WNCC Clergy Leading Project to Get Children Involved at General Conference
General Conference will be meeting in Portland in May of 2016, and as you might expect, not many children will be in attendance.
An initiative of the United Methodist Rural Advocates (UMRA), and with the leadership of two Western North Carolina Conference clergy, children from across the world will have the opportunity to be involved.
Laura Beach of Boone UMC and Kevin Miller of Messiah UMC in Lincolnton, are inviting children and congregations across the globe to participate in GC4JC, making handmade cards that will help General Conference delegates engage with the homeless of Portland.
Beach and Miller attended the UMRA Legislative Consultation a year ago in Portland and were confronted with the issue of the homeless around the convention center. Beach reflects, "I was part of a group that was looking at ministry with the poor. As a group, we decided that the thing we could do that would have the most impact in this area would be something hands-on, not a new piece of legislation."
Miller is credited with laying out a vision for GC4JC. He said, "God is calling us all to change the negative narratives of General Conference, not simply with words or legislation, but with love-in-action especially for those who are hurting, mistreated, and/or marginalized. With Christian leaders across the world gathering in a single location for General Conference we have such an incredible opportunity to unite together in boldly sharing with the surrounding area the Good News of Jesus."
All it will take is the creation of a blank, handmade card with a colored picture depicting the love of Jesus on the front, along with finding some way to come up with $2.00 to go with the card. The blank card will allow space for a delegate to share a message about God’s love and concern for all people and the $2.00 will provide an entire meal for someone who is homeless in Portland.
They are currently set up to work with a local organization called Sisters of the Road
that is already doing incredible work in downtown Portland. Every $2.00 sent in by a child will be exchanged for a meal voucher for the Sisters of the Road Café
, which in turn provides a full meal and beverage.
The two are working with other persons across the connection to spread the word. "UMRA operates throughout the U.S. and our local chapters/members are helping spread the word within their conferences. We are also trying to get the word out through social media and our website. GBGM is also interested in partnering with this project, and we hope that as that relationship continues we may even be able to spread beyond the U.S.," according to Beach.
For more information, go to the website, www.gc4jc.org
or to the Faceboook page: https://www.facebook.com/GC4JCUMC
For more information or to get involved, contact:
Rev. Laura Beach
Rev. Kevin C. Miller
GC4JC Card Instructions:
- Using the attached GC4JC Plan, talk to kids about the purpose of the GC4JC
- Have kids make a card of any size (standard 5x11 printer paper or construction paper folded in half is recommended) with a drawing and perhaps a brief message sharing the love of God
- Send cards to: Messiah UMC (4102 W. NC Hwy 27 Vale, NC 28168)
- Raise $2 that will pay for a meal for the person receiving the card
- Send all collected money to: UMRA c/o Mollie Stewart PO BOX 27 Waveland, MS 39576 All checks should be written to UMRA with “#GC4JC” in the memo line
- Pray for our General Conference delegates and those they will meet in Portland
- Look for stories of how God used your card in Portland at GC4JC.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GC4JCUMC, or Instagram and Twitter using #GC4JC
Resources for Vital Congregations
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor
GBHEM Leadership Resources
Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church
Englewood Book Review
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
Ted Talks: The Golden Circle
Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability
Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability
Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians
Be A Disciple
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network
Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations
Living As United Methodist Christians
Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials
Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today
John Wesley Sermons: Anthology
Get Their Name
Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit
Canoeing the Mountains
Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People
Community: The Structure of Belonging
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
Institute for Emerging Issues
Congregations 4 Children
The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants
The Duke Endowment
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org.