Twelve years ago California-Nevada honored Bishop Melvin G. Talbert's wife, Ethelou, with a Conference Offering dedicated to establishing the Ethelou D. Talbert Shelter for Girls in Manila. Bishop Brown was then Chair of the Conference Board of Missions and represented the Conference at the dedication of the shelter.
In 2001 the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation, Inc., a United Methodist social development institution, expanded and improved its services by constructing the Center for Children and Youth Welfare, popularly known as the Gilead Center, in the countryside of the province of Bulacan. The Ethelou D. Talbert Shelter for Girls was moved to the new location, which provides a better environment for the children while they are being assisted.
In 2010 we affirm our commitment to this project by designating this year's Annual Conference Offering for the Gilead Center for Children and the Ethelou D. Talbert Shelter.
The mission of the Gilead Center is to:
· provide education, food, and clothing to children suffering from the devastating effects of poverty
· serve the poor in a caring and liberating way
· journey with the poor in building a new heaven and a new earth
Currently the shelter is housing and serving 32 children – 15 girls and 17 boys – at a cost of $707 per child, per year. Our goal is to raise enough funds with our offerings to provide 50% of that cost.
KKFI, formerly the Methodist Social Center, has been in existence for 60 years. As a social development institution, it has remained at the side of the poor in their continuing struggle toward liberation, empowerment, and self-reliance. The Gilead Center takes its name from Jeremiah 8:22, which asks, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?"
In designating the 2010 Annual Conference Offering for the Gilead Center for Children and the Ethelou D. Talbert Shelter, we affirm our commitment to CO-CREATE, INITIATE and RADIATE love for Jesus Christ and our neighbors!
The Conference Offering bulletin insert will be available to download on Monday, April 12.
(To access it, click on "Annual Conference Session" under the "Quick Links" menu on the Home Page of the Conference website at cnumc.org.)