First United Methodist Church of Redding, along with other members of the community, is helping to change the world – and is sharing its story to inspire other churches.
The video Genocide No More – Save Darfur, produced by Leah Thompson for the group by the same name, shows the impact that one small community in northern California can make.
Since 2003, more than 300,000 Darfurans have been killed and more than 4,000,000 others, displaced, in ethnic cleansing and civil war that has raged in the Sudan for generations.
The tragedy captured Marvin Steinberg's attention – and his heart – during a time of personal crisis. He already was "talking a lot to God," he says, when he saw Ann Curry's reports from the Sudan.
It was a pivotal moment. He says in the video, "I told God that if I were to recover from this, I would do something about Darfur."
And he did. Steinberg founded the group, "Genocide No More: Save Darfur," which began with a community-wide meeting and has gone on to raise more than $45,000 in the past five years, to provide humanitarian aid to Darfur.
The group hopes the video will inspire other churches to join the cause or to take up one of their own. "I have faith, that besides the activity of the Redding UMC, with more churches involved in the continuous movements for the people of Darfur, there will be a positive difference in the lives of the Darfur people," writes Vickie Blomquist, sister of Mary Burns, a member of the Redding Committee to End the Darfur Genocide.
Video runs 5 min. 57 sec. and features several United Methodists, including the Rev. Bill Stegall (retired), a former Nevada-Sierra District superintendent, and Mary Burns and Greg Lawson of Redding UMC. Lawson's original song, "Brick by Brick," provides a haunting soundtrack to the video.
"I believe Margaret Mead's words – when she said that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world." — Vicki Ono.