UNITED METHODIST VOLUNTEERS IN MISSION (UMVIM)
More news about missions can be found by joining the East Ohio United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Facebook group.
October 21, 2020
Manos Juntas Mission News
The staff and students of Vamos Tamaulipas and at Casa de la Esperanza in Mexico need reliable computers! In a collaboration with Midwest Mission Distribution Center, you and/or your church can help Firelands District purchase refurbished laptops for $150. These computers will be delivered to Manos Juntas in December 2020. Please send donations to the Firelands District, 3 Stower Ln., Unit 5, Norwalk, OH 44857. Include "Computers for Manos Juntas" on the memo line.
You can learn more about Manos Juntas by joining a virtual itineration with the director of the mission, Willie Berman, on November 14. Mr. Berman is a Global Ministries missionary serving at Manos Juntas in Mexico. This online event is free, but you need to register in advance here.
North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) Mission Academy
The NCJ UMVIM Mission Academy is virtual this year! Online webinars are free and run throughout the month of October. Attend the seminars for the topics that interest you. Some of the East Ohio people leading webinars are Rev. Dr. Jan Yandell (It’s Their Mission: Developing a Youth Designed/Youth Owned Mission Program) and Rev. Ashley Barker-Steele (Transactional vs. Transformational Mission). Full schedule and registration info here.
Conference-wide Christmas Giving Opportunity
Midwest Mission Collection | November 29 - December 6, 2020
There are many nondenominational organizations that vie for our attention during this time of year. While their intentions may be good, East Ohio Missions of The UMC seeks to develop relationships and partnerships that are healthy and seek justice for the recipients. Giving through the Midwest Mission Distribution Center (MMDC) is an opportunity within our UMC connection to give in healthy and appropriate ways. We are encouraging all East Ohio congregations to collect items for MMDC, then bring to the drop-off site closest to you the week of November 29 - December 6. MMDC will be driving through the Conference on December 7 to pick up the items collected at each site. All items have been requested by the receiving mission sites. The MMDC seeks to advocate and empower their mission partners.
MMDC is also one of our Conference Advances. If you would like to send a financial donation, you can give online and choose Fund 9944 or send a check with “9944 MMDC Christmas” in the memo. More details can be found here.
Together, let’s reconsider what God’s generosity can look like during this Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas season!
List of Christmas Needs (new items only please):
Providing these educational toys and much needed items will give all of us hands on ways to be generous donors. Kids can experience the life lesson of providing games for others in need and communities can come together to create cleaning buckets and hygiene kits for hurricane and flood relief projects.
Other most needed items:
Any of the items on this list of UMCOR Relief Kits:
Other items that the MMDC collects and distributes (gently used is ok):
MMDC Collection Sites around the Conference
Canal | Montrose Zion UMC | 565 N Cleveland-Massillon Rd., Akron, OH 44333
Drop-off: December 1-4, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Drop off will be set up outside the church, call office after leaving items.
Jennifer | (330) 665-9817 | E-mail
Firelands | Trinity UMC Sandusky | 214 E Jefferson St., Sandusky, OH 44870
Drop-off: November 30 - December 5, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Call before coming or drop-off during these hours.
Sue | (419) 625-8669 | E-mail
Mahoning Valley | Boardman UMC | 6809 Market St., Youngstown, OH 44512
Drop-off: November 30 - December 4, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Items may be brought to the fellowship hall.
Jerry | (330) 758-4527 | E-mail
Mid-Ohio | Trinity UMC Mt. Gilead | 75 E High St., Mt. Gilead, OH 43338
Drop-off: November 29 - December 4, 8:00 - 11:30 a.m. & 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Denise | (419) 947-6040 | E-mail
North Coast | Strongsville UMC | 13500 Royalton Rd., Strongsville, OH 44136
Drop-off: November 30 - December 4, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Bring to the pavilion on the north side of the property and call after you drop-off.
Felicia | (440) 238-6135 | E-mail
Ohio Valley | First UMC Carrollton | 253 S Lisbon St., Carrollton, OH 44615
Drop-off: November 29 - December 4, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Bring to enclosed vestibule by parking lot.
Cindy | (330) 627-7671 | E-mail
Southern Hills | Old Washington UMC | 120 Old National Rd., Washington, OH 43768
Drop-off: November 29 - December 6, anytime during the day. Bring to the parsonage garage next to the church.
Clayton | (618) 267-5226 | E-mail
Three Rivers | Roscoe UMC | 475 High St., Coshocton, OH 43812
Drop-off: November 30 - December 4, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Use gym entrance at SW corner of the building.
Dale | (330) 827-3144 | E-mail
Tuscarawas | Newcomers Chapel Pigeon Run | 11798 Sarbaugh SW, Massillon, OH 44647
Drop off: Contact church for instructions.
Kim | (330) 833-9781 | E-mail
Western Reserve | Mentor UMC | 8600 Mentor Ave., Mentor, OH 44060
Drop-off: November 30 - December 4, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Items may be left at the Preschool Entrance on the West side of the building. This will be a no-contact drop-off site. If you need assistance unloading, contact the church office.
Teresa | (440) 255-3496 ext. 102 | E-mail
If none of the drop off times work for you, contact the site to see if other arrangements can be made. If you have something to donate that isn’t on this list, please contact MMDC.
Mission Journey Report: Midwest Mission
The Midwest Mission Distribution Center (MMDC) is a United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) distribution center in the North Central Jurisdiction and one of East Ohio’s Mission Advances. The following is a report from John and Charlene Vas of North Olmsted UMC about their experience volunteering there over the past decade.
Our Pastor’s wife, Tammy Kuntz, was on the MMDC board and spoke about the mission center often. She was planning a trip in March 2008 and we decided to go. That evolved into going every year for the next 10 years! All the trips were led by Tammy or Sandy Bittner except one. While we were volunteering one week, the Volunteers Coordinators asked if we would like to come with their church the following year, which we did in 2010. We did not know what to expect on our first trip to MMDC but had time to give to mission. I handled any “unskilled” job that was needed – counting pencils, rolling garbage bags and filling Ziplock bags for the many kits packed. John could tackle treadle sewing machines, bikes, power saws for building desks and even helping to install lights in the new warehouse. Through the years we saw changes in the projects as well and the tremendous growth of the MMDC campus.
The first year John worked on student desks, it was done in the Project School House. Several years later we were at MMDC for the dedication of that building which had been transformed into the Project School Room Chapel. The desk construction was moved into a new area of the warehouse.
One of the first trips a volunteer with us was a retired minister. There was only one warehouse and he spent the week in the back corner with limited supplies working on a bike. Near the end of the week, he called us into the warehouse to watch him ride the now working bike! We all prayed and were thankful that a pastor somewhere would receive that bike and be able reach many villages in the countryside. I am sure the pastor that was with us would be amazed to see the bicycle workshop at MMDC today.
Many of the jobs at MMDC were the same each year we went. But you never knew when a new challenge would present itself. Like the year bleachers removed from a local school were repurposed to be used for student desks. First, the gum had to be scraped from the boards, then they were planed to remove the finish, leaving lots of sawdust. I don’t remember the number of desks made from those old bleachers, but the work of the volunteers left money in the MMDC budget for another project.
Another year a piece of medical equipment was donated, and the volunteers made a shipping crate to send it overseas. Then there were the ongoing projects of sewing school bags for students and teachers and packing them with supplies. Assembling cleaning buckets, layettes and birthing kits.
There is usually a large supply of treadle sewing machines and bicycles waiting for repair. Being at the warehouse when shipments were leaving was always special, being part of the group adding our blessings before they were going to their new home.
As we packed the birthing kits with a drop cloth, surgical gloves, razor blades, string, etc., we prayed for the mother and baby being born under conditions we could not imagine. We always shed tears and hoped that baby would grow to someday be a recipient of a school bag and attending school with a desk that was built at MMDC.
Each day there is a morning and afternoon break. A great time to socialize with the staff and other volunteers. Wednesday afternoon is volunteer time off for visiting Springfield. Besides the daily work there were also the fun times, like grocery shopping for 3 meals a day for the week! Everyone would take turns with meal prep and that was a good opportunity to get to know each other. Each evening there is time to reflect on the day’s work, pray together and then games & puzzles before lights out for a good night’s sleep to prepare for the next day’s adventure!
After our first trip to MMDC, we knew that we would return because we could make a difference. As a sign there says, “To the world you are one person, to one person, you are the world”. We look forward to our next trip to find out what jobs are on the agenda!
Submitted by John and Charlene Vas of North Olmsted UMC
We encourage you to support the MMDC by planning a trip there in 2021, donating to EOC Fund 9944, or participating our Conference-wide Christmas donation drive! More details on that at the top of this article.
April 30, 2020
UMVIM Team Leader Training
East Ohio has hosted two online UMVIM Team Leader trainings this spring. They both went well and if there’s enough interest we can host another! This FREE online training is limited to 10 participants. If you’d like to lead folks on a journey into the mission field locally, nationally, or internationally, this training is for you! UMVIM will be back to traveling again and the needs will be great. Some of the things we cover in the training are:
Let’s be a community ready to get back to the ministry of presence and mission in Cambodia, Liberia, Cuba, Haiti, Ukraine, Mexico, and to the work of rebuilding Puerto Rico and other long-term recovery projects! The world needs you and me to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus.
Contact Kathy Dickriede, East Ohio UMVIM Coordinator if you would like to be a part of a future Zoom UMVIM Team Leader Training.
Mask Making Mission
The world needs masks! Whether you live in Ohio, Cambodia, or Liberia, masks are needed and recommended by health experts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. As a Conference, we have been focused on the scripture of John 15:1-17 and “bearing fruit that lasts” for 4 years. In 2020, the focus is on being connected. As people connected by faith, we know that what one person does impacts another. As people connected by faith, we need to love one another and strive to keep each other safe. Therefore, we are calling you to put your faith into action by wearing a mask or face covering when you’re in public. Congregations and communities can also help in the making and distribution of protective cloth face masks for outreach centers, nursing homes, community centers, mission sites, food pantries, and more. These are not meant to be PPE quality but rather what is sometimes called "cough etiquette.”
Here’s how to get involved:
We need people to be coordinators in districts areas or communities in East Ohio. Let me know if you are willing to help be a resource to folks in your area for locations, pick-up of supplies, and/or completed masks. If you would like to send masks locally or internationally, let me know how and where. Then we can find you partners for this mission.
We are hoping those who sew will commit to at least 10 masks per week for 4 weeks. Once you have made a couple, this should be only a few hours per week time commitment. We will assess the continued need at the end of 4 weeks to see if we will continue the outreach project, modify, or stop it.
If you don’t sew, do you have 100% cotton fabric and elastic that you can donate? We will be more than happy to pick it up from you and get it to sewers. Another way to help would be to cut fabric to the appropriate size for our sewing volunteers.
If you have a mask pattern you have been using, please feel free to continue with that pattern. However, if you need a pattern, below are a couple of links to tutorials for mask making:
How to Sew a Face Mask with Fabric Ties // TUTORIAL
How to Sew a Face Mask
Kaiser Permanente Fabric Face Mask Instructions (sewing machine needed):
University Hospital in Cleveland (uses a pattern that does not use interfacing. If that works better for the supplies you have on hand, please review those instructions at this website)
Easy 3-minute mask tutorial with pocket
For a more fitted mask, that is closer to PPE requirements this website has a few videos with instructions and general information. I think the second one is the best. The third gives you some supply options.
If you are willing to volunteer, have questions or need to have materials or masks picked up from your home, please contact Kathy Dickriede or call (330) 492-3972 ext. 102.
If you can’t help with the production of the masks, we welcome, appreciate, and need your prayers.
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH,
near Akron-Canton Airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Local: (330) 499-3972
Toll Free: (800) 831-3972
Fax: (330) 499-3279
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
© EAST OHIO CONFERENCE. All Rights Reserved.