Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Global Ministries - ConnectNMission
August 18, 2016 · Issue 17

In this issue of connectNmission, learn how UMC #GivingTuesday gifts provided training and solar ovens for poor families in the Dominican Republic; watch a photo slideshow of the recent commissioning of Global Mission Fellows; and learn about upcoming events.

A woman in SamanĂ¡, Dominican Republic, rejoices over a cake and loaf of bread she baked in a solar oven.
Ysabel Medina and Lucy Sanchez, members of Iglesia Evangélica Domincana (IED) in Samaná, Dominican Republic, understand the powerful impact solar cooking can have on families in their communities who struggle to put food on their tables. Cooking with solar ovens is an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to cooking with the traditional charcoal, wood, or propane cooking fuel.

“There are a lot of low-income people who don’t have the resources to buy gas and who wake up and say, ‘How am I going to cook today?’” explained Medina, a teacher and a young mother of two. Medina and Sanchez were invited by their pastor to attend the first solar cooking demonstrations offered by Solar Oven Partners (SOP) UMC, Advance #418812.

“We now know the benefits of the solar oven, and we can save money. That is huge,” continued Medina.

Thanks to donations from 2015 UMC #GivingTuesday to SOP UMC, more than 750 people have benefited from the training and distribution of 151 ovens at a cost of $150 per oven. The donations helped fill SOP’s first sea-container shipment, consisting of 1,110 solar ovens and assembly tools, plus a second sea container, which included 5,260 black enamel cooking pots.

During SOP’s last four international mission trips, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) teams distributed about 240 solar ovens to newly trained cooks in the community, with more to come. The first solo national team is going out under the leadership of Global Ministries missionaries Gordon and Ardell Graner this month to offer more training and distribute more ovens. The donations are also helping to propel SOP’s ministry to the Caribbean, after years of working in Haiti.

The solar ministry is being carried out in partnership with the Graners and dedicated UMVIM teams who offer their time and talents in preparing oven components and kit items for the workshops.

This story and photograph is credited to Connie Smith, newsletter editor for Solar Oven Partners.

This month, The United Methodist Church welcomed 43 new young adult missionaries who were commissioned at Grace Church in Atlanta, Georgia, on the compound of the denomination’s new world mission center.

Global Mission Fellows, who are between the ages of 20 and 30, serve two years in justice ministries around the world. Those commissioned this month are from 11 countries and 15 U.S. states. They will serve in 19 countries and illustrate the Global Ministries philosophy of mission “from everywhere to everywhere.”

Watch a slideshow of images taken from the event by United Methodist News Service photographer Mike DuBose.


August 23, 2016
Screening, Intervening and Referring for Alcohol Problems:
Tools and Strategies for Faith Communities Webinar

1:00-2:00 PM ET

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics, a partner of Global Ministries’ Global Health unit, is offering a free webinar that will offer faith communities the tools and strategies to care for those affected by substance abuse.

This is the first webinar in a four-part series supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and co-sponsored by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), National Drug Endangered Children (DEC), and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC). Register here.

September 25-27, 2016
Transforming Communities Summit - A Ministry With the Poor Experiential Training
Theressa Hoover Memorial UMC
Better Community Development
Little Rock, Arkansas

The Transforming Communities Summit will provide churches, faith-based groups, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders a firsthand opportunity to witness, experience, and exchange ideas on strategies to strengthen our communities, create partnerships within communities, and network with others engaged in ministries with the poor. Register here.

September 27, 2016
Healthy Families Webinar
2:00 pm Central Daylight Time

This interactive webinar will discuss the five dimensions of health highlighting how church leaders can nurture these aspects of health in their communities. Register here.

Photos in order of appearance:

News: A woman in Samaná, Dominican Republic, rejoices over a cake and loaf of bread she baked in a solar oven. Photo Credit: Connie Smith

Media: Newly commissioned Global Mission Fellows of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries celebrate with officiants and those who helped train them following a service at Grace United Methodist Church in Atlanta. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS