Partnership creates Sierra Leone clinic
VILLAGE, Sierra Leone (UMNS) – People needing health care in the remote
communities of Manonkoh, Rokon, Maserry and Masethie in northern Sierra
Leone used to be in dire straits. Pregnant women in labor and people
with other health emergencies were rushed from these communities on
motorbikes – the main means of transportation in rural Sierra Leone –
through a 30-kilometer stretch of bad road to Makeni, the provincial
capital, for treatment, sometimes during odd hours of the night.
Stories abound of patients who had lost their lives to treatable
ailments because their families could not convoy them in time to
receive immediate medical attention.
All that changed on June 4 when the United Methodist Sierra Leone
Conference, in partnership with United Methodists in Minnesota,
dedicated a $60,000 health facility in Manonkoh Village.
Funded mainly by the Lance and Julie Burma Foundation of Minnesota,
the new Doris Acton UMC Community Health Center is named after a parish
nurse from Minnesota. “Today, the focus of the clinic continues to be
primary care to all people; care that is accessible and affordable,”
Acton said. “Nobody is turned away. We primarily focus on the diseases
that cause the biggest morbidity and mortality rates in children …
malaria, pneumonia, worms and diarrhea.”
By United Methodist News Service* Aug. 25, 2008
Bishop James S. Thomas
Black Methodists for Church Renewal has established two financial
endeavors to encourage, connect and train African-American youth and
young adults in The United Methodist Church and to support the work of
the church's black caucus. A permanent endowment honoring Bishop James S. Thomas and his
wife, Ruth, will provide support for leadership of African-American
youth and young adults.
A second financial endeavor is a planned giving program to support
BMCR mission initiatives and the caucus’ work as an advocacy, ministry
and leadership development organization in behalf of more than 2,400
primarily black United Methodist congregations across the United States.
The caucus board of directors established the financial initiatives during its Aug. 15-16 meeting in Nashville, Tenn.
"If we are concerned about the future of BMCR, we need to find a way
to empower and involve the young people of our constituency," said
retired Bishop Forrest C. Stith, a consultant to the board.
He suggested initiating efforts toward creative programming,
increasing attendance at various United Methodist conferences and
organizing special events that would attract young people.
"This is an opportunity for BMCR to develop unearned income," said
the Rev. Joseph L. Crawford Sr., treasurer of the board. "Our time
under God is now to develop and direct these funds."
BMCR, along with the United Methodist Church Foundation, launched
the endowment with $50,000 and a desire to raise at least $250,000 to
begin awarding grants to annual (regional) conferences and
jurisdictions to sponsor youth leadership events.
The fund connects with the goals of the Thomas Shockley Youth
Theological Academy, a two-week program that identifies and nurtures
children with the potential to be strong United Methodist leaders. The
academy is named in honor of Bishop Thomas and the late Rev. Grant
Shockley, a noted Christian educator, who began conversations on how to
work with young people in the church.
The separate giving program was established with an initial $10,000 contribution by BMCR Chairperson Cheryl L. Walker.
For more information, visit www.bmcrumc.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This story is based on a news release by Pamela Crosby, executive director of Black Methodists for Church Renewal.
News media contact: Linda Green, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (615) 742-5470 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email@example.com.
The late Bishop James S. Thomas, A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose
. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself"(Lev. 19:18) calls for individual and corporate responsibility. John Wesleywrote, "The gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social. No holinessbut social holiness. Faith working by love is the length and breadth and depth andheight of Christian perfection" (Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739, ¶ 5). As we pray and reflect this Lenten season, may we embracelife with hope, expectancy, and the assurance that God through Christ Jesus iscalling us to prepare our hearts, minds, and hands to work for the NewCreation. And may we nurture and care for one another and for those to whom weare inextricably connected by God's grace around the world. With expectancy and hope, Bishop Gregory PalmerPresident, Council of Bishops Neil M. AlexanderChair, The Table of General Secretaries Bishop John HopkinsChair, The Connectional Table www.umc.org/focusareas