UMVIM mission grows in Cal-Nevada

May 17, 2007

The past 15 years have seen incredible growth in the volunteer movement that is United Methodist Volunteers in Mission. In 1992 the total numbers of volunteers was just under 20,000. By last year it had risen to more than five times that number – to 110,912. UMVIM’s parent agency, the General Board of Global Ministries, credits a grassroots desire to be personally involved in mission as the reason behind the stellar increase.


That one-on-one involvement reflected high numbers of Volunteers in Mission from the California-Nevada Conference in 2006. According to UMVIM Coordinator Dr. Sue King, last year saw a bumper crop for Volunteers in Mission as dozens of churches worked around the Conference, across the borders and in the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast region. According to King, Volunteers in Mission in Cal-Nevada provided more than half a million dollars in UMVIM gifts last year, with the majority of that going to hurricane recovery. King says the real excitement is how the UMVIM movement in Cal-Nevada is maturing.


“There are some churches that are experienced in UMVIM and no longer need help with coordinating the logistics through our Conference office. I encourage their taking on more responsibility – after all, UMVIM should be about empowering and growing leadership in the local church.” But King adds that going it alone as an UMVIM team has a down side. “We need to know what our teams are doing so that we can: 1) be able to offer assistance, if needed, 2) have their team included in our prayer request, and 3) link individuals looking for teams with the teams looking for more members.”


In the past 12 months more than 50 teams have donned UMVIM t-shirts and tools to head to places as close as Elverta, CA and as far away as China. Though its devastation is now relegated to the back of news pages, damage from the 2005 hurricane season remains a top priority for the California-Nevada UMVIM program and the Conference program. More teams are needed and UMVIM has incentives to aid those churches needing encouragement to join in the recovery.


“The Board of Missions has provided funding for scholarships for UMVIM team members, based on need and a strong commitment to telling the United Methodist community about their UMVIM experience when they return,” says King. “I’d love to help churches get started in their first-ever UMVIM experience by offering team leader trainings in their district and by offering scholarship support, too. Also, I am encouraging experienced UMVIM teams to consider helping in Texas, whose communities were also heavily damaged by the storms of 2005. Individuals can apply for the scholarships more than one time!”


"So," King says, "What are you waiting for? Call the California-Nevada UMVIM office today, or check us out on the web at!”