UMNS Briefs

March 17, 2011

United Methodists Prepare for Red River Floods
Fargo, N.D. (UMNS) – United Methodists from the Dakotas Annual Conference have completed the first step in their flood fight: filling sandbags. Operations at a warehouse dubbed Sandbag Central wrapped up March 11 as volunteers put the finishing touches on approximately 2.5 million bags. The effort began on Valentine's Day.

The National Weather Service is predicting a third straight year of major Red River flooding in the Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota, area, prompting officials to begin making sandbags one month earlier than last year. The river is expected to crest in late March or early April.
Cleanup Kits Offer Relief for N.J. Flood Victims
WARETOWN, N.J. (UMNS) – The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference is coordinating efforts to provide cleanup kits to those affected by weekend floods in the northern part of the state. The Conference also is working with the Baltimore-Washington Conference to organize early-response teams for flood recovery, said the Rev. Derrick Doherty, Greater New Jersey's disaster-response coordinator.
As of Monday, many towns and communities remained underwater after heavy rains pushed the Passaic River over its banks. Doherty said that at least one United Methodist church, St. Philip's Ministry in Paterson, has sustained flood damage. Doherty, pastor of Waretown United Methodist Church, said the best thing United Methodists outside the state can do to help is assemble cleanup kits for the United Methodist Committee on Relief. "It's just a wonderful example of our connectionalism," he said. "The cleanup kits we're using could have been made down in Mississippi or some other state."
UM Men Support Clergywomen
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – The National Association of Conference Presidents of United Methodist Men confessed that some churches have not always been supportive of women clergy. Meeting March 3-6 in Nashville, the men sent a resolution to the 2012 General Conference, the denomination's top lawmaking body, urging men to welcome women to the pulpits of their churches, and asked local chapters of United Methodist Men to invite clergywomen to share in their studies and activities.
Commission Offers Bulletin Inserts, Covers On Women's History
CHICAGO (UMNS) – In recognition of Women's History Month, the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women is offering six free reproducible bulletin inserts that take women out of the footnotes of the denomination's history and place them in the main story line. The agency also has created four bulletin covers, each with a historical photo and a litany on the back. The resources may be used at any time to honor women who have played significant roles in the Church and in the world as champions for Jesus Christ. Download free inserts here.
Helping Communities Access Clean Water
NEW YORK (UMNS) – Alice Koech, a native of Tengecha, Kenya, knows all too well the struggle to obtain water. As a child, she rose early in the morning to get water for her family before going to school. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is helping Alice and the other 20,000 residents assisted by the Tengecha Community Water Project.
United Methodist congregations can observe World Water Day on March 22 by sharing information about this project, downloading the church bulletin, and learning how UMCOR helps vulnerable communities throughout Africa gain access to safe water. Click here to donate to UMCOR Advance #3020600.