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.