lay leaders for
Steve Weinberger, pastor at Lakeside-
Crestwood UMCs, recovering from
Provide effective multi-layered
surgery at Spectrum Health Rehab
Center in GR.
Promote networking and clustering
Bishop Keaton continuing to recover at among clergy and churches.
home from major surgery. Engage together in acts of mercy,
justice and spiritual growth.
Vance Dimmick, pastor at Parmelee Be proactive risk-takers and change
Lois Moseley (WM Conference
facilitator and lay member at First Grand Rapids District Vision Statement
UMC, GR) cancer treatment.
Growing together, Reaching out…
Rev. Jean Crabtree radiation therapy. The churches of the Grand Rapids District of
the United Methodist Church are healthy,
Laurie Haller on renewal leave through vital, outer-directed and are united in actively
Sept. 5. making disciples of Jesus Christ for the
transformation of the world. As clergy and
laity, we live out our connection through
cooperative initiatives, local and worldwide
Visit the Grand Rapids District Website at: mission, mentoring, sharing of resources,
http://www.grdistrictumc.org and mutual love and support.
Visit Leading from the Heart Blog (Adopted by the GR District Conference 2-15-09)
The Connection is published weekly and
distributed electronically every Wednesday.
We request your news and contributions
each week via e-mail to the GR District office
at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than
United Methodist News
HURRY! Webinars to Train Local Church Leaders Start Tomorrow!
The General Board of Discipleship offers training webinars for local church leaders. Register for these online
experiences at www.gbod.org/committee_resources. Participate on your own OR gather with other finance
leaders at the church and watch together.
August 18 and 25 at 6:30 PM CDT – Finance Committee
This two part training is for Finance Leaders including the local church Treasurer, Finance Committee,
Financial Secretary. The session on August 18 will cover Fundraising and money BURNOUT!! This webinar
will cover the central message of generosity, essentials of an effective program, things that work and things
that do not work. Move beyond “the way we have always done it” to lead your congregation in extravagant
generosity for the ministry God has for your congregation.
The session on August 25 will cover extravagant generosity. This webinar will be a “put-it-to-work” review of
the newest program on the marketplace “Extravagant Generosity, the Heart of Giving.” One of the authors will
describe how to make it work, how it is different, and how to get started. Learn about "heart-change" and
marketing and branding concepts to inspire generosity among all age groups.
Bold Changes Proposed for UMC
Members of the Connectional Table, meeting July 25-28, endorsed five proposals that would change The
United Methodist Church’s structure and potentially its funding. East Ohio Area Bishop John L. Hopkins, the
Connectional Table’s chairperson, called the proposals “far-reaching.” “What we’re trying to do is simplify the
church and integrate it more,” he said. He added that the changes are intended to help the general church’s
programs and resources better serve the needs of annual (regional) conferences and local churches. The
proposals are the result of the church’s Call to Action process, adopted by the denomination’s Council of
Bishops and the Connectional Table in their fall 2010 meetings. Click here to read more.
Africa University Choir Opened World Gathering
A 30-member Africa University Chamber Choir officially opened the 20th World Methodist Conference in
Durban, South Africa on Aug. 4. With the South African hymn “Siyahamba” (“We are marching in the light of
God”), the choir led the traditional banner procession of the various members of the World Methodist Council
participating in the global conference. Click here to read the full story.
Rethink Immigration Resources
Rethink Church will help you to rethink immigration by offering a free package of materials to use in many
different ways. The package will feature a 12-minute video about Jasmine, a Michigan teen who found solace
in The United Methodist Church when the complications of immigration left her alone. The package also
includes bulletin graphics, promotional poster designs and newspaper ads to help you advertise to your
community. In addition, the package features supplementary resources including videos to use all year in
Sunday school or in worship as sermon illustrations, study material for Sunday schools or neighborhood Bible
studies, and informational pieces to help jump-start a new understanding of immigration. A DVD is available
for the cost of shipping.
DREAM Sabbath Sunday Toolkit Available
A free downloadable toolkit is available to help congregations participate in the DREAM Sabbath on a Sunday
between Sept. 16 and Oct. 9. The packet includes planning resources, sacred readings, reflections, links to
videos and sample bulletin inserts. The United Methodist Council of Bishops Committee on Immigration, the
United Methodist Interagency Immigration Task Force and the Board of Church & Society encourage
congregations to observe a DREAM Sabbath. The interfaith observance will enlist churches, synagogues and
mosques to dedicate time during or around their regular weekly worship service to a conversation about the
DREAM Act. The proposed law would provide a path to U.S. citizenship for young people who have grown up
in the United States as the children of undocumented immigrants and have completed two years of college or
School Spirit: Ways to Support Students
As a new school year begins, many churches offer backpack blessings and special liturgies. Find ideas for
ministries with students and schools, videos and slideshows, prayers, and other resources on the new School
Spirit page. An audio slideshow about a recent backpack blessing is available for use before or during
worship, or in other ways, to celebrate the beginning of classes.
Hispanic Heritage Month Resources
Hispanic Heritage month kicks off Sept. 15 and Rethink Church will offer resources to assist the dialogue in
worship, Sunday school and community gatherings. The resources, which will be available for download
beginning Aug. 15, are designed to educate, connect and motivate. The Hispanic Heritage package will
include videos that can be used as sermon illustrations, study material or neighborhood Bible studies to help
start a new understanding of immigration. Click here to view the UMCOM resource page.
CANTOMETODISTA Coming Soon
The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) is launching a new website called Cantometodista.com in
early September, which will provide free music and instrumental tracks for musicians and worship leaders of
local churches and faith communities. Questions? Contact Leorinda Orengo, Program Assistant,
5 Things Every Church Can Do To Promote Giving: Tips from UMCgiving.org
1. Download and insert the weekly Mission Moment in your worship bulletin.
2. Start a council meeting with one of the short videos you can find at youtube.com/umcgiving.
3. Give each member of your church council a copy of the Official United Methodist Program Calendar so
they can identify special giving opportunities. Program calendars can be ordered at
4. Download resources for Special Sunday offerings at umcgiving.org/downloadables.
5. Provide free United Methodist giving resources in new member packets. Find downloadable
promotional tools at umcgiving.org/downloadables.
UMCOR Needs School Kits
The latest shipment of school kits to Haiti has "seriously depleted" the stockpile kept by the United Methodist
Committee on Relief, which is encouraging congregations to use kit-making as a group project or activity. The
kits, which cost about $11 each to assemble, provide children with basic supplies such as paper, pencils and
other items. Learn more about assembling school kits or make a gift toward the purchase of materials. Rays
of Hope in Grand Rapids is a collection point for school kits, health kits, cleaning buckets, layette infant kits,
and dry foods. Their address is 446 Grandville Avenue SW, Grand Rapids, 49503. Please contact Kim
Sorrelle at 616.318.7378 to ensure the warehouse will be open. The normal operating hours are Mon-Fri,
9am-5pm and Sat, 10am-4pm. When kits are brought to the warehouse, please be prepared to help pack
them for shipment. Please use UMCOR guidelines for packing.
High 5 – High Giving Tips from UMCOM
United Methodist Communications can give you a hand with five key ingredients of highly successful
churches. We call these our “high five.” Learn about the ways shared ministry enables United Methodists to
do together what no church, district or annual conference could do alone. Visit www.umcgiving.org.
Resources Available for Back-to-School Season
The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has worship resources and ideas for churches as a new school
year approaches. The resources include a back-to-school blessing, prayer of thanksgiving and suggestions for
Michigan UM pastor and his wife donate 60% of their annual income to charity. (Video)
Be the Church of the Week for GBOD
If you would like your church featured on GBOD.org, please email a digital photo of your church's exterior to
email@example.com. Your image must be at least 500 px wide X 400 px high and in a JPEG format (with a .jpg
extension). In your email, please provide your church's name, address, telephone number, e-mail address,
website, and a brief (50-word) description or greeting. Your church photo and other information will be
included on UMC.org Find-A-Church search tool and you'll receive a subscription to GBOD's monthly email
newsletter. If your church photo was made by a professional photographer, please be sure to request
permission before submitting to us. GBOD.org will include a photo credit and any copyright information with
the photo when it is published. We cannot publish photos that include recognizable images of people. Click
here to read more!
Mission Never Stops: 10-Fold Continues
Don't forget, while visiting 10-Fold.org, with one simple click, it is easy to become an advocate and
automatically raise $1.00 to support this project. Mission never stops, so please be counted. Please help
promote 10-Fold in your church. The 10-Fold Toolkit contains all the information you need to know about 10-
Fold with suggestions for how you can spread the word to your church, family, and friends. Click here to
download the 10-Fold Toolkit.
GBHEM Announces Online Consortium with 13 UM Theological Schools
The online consortium catalogue will serve as the gateway, providing a single entry point through an online
catalogue and Web links to each theological school that is offering the classes. It will be open all year round
so you will be able to take courses according to your schedule.
Pastor-Centered to Program-Focused Workshop
One of the most difficult transitions for both pastors and congregations is from a pastor-centered size
congregation to a program-focused community. This workshop is designed for pastors moving from one size
to the other or a congregation that is experiencing growth from one to the other. The pastor and at least one
lay person are encouraged to attend this two-day workshop in Evanston from September 30-October 1. For
more info click this link: http://www.transformativeleaders.org/docs/Transitionsflyer.pdf
Executive Leadership Education Program Offered
Six seminars developed in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
designed to increase leadership impact through concentrated study and theological reflection on key themes
of leadership and management. The 2011-2014 cohort begins October 18-19. For more info follow the link.
FAIR TRADE: GIVE KIDS A REAL TREAT
Many of the chocolate candies that will be given away to children this Halloween will come at a great price to
children in other countries. Many cocoa farms that provide chocolate to major manufacturers use forced child
labor and do not pay farmers a fair price for their product. When you purchase fairly traded chocolates you
know that it was produced using ethical practices. You can purchase fairly traded chocolate miniatures this
Halloween as well as materials to raise awareness about the chocolate trade from UMCOR’s partner, Equal
Exchange. You can also give to UMCOR’s Sustainable Agriculture and Development Program, UMCOR
Advance #982188 which supports small scale farmers.
GBHEM Presents Exploration 2011—11-11-11: Passion and Possibilities
Exploration 2011 is an event for 18-26 year olds who are exploring ordained ministry in The United Methodist
Church. There are 13 UMC-affiliated seminaries across the United States, from coast to coast.
Click here for more info.
DISASTER FUNDS, CLEANING BUCKETS NEEDED
UMCOR is working with annual conferences to respond to communities that have been devastated by the
spring storms, but funds are being disbursed faster than they are replenished. Your gift is urgently needed.
Please give generously to US Spring Storms 2011, UMCOR Emergency Advance #3021326.
United Methodists Respond to Japan Earthquake
The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries has nine missionaries in Japan along with a number of
individual volunteers-in-mission, and the church is already responding to those in need after the earthquake
and tsunami. Donations can be made to Japan Emergency, UMCOR Advance #3021317. Click here to read
the full story and post a comment.
Worship Resources on Japan Available
Click here to view resources.
Progress in Haiti
Click here to read a progress update from the May-June 2011 Issue of New World Outlook.
To read UMCOR’s complete Hotline E-Newsletter click here.
UMC Special Sundays
Follow the link to see all the UMC Special Sundays umcgiving.org/specialsundays.
Ministerial Education Fund Makes a Difference
Click here for more info and to read stories about how this fund has made a difference in the lives of clergy.
Social Principles Bulletin Inserts
Click here to download the free resources.