Prayers for Japan

Many have emailed our office expressing concern for Japan and what can be done to help.  Right now, we are referring all volunteers to the information that the United Methodist Committee on Relief has distributed. Below is a compilation of their responses.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is serving as the denomination’s conduit for financial contributions. A request for an offering on March 20 is being made by the denomination’s Council of Bishops. To give, click here: Pacific Emergency Advance number is 3021317. One hundred percent of every Advance gift goes to the designated cause.

“Our emergency relief and long-term rehabilitation in Japan will involve our long-term mission partners with whom many of our missionaries and other mission personnel already work,” said Thomas Kemper, general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, of which UMCOR is a part. “Japan is a highly developed nation, and we will depend heavily on our partners to help us focus our resources in areas of greatest need.”

The situation in Japan at present is not conducive to relief volunteers coming in from other countries. Neither UMCOR nor the General Board of Global Ministries facilitates volunteers in disaster zones unless they are requested by local partners or government agencies. No such requests have been received to date from Japan. 

Relief Supplies:
The situation in Japan following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami remains volatile because of uncertainty about radiation from the damaged nuclear reactors.

UMCOR welcomes layette and school kits but is uncertain whether or where such items will be permitted to enter Japan. Any kits received will be distributed where they are most needed in the world.

The Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey, UMCOR’s top executive, urged prayers for those affected by the disaster. “Once again, in the wake of disaster and in the face of widespread need, we rely on the ever-expansive generosity of United Methodists and all people of goodwill to help us respond to those whose lives have suddenly been turned upside down,” she said.

To give, click here

Alabama Rural Ministries Accepting Summer Teams

Alabama Rural Ministries is still accepting team registrations for 2011.

Alabama Rural Ministry coordinates home repair efforts and children’s day camps in rural parts of Alabama. We are interdenominational but are connected to the United Methodist Church. All denominations are welcome to come and serve!

“For the service that you give is not only supplying the needs of everyone but is an expression of many thanks to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11-12

Home Repair – The ARM staff assists teams coming to do home repair by purchasing materials, introducing teams to their families, and serving as technical assistants. Typical ARM projects include repairing and/or replacing roofs, ceilings, floors and walls. We also build steps and wheelchair ramps for elderly or disabled individuals. We match our projects with the skills of our volunteers, maximizing the services we are able to provide. Our service extends to plumbing and electrical work when our volunteers are able to do such work. If you are involved in a group with any of these skills, please consider a trip to ARM to help the elderly and disabled families of rural Alabama.

Day Camps – Teams working with the day camp work with the ARM day camp staff to plan Bible studies, songs, recreation activities and much more! Day camps are run similarly to Vacation Bible Schools and other day camp programs. Our volunteers are able to enhance the children’s experiences through interaction, whether it be fellowship, playing games, going on field trips, or presenting Bible stories and devotions. The children of the Sonshine Day Camp are truly remarkable in their ability to show love to so many volunteers that come in and out of their lives each summer. We invite anyone with a love for children to join us for this amazing experience this summer.

ARM is an UMVIM GO! Project Site-

Tuskegee Site (Home Repair Only):

Week long dates: June 12-18, 19-25, 26-July 2, July 10-16, 24-30

Weekend dates: June 22-26, 29-July 3, July 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-31

Livingston Site (Home Repair and Day Camp):

May 29-June 4

If your team is interested in serving with ARM- please contact Beth Ann Hopkins at for more information.

If your youth group is interested in serving with ARM as a GO! Team, please contact Lauren Roden at

Friendly Reminder About Forms

With Spring Break quickly approaching, we understand that many teams will be going out to serve and we ask that the Team Roster/Payment form and Project Commitment form are returned to our office at least 2 weeks prior to departure.

Our office is here to serve and equip our volunteers and we strive to do so in the most efficient way possible. Your help in sending the forms to us in a timely manner will help us in serving all of our teams and team leaders more effectively.

Simply paying online does not register your team.

If you choose to fill out the forms online, please save the document and email them to us. Or you can print and fax/mail the forms to us.

We are thrilled that so many volunteers are choosing to spend their vacation time in service to others. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate in emailing us at or calling us at 205.453.9480.

Mutual Empowerment Seminar

May 12-14, 2011 SIFAT Training Campus

This workshop is an invitation to mission volunteers to:
-Engage in reflection and dialogue about the impacts of volunteer service: who is impacted and how?
-“Consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds”
(Hebrews 10:24) for lasting change
-Explore key components of mutual empowerment:
-community development and appropriate technology for impoverished      communities
-spiritual transformation for volunteers-seeing the world with new eyes

The target participants are United Methodist volunteers interested in the concepts of community development including health, agriculture, water, sanitation and appropriate technology. Emphasis is working WITH the impoverished of our world, both locally and globally and in spiritual growth for volunteers.

Please click here for more information:

SEJ Disaster Academy

April 11-14, 2011

Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center
707 Fourth St.
Blackstone, VA 23824
Everyone is invited but Conference Disaster Response and UMVIM Coordinators
are encouraged to attend.
For questions, call VUMAC at 434.292.5308

Nicaragua Connection

Nicaragua Connection

April 28, 2011 – April 30, 2011

Christ United Methodist Church
44 Highland Road
Bethel Park, PA 15102

WPA Nicaragua Partnership will be sponsoring a “Nicaragua Connection” at Christ UM Church in Bethel Park (Pittsburgh area), PA.  The group is endeavoring to get the word out to anyone who MIGHT be interested and would appreciate your help in passing this information on to other persons who may be interested.
Please click the link below for more information about this event.
If you have questions, contact Rich Schall at
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission


Updated Website

I am thrilled to announce that our new website is now live!
Please check it out:
Also please bear with me as I am working on any glitches that come up!
The new forms and insurance rates are listed on the website and are now in effect.

You will find that the navigation is a little different– I tried to make it as seamless as possible.

We also now have a blog:
Check it regularly for updates and stories.
To submit stories, pictures or videos, please email our office.
I would love your feedback or to answer any questions you may have.
You can contact me at:
Don’t forget to connect with us through facebook and twitter too!
Cristin Farrington, Communication Director