Thursday, November 21, 2013


Tuesday, December 3, is a matching-gift day for United Methodists.  The following text explains and can be re-formatted slightly for a two-column, 8-1/2x11" page, and as with the other articles, printed back-to-back, to produce two handouts per page.


UMC #Giving Tuesday December 3, 2013


On December 3, the UMC General Board of Global Ministries will match gifts made online by credit card to any project through The Advance.

The Advance is our church’s giving channel that ensures that 100% of each gift supports the project designated by the donor. More than 850 Methodist-related projects and more than 300 missionaries are supported by The Advance; all of them have gone through a rigorous review process and are account-able for how funds are used.

GBGM will match dollar-for-dollar the first $500,000 in gifts to Advance projects given online on the 3rd between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST, using a credit card. Some of the Advance projects are:

UMCOR’s Phillipine outreach: #982450             Stop Hunger Now: #982795                              Maua Hospital the critically ill: #09613A         AIDS Orphans Project, Maua Hospital: #140161

A complete list is available online.









Process for making a contribution

1.      Log onto website

2.      Enter the Advance number into the search box—or search using a key word like “Maua,” for example.

3.      Click on the name of the Advance project (usually in a blue font). Once you hit enter, you will be taken to a page that will provide information for that specific ministry or “Advance.”

4.      On the right hand side of the page, you will see a red button with white letters “GIVE NOW.”

5.      Click on the red box and you will be taken to the donation page where the name of the Advance has already been filled in. Here you will enter your credit card information, your name, address and other information.

6.      Be sure to hit the “SUBMIT” button at the bottom of the screen. Once you do this, wait for about a minute while the donation is being processed. You will get an acceptance message when the transaction is completed.

Note: The credit card fee will be paid by the UMC.




Monday, November 11, 2013


I'm sure you know about this dreadful storm that has left such devastation in the Phillipines and now has hit Vietnam. UMCOR, our UMC relief organization, is there, mobilizing aid for the victims of this typhoon that is possibly the most powerful one ever to hit land. To support UMCOR--where every penny goes to relief--you may send checks to Advance Project #982450 directly or through your church. The Advance address is General Board of Global Ministries, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 350, New York, NY 10115.

You may also prepare any of the UMCOR kits and send to an UMCOR depot. There are numerous depots in the U.S.; you can find them listed under UMCOR depots, on-line. Handouts containing instructions for cleaning buckets, school and health kits are available at this blogsite.


I encourage you to read November's response magazine, which deals with this theme: our Native American heritage. Good articles. Using the prayer from Boe Harris in the magazine and a piece from the mission study of 2008, I have prepared text for a handout that may be helpful. With some manipulation of margins and the "copy" function of the wonderful computer, you can design a three-column, back-to-back piece for distribution.

                               NATIVE AMERICAN                        

Native American Ten Commandments

The Earth is our mother. Comfort her.

Honor all your relations.

Open your heart and soul to the Great Spirit.

All Life is sacred. Treat all beings with respect.

Take from the Earth what is needed and nothing more.

Do what needs to be done for the good of all.

Give constant thanks to the Great Spirit for each day.

Speak the truth but only of the good in others.

Follow the rhythm of Nature. Rise and retire with the Sun.

Enjoy Life’s journey but leave no tracks.


 Dancing the People’s Prayers

“Feet dancing gently upon Earth Mother. Each foot stepping lightly as jingles, lovingly sewn on the healing dance dress, sing out the prayers of the people.

“This prayer is for her, this one for him. Some for sons, others for daughters. Prayers filled with tears from mothers, heartfelt prayers of fathers. Each jingle a special prayer, no prayer greater than the other. Each jingle sings, as they hit one another and a chorus of requests for healing and safety of warriors far away are lifted up to Creator, carried on the beat of the drum, given life by dancing feet upon the earth.

“Creator, we dance for healing. Hear the prayers that the jingles sing out to you. We dance the prayers of your people.”


Boe Harris  
 Turtle Mountain Chippewa/Spirit Lake Dakota Northeast Jurisdiction 
From Voices of Native American Women, Delrayne Roy, editor
United Methodist Women, publisher



Thursday, November 7, 2013


December 14 will be the one-year anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The General Board of Church & Society of The United Methodist Church has provided a document that can be reproduced and distributed as a church bulletin insert or distributed in other appropriate venues. Because of my lack of abilities with "pdf" documents, I cannot post a copy of this excellent piece by Bill Mefford, director of civil and human rights of GBCS. However, if you will send me a request by e-mail, I will forward the message to you--or perhaps you can find it at

The insert lists the names of the victims and their ages: all of the 20 children were six or seven years old. The text also gives a prayer that speaks to God of our concern for all families and communities that are victimized by gun violence and asks for moral courage for all of us to work toward eliminating gun violence.

Additionally the insert points out several significant facts.

If you can’t use the entire document, you may use the following text, which is taken from that larger one and may be re-formatted into a two-column, landscape document for distribution among UMW members or the congregation at large. You will likely need to adjust the margins and some settings, including separating the text for two columns which will enable you to print these back-to-back.


December 14 will be the one-year anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Violence--particularly violence to children--continues to be a primary concern for United Methodists. In the name of Christ who came "and proclaimed peace to you" and challenged all his disciples to be peacemakers, we call upon the church to affirm its faith through vigorous efforts to curb and eliminate gun violence.

 Following is a list of those whose lives were violently ended by the gunman who then took his own life, the children listed first.

Charlotte Bacon          Catherine Hubbard                 Jack Pinto
Daniel Barden             Chase Kowalski                      Noah Pozner
Olivia Engel                Jesse Lewis                             Caroline Previdi
Josephine Gay             James Mattioli                        Jessica Rekos
Ana Marquez-Greene              Grace McDonnell        Aveille Richman
Dylan Hockley            Emilie Parker                         Benjamin Wheeler
Madeleine Hsu                                                            Allison Wyatt

 Dawn Hochsprung      Lauren Rousseau                     Nancy Lanza
                                                                                (mother of gunman)
Rachel Davino             Mary Sherlach                         Adam Lanza              
Anne Marie Murphy   Victoria Soto                          

Let us pray.  Creator God, we pray today not only for the peace and comfort for the families, friends, and neighbors of those who died in the shooting but also for the Newtown community and for our nation. We pray for the Church to be a vessel of peace and healing in the midst of gun violence wherever it occurs. We pray also for those families and communities that are victimized by gun violence but are out of the glare and concern of the eye of the national media and so for whom our nation does not mourn. Finally, we pray for the moral courage for our elected leaders to do everything in their power to end gun violence. Amen.           

----second column----

Putting Our Faith into Action

Preventing gun violence is multifaceted,

but some steps can lessen the number of gun-related deaths.

Currently, 40% of all gun purchases are made without any background checks. Studies show fewer guns are linked to crime when there background checks are performed, where there is oversight of gun dealers and coordination between state and local law enforcement.
There is a link between violence and substance abuse. A 1997 study by the U.S. Dept. of Justice found that over 50% of violence crimes were committed while the perpetrator was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Abused women are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser owns a gun. A 1991 study showed that of the abusers who killed their partners with guns, over 60% used drugs or alcohol that same day.
Of the people who have mental illness, an overwhelming number are not prone to violence.  So in many ways, these two issues are not linked at all. Among the small number of those who have mental illness and who commit gun violence, most experts agree the answer is greater access to mental health services.

The assault weapon ban had an impact on decreasing gun crimes. Following the end of the 1994-2004 ban on some types of assault weapons, a study showed that the ban had a small but real impact on decreasing gun crimes particularly those involving assault weapons. Authors of the study said that a ban involving more types of assault weapons and on high-capacity magazines would have a greater impact on limiting gun-related violence.
Studies linking gun violence and video games and movies is at best mixed. Some studies show that playing violent video games and watching such movies leads to more aggressive behavior. Others, however, show less of a link. No study revealed that violent media reduced gun-related violence.

For more information on how you can help prevent gun violence, contact Bill Mefford, Director, Civil & Human Rights,GBCS of The United Methodist Church.



Wednesday, October 16, 2013



  UMCOR Birthing Kit  (Value $8)

Birthing kits provide the essential items to promote a safe, clean delivery and to encourage good aftercare.

Place these items inside a sealed one-gallon plastic bag.

  • 1 pair of clean latex gloves
  • 1 hotel-size bar of soap (1 oz. and up)
  • 1 square yard of clear 4 mil plastic sheeting
  • 3 pieces of clean string, each 12” long
  • 1 clean single use razor blade (wrapped in paper or plastic to protect it and keep it from causing injury)
  • 2 flannelette receiving blankets, each 1 square yard

Important Notes:

  • All items must be NEW.  
  • All emergency kits are carefully planned to make them usable in the greatest number of situations. Since strict rules often govern entry into international countries, it is important that kits contain only the requested items--nothing more.  
  • Do NOT include any personal notes, money or additional materials in the kits. These things will be painstakingly removed and will delay the shipment.

Processing & Shipping Costs: Please enclose an envelope containing at least $1 for each kit you send. This donation enables UMCOR to send the kits immediately to areas in need.

You may prefer to send $12 to UMCOR, 475 Riverside Drive, #1520, New York, NY 10115. Include an extra dollar for shipping.... Or you may contribute on-line at


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

UMC Social Creed and Litany

We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of creation. We believe in the Holy Spirit, through whom we acknowledge God’s gifts, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts to idolatrous ends.

We affirm the natural world as God’s handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind.

We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage, and the family.

We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons.

We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; in the rights to property as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and responsible consumption; and in the elimination of economic and social distress.

We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world.

We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world. Amen.

(It is recommended that this statement of Social Principles be continually available to United Methodist Christians and that it be emphasized regularly in every congregation. It is further recommended that “Our Social Creed” be frequently used in Sunday worship.)


God in the Spirit revealed in Jesus Christ, calls us by grace
to be renewed in the image of our Creator,
that we may be one
in divine love for the world.

Today is the day God cares for the integrity of creation, wills the healing and wholeness of all life,
weeps at the plunder of earth’s goodness.
And so shall we.

Today is the day God embraces all hues of humanity, delights in diversity and difference, favors solidarity transforming strangers into friends.
And so shall we.

Today is the day God cries with the masses of starving people, despises growing disparity between rich and poor, demands justice for workers in the marketplace.
And so shall we.

Today is the day God deplores violence in our homes and streets,
rebukes the world’s warring madness, humbles the powerful and lifts up the lowly.
And so shall we.

Today is the day God calls for nations and peoples to live in peace, celebrates where justice and mercy embrace,  exults when the wolf grazes with the lamb.
And so shall we.

Today is the day God brings good news to the poor, proclaims release to the captives,
gives sight to the blind, and sets the oppressed free.
And so shall we

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Voter I.D. Law in Texas


Another issue that we discussed at the Texas Interfaith Advocacy Conference was the voter I.D. law, which will be a serious impediment to hundreds of voters who do not already have a photo I.D. Because 80 counties in Texas have no Department of Public Safety, where they can get an approved State I.D., people in those counties may have to travel 100 miles and over to a DPS office to get an acceptable I.D. And then the I.D. will be good only for voting; it will not be a valid identification for any other activity.
 Having a voter registration certificate (voter registration card) is better. This card is available through the voter’s county Election Administration office—and every county has such an office.  This voter registration card can be used as identification in any situation—so we need to urge people to register to vote so they will have a widely accepted form of identification.
HOWEVER, as of now the voter must also have photo identification; a voter registration certificate alone is not sufficient. One must have a photo I.D. and the acceptable photo ID’s are:
·         Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
·         Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
·         Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
·         Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
·         United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
·         United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
·         United States passport
If a voter has ONE of these photo I.D.’s, no other identification is required; however, four of the acceptable photo I.D.’s are available only through the DPS office—therefore, many, many voters must travel many miles to get acceptable identification. And, with the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.
Another issue with identification is that if a voter has the voter registration certificate and so must present also a photo I.D., the names on the two pieces must clearly refer to the same person. So—for example—if one piece has a woman’s first and maiden name and the other has her first and married name without reference to the maiden name, then the judge may refuse to accept the I.D.’s.  The woman could still vote a provisional ballot but not a regular ballot. It will be best if both names are exactly the same.
The legality of this voter I.D. requirement is still in question, but as of now it is law. As social action advocates, we need to be sure all voters know to be prepared when they next go to the polls.



Thursday, September 5, 2013

No Fear: Conference on Election Year Advocacy/Texas Interfaith

On August 18 and 19, I attended the conference led by the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy and held at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary: NO FEAR: Election Year Advocacy for Individuals and Communities of Faith. The Center’s first-ever conference on election-year advocacy was designed to help participants frame the connections between faith, politics, and public policy.  Conference speakers were: Peggy Fikac of the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle; Ben Philpott, KUT News and Texas Tribune; Joshua Houston, Texas Interfaith Center/Texas Impact staff attorney; Carolyn Boyle, chair of Texas Parent PAC; Froswa’ Booker-Drew is with World Vision as Community Youth Development Director for the Southeast region of the U.S.; and Ann Beeson who has been recognized as one of the 50 most influential women lawyers in America by the National Law Journal.

In the Conference, we talked about why Texas has such low civic participation, why that’s a concern for faith communities, and what we can do about it. The political experts offered insights into themes in the 2014 elections that will be of interest to people of faith.
The most startling piece of information I learned is that Texas is #51 in the nation for voter participation! (That includes the District of Columbia.) Since the U.S. has the lowest voter turnout of any democratic nation, that gives us Texans the very dubious honor of being the WORST IN THE WORLD for voter participation! My sisters, that is unacceptable! We simply cannot allow that situation to continue. Regardless of our political-party affiliation, we must encourage everyone to exercise the privilege and obligation to VOTE!
One of the dimensions of voter participation that I had not considered is the significance of relationships. Not only is our relationship with the candidate significant, but relationships with family and community can be very important—because we can encourage those people to vote. Even if we know our party affiliation is different, we can still urge them to vote. Ms.Booker-Drew has found that  isolation is the major source of suffering for people both individually and culturally. Likewise, isolation is the “glue that holds oppression in place.” If we connect with the little corner of the world that we call our home community, we are more nearly able to identify isolation, oppression and marginalization—and confront the situation.
Many political races are won/lost by fewer than 100 votes—sometimes as few as a dozen, in local races. So EVERY VOTE COUNTS! We must combat the lethargy of “My vote won’t matter anyway” by making people aware of this fact.
In another posting, I will discuss other items from the Conference.

 Rose Watson


Monday, August 5, 2013

Instructions for novices to navigate the revised State of Texas website

(I wish I knew how to publish these links as "permalinks"--I think--but I don't!) 
In browser window, put  At that site, click The Official Website of the State of Texas.

Near the top of that screen, listed horizontally beneath a solid white line, are three headings: Services, Agencies, Info Near You. Click Agencies.

On the left of that screen, listed vertically, are the agencies; Executive, Legislative, Judicial. According to your search click the appropriate one. For our purposes here, click Legislative.

As your screen indicates, that brings up seven results, listed vertically and alphabetically. Choose either House of Representatives (second) or Senate (sixth).

For information re House of Representatives, click that link in bright blue. This link takes you to the House home page and offers many helpful links. (Particularly interesting are the items listed under Member Press Releases, written by the members themselves.)

Also listed, across the top of the screen in white block letters, are additional links. Click Members.

This brings you to alphabetized pictures of all the representatives and allows you to search for your representative. Click Find your rep and follow instructions to get the name of your representative

To send an e-mail, scan the page of pictures until you see your representative and click the picture. That takes you to the member’s home page where you see a blue oblong link for Email; click that link and follow instructions.

For information re Senate, go back to the Agency Finder screen where the three agencies are listed on the left. Click Legislative.

As your screen indicates, that brings up seven results, listed alphabetically. Scroll down the screen to Senate (sixth). Click the blue link for the Senate website.

Under the Senate seal on the left of the screen are numerous links. Click Senators and you get several options. For our purposes, choose Who Represents Me.

This brings up lists of the senators in alpha order, by district, and also a great deal of additional information, including the option to find your senator. Scroll to your senator’s name and click.

This takes you to the senator’s home page. Across the top of that screen (in deep blue background) under the senator’s full name is a line of links, including E-mail. Click that link and follow instructions.

The Beginning of the Wesley-Rankin Center in Dallas


In 1935, a middle-aged Dallas woman, a church worker, read a newspaper story about a hardened criminal who had been sentenced to die in the electric chair in a few days. His mother was visiting him for one last time at the penitentiary.  Although there was no doubt the man deserved justice, the church worker was moved to tears by his mother’s grief, and the hard realities of the poverty in West Dallas that would lead a man to pursue a life of crime. The woman got into her Model A Ford, and drove to West Dallas. 

The church worker was Miss Hattie Rankin.  The mother was Mrs. Steve Davis, and Ray Hamilton was Mrs. Davis’s son. Ray Hamilton had been a member of Bonnie and Clyde Barrow’s gang as well as a robber and murderer in his own right. He had finally been captured in April of 1935 and was sentenced to die.

Miss Hattie was no stranger to disadvantaged people. She'd just returned to her family home in Dallas after working for several years at the Methodist Mission in San Antonio where she had ministered to unwed mothers, alcoholics, and orphaned children.

According to a Dallas Morning News story written seven years later, Miss Hattie knocked on Mrs. Davis’s door and Mrs. Davis tried to turn her away. Miss Hattie persisted, saying, "My heart aches for you. I want to pray for you," and Mrs. Davis opened the door. During the days that followed, Miss Hattie comforted and ministered to the grief-stricken woman. She prayed with the family during the long night of Ray Hamilton's execution, and helped arrange his funeral.

Miss Hattie stayed in West Dallas and rented a small house across the street, and began to hold church services and Sunday school classes there.

She went door to door in the rough neighborhood, encouraging people to attend and send their kids. By the end of the summer, over 100 people were attending services at the Eagle Ford Mission, including Mrs. Henry Barrow, the mother of the deceased bandit Clyde Barrow, who promised to bring with her "a gang of people who never saw the inside of a church."

The mission flourished, and as Miss Hattie raised more funds, a new building was built and the Eagle Ford Mission was renamed Rankin Chapel in her honor.

Miss Hattie continued to minister to people whose lives were hard, and to those who were outcast by mainstream society. It wasn't enough for her to simply bring them to the Lord; she wanted to make sure they had something else in life besides crime. A missed opportunity that led to tragedy strengthened her efforts.

 Some of the neighborhood boys promised they'd come to Sunday school if the chapel sponsored a sports team. Miss Hattie did her best to raise money for equipment, but was unsuccessful. The team remained nothing more than a wish. A few weeks later, she opened her morning newspaper to see that four of the boys had gotten into trouble, brawling and beating an old man to death with a beer bottle. They were charged with murder.

As she wrote in a letter to the editor: "Folks wonder why so many West Dallas boys turn out to be criminals.... they haven't a dog's chance to be anything else. We have no parks, no playgrounds, no handy schools, no lights, no water, no gas. The dogs in Dallas are housed better than our boys and girls."

It was from this compassion, courage and commitment that what we now know as Wesley-Rankin was born.

Statement on Social Action from Social Principles of UMC

From time to time it may seem appropriate to remind your UMW members and women of your church of the reason UMW is so involved in social issues at home and around the world. The following information is a short passage taken from the UMC Discipline.

Statement on Social Action from Social Principles of the United Methodist Church 2009-2012)

As United Methodists, we have, from our beginning, understood the gospel to be both personal and social; further, we believe that there is no holiness apart from social holiness. Therefore, we consider it our responsibility to allow the light of the gospel to shine upon all parts of our society and to prayerfully consider, "What does God want me to do?"

John 10:10b reads, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." Stewardship of health is the responsibility of each person to whom health has been entrusted. Creating the personal, environmental, and social conditions in which health can thrive is a joint responsibility--public and private. Providing the care needed to maintain health, prevent disease, and restore health after injury or illness is a responsibility each person owes others and government owes to all.

 In Ezekiel 34 we read: “You do not feed the sheep. You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured… but with force and harshness you have ruled them." As a result, all suffer. According to our denominational commitment as stated in our Social Principles, health care is a basic human right. "We believe it is a governmental responsibility to provide all citizens with health care."

As a church, we are called to support the poor and challenge the rich. To begin to alleviate poverty, we support such policies as: adequate income maintenance, quality education, decent housing, job training, meaningful employment opportunities, adequate medical and hospital care, humanization and radical revisions of welfare programs, work for peace in conflict areas and efforts to protect creation's integrity.

 We claim all economic systems to be under the judgment of God no less than other facets of the created order. Therefore, we recognize the responsibility of governments to develop and implement sound fiscal and monetary policies that provide for the economic life of individuals and corporate entities and that ensure full employment and adequate incomes with a minimum of inflation. We support measures that would reduce the concentration of wealth.

 We believe every person has the right to a job at a living wage. Where the private sector cannot or does not provide jobs for all who seek and need them, it is the responsibility of government to provide for the creation of such jobs.

Friday, July 26, 2013


On August 18-19, 2013, Texas Interfaith Center will host a conference on election-year advocacy to help you frame the connections between faith, politics, and public policy. At the conference, we will discuss why Texas has such low civic participation, why that's a concern for faith communities, and what we can do about it. Additionally, political experts will offer insights into themes in the 2014 elections of interest to people of faith.

It is also a grave concern that Texas has fewer women involved in the political arena than any other state in the U.S.!

WHEN:    August 18, 2013, 2 p.m., through August 19, 2013, 12 noon.
WHERE:  Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
                 100 E. 27th Street, Augstin 78705
CONTACT:  Phone--512-472-3903              email--

CONFERENCE FEE:   $25.00 covers two meals--Sunday dinner and Monday breakfast--and materials.

OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS: A limited number of very affordable rooms in partnership with local seminaries.

TO REGISTER OR RESERVE A ROOM FOR SUNDAY NIGHT, please call the event registrar Cara Chiodo at 512-472-3903 or email

Please consider attending this event.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Health Kits for UMCOR

UMCOR health kits (Value $12)

Items to include:
Hand towel. One 15x25 to 17x27 inches; kitchen, cleaning and microfiber towels not acceptable.
Washcloth. One.
Comb. One; needs to be sturdy; no pocket combs or picks; rattail combs and combs without handles are acceptable.
Nail file or clipper. One; metal; no emery boards or toenail clippers.
Soap. One; bathsize, 3 oz. or larger; do not remove from original package.
Toothbrush. One; adult size only; do not remove from original package.
Adhesive bandages. Six; 3/4" to 1" size; common household band-aids.
Plastic bag. One 1-gallon size; sealable bags only.
$1.00 to purchase toothpaste.

Assembly Directions:
Set aside the $1 for toothpaste, to be included in a separate envelope. Lay out the hand towel flat on a table. Lay the washcloth flat in the enter of the towel. Place all remaining items on top of the wash cloth. Fold over the sides of the hand towel to cover all of the items. Fold over one end of the hand towel so that it covers all of the items. Grasp the bundle of items tightly and roll over the remainder of the hand towel tightly. Place the tightly rolled bundle in the plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. Each packed box cannot exceed 66 pounds. Place the bag in a secure box and address to UMCOR, Sager Brown Depot, POBox 850, 131 Sager Brown Road, Baldwin, LA 70514-0850.

Important Notes:
*All items must be new.
*Do not wash any of the items, as they will then be considered used.
*Please remove all packaging except as noted.
*All emergency kits are carefully planned to make them usable in the great number of situations. Since strict rules often govern product entry into international countries, it is important that kits contain only the requested items--nothing more.
*DO NOT include any personal notes, money or additional material. These things must be painstakingly removed and will delay the shipment.

*UMCOR is now purchasing toothpaste in bulk to be added to health kits to ensure that the product does not expire before being sent. Do not put single dollar bills in each kit. Combine monies for toothpaste and shipping and place in a separate envelope and send along with the kit donations.

Shipping Instructions:
1. Complete two packing lists--one for your records and one to put on the shipping box. If you are sending a complete health kit/s, you may simply indicate how many kits at the value declared on this sheet.
2. Paste the packing label on the outside of each box you send. This helps depot to process quickly.
3. Processing & Shipping Costs. Please enclose an envelope containing at least $1 for each kit you send. The donation enables UMCOR to send kits without administrative costs.

You may prefer to send $12 to UMCOR, 475 Riverside Drive, #1520, New York, NY 10115. Include an extra dollar for shipping.... Or you may contribute on-line at


The U.S. Senate is currently debating a dreadful bill on immigration reform, S 744. The bill is harshly punitive and does nothing to foster family togetherness nor human rights in general. I include in this blog facts about the bill. If you would like documentation, I can make that available. (The documentation makes the bill exceedingly long.) We United Methodist Women are called to take a stand and to let our senators know that we find this bill unacceptable.

“The Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization Act”

Senate Immigration Bill: Unfair, Unjust, Unwise

United Methodist Women rejects the disciplinary nature of the current Senate immigration bill, making it more urgent for us to continue our advocacy for positive immigration reform.  United Methodist Women has deep concerns with “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization Act” (S. 744) passed by the Senate on June 27.  The legislation opens a grueling pathway to citizenship for a limited number of immigrants while authorizing unprecedented militarization of the U.S.-Mexican border.
We understand the national debate on immigration as part of the ongoing civil rights agenda in the United States—an agenda that calls us to live up to the vision of a just and inclusive nation. Our nations’ leaders are prioritizing military spending over the health and well-being of our citizens.

Brutal  new elements of border security changed the character of Senate Bill 744. As amended, the bill:

 - Requires law enforcement to apprehend 90 percent of the people coming across the border without proper papers.   --- Escalates the enforcement budget from $4.5 billion to $46 billion, in reality an enormous stimulus package for the construction industry.  
 -Doubles the number of border patrol officers from 20,000 to 40,000. 
 - Requires construction of an additional 700 miles of double border fencing, waiving environmental protections regarding wall construction.
- Expands drone and other forms of surveillance through a 24 hour “virtual  fence. “
 - Makes the E-verify system obligatory for all employers.

Women and children will not benefit from bill

This is unfair, unjust and unwise. United Methodist Women sees the faces of those who will not benefit from this bill, those in fact will be greatly harmed by it:

 - Families served by our National Mission Institutions near the border who fear seeking services because of harassment by the border patrol.
 - A domestic worker who cannot get on the pathway to citizenship because  an employer laid her off and she hasn’t been able to find a job in less  than the 60-day unemployment window.
 - A woman with provisional status ineligible for Medicaid so cannot afford to take her children to the doctor.
 - An older woman, working and paying taxes in the United States for decades, who won’t be able to access Social Security during a minimum 13-year wait for citizenship.
 - The thousands of families divided due to an intensification of detention and deportation policies.
 - An immigrant woman incarcerated because of lack of papers, forced to give birth in shackles.
 - An unauthorized immigrant woman who arrived after the cut-off date for legalization, who fears detention and losing custody of her children.

Toward humane immigration policy
United Methodist Women rejects the disciplinary nature of the current Senate immigration bill and proposals in the House of Representatives. “Rather than target and criminalize immigrants for coming to the United States without papers, we must address the reasons that migrants are forced to come. Human rights and racial justice must be at the core of both U.S. economic and immigration policy,” said Janis Rosheuvel, executive for racial justice.

According to United Methodist Women’s resolution Criminalization of Communities of Color in the United
 policies such as S. 744 “render whole communities of color … as guilty until proven innocent. … This approach is based on a theology and worldview of scarcity. In contrast, The United Methodist Church affirms, ‘God’s vision of abundant living is a world where we live out a theology of ‘enough’ for all.’”

As people of faith, this is a key moment to bring our theologically grounded policy proposals to our leaders. United Methodist Women members will continue to raise their voices for just and humane polices. We hope to infuse immigration reform with a much-needed reorientation toward human rights for immigrant women, children and families.

United Methodist Women National Office reiterates our core concerns for just immigration reform:
   - Offer a rapid and affordable pathway to citizenship for all unauthorized immigrants.
   - Offer public services, including health care, to immigrants regardless  of status.
   - Reunite families and keep families together.
   - Protect the labor rights of both immigrant and U.S. workers.
   - Guarantee due process and protect the civil and human rights of all immigrants.
   - Demilitarize the U.S.-Mexico border.
   - End enforcement practices that criminalize migrants because of their status.
   - Address migrant women’s rights: precarious work conditions, protection  and redress from violence.
   - Develop humane economic, trade and foreign policies to reduce forced migration.
   - Suspend detention and deportation of migrants and shift resources to underserved communities.

“United Methodist Women has worked tirelessly for justice for immigrants,” said Carol Barton, executive for community action and coordinator of United Methodist Women’s Immigrant and Civil Rights Initiative. “This turn of events makes it more urgent for us to continue our advocacy for positive immigration reform.”


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cleaning Buckets for UMCOR

UMCOR cleaning buckets. (Value $55)

Items to include:
5-gallon bucket with resealable lid. Buckets from fast-food restaurants or bakeries can be used if washed and cleaned. Do not use buckets that have stored chemicals such as paint or pool cleaner. Advertisements on the outside of the buckets are acceptable.
Liquid laundry detergent. Two 25 oz. or one 50 oz. bottle, only.
Liquid household cleaner. One 12-16 oz. liquid cleaner that can be mixed with water; no sprays.
Dish soap. One 12-28 oz. bottle.
Air freshener. One aerosol or pump can.
Insect repellent spray. One 6-14 oz. aerosol or spray pump with protective cover.
Scrub brush. One, with plastic or wooden handle; no toilet-bowl brushes; no kitchen or dish brushes.
Cleaning wipes. 18 handi-wipes or reusable wipes; no terry cleaning towels; remove from package.
Sponges. Seven; remove from wrapper; no cellulose sponges because of mold issue.
Scouring pads. Five pads; remove from wrapper; no Brillo, SOS pads, or any kind that will rust.
Clothespins. 50 pins; remove from packaging.
Clothes line. Two 50 ft. or one 100 ft.; cotton or plastic.
Heavy-duty trash bags. One 24-count roll; 30-45 gallon size; remove from box.
Dust masks. Five.
Disposable waterproof gloves. Two pairs; rubber or latex; remove from packaging.
Work gloves. One pair; cotton or leather; leather palms are necessary.

Assembly Directions:
     Place all liquid items in the bucket first. Place remaining items in the bucket, fitting them around and between the liquid items. Sponges, scouring pads, clothespins, and trash bags can be separated in order to fit all of the items in the bucket. Ensure that the lid is closed securely.   Each packed box must not exceed 66 pounds.

Important Notes:
*All items must be new except for the bucket and lid.
*All cleaning agents must be liquid and in plastic containers. No powders, please!
*If you cannot find the requested size of a liquid item, use a smaller size. Including larger sizes of any item will prevent the lid from sealing.
*UPS, FED EX and the US Postal Service will not ship buckets containing bleach.
*If all of the items on the list are not included, please put a label on the bucket indicating what has been omitted.
*Cleaning buckets are used only within the United States. They are not opened to verify the contents unless there is indication that some items have been omitted.

Shipping Instructions:
1. Complete two packing lists, one for your records and one to put on the shipping box.
2. Paste the shipping label/packing list on the outside of each box you send. The shipping list helps the depot to quickly process kits.
3. Processing & Shipping Costs. Please enclose an envelope containing at least $1.50 for each kit you send. This donation enables UMCOR to send kits without administrative costs.

You may prefer to send $56.50 (includes shipping) to UMCOR, 475 Riverside Drive, #1520, New York, NY 10115.  Or you may contribute on-line at