Thursday, December 18, 2014

Helping Ebola Survivors

Community members in Liberia practice how to make the chlorine solution for hand washing. 
Photo: Allen Zomonway

The Ebola crisis continues to grip West Africa. As of this writing, the virus has taken the lives of more than 6,000 people, with most cases developing in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is supporting the World Young Women's Christian Association (World YWCA), which seeks to prevent further spread of the disease in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and reintegrate survivors into communities—mainly young women and girls who have been infected or affected by Ebola. 

Through this project, the World YWCA will identify survivors of Ebola and reintegrate hundreds of young women and girls from targeted communities most affected by the outbreak. Ebola survivors will be provided with humanitarian support, including food and home-based care, along with education about the virus to help reduce stigma. 

UMCOR funding support will also allow for the distribution of relief packages, consisting of both food supplies and hygiene kits, which will serve families for one full month. 

Check out the full story.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Church Council and Governance News

Please pray for these persons who have made themselves available to lead us and serve the mission of Christ Church:
Jane Dodson
Gordy Hartmann
Joe Hersh
Jeff Hirt
Linda Reese
Tim Shearer
Gary Shupp
Sue Strittmatter
Carole Williams
Council meetings are generally scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm in the Quilting Room. Dates for the first quarter of 2015 are Jan 12, Feb 9, and Mar 9. All interested persons are invited to attend.

As we close out 2014, we have approved several new items or initiatives. Stay tuned for more information as the final details are confirmed and delivery or start dates are announced!
  • ·         New white paraments (from our Memorial Fund)
  • ·         New gas stove (an initiative of George Wilt and our Hospitality Team, funded by a special gift)
  • ·         Nursery staff (seed money provided by a special gift)

We are also beginning the process of exploring options for fire and smoke alarms and for improvements to our sound system. In addition, state law regarding clearances for persons working with children, and for mandated reporting, has recently changed. We are in the first phase of compliance.


The group picture after the Dec 7 cantata. Thanks to Jack for his exceptional leadership!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thailand Mission update

From Karen Weiss, In Mission Together partnership director for Thailand and Mongolia with the General Board of Global Ministries:

The Thailand Mission is growing with new ministries and opportunities for discipleship. Here are some highlights!

Bangkok (Min Buri) UMC- looking to build a permanent home for their church and to be a mission center for the country. The pastor's wife, Wassana, is learning English to be able to participate in the D.Min program through United Theological Seminary. Prayers for Wassana are appreciated!

Angel's Haven Orphanage continues to work with 12 girls who have HIV. Prayers for Gary and Cindy Moon, GBGM Missionaries, the house mother, and the girls for the impending move of the orphanage (by May 2015) to a new location in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Campus Ministry- the Thailand Mission is embarking on a new adventure of campus ministry! A coffee shop, small dormitory, and Christian outreach ministry will be in full swing by mid-May. We will be participating in this ministry on the mission trip in May (details below). 

I thank you for your support of the Thailand Mission and covet your prayers for our work in spreading the Good News throughout the world. 

Thailand Short-Term Mission Trip
I will be leading a team to Bangkok and Chiang Mai in May 2015. Proposed dates are as follows: May 19 to May 29, 2015 (+/- 1 day for best travel deal). We will be working with the Bangkok church and Chiang Mai ministries while there, focusing on building relationships and learning from one another. Some construction may be involved depending on what is happening/needed in these locations. Cost will be approximately $2250-$2500 including all travel arrangements such as airfare to/from JFK, meals, lodging, etc. Please let me know if you are interested in being part of this team as soon as possible so we can get details worked out with the Thailand churches.

Thank you for your continued support of the Thailand Mission!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dressed and Ready (2): For Discomfort

Note: The final section (message body) was missed in the recording.

Dressed and Ready (2): For Discomfort 
2014/12/07 Christ Church, Mountain Top, Advent 2
Message, Isaiah 40.1-11, Mark 1.1-8

Opening theme:
Change in title (not “for forgiveness”)

Princess & the Pea
      Cute or gold-digger?
      Discomfort – reveals who we are
      Discomfort – irritates or frightens
      Discomfort – sensitizes

New title: Dressed and Ready … For Discomfort

Deer skin

Getting ready for Christmas
      Special clothes?
      Special meals or foods?
John the Baptizer’s food and clothes
      “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd”
            Flannery O’Connor

Message body:
Race in America, and the power of police
      Discomfort, that leads to fear - assumption and prejudice
            “Black folks” behaving the way we expect – looting and rioting
            Police, the way we expect – abusing power, racial profiling
      Discomfort, that leads to sensitivity
            The daily frustration and injustice experienced by persons of color
            The peril of policing (to the soul) – exercise power, witness to evil
            Ramah march in Walltown (Durham)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Domino Effect

Gordy, Ric, and Pastor JP attended "The Domino Effect" training on Sat 22 Nov to learn and plan toward adding a third worship service to our regular ministry.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Youth gathering at the Bohanan home for one of their Sunday night gatherings. Talk with Joanne for more information on our young people's ministry.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dressed and Ready (1): For a Do-Over

2014/11/30 Christ Church, Mountain Top, Advent 1
Message, Isaiah 64.1-9, Mark 13.24-37

Opening theme:
Do-over, learned from school yard kick-ball

Getting ready for Christmas
Getting ready for Jesus coming
      To build something better, sometimes you need to tear down
      Building blocks

Message body:
We went on a journey this week
      Oliver at the door when we returned from York
      Oliver waiting for Robin to arrive

      Fig tree – summer is near
      Day and hour no one knows, not the angels or even the Son

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Supporting Immigrants

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño (right) and the Rev. Javier Leyva (standing) pray with Elmer Moreno Gonsales and his daughters Mariela (left) and Katerin at the immigrant welcome center at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Texas.

Last June, at the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas, the regions of Laredo to Brownsville experienced a humanitarian crisis—the arrival of a surge of children and families fleeing violence in their home countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Government facilities were soon overwhelmed, and churches, including The United Methodist Church, responded with centers for hospitality. Church members and volunteers helped new arrivals with bus tickets, showers, clothing, food and other provisions for travel across the U.S., while managing material and financial donations from caring citizens.

To support a holistic response to the more than 62,000 refugees who crossed the U.S.- Mexico border, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) issued a $100,000 grant to the Southwest Texas Annual Conference to support the conference’s immigration ministries at its welcome centers through June 2015.

The funding will provide personnel support, relief supplies, training and coordination, including the hiring of a director of United Methodist immigration ministries. This person will coordinate the church’s response to the influx of refugees, host volunteer groups, manage donations and aid, and serve as a contact person on the immigration crisis in and beyond the region. The director will also advocate for fair and humane treatment of immigrants, both in society at-large and in the U.S. legal system specifically.

You can support this effort and other critical events that develop in the United States with your gifts to U.S. Disaster Response, Advance #901670