Tuesday, May 19, 2015

{Guest Blogger} UMVIM Staffer Serves in Cuba

UMVIM staff member Leslie Bethea had a unique opportunity to join with a team from the South Carolina Annual Conference on an UMVIM mission to Cuba. This 10-member team was led by former UMVIM, SEJ Executive Director Rev. Nick Elliot. Read on for a little more about Leslie’s time in this country that is still relatively uncharted for most Americans!
Leslie (middle, in the black shirt) with her fellow teammates from the South Carolina Conference.

“We arrived in Havana and took about a 2 and a half hour drive to a Methodist Church where several team members had served before. This was my first time in Cuba, and I was inspired to see how joyful the people were, and I do not mean only the ones we met at the church!
The church where the team worked, ate, and slept.
UMVIM always emphasizes the importance of relationship-building while serving on mission opportunities; we slept, worked, and ate our meals at the church where we served. It was the most "togetherness" I have ever experienced while serving on a team. Our interpreter, Alba, was so great that I do not think any of us missed the messages in the Bible lessons or church services in which we were a part. We also witnessed the baptism a one-year-old boy, which was incredible to experience.

Please join me in prayer for our close Southern neighbors...daily!"
Thank you Leslie for not only giving your time to sustainable projects in the Cuba and sharing your heart with us, but also for all you do to keep our office running smoothly!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

5 Reasons to Sign Up for Young People in Mission

Young People in Mission

June 28-July 2, 2015
Lake Junaluska, North Carolina

Young People in Mission is a camp experience held 

at beautiful Lake Junaluska that provides hands-on mission opportunities for youth and young adults. Our hope is that this event serves as a launch to empower them to serve with new eyes and a heart for Christ. Each year, young people serve with local mission projects, worship together, fellowship and grow with family groups, dive into Bible studies, and learn from featured speakers and the City of Opportunity.

Here are 5 reasons to sign up your youth or young adult ministry TODAY!

1. YPIM is produced every year not by us here at UMVIM, but by 7 students from around the Jurisdiction. These students are YPIM veterans; they understand the way this event has impacted their lives in tremendous ways and work together all year to bring the same experience to your students. What better way for the participants to be ministered to than by their own peers? Click here to learn more about these dynamic young leaders!

2. This event is geared towards the Next Generation of the United Methodist Church. We utilize the connectional nature of our denomination and connect your students to leaders, projects, and Boards and Agencies within the UMC. We offer dozens of workshops for your students to choose from, and the City of Opportunity allows participants to connect further with the intention of engaging them in projects and initiatives that are of interest to them. It is also a fun time of fellowship, featuring as many sno-cones and rounds of dodgeball you could want! Click here to learn more about these connectional opportunities!

3. UMVIM emphasizes the importance of connecting with sustainable mission projects, and continuing a holistic relationship with them that is giving of energy, resources, prayer, and people. And this wouldn't be a mission camp if we didn't let everyone get their hands dirty, after all. There will be two days where participants can plug into local service projects and show Christian Love in Action! Click here to see some of the ways previous campers have served the local community!

4. This event gives participants the opportunity to worship and learn as a group in morning and evening sessions, as well as connect with each other on a closer level in Family Groups. Each student will be assigned to a Family Group with others their own age and gender that will be led by an adult participant, allowing a safe place to share whatever is on their hearts. Click here for more information on the amazing speakers we have lined up for this year!

5. If any of your students feel led to work with YPIM on a deeper level, we hope that they will apply for a position on the 2016 Design Team. It's an incredible way for them to develop their leadership skills and connect with peers from all over the Southeast. More information about the selection process will be available at the event. Click here to learn more about what a great opportunity this is for your students!

So are you ready to sign up?! We hope so, because we'd love to see you and your entire student ministry at Lake J this summer. 

Signing up couldn't be easier.
Just click here to go to our Cost and Registration page and you'll see everything you need to know. 
If you have questions about any part of YPIM or how to register, all you have to do is call or email us

PS: Like everyone else, we appreciate a good t-shirt. Every participant will get this YPIM tee so that we can continue to share that we are all UNIQUE...yet UNITED

Photos courtesy of Jack Hinnen, Allen B., and Olivia S.