You are called to 'Change the World'
BY JOHN GAUTHIER
SPECIAL TO THE UMCONNECTION
As we move through these last few days in summer and into fall, and as the date of Change the World gets closer and closer, I feel it is important to remember the potential our efforts have to do real, appreciable good in the lives around us.
Hunger is rampant throughout the world. Statistics from the World Food Programme indicate that as many as one in seven go hungry each day, and with military conflicts raging and economies teetering in many places, hunger will be a continuing challenge to overcome.
In response, on Oct. 12, more than 80 volunteers from Emmanuel UMC in Laurel and Heavens Door Church will come together to assemble 20,000 food packets for Stop Hunger Now. These meals will go to feed people throughout Central America, Africa and Asia, helping to fill in a few of the gaps.
There are empty stomachs here as well. Fall and winter mark a time of great need for many homeless and undernourished who live among us. Pantries all over Maryland and Washington, D.C., plead for donations and volunteers throughout this time. As an answer to this need, The United Methodist Women and Men are organizing food drives which will benefit the Maryland and Washington areas. Every can of food means one less person missing a meal.
Our efforts to Change the World are being created to fit the shape of the need around us. Youth and adults from Pasadena and Hall UMCs will be working together this October to bring together individuals with experience at Camp Hope with people in need throughout their communities. These volunteers will provide the service of maintenance and repair for the houses of residents who are unable to perform the upkeep themselves. This will also help the workers gain training in vital skills.
Finding the missing pieces is important. It can be easy to miss things that people need and we take for granted. For instance, members of Union UMC in Lothian are preparing and delivering 100 personal hygiene kits to South River Health and Rehab Center on Oct. 13.
All the many efforts our congregations give each year to mission are vital. From mission trips to Haiti at Foundry UMC, to Lend-a-Hand events like those held by Grace UMC in Fort Washington, our many talents and resources can be shared across our communities. Even if your congregation is unable to participate this year, there are opportunities available throughout the conference to make a difference on that weekend.
The mission work we participate in throughout the Baltimore-Washington Conference is vital to the lives of many around us. So many people at this point in time have had their lives broken up and scattered. Our hands can be there to help pick up those pieces, to share the load and reassemble what we can. Every piece counts when we set our hearts to ministry that will change the world.
To learn more or register for the event, visit www.bwcumc.org/events/changetheworld.