Sonoma County UMCs Join in the Fight Against Malaria
The United Methodist Church is making great strides in the effort to wipe out malaria, a treatable, preventable disease, transmitted primarily by mosquitoes, which disproportionately strikes down poor pregnant women and children in sub-Saharan Africa, India, Afghanistan, and parts of Latin America and Asia.
The Methodists in Sonoma County are uniting to do their part, gathering at First UMC Santa Rosa on Sunday, February 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. for an educational and fundraising rally including worship with Bridges District Superintendent, the Rev. Schuyler Rhodes, a blood drive, information on local vector control from community partners, and food (especially featuring tastes from countries impacted by malaria). Attendees are encouraged to carpool to this special event. On this day, the circuit churches will launch a common Lenten worship emphasis using the "Thrive" materials from United Methodist Communications. A follow-up event is planned for the spring to report back and celebrate the educational and fundraising impact made in each community.
"This is an excellent opportunity to get our congregations noticed in our wider communities for engaging in things that matter in our world, especially caring for 'the least of these' who often go unnoticed," says Pastor Laurie McHugh of Windsor, who is helping to organize the event.
Bloodsource will be on the site from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If 25 blood donors participate, Bloodsource will donate 10 bed nets to Imagine No Malaria. Make an appointment online at www.bloodsource.org/drives and enter location code R458.