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A Word from the Director

Is There a Difference Between Mission and Ministry

(Susan Hunt) - I hear a lot of people in churches use these terms – Mission and Ministry – interchangeably. However, after years of Mission work and church work, these have come to be two different things for me. There is not truly a black-and-white distinction between what is “ministry” and what is “Mission;” it’s more on a graduated scale. But the concepts of the two – and how we practice them within the church – are different. Full commentary here

Agency Focus and Update

Agency Focus: New Ministry, "Mary Ellen's Hearth" to Open Soon in Montgomery 

(Debbie Dobbins, LGSW; Executive Director, Nellie Burge Community Center) - Since 1904 the Nellie Burge Community Center has been a ministry of the United Methodist Church. Over the years many programs have been provided from the center and programs have changed as the needs of the community have changed; but the Nellie Burge Community Center has always served under-served women and children. In 2012 Nellie Burge will open a new ministry, Mary Ellen's Hearth, a transitional housing program for homeless women and their children. In Montgomery alone there are over 600 homeless people and about half of that number is women. Click here for full article. 

Alabama Rural Ministry

Alabama Rural Ministry (ARM) is seeking energetic and dedicated students to run its summer youth mission camps called “Extend.” “Extend” also has opportunities for church mission teams to serve. Click here for the complete ARM Spring update, including more details about the 3rd annual “Cycle of Service.”

Dumas Wesley Community Center

 “Heaven is for Real” author Todd Burpo will speak at Dumas Wesley Community Center. The event will be on Friday, May 4, 2012. It is open to the public and it will be at 11:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Dumas Wesley Community Center auditorium located on 126 Mobile Street. Tickets are $35. All proceeds will benefit Dumas Wesley. Click here for more information.

West Wilmer UMC

West Wilmer Mission Opportunity: Your service is needed in the community of West Wilmer in the Mobile District. The West Wilmer UMC is a mission church of the United Methodist Church. The church is reaching approximately 35-40 children and youth each week. We are asking that you prayerfully consider bringing your work teams, your VBS program, and/or your youth group to provide day time summer camp opportunities for the children or to conduct routine building maintenance. Showers are available and two meals a day will be provided. Sleeping bags, breakfast foods, love, and your God given resources are all that is required. To schedule a couple of days of service this summer please contact Rev. Jennifer Gregory at 251-404-6893, e-mail jennifer_gregory@bellsouth.net, or Rev. Charles Fail at 251-391-8724, email cfail@birch.net

Conference News

3.0 Mobile Continues

The 3.0 Missional Internship program is preparing to launch its fourth summer of work in Mobile's inner city communities, thanks to the continued support of QuadW Foundation. The interns are an incredible blessing to those they serve. For many interns themselves, it has been a truly life-changing experience. And for the churches and agencies involved, it has brought new life and helped re-establish and deepen relationships with the community. Click here to read more.

Annual Conference Missional Offering

The 2012 Annual Conference Offering will go to the “Imagine No Malaria” Campaign. It will be collected on Sunday night, June 3, at the opening worship service of annual conference. Just $28 per month will save 100 lives! Encourage your church to take an offering one Sunday and have your delegates bring it with them to annual conference. Click here for more information and resources about Imagine No Malaria. Click here for a bulletin insert.

Circles of Transformation Continues Initiative

What does ministry with the poor look like in the Alabama-West Florida Conference? In our conference, a new ministry with the poor is emerging through the Circles of Transformation initiative. Click here to read more

Upcoming UMVIM Team Leader Trainings

Well-trained team leaders, and thus their teams, are more effective in ministry to the world for Christ’s sake. Click here for more information about United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team leader training and dates of upcoming training sessions (www.awfumc.org/umvimtraining).  

Disaster Response Update

Demopolis District

There continue to be opportunities in the Alabama-West Florida conference to respond to the April 2011 tornadoes that hit in west Alabama. Contact Charles Walters at 205-609-7798 or awftornadorecovery@gmail.com for information about sending a mission team to areas such as Butler in Choctaw County. Reconstruction work is expected to continue through August. 

UMCOR Kit Drive at Annual Conference

School kits and cleaning buckets are now the kits most needed from UMCOR. Your church can assemble these and bring them with you to Annual Conference. Click here for more details. Any relief kits are welcome. A big "Thank You" goes to Coleman-American Moving Services for supplying the truck and transporting the supplies to the Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, Louisiana. Click here to watch a video on how to assemble a Cleaning bucket.

Disaster Response is Both/And

Tom Hazelwood: “The question is how do we help local congregations engage from the very beginning and sustain that desire and energy to make it to the end? This is closely followed by another question: how do we most effectively use the Early Response or Care teams that have been trained and are ready to be deployed when disaster strikes?” Click here to read more from this helpful and thoughtful article.

Upcoming ERT Trainings

Be prepared to respond to the next disaster. Teams from churches should attend Early Response Team training to be properly trained and credentialed to respond to a disaster. Click here for a list of upcoming trainings and other details (www.awfumc.org/ert).

Connectional News

UMCOR/Haiti Update

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Eglise Methodiste d’Haiti (EMH) are working together to build 40 homes in two communities that were heavily affected by the 2010 Haitian earthquake. World Hands Alliance and Homes for Haitians are also partners in the project. Each home has 40 square meters of interior space, a toilet, shower facility, kitchen facility, and water storage capacity. Twenty will be built in each of the communities of Mellier and Carrefour. Beneficiaries of the homes are participating in the building by clearing the original home foundations before construction begins and also are providing support during the construction process.
-Learn more about what UMCOR is doing to help Haitians recover. Click here to watch UMCOR’s latest video.
-Your gifts to Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance #418325 help provide for recovery.
-Did you know you can get regular email updates, called the “Hotline”, from UMCOR about all their work around the world? Click here to subscribe. Click here to see their archives.

Guest Speaker Available

Michelle Ozier, young adult missionary, is available to speak to churches through April 30. Michelle spent several months in Haiti and has a wonderful story to share that any congregation or small group would be blessed to hear. Contact her at michelle.gbgm@gmail.com to discuss her availability. Receiving churches are asked to pay her travel expenses (standard mileage rate).

Candler School of Theology, General Theological Seminary Develop New Peacebuilding Program 



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