NASHVILLE –– Groups of United Methodist Men are invited to sponsor projects during the May 14-15 “Change the World” weekend.
United Methodists around the world will participate in community service projects on Saturday and neighbors will be invited to attend church services on Sunday. United Methodist Communications will provide a resource packet of posters, flyers and door hangers announcing the event (www.rethinkchurch.org/changetheworld).
“Change the World challenges the people of The United Methodist Church to see the world holistically by giving and serving beyond the four walls of sanctuaries and Sunday school classrooms,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, top staff executive of United Methodist Communications. “Our hope is that not only will church members participate, they will invite neighbors in the community to work side-by-side with them to make a sustainable difference in diverse ways.”
Activities suggested for groups of United Methodist Men include:
• Host a Stop Hunger Now packaging event (http://www.stophungernow.org)
• Participate in a PET (personal energy transportation) building project (http://petinternational.org)
• Partner with Society of St. Andrew for "Hunger Ministry Weekend" (http://www.endhunger.org/CTW)
• Engage in a Habitat for Humanity building project (http://www.habitat.org).
• Launch a fund-raising project for Imagine No Malaria (http://www.imaginenomalaria.org).
• Support one or more neighborhood-revitalization projects
• Distribute Bibles, Upper Room devotionals or Strength for Service devotionals at a veteran's hospital or a long-term-care facility
• Partner with a Scout troop or other youth-serving agency to work on a community service project together
• Host a community health fair at your church in partnership with a local hospital or nursing training program
The concept for Change the World originated with the Rev. Mike Slaughter, lead pastor at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, Ohio, named one of the top 50 churches in the U.S. by Church Report. Last October, Slaughter hosted a Change the World Missional Network conference. His book, “Change the World” aligns with the vision of Rethink Church, and has been enhanced recently by a new small group study resource based on the concept.
“The way we love is by serving people, especially the poor and marginalized,” said Rev. Slaughter. “The church in the world needs the reputation of being a community that helps people . . . a community of people that gives hope and that functions as salt and light in its neighborhood.”
The Rethink Church campaign is seeking to utilize outreach events that embrace the concept of outward bound church to make a positive difference in the world beyond the church doors. Rethink Church advertising will complement the May events, giving churches an opportunity to take advantage of the buzz generated by the ads.
For more information about Change the World or to learn how you can create an event for your church, go to www.rethinkchurch.org/changetheworld.
Projects supported by UM Men
FENWICK ISLAND, Md.–– Men of St. Matthews By-The-Sea UM Men constructed a handicap ramp for a church member, and they converted a warehouse into the “Good Samaritan Thrift Shop.”
PARAGOULD, Ark –– Men of Campground UMC plowed up an abandoned softball field behind the church to plant potatoes, onions, lettuce, green beans, and radishes for underserved people in Greene County.
DRESHER, Pa. –– UM Men of Jerrettown UMC distributed 45,000 pounds of potatoes to food kitchens through the Society of St. Andrew.
ALBANY, Texas –– UM Men of First UMC helped an elderly widow and her physically challenged son by clearing storm damage from their yard. The men also trimmed trees and shrubs, and they now check on them periodically. Noting several families were without funds for food, the men convinced a potato company and a company dealing in black-eyed peas to contribute produce.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas –– Six members of the “Geezer Squad” of The Woodlands UMC spent eight hours replacing the stairs to the trailer of Lucile Milo and building a ramp for her daughter. They returned to build a cover over the small porch.
MURPHYSBORO, Ill. –– UM Men of Murphysboro UMC built a shed for Scout troops, Sunday school classes and neighbors. The men raised most of the funds with some contributions from the church.
XENIA, Ohio –– Don Schneider, a member of UM Men of Aley UMC in Dayton, volunteered 7,000 hours to convert an old hotel into a homeless shelter, now named “The Schneider House.” Other UM Men from various churches also volunteered a total of 23,000 hours.
NEVADA, Ohio –– The Rev. Matthew Garrabrant and his wife, Angela, established a free clothing closet in the balcony of their Nevada UMC. That center was later moved to a downtown building that now hosts the Guiding Grace Clothing Closet. The closet provides free shoes, coats, maternity items, and clothes for children and adults.
SULPHUR, La. –– UM Men of Henning UMC raised $1,000 for the Meals for Millions program of the Society of St. Andrew.
BALTIMORE CITY, Md. –– Sherman Harris, president of UM Men, and C. Anthony Hunt, superintendent of the Baltimore-Hartford District, led a 50-member team to restore a 140-year-old African-American cemetery belonging to Sharp Street Memorial UMC.
ELLIGAY, Ga. –– North Georgia UM Men lead an effort to glean over 8,000 pounds of apples at Panorama Orchards in Ellijay.
CHESTERTON, Ind. –– UM Men of Chesterton UMC collected 400 pounds of excess produce from family gardens and gave it to local food pantries and a once-a-week free-meal program operated by the church.
GENEVA, N.Y. –– Men in the Upper New York Annual Conference gleaned the fields of Cliff Kuhn’s farm. The men sent corn, squash and pumpkins to the Rochester Food Bank.
REMINGTON, Ind. –– Some 50 members of Remington UMC delivered food to 80 families, picked up liter, removed 1,400 timbers from a city park, and stained picnic tables.
ARLINGTON, Tenn. –– Boy Scouts of Troop 452, chartered by Arlington UMC, packed 111 “Blessings Bags” for children at the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home in Bartlett, Tenn. The bags were filled with after-school snacks and juice boxes.