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Russia Initiative Newsletter

This occasional newsletter gives up-to-date information about the Russia Initiative, which includes the countries of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova.

March 2011

To participants and friends of the Russia Initiative, a mission program of the General Board of Global Ministries:

This message contains:
1.  An update of the Russia Initiative Consultation
2.  A news release of the city closure of the Grace UMC Spring Center

1.  Russia Initiative Consultation, April 7-9, 2011, St. Luke's United Methodist Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Registrations are arriving for the Consultation and a good number of people are expected to attend.  Partners are sponsoring some 40 delegates from the UMC in Eurasia, representing nine of the districts and all of the five annual conferences. St. Luke's UMC is providing an urban ministries program for the Eurasia delegates on Wednesday, April 6. The Consultation will begin with the first plenary session at 2:30 PM on Thursday, April 7 in the Christian Life Center of St. Luke's UMC. 

Transportation from the Crowne Plaza Hotel to the church is to be provided. Car pooling is also an option with those having cars at the event. The Consultation will adjourn by 10:00 AM on Saturday morning, April 9. Transportation to the airport following the event will assist those with early flights. 

This is one of the more important of the Russia Initiative Consultations in recent years. The UMC in Eurasia has worked hard over the last two years in developing their Roadmap, a vision looking to 2015. Clearly the church is moving to a new level and partner relationships can be most helpful in supporting this development. The theme of the Consultation is: "Come with us on the road."

Please visit the Consultation webpage where you can find online registration and hotel reservation information. The Road Ahead for the UMC in Eurasia and other resources are also available there for downloading and reading before the Consultation. 

2.  The Spring Center program for at-risk children in St. Petersburg will continue despite being closed by city officials on February 17. The closure of the Grace UMC ministry, while disappointing, may now become an opportunity for developing the program in a new way.  Read more from the news release, City in Russia Closes Church-related Child-Care Center but Ministry to Continue.
Grace and peace,

Dr. W. James Athearn
Coordinator, Russia Initiative
The United Methodist Church
116 Frasher Drive, Clear Brook, VA 22624
Tel: 540-662-2066  Fax:  540-662-2093