THREE RIVERS DISTRICT
The Current newsletter will resume regular publication this summer as our churches begin to plan activities per the re-opening guidelines of Governor DeWine and Bishop Malone.
Beginning in the fall of 2020, the Three Rivers District will no longer mail a hard copy of The Current to residents. We will mail one last edition in the summer. Thereafter, digital copies will be sent out via e-mail and available for viewing here on our website.
If you or someone in your church indicates a need for a printed copy you may either contact the district office or your church secretary to make arrangements.
As we have adapted to the limitations put in place due to COVID-19 regulations, we have come to learn that many of our members have access to digital copies. This decision is good stewardship of our resources both financially and ecologically.
We appreciate your understanding in this transition,
“We are known as the school of dreams in the valley of hope.”
James Sally, Associate Vice-Chancellor, Africa University
Teach • Reach • Bless
East Ohio campaign to provide safe and secure housing for female students of AU
Africa University (AU) began in 1992 with 42 students gathered for instruction in renovated farm buildings. Nearly 30 years later the numbers of have grown phenomenally! Today there are 2,182 full-time and 689 part-time students representing 35 African nations on a campus of 36 buildings! Since AU first opened there have been over 7,000 graduates, and of these 92% have remained in Africa making a difference in their communities. From it’s very beginning The United Methodist Church in general, and the East Ohio Conference in particular, has been a partner in AU’s mission to transform lives and transform Africa. Our East Ohio Conference funded the building of AU’s first two three-story dormitories. In addition, East Ohio has the most endowed scholarships of any annual conference in ALL of Methodism!
But what if … Attending the “school of dreams” became a nightmare? The “valley of hope” became the valley of fear?
For many women attending Africa University this is not a “what if” scenario, rather it is their daily reality. Many strong and courageous women of Africa University face terrible challenges in order to attend the school of dreams. These challenges are due to a shortage of dormitory space for women as university housing has been unable to keep up with the explosive growth of student enrollment. In order to attend AU many women are forced to live off campus. This is not like living off campus in America. Living off campus in Africa means that women have to walk great distances to and from classes making them targets for human trafficking, prostitution, and theft. Facing these daily risks, they courageously continue stepping out in faith.
In 2019, during a visit to AU, Bishop Tracy Malone’s heart was moved by the stories and experiences of women who had risked and sacrificed so much to receive a degree in higher education. Prayerfully inspired, Bishop Malone envisioned how East Ohio could respond to this critical situation. Through her prayers the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign was born. A campaign to partner once again with AU to build a new dormitory for the needs of women! When complete, the dormitory will house 90 female students in 46 safe and secure rooms. The construction cost for a dormitory room is $20,000, and furnishings for each room will cost an additional $6,500.
Three Rivers District, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those whom God is using to make a difference in Africa and the world! Will you respond?
Commitments have already been made to this worthy expression of hope. I am overwhelmed with joy to announce that Roscoe United Methodist Church has made a three-year commitment of $20,000 to build a room! I can also joyfully announce that the bishop’s cabinet has collectively committed $40,000 for the building of two rooms! That’s three rooms by one church and ten district superintendents!
In light of the combined generous $60,000 gift of the Roscoe church and the Bishop’s cabinet, I prayerfully invite the Three Rivers District to step up with a matching commitment of $60,000. I step out in faith believing that you, the churches of the Three Rivers District, can meet and even exceed this challenge.
$60,000 is a BIG number, but think of it this way … If every church in the Three Rivers district made a commitment of $1,000 (over three years) we would exceed the challenge. Of course, some churches can do much more, and some may need to do less, but together we can reach this goal to make a difference in the lives of women attending African University.
I encourage you to announce this challenge in your churches during worship, with your mission and outreach teams, with UMW, UMYF, and UMM. Then, at this year’s spring district conference (Sunday, April 26 at 3pm), you will have the opportunity to bring your church’s pledge and present it during a special time of worship.
Commitment cards and promotional materials available for download here. Contact the district for these and other resources or let us know if you would like to invite a speaker to share about this campaign during worship or with your administrative council. Until spring district conference, I ask you to join me in prayer for the Reach • Teach • Bless campaign, and for the commitment each church will prayerfully consider making.
Together, in the strength of the Lord, we can do this!
Rev. Ed Fashbaugh, DS
Three Rivers District
Three Rivers District
Rev. Edward Fashbaugh, II
415 Walnut St.
Coshocton, OH 43812
Phone: (740) 622-8880
Fax: (740) 622-8884
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
*Closed Fridays in July and August
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