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UNITED METHODIST MISSION NEWS    March 2018

Mission Minute

 
Disaster Response Team in Place on the Blackfeet Reservation
The Yellowstone Conference has activated a disaster response team as record snowfall and subzero temperatures have impacted the state of Montana, particularly the communities around Blackfeet United Methodist Parish (BUMP) in northwestern Montana. Approximately 15,000 people are affected on the Blackfeet Reservation. A $10,000 emergency grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has been given to Yellowstone Conference and used to purchase six semi-truck loads of logs. Four loads have already been delivered to the reservation. Local residents and volunteers have cut, split and delivered wood to homes via snowmobiles with sleds. More semi loads are ready to be delivered when the roads allow.
The response to support BUMP has been wonderful, whether with donations or volunteers. Volunteers that went to Browning to help in a variety of ways have shared that the experience was great. The work is well organized and fruitful. 
 
We expect that this disaster response will take weeks or months because of potential flooding when the weather warms up. Watch for updates of what is needed.
 
Volunteers are needed Please click this link on the Yellowstone Conference website to read more on how you can help. Donations of food and other supplies are being collected at Columbia Falls UMC, Christ UMC in Great Falls, and Van Orsdel UMC in Havre.  From there it will be taken to Browning as needed. 
 
Donations are needed. Yellowstone Conference has a Disaster Relief Fund that you can give to online: www.yacumc.org/donate.  You can also donate through your local congregation.  Make a check out to Yellowstone Conference and on the memo line: disaster relief. 
Donating to UMCOR Disaster Response, United States, Advance #901670 is also helpful.  Donate online by clinking here.
 
 

MORE - IN YELLOWSTONE CONFERENCE

REMEMBER:

 

UMCOR Sunday
(Formerly One Great Hour of Sharing)

Celebrate UMCOR Sunday on a date that is convenient for your congregation.
Official date: March 11, 2018
Yellowstone Conference experienced first-hand how important United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is when a disaster occurs. Within days of requesting help, a $10,000 grant was given by UMCOR in order to purchase firewood for our brothers and sisters on the Blackfeet Reservation.  Your continued support of UMCOR Sunday makes that possible.  Click here to learn more about UMCOR Sunday and donate online. 
 
JOIN THE TEAM RESPONDING TO HURRICANE HARVEY
A Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) team from Yellowstone Conference will be going to Sinton,Texas, from April 14 to 21, 2018. Teams at Sinton will work along the coast, probably in Rockport or Aransas Pass. There is work to be done for all ages and skill levels: roofing, tape-and-mudding, flooring, painting, and debris cleanup.  There is space for two more people. March 15 is the deadline to register. Click here to learn more.
 
What's happening in our local churches?
 
 
By Rev. Melanie Martin-Dent
Lonsdale United Methodist Church of Sidney, Montana and the Boys and Girls Club are entering into an exciting partnership that will enable both organizations to better serve the people of Sidney and the Montana/Dakota region. On Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 the congregation of Lonsdale United Methodist Church unanimously passed a resolution to authorize the Board of Trustees to transfer ownership of the church building and land on Third Avenue SE and to sell the parsonage to Boys and Girls Club of Richland County. This transfer of ownership will allow the church and the Boys and Girls Club to participate in a unique partnership that will mutually benefit each organization and its constituents.
Citing the pioneer spirit of Methodist founders John and Charles Wesley and Montana minister “Brother Van”, the church sees this move as a way of living into its purpose statement: “Lonsdale United Methodist Church exists so that our church family and community may know the love of God revealed by Jesus”. The main building has served the church for over 90 years. This as an opportunity to practice the generosity and social concern the Methodists are known for. The church will be “right-sized” for the present congregation, which will continue to worship, learn and care for its membership while exploring what it means be to be a church that serves the community well today.  Click this link to read more about this innovative ministry.
 
 
 
 
By Rev. Deb Olenyik       
Riverton United Methodist Church in Wyoming is beginning to build relationships with the people of the Northern Arapaho tribe through partnerships with some of the schools and educators on the reservation, and being a part of suicide prevention and domestic violence work. 
The transitional housing project, Eagles Hope, which is their "baby" is moving through its toddler phase and has become an important referral program for other agencies in the area. 
Riverton UMC has entered into site hosting for long and short term work teams because of their new showers. They hosted an Americorps team for seven weeks in the fall, and will have young adults as the newest UM QuadW site for seven weeks this upcoming summer.  They partner with the Wind River Native Advocacy group who is the project leader and grant writers for the longer groups.
In addition, they assisted with the Northern Arapaho Horse Culture Program for at-risk kids by going out with sack suppers and spending time with 60 reservation kids/youth {and horses} a couple times. They are also a lead partner in operating their One Stop Help Center in town. 
 
 
   
By Marilyn Craft
The Boulder United Methodist Church partners with their community to help meet needs of our neighbors locally and around the world.
The church's 21st annual CROP Walk was held on Sept. 24, 2017. They collected more than $30,000 in contributions over the years, of which 25 percent of the funds are used to support our local food bank. The remaining 75 percent is used by Church World Service to provide sustainable self-help, development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance around the world.
They are in their second year of supporting the Days for Girls Program, which provides sustainable sanitary supplies and education to girls during their periods, enabling them to attend school instead of missing three to five days of classes each month.
21st Century CCLP at Boulder Elementary School provides before and after school learning activities, nutritious food, and a summer program for youth up to age 18. Since the entire school qualifies for Title 10 funding based on low income, all kids can participate without cost. Boulder UMC offered their fellowship hall as space when needed during the summer.
Last fall the Boulder UMW raised $1,000 at it's bake sale. All of it was given away to our local food bank, the sheriff’s emergency fund to the Victim Witness Advocate, Shodair Children’s hospital, Intermountain, Florence Crittenton Services, Imagine No Malaria, Child and Maternal Health (Abundant Health UMC), Days for Girls, and Blackfeet United Methodist Parish.
 
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL
 
 NEWS FROM PUERTO RICO
It was an exciting week in Puerto Rico. With the help of volunteers from the New York Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, they unloaded two cargo containers full of supplies purchased by the Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico with the assistance of UMCOR - United Methodist Committee On Relief from The Home Depot.
Building materials and supplies are being put to use right away by the skills-based teams that are registering through the Intent to Serve:
http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/puerto-rico-volunteers.

At the request of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, UMCOR and UMVIM are coordinating volunteer visits in order to avoid periods of too many volunteers or no volunteers at all. To date, three teams have served and 40 more are booked to serve during the coming months.
#PuertoRicoRelief #PuertoRico #HurricaneIrma #HurricaneMaria #UMCOR

 
A PIG NAMED "THANKS TO GOD"
AND OTHER ANSWERS TO PRAYER
 
New World Outlook asked photographers Paul Jeffrey of Global Ministries, and Mike DuBose and Kathleen Barry of United Methodist News Service, to provide photos that they considered to be the answer to someone’s prayers. Jeffrey thought about it a moment and said: “A pig named Thanks to God". People who are raising animals for their livelihood often don’t name them, but as I was photographing a woman in Haiti this year, she told me her pig was named Mesi Bondye,‘Thanks to God,’ because it came in answer to her prayers after Hurricane Matthew.  Click here to see the photos and read the stories.   What would your photo be?
 
 
RELIEF FOR THE WEARY IN SYRIA
The ongoing civil war in Syria has internally displaced more than 6 million civilians. Through support  from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), families struggling with unstable security situations and exhausted by harsh living conditions are finding some relief.
A $90,000 grant from UMCOR provided hygiene kits, infant supplies, dignity, and bedding kits for vulnerable people in Aleppo who were forced to leave their homes
because of the seven-year war. UMCOR provides assistance through two  partner organizations, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development (DERD), the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. Click here to read the story.
 

For more information regarding the above stories or to submit content for “It Worked for Us”, contact Sally McConnell, Missions Coordinator.

Be sure to keep checking the Yellowstone Conference website for updates on current missionaries or conference happenings.

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
The Yellowstone Annual Conference
PO Box 20335
Billings, MT 59104
(406) 256-1385
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