Two United Methodists, BIshop John Innes and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, are providing leadership as Liberia struggles with the ebola crisis and the devastation it is bringing to the social and economic fabric of West Africa.
West Michigan Director of Connectional Ministries calls us to remember our "church journey", finding healing in the consistency of the message between God and God's people....
Sharing thoughts about being Hispanic/Latino and United Methodist
Road trip: Join the Youth 2015 road trip to Orlando. Check out the details...
Fundraisers for Imagine No Malaria don't always have to be just passing the offering plates.
Shepherd UMC has a unique, visual reminder of their local campaign to fight the spread of malaria. A small model of a bed net hanging over a doll bed holds images of a mosquito. Each time a $10 donation is received a mosquito is removed from the netting and added the the jar.
The model helps both children and adults relate to the campaign.
The Michigan Area is over halfway to its goal of raising $1.5 million, and saving 150,000 lives, through the Imagine No Malaria campaign! Thank you for your participation and your generous giving. Being halfway there means we have further to go and we need your support to get there. Between now and December 31, 2014 we need to raise $700,000 to save 70,000 lives. You are an important part of reaching this goal. The $1.5 million goal was based on $10 for every one of the 150,000 United Methodists in the Michigan Area, which includes your church.
For churches who have already reached or exceed the $10 per member goal, you are encouraged to consider giving more. For churches who have not yet met this goal, now is the time to start so that together the entire Michigan Area will help to drastically reduce the number of deaths caused by malaria.
Check out the Michigan INM website, it’s full of useful resources to promote this important campaign! http://www.MiNoMalaria.org.
Linda Stoddard, pastor at Maple UMC on the Albion District recently joined the world of Skype.
"I recently had the opportunity to Skype a funeral service to a favorite nephew of the decedent in Japan. The funeral home had wireless. They had already Skyped a memorial service a couple weeks previously. They had the logistics nailed down. The laptop was set next to the pulpit/podium prior to the service so visitors and family members could visit with the nephew, whom many had not seen since last Christmas and some longer than that.
"When the service began, the computer was turned and placed to the right of the pulpit. I was able to include the nephew (eye contact and speaking directly to him) in the entire service.It made the service extra special for his mother (the decedent's sister) who really needed the extra support that day. I've had many positive comments since that service from family and guests. In this techno age, it's a way to bring family together at a difficult time. (I've been told a 4g phone can be used and doesn't need wireless access).
"This was a new experience for this 65+ pastor--but one I'll gladly repeat in the future!"
Maple UMC in Battle Creek is known as "the little church that could ... 125 years." It's obvious that being able to continue in ministry means being able to use today's tools. Those wishing to follow Pastor Stoddard in learning about and utilizing unfamiliar technology, will find helpful resources at UMCom.org.
Members of the United Methodist Michigan Area Hispanic/Latino Ministries team share their thoughts on how the church can embrace neighbors and offer programs that appeal to those in the Hispanic/Latino community. From creating Spanish-language worship services, to hosting English classes, members describe their successes and challenges doing outreach in a video produced by United Media Creations. One woman remarks, "We always talk about open doors, open minds and open hearts. That's all we need. Let's implement that in the Hispanic community."
Learn more about the Michigan Area Hispanic/Latino Ministries.
And read about the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry.
Also, be sure to visit hispanic.umc.org.
|The Liberia Summit scheduled for Nov. 13-14 at Nardin Park UMC is moving forward in spite of difficulties. Click here to register for the event. Learn more about what UMCOR is doing to fight the virus and provide hope.|
Senior Editor-Writer, Michigan Area
In Monrovia one thousand people need a bed … one hundred beds are available. That’s just one of the numerics in a sea of grim statistics surrounding the ebola outbreak in northwest Africa.
“The Liberia Summit is very important,” says the Rev. Duane Miller, head of logistics for the gathering that will be hosted at Nardin Park UMC, November 13-14. This will be the fourth such event but what sets it apart is the virus that claimed its first victims in March of this year and continues to spread. “Ebola is devastating the country,” Miller notes, “and coming together to assess the situation and coordinate a response is critical.”
On August 20 United Methodist News Service reported on the lockdown in Liberia’s capital city. “Residents of Monrovia woke up to a tense situation Wednesday morning after Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf quarantined West Point and Dolo’s Town and imposed a nationwide curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“The Rev. Agrippa Nyentee, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, has been unable to get out of the neighborhood since the lockdown began. He reported traders were hiking food prices and that some people were hoarding food, especially staples like rice, for fear the lockdown will last a long time.
“Over the weekend, looters raided a health center treating Ebola patients in West Point and protests turned violent there after the neighborhood, which is home to about 50,000, was quarantined, according to published news reports.
“Absolutely, no one will leave these communities and no one will go in,” said the president, who is a United Methodist, in a nationally televised address. She called on Liberians to increase their involvement in the campaign against the spread of the deadly disease.
“Liberia now accounts for 576 of the 1,350 deaths in the five-month outbreak, according to the World Health Organization.”
Both the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the General Board of Global Ministries are working with the Liberia Summit Steering Committee, made up of representatives from six different annual conferences stretching from California to North Carolina. “Summit Committee members have a lot of close friends in Liberia,” Miller notes. “So we hear a lot of daily issues regarding food shortages, economic struggle and disruptions to education. It’s time to evaluate how we can best respond to ebola and all the ebola-related issues.”
To reduce the health risks, Liberians who have been in that country since the start of the ebola crisis will not be traveling to this year’s Summit. But Liberia will still be present.
“We spent hours discussing whether we ought to go ahead,” Miller continues. The decision was made to do so even though the presence of Liberians is compromised.” Bishop John Innes, episcopal leader of Liberia, has been in the U.S. for medical treatment since before ebola struck. He will attend the Summit and be in the pulpit on Thursday night. Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey preaches on Friday night when the covenant between the Detroit and Libera conferences will be celebrated.
Additional highlights of the Summit will be presentations made by missionary Helen Robert Evans, who was evacuated from Liberia when the virus blossomed. She will speak about education issues and how to subsidize schools and support students. Joseph Washington, an Assistant General Secretary of GBGM, will focus on how missionaries and volunteers should cooperate with country leaders. “We work hard at cooperation in our covenants,” Duane says. “Leaders in the country call the shots. We are just cheerleaders.”
Miller recalled a personal incident that taught him the value of relationship in mission. “From my very first experience in Liberia,” he shares, “people have asked why don’t we just send money to Liberia and then stay home?” He remembers a visit to Africa in 2002 when a “great big guy grabbed me and shook me by my shirt saying, ‘You don’t understand! You don’t understand!’” Before Duane could panic, the man continued, “You don’t understand how much this means to us to have you here working in our community. This gives us great hope!”
Dr. Wilfred Boayou, uncle of Detroit Conference pastor, Charles Boayou, is president of the Board at Ganta Hospital. He will join the summit with the aid of technology. George Wilson, on the ground in Liberia for Connectional Ministries will also beam in with an assessment of ministry priorities.
“The focus,” Duane emphasizes, is about coordinating work between the U.S. and Liberia. All of use who go to Africa see projects that churches or groups have started and there they sit, unfinished, three, four and five years later.” Conferences collaborating in the Summit include Detroit, Illinois Great Rivers, Baltimore-Washington, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California.
The relationship between the Detroit Conference and Liberia goes back 30 some years when two Michigan pastors—Rev. Tom Robinson and Rev. Ken Christler—worked alongside Liberian pastors appointed in the Detroit Conference. Among them was Dr. Emmanuel Bailey, now president of United Methodist University in Monrovia. The Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village emerged out of this early partnership. It will be a joyous occasion when the Covenant is renewed between the two conferences on November 14.
Twenty-eight people from First United Methodist Church of Sturgis recently returned from a week-long mission trip to Rockford, Ill.
Some built a pergola and picnic tables for a community garden in nearby Freeport, Ill. Others assisted in the Rockford Mission, including helping at the food bank. Some built or repaired decks and porches at a few homes and a couple of houses were painted. Many of the mission group’s youth participated in YouthBuild Rockford, a local venture working with those in the criminal justice system. Flowers were planted in City gardens, and another local mission, Carpenter’s Place, was also given assistance.
Robin Schuler, one of the group’s leaders, talked about her reason for participating in most of the five mission trips the church has recently sponsored. “Personally, I go on mission trips because I feel called to help others. Most often, the communities we help are so kind and grateful. They offer hospitality and anything they have. Human kindness is alive and thriving! People love to tell their story and share who they are. It gives mission members a chance to share our own faith, and to grow in that faith. Some of our youth just can't wait for the next trip!”
Another mission traveler added, “The idea of doing something together as the body of Christ [is a reason to go]. There is such a powerful, positive spirit among the team. You're not only bonding with each other, but with the homeowner and families, and with your personal journey with God. It’s a three-way win-win! I love the feeling of hope we bring to a community. Something as small as painting a deck together, talking and learning about each other's lives brings out a sense of future hope. Not only what's next for them, but what's next for all of us as children of God."
The Rev. Jeanne Koughn, newly appointed to Sturgis UMC, commented about the value of mission trips. “Mission trips are often life-changing experiences and important ways in which we can serve with others in our world. Not only does the trip affect the people we serve, but also affects those who are serving.“
Another church member added, “Our mission work pulls you out of your little life and comfort zone and places you into the bigger world and lives for a week, then stays with you forever.”
Schuler added, “My husband commented one night that he really appreciates the way our church travels to places in our own country to help. Our church members have been supportive with fundraisers and gifts of money for mission work, gas and food cards, purchasing T-shirts, etc. It makes me smile to think of my brothers and sisters here at Sturgis FUMC. What a great bunch of believers that walk the talk!! We are blessed to be a blessing!”
Another mission team member, the Rev. Lowell Walsworth, spoke about how much he enjoyed the experience: “It was exciting to see a multi-talented group of Christians giving time, effort, and care to people in need, and really enjoying themselves. The fellowship, worship, and creativity were marvelous.”
Senior Editor-Writer, Michigan Area
She also anticipated … “Like the Israelites, we'll want to return to Egypt – and to our familiar and comfortable ways of doing things - many times over.”
With a promise that God will be in the journey, Bishop Deb asked two things of the congregation in Morrice and of others across the Michigan Area. First to pray: “Bathe us in prayer, however you can….that we be unafraid of the new thing that might be happening.” Second to discern, asking: “What is God trying to do here in Michigan? What God inspired ‘new thing’ is already at work? How can we be part of the ‘new thing’ God is bringing in?” She offered Isaiah’s words in chapter 43 as a foundation for prayer and discernment.
Mail registration form and check to Gerald Mowl, 4091 E Maple Av, Grand Blanc, MI 48439 See links below for writeable registration form to print or a pdf form to print and mail in with your check.
It is late August, we have moved into the new office, and are now poised at the beginning of yet another fall season of Church Conferences and pre-Advent preparations. In many ways, it is reassuring to step into the familiar rhythms of fall on the church calendar. But God is always doing new things in our midst, and hiding in the familiar rhythms of how we have always done things, while it may be comfortable for a time, could well find us “napping” when the Bridegroom or Holy Spirit “shows up.” So the Burning Question for this time is one from me to you: What “new” thing is God doing where you are?
The Psalmist asked, “If the foundations are destroyed what can the righteous do?” (11:3) Resolution 14 passed at the recent Annual Conference strongly recommends against the use of Disciplinary procedures relating to same-sex marriage. It is imperative that faithful United Methodists of all opinions protest this action as schismatic. For decades we have been locked in debate over homosexual practice. This resolution is a decisive move away from dialog and relationship and towards separation.
The Discipline is the table around which United Methodists gather. Inasmuch as the Detroit Annual Conference aspires to step away from this table, it aspires to schism. This action breaks new ground and with it we enter into our final hour as a denomination.
United Methodism has an accessible and sensible governing polity through the General Conference and the Book of Discipline. It is critical to the health of our denomination that we deliberate with many voices but govern in one. The Detroit Annual Conference aspires to solutions outside United Methodist polity and this is schism.
Now is the time for faithful United Methodists of all opinions in our conference to raise their voices in protest. Clergy should not mistakenly believe they have permission to break their ordination vows. Churches should not wrongly assume they have license to separate themselves from our Discipline. Such things are already happening around the country. Dialog is being eclipsed by schism.
Job opening at Port Huron: First United Methodist
Part-time Director of Music / Organist
Starting January 1, 2015
The Director of Music must have a general knowledge and enjoyment of music as well as have the ability to play a pipe organ. Additional skills required include, but are not limited to, possessing the ability to work with people effectively to provide a successful music program for the church.
The Director of Music is responsible for:
1. 1. Playing pipe organ as needed and/or providing for all music involved with the primary church service. Primary is defined as Sunday morning services, Lenten Services, Christmas Eve Services. The Director of Music shall act as a resource for all evangelistic services and special evening services.
Examples of expected music include, but are not limited to:
c. Congregational singing
d. Supervising and accompanying special music (choirs, soloists, small groups, instrumentalists, etc.)
2. Selecting and preparing music as well as directing the Sanctuary Choir.
3. Coordinating all other choirs and music programs of the church through their directors.
4. Reviewing music used for weddings and when an outside organist is used, verifying the skills of substitute musicians as indicated in the church policy book.
5. Monitoring the care and maintenance of all choir supplies and equipment.
Interested parties may send resume or application to church office.
First United Methodist Church
828 Lapeer Avenue
Port Huron, MI 48060
The General Board of Discipleship is seeking the right individual for the position of Chief Program Officer with the department of Program Administration.
The person in this position will provide direct leadership and oversight of the programmatic development and implementation of all ministry programs of GBOD
For complete details and to apply Click Here
125 N. Interlachen Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789
POSITION DESCRIPTION: Date Prepared: Date Approved by SPRC:
Director of Student Ministries 09/15/14 09/02/14
STATUS: Full-time, Salaried
HOURS: 40 Hours per week
BENEFITS: Health Insurance, Pension, Continuing Education Funds
General Purpose of Position:
To build young disciples for Christ by developing and implementing a comprehensive approach to youth ministry (in the areas of worship, discipleship, mission, and outreach) while serving as a spiritual leader and role model.
Organizational Relationship and Supervision:
The Director of Student Ministries (DSM) reports to the Associate Pastor for spiritual and ministry guidance. The DSM will be responsible and subject to United Methodist polity and doctrine, informed by the United Methodist Guidelines for Youth Ministries, local church policy as determined by the Charge Conference, Senior Pastor, and Staff Parish Relations Committee.
The Primary Task:
There shall be a comprehensive approach to the development and implementation of the youth ministry at all levels in the connectional system of the United Methodist Church and in all ministry areas of the local church. This comprehensive approach is based on the understanding of the primary task of youth ministry to:
-love youth where they are
-encourage youth in developing their relationship to God
-provide them with opportunities for nurture and growth
-challenge them to respond to Gods call to serve in their communities and world
1. Be an advocate for youth and educate the congregation about the hopes, concerns and needs of youth in the local church and community.
2. Collaborate with all Student Ministry Staff including Assistant Director of Student Ministries and Worship Leader to give vision to programs and ensure that all aspects of Student Ministry (Sunday nights, Sunday school, Bible Studies, etc) are carried out according to the vision of this church.
3. Help plan, develop, and implement all aspects of a balanced youth ministry in the areas of worship, discipleship, mission, and outreach.
4. Empower youth in developing their leadership skills.
5. Be aware of resources for developing the youth ministry programming and participate in continuing education events and training opportunities.
6. Recruit and train volunteers who work with youth in all aspects of youth ministry and ensure adequate volunteer support and adult to youth ratios.
7. Coordinate and teach Confirmation classes in partnership with the pastor(s) and provide leadership for confirmands, mentors, and parents beyond the classroom.
8. Keep records of youth participation and manage the youth ministry budget.
9. Communicate in a timely manner and as effectively as possible using all available resources (email, website, newsletter, social media, etc.). Ensure communication with church staff and leadership, parents, and the congregation as a whole.
10. Make yourself available to youth in a variety of ways (i.e. lunch at school, attendance at extracurricular activities, visitation, times of crisis, etc.)
11. Work in collaboration with the gifts and talents of other staff members and maintain a teamwork mentality.
12. Ensure that the Child Protection Policy is observed in all youth ministry settings.
Qualifications and Aptitudes:
1. Must embrace Christian discipline and United Methodist doctrine and theology.
2. A bachelors degree in a related field is minimum requirement. Professional Certification in Youth Ministry in the United Methodist Church is desired.
3. Must have at a minimum, 5 years experience as a director in Student Ministry.
4. Must have vision and a demonstrated ability to plan, develop, coordinate, manage and implement a youth ministry within the parameters of the United Methodist Church.
5. Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, conflict management skills, and computer skills.
6. Must posses a proven ability to work effectively with youth, diverse individuals, and teams of volunteers.
The Accompanist works under the leadership of the Minister of Music to prepare the Chancel Choir for the 10:00 am worship service two Sundays per month and for any special services. The accompanist is accountable to the Minister of Music, the Pastor, and the Staff Parish Relations Committee.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
(Special services include, but are not limited to, Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Sunday evening programs, funerals and weddings.)
A criminal background check is required prior to employment.
The Accompanist and the Staff Parrish Relations Committee will review this job description annually. Any problems relating to the performance of these responsibilities shall be brought to the attention of the Accompanist by the Pastor and/or Staff Parrish Relations Committee Chairperson. Job related concerns of the Accompanist shall be taken to the appropriately assigned Staff Parrish Relations Committee member. All parties shall attempt to resolve concerns in a timely manner and shall be given an appropriate time frame in which to do so.
The annual compensation for the Accompanist will be commensurate with experience. Additional Special Services (Ash Wednesday, Christmas Eve services, etc.) will receive additional compensation.
To apply, send resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Bruuin/Wisconsin Conference and Jody Pratt /West Mi Conference will be leading a medical/ VBS team of volunteers from July 9-24th, 2015, in Junin rainforest of Peru . Bishop Aguliar ( Peru) has requested a team to hold health /dental clinics and work with 3-4 local churches on a VBS/ laity training. Some Spanish would be helpful but not necessary . Medical background volunteers are preferred but all volunteers applications will be considered .
Applications will be accepted through January 1, 2015 and the team should be in place by February 1, 2015 .
Applications or information please email Jody Pratt , email@example.com , or call 269-792-0481 .
Estimated cost : $1,200 per person plus airfare.
DownRiver UMC, a new church start southwest of Detroit, is looking for a part-time youth director with an entrepreneurial spirit who would thrive being part of a church "under construction." DRUMC is a vital merger of 4+ congregations worshiping in a school auditorium. If you would like more information, please submit a letter of interest and resume via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Donald O. Crumm, Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy and holder of the Conference Cane, grandfather to Rev. Megan J. Walther and grandfather - in - law to Rev. Joel L. Walther [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, September 20, 2014.
Visitation will be held from 2p.m. to 4p.m and from 6p.m to 8p.m on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at the Allen Funeral Home, located at 9136 Davison Road; Davison, MI 48423 (810-653-2171).
Funeral Services will be held at 3p.m Sunday, September 28, 2014 at Goodrich United Methodist Church located at 8071 S. State Road; Goodrich, MI 48438 (810-636-2444). Visitation hour from 2p.m until time of service.
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:
GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
Goodrich UMC Music Program, Heifer International, or the Henderson Settlement of Frakes, Kentucky [P.O. Box 205; Frakes, KY 40940]
Mrs. Phebe N. Studaker, surviving spouse of Rev. Victor L. Studaker, died Monday, September 8, 2014.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. on Wed., September 10, 2014 at Pollock-Randall Funeral Home (912 Lapeer Avenue, Port Huron, MI 48060; Phone: 810-982-0179) with visitation beginning at noon.
Private and public condolences may be shared on the guestbook for Mrs. Studaker at: pollockrandall.com/obituaries/11116/guestbook
Memorials may be made to Judson University, the National Brain Tumor Society, or National Kidney Foundation.
Mrs. Betty Ann Gates, mother of Rev. Peggy A. Katzmark [Former Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Sunday, September 7, 2014.
Visitation will be held Thursday, September 11, 2014 from 2pm to 8pm, and from 10am to 11am Friday, September 12, at the Allen Funeral Home which is located at 9136 Davison Road; Davison, MI 48423 [810-653-2171].
Funeral Service will take place at 11:00am Friday, September 12, 2014 at Allen Funeral Home.
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:
Rev. Peggy & Mr. Kim Katzmark
c/o Robbins UMC
6419 Bunker Road
Eaton Rapids, MI 48827
GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
American Heart Association
PO Box 307
Davison, MI 48423
Rev. Victor L. Studaker [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Funeral Services were held Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at Pollock-Randall Funeral Home located at 912 Lapeer Avenue, Port Huron, MI 48060.
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:
Mrs. Phebe Studaker
2618 W. Water Street
Port Huron, MI 48060
GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
Any of the churches served by Rev. Studaker (Reference the Detroit Annual Conference Journal)
Rev. Clare Patton [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
A Memorial Service will be held in Caro, Michigan at a later date.
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:
Mrs. Louine Patton
153 Palisades Drive
Davenport, FL 33837
Rev. Richard A. Mansfield [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Thursday, August 14, 2014.