It likely is no coincidence that The United Methodist Church's annual Change the World event (May 19-20) comes on the heels of World Malaria Day (April 25). From the beginning, Change the World has partnered with the Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign, "to build community locally through service projects, and fight malaria globally."
As World Malaria Day approaches, consider the role that "imagining no malaria" can play in "changing the world." And realize that The United Methodist Church – your Church – is committed to both.
Imagine No Malaria has the audacious goal of raising $75 million to empower the entire African continent to achieve a sustainable victory over malaria by 2015 through prevention, education, communication, and treatment. $75 million! The biggest amount ever raised by the denomination for a single cause.
The California-Nevada Annual Conference intends to help. Already, the Annual Conference Offering for this year has been designated to support Imagine No Malaria – and that is just a first step in building our support for, and involvement with, this life-giving project.
Does your congregation want to be involved in Change the World, but hasn't decided on a project? Consider one related to Imagine No Malaria. Many congregations choose an INM event as their way to participate in Change the World.
Change the World was created by United Methodist Communications (UMCom) – as part of an effort to Rethink Church by utilizing outreach events to make a positive difference in the world beyond our church doors. The event is based on a concept originated by the Rev. Mike Slaughter, author of Change the World: Recovering the Message and Mission of Jesus.
It has become a movement.
Local service projects vary, and include raising funds for worthy causes, feeding the hungry, planting gardens, advocating for peace and justice, and more. Last year Change the World engaged 250,000 volunteers, to impact 3 million lives in a positive way.
"Vital congregations are engaged in mission, and Change the World illustrates the power of our interconnectedness," says the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. "Last year, more than 2,000 events took place in 15 countries. Change the World presents an opportunity to transform lives in connection with others."
And new research from UMCom reveals that churches that provide opportunities to help their communities are viewed much more favorably because of their active, "outside the church" approach.
United Methodist Communications has created several Change the World resources to help churches with project ideas, information on how to advertise free events, and a sermon series.
Other partners in Change the World include United Methodist Publishing House, the General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, the General Board of Discipleship, and the General Board of Church and Society.