Tuesday, November 4, 2014

{Mission Highlight} Urban Mission Opportunities Within the Southeastern Jurisdiction

The following mission opportunities across the Southeastern Jurisdiction specifically serve urban neighborhoods and communities. As with most mission opportunities on our SEJ Project List, teams with all levels of skills and abilities are necessary to help carry out the good work of each of these initiatives. Read on to learn a little more about these six projects, and then check out the Mission Highlights section for other Mission Opportunities we have featured. All UMVIM Mission Opportunities can be found by clicking here

Rebuilding Together*Tri-Cities; Petersburg, Virginia
Two full decades ago this ministry started small, in fact the organization began as just a one-time "Christmas in April" event. That day in April, 1994 breathed life into a full-fledged neighborhood revitalization ministry in the areas in and around Petersburg, Virginia. They serve the city's low-income homeowners by providing repair and preservation to keep their homes safe, dry and warm. Small teams and volunteers are encouraged to sign up for Rebuilding Days to assist in repairs ranging from major to minor.

Government Street UMCMobile, Alabama
A thriving "bee hive" in inner-city Mobile is a congregation with a heart of service. They engage in the surrounding areas with sustainable programs such as growing community gardens, hosting disaster response teams, serving meals and putting on backyard Bible clubs. UMVIM teams with carpentry, plumbing or electrical skills are welcome to work with more advanced repair projects, and they can host larger teams of up to 30 members. 

Dumas Wesley Center; Mobile, Alabama
One of the oldest projects on the SEJ Mission Opportunity List is this 112-year old Center serving the Crichton area of Mobile, Alabama. Their mission is to educate, empower and enrich the community around them. They strive to meet immediate needs, promote healthy families, and strengthen each person they serve. Specifically, their programs encompass everything from educational opportunities, food and clothing initiatives, elderly/senior care and support, and home repairs. Dumas accepts UMVIM teams of up to 10 to assist with a variety of these ministries, however they request adult teams only.

Service Over Self; Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is home to rock-n-roll, great BBQ, the blues...and SOS, a ministry of Christ United Methodist Church. Since 1986 they have been working with low-income homeowners in the Binghampton and Orange Mound neighborhoods, meeting basic needs, developing the communities, and providing a loving Christian presence. Their holistic mission model stresses that sharing the Gospel is done by both word and deed, and volunteering with SOS means you'll be repairing homes and enriching lives. SOS can accommodate large teams, and the tuition for their summer/spring break work camps covers lodging, supplies, programs, and almost all meals. 

Urban Ministry; Birmingham, Alabama 
Urban Ministry is located in the heart of Birmingham's West End community and their initiatives are felt across the city: their community gardens service local farmers markets and restaurants and teaches healthy eating habits to the locals, their food pantry and kitchen meet the most basic of needs, Urban Kids provides after-school and summer programs for the local children, and Church Without Walls was established to be a church for and among the impoverished. The Joe Rush Center offers summer mission camps and year-round complete mission experiences (including weekends, mid-week, and alternative spring break) tailored for your group of adults, college students, senior high or junior high.

Community Enabler Developer; Anniston, Alabama
Community Enabler has gone through several transitions over their storied 42-year history, but the heart of their organization remains the same, "enabling the community to become sensitized to the needs of the poor and to participate in public and private advocacy for the disadvantaged." Executive Director Maudine Holloway enthusiastically declares that "anything we can do to help [a person in the community], we will," which sometimes means even partnering with other non-profits in their city. Last year they served over 6,000 low or no-income people across Calhoun County, and their dedication to their community recently earned them the United Way National Award of Excellence. Opportunities for small groups to serve here are year-round and based on current needs, which could include home repair, yard work, or preparing holiday food baskets.  

All of these wonderful mission organizations depend on UMVIM teams and volunteers to help them carry out their good work. UMVIM, SEJ is here to serve you by offering resources such as Team Leading Training, developed over the last 3 decades of our organization's work in the short-term mission field. We also offer incredible team health insurance coverage for a nominal price. Let us empower you to make the most of your mission opportunity for your team and those you are serving. Check out our website for more info on how to get started, or call our office and talk to anyone on our staff to learn more.

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