UMCOR / News Room / Hotline News Update / Archives 2009
  • May 12, 2009

The UMCOR Hotline

In Today's Hotline:

*UMCOR: New Ryckman Fund Sets Malaria Challenge

*HAITI: Birthing Kits Are Essential in Rural Communities

*US: Coffee Helps Church Become Better Stewards

*JFON: Legal Help

*RESOURCES: Starting a Health Ministry?


UMCOR has established the Ryckman Fund, in honor of Anne Ryckman, a deceased parishioner of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., who left a generous $1.7 million from her estate to UMCOR. Ryckman was a lifetime member of St Paul’s UMC and was known for her quiet acts of generosity throughout her life.

Last week, from the newly-established Ryckman Fund, UMCOR issued a malaria challenge grant to help raise $200,000 for a 1.2 million malaria net distribution taking place this November in Sierre Leone. The goal for United Methodists is to match the $200,000 by June 30.

Between now and June 30, it is predicted that malaria will take 80,000 more lives in Africa. By meeting the challenge, United Methodists will save lives that would be lost to this preventable, yet deadly disease. Support this initiative by giving to Nothing But Nets, UMCOR Advance #982015. Online Giving


A woman in La Gonave, Haiti was about to give birth without a midwife or hospital assistance. Global Ministries’ missionary and retired nurse, Pastor Shirley Edgerton was on-hand to help the mother in delivery. Praying to God for assistance she prepared a make shift birthing kit.

Her kit included dental floss in place of string and a sterile scalpel in place of a razor blade to cut and tie the umbilical cord. She padded the porch floor with blankets to receive Maria Lumia or “Mary of Light” into the world.

Birthing kits are essential in rural communities. They provide the basic, sanitary items to aid in safe and healthy deliveries, reducing the risk of Tetanus infections.

A birthing kit costs about $8 to assemble. Download birthing kit instructions now or give to Material Resources, UMCOR Advance #901440 Online Giving to help purchase its contents.


Members of the Nu Class, an inter-generational Sunday School Class at First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Orlando, Fl., found a way to support UMCOR and enjoy fair trade coffee while becoming better stewards of the environment.

The group funded UMCOR’s Coffee Project by collecting monthly pledges from several FUMC Sunday school classes. FUMC made the switch from ‘regular’ coffee from a major distributor to fair trade coffee from Equal Exchange, a 100 percent fair trade, worker-owned co-operative. The group now orders four cases a month, hoping others will leverage fair trade awareness through fundraising efforts.

When you purchase fair trade products through Equal Exchange, you are part of a partnership that helps farmers stay on their land, care for the environment, and help support their families. Visit Equal Exchange Interfaith Store now and make your fair trade purchases today. You can also support UMCOR-SA&D Program, UMCOR Advance #982188. Online Giving


Efia Addi*, a native of Ghana married Botwe Danquah* a US expatriate living in her country.

Following Botwe’s death in 1998, Efia moved to the US to reunite with Botwe’s daughter, Martha*. Martha hired an attorney and filed a petition to help Efia immigrate to the US. The petition was denied because Efia and Botwe’s customary marriage was witnessed but not registered with any government body.

Efia sought assistance from a Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) clinic at the Chinese UMC in NY. JFON re-filed the paperwork and discovered that customary marriages are lawful in Ghana and proved the existence of a valid step relationship. In March, Efia’s petition was granted.

You can support the free legal services work provided by JFON, by giving to Justice for Our Neighbors, UMCOR Advance # 901285. Online Giving

*not their real names


If your congregation would like to start a health ministry, a practical tool is now available through UMCOR Health.

UMCOR’s “Introduction to Health Ministry for United Methodist Congregations” is a booklet that provides practical tools to develop an effective health ministry within your local congregation. The booklet shares basic health ministry models and ideas for resource development.

Download your free copy today. For additional information on congregational health ministries, please click here.

UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking on any of the "Give Now" links. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.

And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.

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