The global connection
EARTHQUAKE – Five years later, quake-stricken Haiti continues to be a magnet for United Methodist volunteers who speak of the enormous needs there and also of the spiritual return they themselves receive.
Dale Stickel, a retired engineer and member of Faith UMC, Goshen, Indiana, has made 14 trips.
“I go back just to get re-grounded in what really is important in our materialistic world, and to enjoy fellowshipping and worshipping,” Stickel said.
At least one Oklahoma Volunteers In Mission team is scheduled to serve in Haiti this year.
HEALTHY CLERGY – A handful of Holston Conference pastors got a head start on the frequent New Year’s resolution to exercise. They started CrossFit workouts several months ago.
All said that participating in a community outside of their clergy responsibilities filled a deep need.
For Andrew Amodei, the development of personal discipline is as much a spiritual exercise as physical. “The fad may be the means, but the transformation taking place is making a significant impact on people’s lives.”
He believes that being trained to push beyond his personal limits has fortified him to navigate the future of a local church formerly in debt and of a flood-damaged camp.
RACE RELATIONS – This month, human (race) relations focuses the General Commission on Race and Relations’ Vital Conversations Project.
On Facebook, Twitter, and its website, GCORR is connecting people to examine what’s behind civil unrest (in communities such as Ferguson, Mo.); how to move past stereotypes; global racism; and positive contributions being made across the Church. Join the conversation. http://gcorr.org/
YOUTUBE – “Chuck Knows Church,” an online video series by the denomination’s Discipleship Ministries, expanded this month. Chuck joined “The Committee,” a group working to save a fictitious congregation that has lost its way, lost its pastor, and is closing its doors ... unless it finds a new way, with the help of Chuck, of course. The original Chuck Knows Church series also continues.
COLLEGE LOANS — The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry is accepting loan applications until May 5 for its next round of higher education assistance. Dreamers, young adults who were unauthorized immigrants brought into the United States as children, are newly eligible for such loans.
(Sources: United Methodist News Service and Interpreter magazine)