First United Methodist Church

2020 Communications Focus

We are evolving our communications for improved efficiency and use for our readers. Our goal is to help you simply take action and respond to Pastor David’s call of “How About You?” We would love to hear from you! Send your communications feedback directly to [email protected].


 

Mission Minute: Inua Partners in Hope


Problem

There are 2.5 million orphans in Kenya and over 25,000 of those are in Naivasha, estimates UNICEF. Children continue to suffer the loss of one or both of their parents as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. When this happens, the burden of care falls to elderly family members and the oldest sibling left behind—all of them trapped in poverty.

About

Recommended by our partners in Kenya, the Swahili word “inua” reflects the team effort and communal transformation seen throughout the ministry. Inua is a verb meaning to lift up together, raise up or elevate. This concept of building strength as a community depicts the process by which Inua Partners in Hope helps its at-risk youth restore hope and achieve economic independence. Inua operates in Naivasha, Kenya, located in the Rift Valley Province, northwest of Nairobi. Inua’s work builds relationships with Naivasha’s most vulnerable orphans and youth to help expand their opportunities for a future full of self-sustainability and hope.

Program

Inua Partners in Hope is a comprehensive ministry embracing the well-being of the whole child. Inua transforms lives by empowering youth-led families to reach self sustainability through:

  • food and housing security
  • emotional and spiritual well-being
  • health and hygiene
  • legal support
  • education and vocational training
  • entrepreneurship

Since 2009, Inua Partners in Hope has continued to move these vulnerable, broken children and youth from desperation and grief to a productive life of hope.

Mission

Inua Partners in Hope empowers vulnerable youth living in Naivasha, Kenya to thrive in total wellness and self-sufficiency through community-led mentoring, learning and God’s love.

How to get involved

  • Connect: Visit our website, follow us on social media, sign up to receive email updates, or email [email protected] for more information. We often have areas needing volunteers and would love to find a way for you to use your gifts and talents to support the Inua youth.
  • Pray: Join our team by praying for the 200 youth joining our ministry for the next two years, praying for our mentors and staff in Kenya, praying for our missioners, and praying for our US board and team.
  • Give: Go online to donate today.
  • Go: Reach out to Elizabeth Mathis at [email protected] to learn more about upcoming mission trips to Naivasha, Kenya.

Inua Partners in Hope

\This month marks the launch of a new Inua training cycle (our 4th cohort, we refer to as Cycle 4). This new cycle of youth training will cover 2 years (compared to our previous 3-year cycle). This allows Inua to serve more youth and have an even greater impact in and around Naivasha. We are excited to share a few highlights of our Cycle 3 final assessment.

Because of your support:

  • 87% of graduates either owned their own businesses or were stably employed.
  • Youth increased their average daily earnings from $1.19 to over $4 (easily surpassing their daily needed income of $2.71)!
  • 100% of graduates said they had someone to turn to for support when a problem arises versus only 48% at intake.
Would you prayerfully consider becoming a Partner In Hope? Become financially involved as well as become a Letter Writer to the Cycle 4 youth to ensure continued success and growth of this ministry. To become a Partner In Hope, connect with our team at [email protected] or visit our website at the link below.

A Recent Message from Bishop Carter

This letter is from https://www.flumc.org/ecd-january-2020-newsletter.


Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Florida Conference,

Grace and Peace to you, in the name and spirit of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, in these first days of a new year.

I write to commend to you the fruit of a mediation process undertaken by sixteen United Methodists, entitled “A Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.” The eight-page document, linked here, represents work done by a group of United Methodists from across the world who represent many (not all) of the important streams of our church. This work was done in collaboration with Mr. Kenneth Feinberg, noted mediator known for his work with the September 11 Victim’s Compensation Fund, the Virginia Tech and Boston Marathon victims, and the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster. Mr. Feinberg, who is not a United Methodist, offered his professional guidance to us pro bono.

The Protocol is offered in service to the delegates who will gather four short months from now in Minneapolis for the 2020 General Conference. It is not perfect–no mediation is–but it gives a great deal to each of these different streams, more than I could have imagined at the beginning. All of this has been done—and the word I hear from many is that it is something of a miracle—without harming these persons. I attribute this to the work of the Holy Spirit.

The protocol was unanimously affirmed and signed by the sixteen participants.

Key features of the mediation protocol and proposed legislation that will follow are:

  • The ongoing existence of The United Methodist Church
  • A gracious way of departure for a traditionalist conservative Methodist Church, with a financial settlement.
  • The creation of four regional conferences—Africa, U.S., Europe, Philippines—each with its own ability to adapt the Book of Discipline.
  • The removal of restrictive language related to LGBTQ identity and practice in the U.S. post-separation United Methodist Church immediately following the May General Conference.
  • Holding in abeyance any administrative or judicial processes regarding restrictions in the Book of Discipline related to LGBTQ persons, as of January 1, 2020.
  • Creation of a fund to strengthen the Black Church and ministries with and among marginalized persons.
  • No annual conference or local church is required to vote on departure from the United Methodist Church.
  • No one is asked to leave or separate from the church.
  • Annual Conferences and local churches may vote to depart from The United Methodist Church with their property in order to participate in another Methodist expression.
  • Wespath will offer a continuity of service across the various Methodist expressions.

Note: This brief summary is not intended to be a substitute for the actual reading of the protocol. It is simply to encourage United Methodists to develop an understanding of the contents of the protocol. I encourage you to view the following documents:

Much of the effect of this protocol will be how we receive it and how we turn toward each other. It is not about winners or losers, but about how God’s promise of grace and reconciliation relates to our structures, convictions, and hopes. It is significant, and at the same time, it is one step in a journey.

For me, this mediation work is in the fulfillment of my consecration vows as a bishop, to seek the unity of the church. And for me, it is in continuity with the work of the Commission on a Way Forward.

  • No one has to vote to leave the church.
  • No one is being asked to leave the church.
  • And The United Methodist Church, under the cross and flame, will continue to be in ministry across the world.

We were told in the mediation process that if we did not write the narrative, it would be written for us. A culture of trials related to LGBTQ persons in the church becomes the dominant narrative. By holding these administrative and judicial processes in abeyance until the resolution of these matters, we are able to devote our energies to working and walking together to finding reconciliation and grace through structural separation.

I give thanks for those who participated in the mediation and particularly to Mr. Kenneth Feinberg, who led us in this process. I give thanks for all of the people of the Florida Conference, and believe this mediation does no harm to anyone of them. I also place great trust in our delegation to the 2020 General Conference. They are authorized to help our church to move forward into a new season of mission and flourishing.

In the interim, we have much work to do in service to our Lord, in the strengthening of our local churches and ministries. We have an important question to answer: “What kind of annual conference will we be?” And we are in connection with each other, for a larger purpose: “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

This will continue to be my focus, and I ask you to join me.

The Peace of the Lord,
+Ken Carter
Bishop, Florida Conference, The United Methodist Church

Missions and Outreach 2019 Recap

Wow, what a year! Thanks to YOUR heart of service, we have accomplished so much this year. Let’s recap a few things we achieved as a church family:

  • 8 mission teams served in Kenya, Costa Rica, Tennessee, and Louisiana
  • 170 Inua youth graduated from the program in August and 200 more youth will enter Inua Partners in Hope in January
  • More than 1,500 Street Eats bags assembled and delivered
  • 15,000 meals packed with Rise Against Hunger to be sent overseas to those who are hungry
  • 20 families visited us over 5 weeks through our partnership with Family Promise and felt the love of Christ as we provided a safe & comfortable home for them each week
  • 42 men received interview clothing and a chance at a better job & career through our involvement with Jobs Partnership
  • More than 80 volunteers served over 3,000 meals at Daily Bread
  • Athletic shoes collected & distributed for our neighbors in need
  • Over 1,000 bagged lunches assembled and delivered to our unhoused neighbors through #LunchBag events on the Reeves Center
  • 250 Thanksgiving meals donated by our church family, packed by Girls Scouts and delivered to Reeves Terrace through the City of Orlando
  • 4 packed SUVs of Christmas toys to United Against Poverty through our Sharing Christmas toy drive

Countless lives have been transformed this year because we as a community allow the love of Christ to shine through us while we serve as He served!

Where will you serve? Let’s see how we can make a difference and change the world in 2020!