Friday, December 26, 2014

Drumroll please....

If you've been following along here on this blog on our social media channels, you know that we mounted a huge year-end giving campaign called #GivingTuesday. We shared the story of our ministry through the words of our volunteers. It was an effort to raise the resources we need to keep our organization going strong, but also to let people know what we do here at UMVIM, SEJ. It was a lot of fun for us, and you responded in a big way...

On #GivingTuesday and all throughout this month, UMVIM, SEJ has received $21,539.94 in gifts, plus $10,150 in matching funds through The Advance

Other gifts received directly to our office include:
$1,870 from local churches.
$1,083 from annual conferences.
$1,900 from individuals.




The total for #GivingTuesday was $31,419.11 (including the matching funds), and that brings the total giving in December to $36,272.11!

To all of you who have given to UMVIM SEJ, we are extremely grateful for your support. Thank you for sharing so generously to our ministry as we work to "transform the world through Christian Love in Action."

2015 has a lot of incredible things in store. Our updated and revised Team Leader Handbook will be here in January, the SEJ Disaster Academy is always a wonderful time of learning and fellowship, and Young People in Mission is sure to be the best yet. As always, we look forward to being part of your mission journey; never hesitate to reach out to let us know how we can serve you.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and blessings in the new year,

Paulette, Landon, Gray, Leslie, Mandy, and Malinda
The Staff of UMVIM, SEJ

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mission Highlight: Feeding Programs in the SEJ



Our 2014 Mission Highlights have featured incredible initiatives across the Southeastern Jurisdiction: rural, urban, disaster, and beyond. As we wrap up the year, we thought the holidays would be the perfect time to highlight a few of the feeding ministries in our jurisdiction.


CROS Food Sorting
This ecumenical ministry serves the children, the elderly and shut-in, and the impoverished in and around its Lake Worth, Florida community. Their efforts reach across multiple platforms and include a food pantry, community kitchen, food delivery, a gleaning initiative, and after-school snacks for school children. They request groups of 10-15 volunteers, and welcome families with young children to help as well! The shifts are no less than 4 hours, so you could consider making CROS one part of a mission opportunity that includes several mission types. They welcome volunteers all year, but the greatest need is during the holidays, November-January. To learn more about volunteering, please click here.



If you are searching for a hands-on mission opportunity, then look no more. Gleaning is the act of manually picking the crops that commercial machines leave behind. Believe it or not, it is a practice that has actually been utilized since ancient times to feed the hungry. To date, approximately 13 million pounds of potatoes and other produce–that would have otherwise gone to waste–has provided about 40 million servings of food for the hungry in Alabama. The Alabama Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers statewide; most gleans begin around 8:00 am and are over by noon, making this an ideal opportunity for local groups or one activity for visiting short-term teams. To learn more, please visit their website

Harvest of Hope
Harvest of Hope, along with the gleaning networks, is another ecumenical ministry of the Society of Saint Andrew. Their goal is to “educate participants concerning the domestic and global hunger problem” and to “encourage them to make lifelong commitments to being part of the solution.” HoH participants learn about the hunger epidemic through multiple hands-on experiences, including the opportunity to glean, worship God with others, classroom study, and they even commit to eating only healthy, nutritious meals during their stay. For more information on participating in a Harvest of Hope session, please click here.
For the rest of our Mission Highlights, please click here. For more mission opportunities across the Southeastern Jurisdiction, please visit our Send a Team page.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 31: Paulette West, Executive Director of UMVIM, SEJ

http://www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission/Search-for-Projects/Projects/901875

#GivingTuesday is HERE! Have you met Paulette West? Her passion for short term missions and dedication to justice brought her to UMVIM, SEJ in 2009 as our Executive Director. Under her direction, thousands upon thousands of volunteers have gone throughout the world, working with viable UMC mission projects to build homes, provide healthcare, establish clean water sources, respond to disasters, and much, much more. They have been led by team leaders who were equipped by UMVIM, SEJ to make the most of their short term mission service, empowering both the team and those whom they serve.


We hope these #UNselfies have helped explain the way we support teams and team leaders as they enter into the short term mission field, and perhaps you now feel led to make a generous #GivingTuesday donation of your own.

It's so easy. Just click here to visit United Methodist Advance #901875. That's it! 100% of your kind donation through the Advance will go to the ministry of UMVIM, SEJ.

We have had so much fun sharing the #UNselfie posters of our volunteers, and we sincerely thank you for following along all month long. We hope you'll continue to stay tuned to our blog for the latest on everything that is happening here at UMVIM!

Monday, December 1, 2014

#GivingTuesday Day 30: Gracie Thull

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday, and as we start to wrap up our campaign, we wanted to share with you one more member of our Young People in Mission Design Team. We are so proud not only of this event, but of the young leaders who take on this event head-first and make it such a success; we just can't help but continue to share these stories with you!

Meet this year's Vice Chair of YPIM, Gracie Thull of Mobile, Alabama:


"Young People In Mission has impacted my life by drawing me closer to Jesus. It has given me the opportunity to share my faith with others in a safe place, and equipped me to go into the world as a representative of Christ. Through YPIM, I have been exposed to the justice issues that the church faces today, and I have engaged in discussions about how to best resolve them with people who specialize in those areas. It has connected me with ways to branch out for Jesus in my own community and around the world through the City of Opportunity event. After being empowered to speak out for Jesus at YPIM, I have returned as a leader in my Christian community, sharing the things I have learned."

Your generous #GivingTuesday donation helps UMVIM keep this event going strong, and it is so easy to donate


Beginning at midnight tonight, just visit Advance #901875, and 100% of your generous donation will go directly to the ministry of UMVIM, SEJ.


The General Board of Global Ministries will match the first $1 million donated through The Advance on #GivingTuesday, up to $2,500 per donor, with a $25,000 maximum per project.

Remember that you can begin donating at midnight TONIGHT! See you tomorrow for one final #GivingTuesday #UNselfie!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

{#Giving Tuesday} Day 29: Carl Presley

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Meet Carl Presley of the North Georgia Annual Conference! (To go ahead and answer the question we know you're subconsciously asking, yes, he is pretty sure that he is distantly related to Elvis!)


We think Carl has one of the coolest jobs ever: he volunteers as one of the chaplains at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. The Interfaith Airport Chaplaincy provides a multicultural ministry in the world's busiest airport. The Atrium Chapel provides a sanctuary for passengers, visitors, and airport and airline employees of all faiths for prayer and meditation. We have so many volunteers here in the Southeast Jurisdiction who travel through this airport each year, and we love knowing that Carl is there to provide spiritual support to any of the 95 million travelers who use this airport annually.

Additionally, Carl donates his time and talents to serve on our Board of Directors as our treasurer. Having someone who is so passionate about ministry work with us means the world to us, and we are so grateful for all he does!

We are so close to #GivingTuesday! It begins at midnight THIS Tuesday! We hope you have been prayerfully considering a donation to UMVIM, SEJ so we can continue our ministry of educating and equipping short-term volunteers. Making a donation is so simple! Just click here to donate through the United Methodist Advance to Project #901875. The General Board of Global Ministries will then match each person's donation up to $2,500, with a $25,000 max per project, totaling $1 millions dollars in donations overall to United Methodist Advance Projects. Unite with other United Methodists this Advent season and be part of this global initiative to rethink how we spend during the holidays. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 28: St. James UMC, Greenville, North Carolina

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

We hope everyone made it through Black Friday and that you are enjoying your Small Business Saturday! 

Today's Giving Tuesday #UNselfie was sent to us from Nan Rogers of St. James UMC in Greenville, North Carolina. This church in the North Carolina Annual Conference has been sending medical teams to serve with the the Boca Costa Medical Mission in Guatemala since 2004. They primarily serve indigenous Mayan villages in the Western part of the country. During their mission earlier this fall, they held clinics in the villages of Paquila and San Antonio, provided children’s fellowship in two Methodist Churches in Paquila and La Toma, provided women’s fellowship in Paquila, painted a rest home in Mazatenango, and spent a day giving music and fellowship for residents of the rest home. 


This is a perfect example of how a mission team can draw upon the strengths of each member to provide more than just one type of service! What a blessing this team is to the Mayans in Guatemala; we look forward to hearing more from St. James as they continue their service in Central America!
 

Stay tuned here on the UMVIM blog and follow us across social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) this month as our #GivingTuesday campaigns continues. For more info on #GivingTuesday and the worldwide ‪#‎UNselfie‬ movement, and to make a donation of your own on December 2, 2014 through the Advance, please click here! The Advance will begin matching donations at 12:01am EST on December 2, 2014! (Up to $1 million dollars  $2500 per donor.)


See you tomorrow for another #GivingTuesday #UNselfie!

Friday, November 28, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 27: Ryan Calhoun

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Today we'd like to introduce you to another member of our Young People in Mission Design Team, a dynamic young man named Ryan Calhoun. 



“The Design Team is the most humbling experience I’ve ever encountered. After attending YPIM for 4 years as a camper, seeing what happens behind the scenes and how much hard work and dedication goes into making this event possible has humbled me like nothing else before it.”

Thank you Ryan for the countless hours you have poured into making Young People in Mission such a success, we can't wait to see you at Lake J in 2015!

For more information on Young People in Mission, including registration information, please click here!


Stay tuned here on the UMVIM blog and follow us across social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) this month as our #GivingTuesday campaigns continues. For more info on #GivingTuesday and the worldwide ‪#‎UNselfie‬ movement, and to make a donation of your own on December 2, 2014 through the Advance, please click here! The Advance will begin matching donations at 12:01am EST on December 2, 2014! (Up to $1 million dollars  $2500 per donor.)

See you tomorrow for another #GivingTuesday #UNselfie!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 25: Butch Huffman

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Meet Butch Huffman, a missionary from the North Carolina Annual Conference. His ministry, By Da Sea, connects UMVIM volunteers with vital projects throughout Jamaica and Haiti. Additionally, he also has extensive experience working with disaster response and has worked with MERCI (Marion Edward Recovery Center Inc.) for many years. Butch was once the North Carolina Conference UMVIM Coordinator, and he now serves on our Board of Directors as the Administration Chair and Jurisdictional Disaster Response Team Chair.



Thank you Butch for understanding the importance of UMVIM, SEJ and being such a wonderful supporter of our organization!


Stay tuned here on the UMVIM blog and follow us across social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) this month as our #GivingTuesday campaigns continues. For more info on #GivingTuesday and the worldwide ‪#‎UNselfie‬ movement, and to make a donation of your own on December 2, 2014 through the Advance, please click here! The Advance will begin matching donations at 12:01am EST on December 2, 2014! (Up to $1 million dollars  $2500 per donor.)



See you tomorrow for another #GivingTuesday #UNselfie!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 24: English Speaking United Methodist Church, Prague, Czech Republic

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

We are 3 weeks into our #GivingTuesday campaign, and one week from today is December 2nd...the big day! 

We love today's #UNselfie, sent it to us by Betty Yeomans-Barton of the UMC Johnson City District in East Tennessee. We'll turn it over to Betty and let her tell you a little more about this trans-Atlantic #UNselfie!



"This is an international #UNselfie via Skype between myself (upper right-hand corner) and the Redmond family – John, Denise, Eli and Ada. The Redmonds moved to Prague, Czech Republic in August 2014 to take over leadership of the English Speaking United Methodist Church (ESUMC) Prague (Advance #3021543). This church came about as part of an In Mission Together partnership between the Johnson City District and Czech Republic District. It was launched in 2011 by Rev. Michelle McKinnon-Young and her husband Gary Young. After three years in Prague, they returned to the US this summer and the Redmonds took their place.

John was licensed as a local pastor in June, and this is his first appointment. Denise is serving as his assistant, and their son and daughter, Eli and Ada, are enrolled in Czech preschool in Prague.

In addition to weekly worship services, ESUMC has an English Club ministry for Czech mothers and their children, and a ministry with college students who live in a dorm on the church campus.

As Office Administrator for the Johnson City District, I am honored to be part of their state-side support staff, assisting in fund-raising, marketing, travel arrangements and more. We have plans to send UMVIM teams to Prague in the coming year to help them with remodeling their sanctuary space, and to conduct Vacation Bible School.

You can learn more about ESUMC Prague on their website: www.esumcprague.org."

UMVIM, SEJ takes full advantage of the connectional system of the United Methodist Church by working with conferences, districts, churches, individual volunteers and pastors the world over, and empowering their programs by sending trained, equipped teams to serve with them. We love this #UNselfie this story because it is just another example of United Methodists connecting and, well, uniting!

Betty, John, Denise, Eli, Ada, and everyone else in the Johnson City and Czech Republic Districts, thank you for what you are doing to show Christian Love in Action! We are happy and humbled to do serve with you and look forward to being part of sending teams to serve in Eastern Europe!

Stay tuned here on the UMVIM blog and follow us across social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) this month as our #GivingTuesday campaigns continues. For more info on #GivingTuesday and the worldwide ‪#‎UNselfie‬ movement, and to make a donation of your own on December 2, 2014 through the Advance, please click here! The Advance will begin matching donations at 12:01am EST on December 2, 2014! (Up to $1 million dollars  $2500 per donor.)

See you tomorrow for another #GivingTuesday #UNselfie!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

{#GivingTuesday) Day 22: Marisa Duber and the Monticello UMC Student Ministry

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Welcome back to the UMVIM #GivingTuesday campaign! Today we would like to introduce you to yet another student who participates in our Young People in Mission event. 



"Young People in Mission has impacted my life in such a positive way. I've been going for four years and I grow in my faith more every year. If not for YPIM I honestly have no idea where I would be in my faith, probably down a path I didn't need to be down, doing things that aren't pleasing to God. YPIM also opened my heart up to mission and helped me realize what I wanted to do with my life, it made me realize how much I can do while still doing God's work. I've been so blessed with my experiences there and being given the chance to be apart of the Design Team. Being able to plan the event that in a way saved my walk and my future with God is such an amazing chance and I only hope more young people are changed the same way I am and that they fall in love with the camp and the atmosphere the same way I did." - Marisa Duber

It humbling for us as a ministry to hear words like this from a young person! Marisa, you are an amazing young woman, and thank you for being such an integral part of Young People in Mission! We can't wait to see you and the entire Monticello UMC student ministry next summer.

Stay tuned here on the UMVIM blog and follow us across social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) this month as our #GivingTuesday campaigns continues. For more info on #GivingTuesday and the worldwide ‪#‎UNselfie‬ movement, and to make a donation of your own on December 2, 2014 through the Advance, please click here! The Advance will begin matching donations at 12:01am EST on December 2, 2014! (Up to $1 million dollars  $2500 per donor.)

For more information on the 2015 Young People in Mission event, please click here.




Thursday, November 20, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 19: Devon Dollar

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

It's hard to believe that one week from today is Thanksgiving! Our #GivingTuesday campaign has been so much fun for us, and we hope you are enjoying it as well!

We are very excited about today's #UNselfie, because not only does it give us yet another opportunity for the story of our ministry to be told...but it also correlates with some exciting updates you'll see over on our website!

Meet Devon Dollar. She's a college student in Jackson, Mississippi, and is the Chairperson of the 2015 Young People in Mission Design Team. Young People in Mission is an event where youth and young adults from across our jurisdiction come together to become the trained, equipped leaders of the next generation heading into the mission field. Each year has a different theme and is put together by a group of young people called the Design Team. They work hard all year long to find speakers and workshop leaders across the United Methodist connection who have powerful messages that resonate with and inspire the young people of today.


http://umvim.org/go/youth-young-adults/young_people_in_mission/


"YPIM has impacted my life in so many ways, but the biggest impact would have to be the opportunity to be around so many people that show me how to be the best version of myself. I get to be around people who love to love the Lord just as much or more than I do. That is refreshing to see and be around for a short time each summer. YPIM has also shaped me to become a leader, something that I did not know I was. Being on the Design Team has brought me out of my shell a lot, but what is most important to me is the friendships that I have formed over the years attending YPIM. It is my safe place. A place where I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is always with me. When I say place, I mean it’s wherever YPIM is being held, the people that attend are what makes YPIM so special."

Your #GivingTuesday donation helps keeps programs like Young People in Mission thriving. Like all other aspects of our ministry, we simply wouldn't exist with your prayers and support!

Head over to the Young People in Mission page on our website, the new updated information for 2015 is live! And check out the series of posts about our 2014 event starting here to give you an idea of how amazing these 4 days each summer are to young people in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.

Stay tuned here on the UMVIM blog and follow us across social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) this month as our #GivingTuesday campaigns continues. For more info on #GivingTuesday and the worldwide ‪#‎UNselfie‬ movement, and to make a donation of your own on December 2, 2014 through the Advance, please click here!

*(GBGM will begin matching donations at midnight EST on December 2, 2014, up to $1 million dollars, max $2500 per donor.)

Friday, November 14, 2014

{#Giving Tuesday} Day 13: David Newton

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Happy Friday, and welcome to Day 13 of our #GivingTuesday campaign!

Meet David Newton, the UMVIM Coordinator of the Mississippi Annual Conference and member of Dantzler Memorial First United Methodist Church. 



We are so appreciative of David's commitment to every aspect of short-term missions, and his #UNselfie posters perfectly says what our goal is for every mission opportunity that we have a part in putting together. Thank you David for ALL that you do for us at UMVIM, you are a blessing beyond words to our ministry!

Your generous contribution on #GivingTuesday, December 2, helps us train and equip volunteers to make the most of their mission experience. We offer team leader training, health insurance, and a multitude of resources pulled from what we've learned in 30+ years of being on the short-term mission field. 

Stay tuned here on the UMVIM blog and follow us across social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) this month as our #GivingTuesday campaigns continues. For more info on #GivingTuesday and the worldwide ‪#‎UNselfie‬ movement, and to make a matched donation* of your own on December 2, 2014 through the Advance, please click here!

*(GBGM will begin matching donations at midnight EST on December 2, 2014, up to $1 million dollars, max $2500 per donor.)