19 Arkansas Women in Desperate Need of Adoption Aid After Lawyer’s Lies

19 Arkansas Women in Desperate Need of Adoption Aid After Lawyer’s Lies

At least 19 Marshallese women in Northwest Arkansas are in desperate need of immediate assistance after an Arizona lawyer falsified information about adoption plans for their soon-to-be-born children.

Paul D. Petersen — an adoption attorney from Mesa, Arizona — brought at least 19 pregnant women to Arkansas from the Marshall Islands, a former territory of the United States located in the central Pacific Ocean, under the assumption that their infants would be adopted by willing parents in the U.S.

Petersen was arrested Tuesday, Oct. 8 in Arizona, and faces 19 counts of illegally bringing pregnant women to the U.S. for adoptions, as well as 32 felony charges in Arizona, and 11 illegal adoption counts in Utah.

According to news reports, these women are in desperate need of financial support to help pay for their transportation and living expenses.

The Arkansas Conference for the United Methodist Church is accepting donations to support the Marshallese Mothers.

To donate online, visit bit.ly/arumc-donate or send a check by mail to ARUMC c/o Marshallese Mothers, 800 W. Daisy Bates, Little Rock, AR, 72202.

Volunteers needed for General Conference

Volunteers needed for General Conference

Nashville, Tenn.: Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles during the 2020 General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly, which will meet in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 5-15, 2020.

At this time, volunteers are needed for the following positions: recorders, channel “B” identifiers and verbatim transcribers/copy editors.

Recorders will serve as members of the staff of the secretary of the General Conference and work in direct support of their assigned legislative committee. Recorders are responsible for entering data such as the time, date, and results of committee votes, as well as making changes to pre-entered petition text to reflect the amendments approved by the committee. This information is prepared for the recorder by the legislative committee secretary, who manually tracks this information as it happens. The recorder is not responsible for taking minutes or tracking the discussion of the legislative committee.

Channel “B” identifiers will serve as members of the staff of the editor of the Daily Christian Advocate (DCA), the official record of the activity of the General Conference. Channel “B” identifiers will follow action of the plenary, repeating delegates’ names, annual conferences and vote tallies into a microphone.

Verbatim transcribers/copy editors also serve as members of the staff of the editor of the DCA. They are responsible for using Microsoft Word to create transcriptions of the plenary session. They will listen to audio files and transcribe the recordings.

Travel, double occupancy housing, and food per diem provisions will be provided. Those interested can apply here now through November 21, 2019.

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About General Conference
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church, which meets once every four years. The conference can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues.

Contact:
Diane Degnan ddegnan@umcom.org
615.742.5406 (office) 615.483.1765 (cell)

Ebony Bishops Demand a Voice in Discussions on UMC Future

Ebony Bishops Demand a Voice in Discussions on UMC Future

The Ebony Bishops of The United Methodists Church (African-American bishops serving in the United States) have called on the denomination to include African-American clergy and laity in the ongoing discussions on the future of the church, as they provide the unique voice of hope for the future, not only for the Black church, but also for the unity of the entire denomination.

In a statement released October 21, 2019 by co-chairs Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling of Baltimore-Washington Conference and Bishop Leonard Fairley of Kentucky Conference, the Ebony Bishops said the voice of the Black church has, within its spiritual, historical, and theological DNA, a word that needs to be spoken into the current conversations being held throughout The United Methodist Church.

“Our witness is grounded in our experience of deliverance from enslavement, Jim Crow, the exclusionary practices of The Central Jurisdiction and the on-going discrimination in our world,” the statement said, adding:

“The Black church understands the prophetic witness required in liminal spaces, spaces of the already and the not yet. Our faith, praise, stewardship and disciple-making focus did not and has not wavered, even as we yet await full justice and righteousness both within and without of the church. The brokenness of our world and denomination can benefit from this steadfast experience and voice. “

The statement by the Ebony Bishops was written after a recent forum that the bishops hosted for key leaders in the Black Church in the United States. The Ebony Bishops also released five points and issues that were identified as cardinal to black leadership at the forum.

Click here to read to full statement from the Ebony Bishops.

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Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
mmulenga@umc-cob.org
202-748-5172

Early Response Team Assists Homeowners Throughout the State with Disaster Recovery

The Perryville UMC’s Early Response Team assisted with tornado and flood recovery throughout the state this summer. Photos show the various projects the team helped with over the past few months. || Photos provided by Ida Rose

The Perryville UMC’s Early Response Team assisted with tornado and flood recovery throughout the state this summer. Photos show the various projects the team helped with over the past few months. || Photos provided by Ida Rose

The Perryville UMC’s Early Response Team assisted with tornado and flood recovery throughout the state this summer. Photos show the various projects the team helped with over the past few months. || Photos provided by Ida Rose

The Perryville UMC’s Early Response Team assisted with tornado and flood recovery throughout the state this summer. Photos show the various projects the team helped with over the past few months. || Photos provided by Ida Rose

The Perryville UMC’s Early Response Team assisted with tornado and flood recovery throughout the state this summer. Photos show the various projects the team helped with over the past few months. || Photos provided by Ida Rose

The Perryville UMC’s Early Response Team assisted with tornado and flood recovery throughout the state this summer. Photos show the various projects the team helped with over the past few months. || Photos provided by Ida Rose

By Ida Rose

Perryville UMC

The Perryville United Methodist Church Early Response Team has been working very hard this summer as neighbors helping neighbors due to tornadoes and flooding. Byron and Janice Mann, Arkansas Conference Disaster Response Coordinators, have deployed our volunteer team to sites all over the state.

We began, along with other local volunteers, assessing damages from a destructive tornado in Bergman, Arkansas, near Harrison.

In May, we received an urgent call to help move a lady and her family from the flooded banks of the Arkansas River at Toad Suck near Conway. Our team, along with another team of volunteers from the Greenbrier United Methodist Church, moved her personal belongings from her house to another house near Conway Lake.

A group of volunteers gathered at Mayflower, loaded trailers and trucks with UMCOR cleaning buckets out of a 18-wheeler from Sager Brown, and transported them to the Fort Smith area. The Perryville UMC Team did more than 100 assessments in Perry County on flooded homes in the middle of June. Volunteers from Adona UMC and Perryville UMC also worked on building a wheelchair ramp and enlarging doors for the wheelchair in the home. Volunteers cleaned out and unloaded building supplies from a storage pod in Mayflower and put them in a storage unit in Conway. More flood assessments were made in Perry County and helped load cleaning buckets to be delivered in Pine Bluff.

In July, members from Batesville UMC and members from Perryville UMC spent several weeks at a house on River Bend Road, Perry County, mucking out the house. After it dried, we insulated the walls, then hung sheetrock.

In August, members from Batesville UMC, Harrison UMC and Perryville UMC traveled to Wright, Arkansas, 30 miles from Pine Bluff, completely mucking out a house that had 4 feet of water in it and the homeowners lost most of their personal belongings.

After mucking out was completed, we repaired and braced up the floor joists, replaced new sub-flooring, and installed insulation and sheetrock. Lakeside UMC of Pine Bluff provided great hospitality with a place to stay overnight and showers. One evening, they invited us to join them for dinner in their Fellowship Hall.

We continued to work at Wright until we finished all the work we were required to do. The next day, we were sent to Lavaca, near Fort Smith, to muck out a flooded home. Because we had additional volunteers from the Adona United Methodist Church to help on the house, we finished all the mucking out in the afternoon. We were also blessed with a nice lunch provided by the ladies from the First Baptist Church of Lavaca.

We want to thank everyone who volunteered on all these houses. Every home owner couldn’t thank us enough for our kindness and willingness to help them. We always feel like we are the ones that are blessed because we love to help people and love to give back wherever we are needed.

God’s Joy

You see – and sometimes experience – so much suffering it’s easy to start assuming the worst is always going to happen. That’s why God wants you to start with God’s joy. God’s joy does not simply mask cynicism, negativity and worst assumptions. Rather, it literally re-forms you so you become compassionate instead of overwhelmed by suffering, hopeful instead of depressed by pain and purposeful instead of stymied by difficult questions. So go ahead and take that step to tap into God’s joy and experience a power that will change your life – starting right now!