UMVIM Western Jurisdiction Newsletter October 15, 2020



Equipping Volunteers, Empowering Partnerships

October 15, 2020
All UMVIM teams are reminded to contact their hosts prior to international and domestic travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Continuing to Learn and Serve

This newsletter is filled with several opportunities.  There are many training opportunities being offered in the Western Jursidiction as well as virtual missions for both youth teams and adults.  As new fires flare up in the Western Jurisdiction other fires are contained and recovery is starting.  UMVIM Early Response volunteers are begining to form in-person teams but they look very different with the required Covid guidelines. Go to the UMVIM website for the Covid Guidelines for UMVIM Site and Team Leaders and if you have questions contact Ronda Cordill the UMVIM WJ Coordinator.  

Mission of the Month:  Wildfires in the Western Jurisdiction
Wildfires…A Sad Reality
Is this the new normal?  A seemingly endless wildfire season.  We hope not.
by Steve Elliott

Two days after finishing our wildfire recovery work near Santa Cruz, the Early Response Team of the California Nevada Conference redeployed to Oroville in Butte County.  The so called North Complex Fire consumed 320,000 acres and destroyed 1500 homes.  Tragically 15 people died.

This is our second United Methodist response to Butte County fires.  We served during the devastating Camp Fire in 2018 that destroyed the Town of Paradise and other nearby communities.  And now this fire in the Lake Oroville area.

We setup operations in the Local Assistance Center.  Over two weeks, we assisted 360 households.  We offered hygiene kits and grocery gift cards.  We gave away protective clothing and tools to search the ashes of homes.  We offered cleaning supplies to the lucky ones that had a smoky/sooty home.
The impacted communities, like Berry Creek and Feather Falls, are relatively low-income areas.  Many people had no home insurance, or even insurance for their possessions, if renting.  Starting over will be a burden beyond imagination.  The Red Cross offered temporary hotel accommodations.  Other groups and FEMA provide nominal financial assistance.  But this short-term aid runs out quickly.  Then what?

The stories are heartbreaking.  We helped sift ashes for one lady, Lori.  Her husband had died seven years ago.  She had survived breast cancer.  Now she loses her home that she had just moved into a few months ago, after four years of construction.  One deaf lady, who lives by herself, had neighbors come get her as the fire approached.  She had not heard the warnings. 

Clyde was alerted by his dog jumping on to his bed in the middle of the night.  He made it out, but his friend up the road, did not.  Two married firefighters lost their home while on duty at another fire.  One man was now living in his car.  Other victims were now “fire nomads” in RV’s they drove out.  Many people lost their beloved pets.  And there was the mother whose daughter had lost her home in the Camp Fire and now her son loses his home in this fire.  We will likely be back in coming years with United Methodist sponsored rebuilding teams.  In the meantime, we prepare to deploy to the next fire.  

Pray for these traumatized victims.  They will need great courage and perseverance to carry on.  Pray for the many first responders who save lives.  And pray for the volunteers like us.  We try our best to provide relief, but are helpless to make it all better.

Contact your Disaster Coordinators or go to your Conference Website for ways to help victims of the fires and support your conference efforts.       

Please support your Conference Disaster Funds
Remember to support UMCOR.  

A virtual mission is the same as a ‘regular’ mission……but different. Just imagine the possibilities as you set the team, plan a week of mission, learn, explore, connect, and partner with project sites around the world!  Here are some missions scheduled for October and November or go to the UMVIM Website for the entire list or follow the mission jouneys on Facebook.   

McCurdy Ministries Community Center, New Mexico.
Dates - Sunday, Oct. 18 – Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily (except Friday).  To sign up for the McCurdy Virtual Mission Trip, email Team Leader Linda Polson, a response with two simple words, “yes, please”.  All are welcome, even if you cannot attend every session.  Linda Polson’s email address is

SACRED DOORS - an urban ministry of Bethany United Methodist Church in Denver, Colorado, invites you to experience a virtual mission journey to learn more about the Denver Metro Area people on the margins. Of course, we hope, by next summer we will all be able to travel and I invite you to consider serving in Denver at Sacred Doors lead you and your team in a service project in person.

To get to know the ministry and what they offer to the youth, Pastors Denice and Nani are offering a Seminar to introduce Sacred Doors to the Conference Staff and Conference youth staff and local church youth leaders in the WJ.  No cost.  The seminar is Thursday, October 29 at 7:00 pm MST

To experience what a Virtual Mission is like for youth you are invited to join the mission.  This is for Conference Staff and local church youth leaders starting Tuesday, November 10 - Friday, November 13.  9:30 a.m. - noon MST each day with additional 1 pm - 3 pm on Friday. 
Our speakers are part of non-profits that work with homeless youths, immigration issues, community home rehab, and a shelter for women and transgendered individuals. Join us as we open some of the Sacred Doors in Denver, Colorado.   
Cost is $125 per person to support the ministries of Sacred Doors.
Mail your check to Bethany UMC; c/o Sacred Doors; 3501 W. 1st Avenue; Denver, CO 80219
To register for either the seminar or the mission go to the Sacred Doors website:  Sacred doors

UMVIM Team Leader Training

UMVIM Team Leader Training This is a 3-day (2 hours each) Training.  Check it out to see what we are teaching and how we are doing it virtually.  To register go to:


Intercultural Communications: an Introduction

Saturday, November 7th, 9 am MST, 10 am CST, 11 am EST.
Are there any clues regarding intercultural communication when you only know one language? Are there principles which can be applied when you only have limited knowledge of the language which you are attempting to communicate with? Generally, there are at least six barriers to intercultural communication - anxiety, assuming similarities instead of differences, ethnocentrism, stereotypes and prejudice, nonverbal misinterpretations, and language problems. It will be impossible to address all these things in one seminar but this introduction will help you overcome certain barriers. You must register for this event since Zoom contact information must be forwarded to you.
Registration is simple! Just email Mel (Miloslav) Munchinsky at
Please include your phone number just in case there are issues prior to the event so that I can contact you quickly. Please send and question or comments when you register.
Deadline for registration is Sun. Nov. 1st.


Discovery ... Mission  Blackfeet United Methodist Parish

Discover...Mission is a program designed to engage young adults in mission while providing leadership training and development to create a new cadre of strong Christian leaders for the Church and world. Applicants must be between the ages of 18-30 at the time of travel. Participants will interact with young adults in the Blackfeet Nation and will be trained as United Methodist Volunteer in Mission Team Leaders. For more information about Blackfeet United Methodist Parish, visit

Dates: July 3-12, 2021
Location: Blackfeet United Methodist Parish, Browning, Montana
Cost: $1400 (including airfare)
Deadline to apply: December 17, 2020



Global Mission Fellows

Do you know a young adult who desires to address the root causes of injustice in their community while living out their faith?
The Global Mission Fellow US-2 Track could be the perfect opportunity for them.
While much is uncertain, the critical work of our placement agencies is as important as ever.  Our US-2 Fellows continue on as essential workers, dedicated to putting their faith into action even in this challenging season for our world. 
Global Mission Fellows seek to combat systematic oppression and alleviate human suffering while serving in a new community.  Fellows serve for two years as a cohort and are able to serve communities across the United States by working in public health, migration issues, poverty situations and much more.  
Click here to learn more and apply
If you have any questions, please email us at


Want a longer mission experience? 

Mission Volunteers are individuals or couples that want to volunteer with a mission site for 2 months or longer. Learn more about how to become part of this program with an online orientation, December 1-3. Participants can become advocates for the program or begin the process for serving as a long-term volunteer.
Click Here for Registration 

Copyright 2018 *United Methodist Volunteers in Mission - Western Jurisdiction*, All rights reserved.

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United Methodist Volunteers in Mission - Western Jurisdiction
20116 W. Sterling Rd, Cheney, WA 9004

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