21 September 2017

UMVIM Awareness Celebrated in SE Jurisdiction

The 2016 General Conference approved Volunteers in Mission Awareness Sunday to be observed annually on a date to be determined by the Annual Conference or congregation. Congregations may collect an offering to be used by the annual conference UMVIM program. Churches are encouraged to provide UMVIM displays, information resources, solicit individual or group testimonies, and/or develop other ways to celebrate the UMVIM movement in whatever fashion that best suits the local congregation.
At some point this Fall, we hope that you will encourage and plan an UMVIM Awareness Sunday for your congregation or Annual Conference! Whether it's through recognizing teams within the church that have gone on mission journeys this year, or through discussing the opportunities provided by the United Methodist connection, an UMVIM Awareness Sunday will help celebrate and recognize what United Methodists can do living out "Christian love in action."
Click here to find resources that you can download, print and distribute to your church leaders and congregations, including suggestions for worship and promotional materials. If you have any questions about UMVIM Awareness Sunday, do not hesitate to contact the UMVIM, SEJ office!

13 September 2017

Louisiana and Texas Disaster Teams Preparing

Hurricane Harvey News from the South Eastern Jurisdiction:

The Louisiana Conference is now scheduling trained and badged Early Response Teams (ERT) for Hurricane Harvey response. All ERTs should click here to register.
The Texas Annual Conference is also ready to receive volunteer teams to assist with Hurricane Harvey response.Team leaders can register their team by clicking here or go to the Texas Conference website at txcumc.org and click on "Disaster Volunteer Team Registration."

The Rio Texas Conference is also registering trained and badged ERT teams and individuals at riotexas.org/harvey-ert

08 September 2017

Texas Conference is Ready for Teams

 The Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church is ready to begin scheduling teams for Hurricane Harvey response.  The Teas Conference Director of the Center for Missional Excellence, Rev. Scott Moore, says: 

"The work consists mainly of cleaning out flooded homes and requires extensive physical labor.  We would prefer that at least one member of your team be ERT trained.  Teams should bring their own protective gear and tools.  All members need proof of Safe Sanctuary training and clear background check from your local United Methodist Church.  You will be housed at a host church in the conference."

Team leaders should register their teams on the Texas Conference website.  Team members should be 18 or older.  for more information on Safe Sanctuaries and background checks, please contact your local church.

The Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church on IRMA

               Call Center at the Conference Office

A hotline is set up for our churches: (855) CAT-FUMC. It will be open and staffed from 8:30 - 5:00 as soon as we are able to be in the building after the storm. It is set up now to receive voice mails and will be monitored through the weekend. 
If you have questions, need assistance, want to offer assistance, etc., please call the hotline. In addition, please call the hotline to file a church insurance claim. 
We will have a registration form on our web site for volunteers who want to help (see below).
We are pushing information out on our Facebook Pages: Florida Conference Harvey Response, Disaster Recovery Ministry, UMVIM and Missional Engagement. The web site is another great source for information www.flumc.org
If you are looking for information and cannot find what you need, please call the hotline. 
Early Response Teams

If you are a trained and certified Early Responder and can be available to serve any time one to six weeks after the storm, please send your name, church/church location and available dates to DisasterRecoveryTeam@flumc.org  NOTE:  this email is for trained and certified ERTs only. All other volunteers should click here to register. As soon as we have identified needs and are prepared to receive ERTs, we will notify you.

If you are already coordinating with one of our conference ERT leaders, continue to work with that leader and do not send an email.

Please be patient! It could take anywhere from a few days to a month or more to identify needs and determine where our assistance is needed. Remember that we must wait for search and rescue to complete its mission before we can do anything.

If you are in the impacted area, please take care of your needs and that of your family. (Put on your own oxygen mask first!) If and when you are available, send the email mentioned above. Your training can make you an invaluable asset in the impacted area as we set up to receive and deploy teams - but only if you have taken care of yourself first.
Flood Bucket Collection for Harvey

If your church has been assembling and collecting flood bucket and hygiene kits for Harvey Relief, please keep those kits until after the storm. We will then disburse them in your community or wherever they may be needed after Irma. In a few weeks, if kits are left, we will make arrangements to get those to Texas and Louisiana.

God has given us a unique opportunity to have these resources pre-positioned around the conference!  

As anxiety levels rise, may we be patient with one another. May we look for opportunities to extend grace and God's love. Remember that we serve a mighty God. He is there with us, in the midst of our storms, and He is good. Let us look with great expectation to see God's glory and His power working in and through us. He is our strength and our courage to face whatever lies ahead.


30 August 2017

Hurricane Harvey Pharmacy Resource

The NCPA (National Community Pharmacy Association has published an interactive map of the hurricane affected area that indicates operating pharmacy locations available to serve those in need of medications.  Please visit https://www.healthcareready.org/rxopen  if you need assistance with medication procurement.

Support UMCOR Hurricane Relief Efflors


Below is an appeal by the United Methodist Committee on Relief to make a donation for the response work going on right now on behalf of persons suffering from the effects of the flooding and hurricane disaster of last week.

UMCOR Responds to Hurricane Harvey

Dear Friend of UMCOR,

By now, we have all seen the horrific images of Hurricane Harvey’s destructive path through Houston, Southeast Texas, and Southwest Louisiana, producing record-shattering rains and flooding in some communities.

Before Harvey made landfall, UMCOR was working with United Methodist Church conferences to ready resources and volunteers for the relief and recovery efforts.
UMC volunteers from these conferences are UMCOR’s feet on the ground, and they are actively responding to this ongoing and developing disaster.

The people of Houston and other affected communities need your help today!

28 August 2017

Hurricane Harvey

A Message From UMVIM, SEJ's Executive Director

Hurricane Harvey has left its mark on Louisiana and Texas.
Sadly, the disaster is on-going and more than likely will get worse
over the next few days.
Here are a couple of ways you can help right now:
The Advance is a great tool we have as United
Methodists to show our support. 100% of what you give will go
to the relief effort.

- If you are ERT trained and certified, put down your car keys
and organize with other ERT trained individuals in your local
church and community to be ready when the call comes for
teams. It may be weeks, or even months, before the request
for teams comes in. The pain and loss that victims feel will
continue long after the camera crews have left-and that's
when we are needed most.
Here are things that are NOT helpful:

-Letting your need to help draw the attention away from the
needs of victims in the affected areas.

-Repeatedly calling or emailing the Rio Texas Conference or other
affected areas in the next few days and letting them know you
want to help. The disaster is on-going and their resources right
now should be focused on managing the disaster-not phone
calls of potential volunteers. They will let us know what they
need, I promise.

-Getting in your car and going to the affected areas, or donating
used clothes and other items that may not be needed.
We will be updating our website with new information as it comes
The Rio Texas Conference has a webpage set up at riotexas.org/harvey for you to stay informed.
Thank You,

Rev. Matt Lacey, Executive Director

Consider CDC Resources for Hurricane Response Information

CDC Offers Environmental Media Health Kits on their website, below:

As many of you help people affected by Hurricane Harvey, please don’t forget that CDC has several information products that can be used to help with post-hurricane recovery efforts. The National Center for Environmental Health’s hurricanes website provides links to these products: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/toolkits/hurricanes/default.html

24 August 2017

Team Preparation: a visit to ECHO

"Reducing Hunger, Improving Lives Worldwide"

In preparation for a September 2017 UMVIM Journey to visit the indigenous Ngabe people of Western Panama, our team members made a short drive across the Florida peninsula to the west coast near North Ft. Myers, to the ECHO Global Farm.  There we were greeted by Libby Arcia, who had prepared a customized tour for our group that provided an amazing view of an array of vegetation, irrigation schemes, stoves/cooking methods and information on medicinal plants for use in regions of the globe where diseases of poverty are common but store bought remedies are not.

                        I highly recommend that you consider visiting ECHO to 
             gain a deeper insight on strategies that can be used to better provide
         nutrition in low resource areas.  Here is a pictorial display of our visit.