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Advocacy for Social Justice

Church of the Reconciler to hold memorial service, raises awareness of city's growing homeless population


The Church of the Reconciler in downtown Birmingham is a multicultural, multiracial United Methodist congregation that has an active ministry with Birmingham’s homeless population. On Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010, leaders from the Church of the Reconciler held a press conference to announce a memorial service for two homeless people who have died in Birmingham in the last few weeks. They also called attention to the growing homeless population in Birmingham and urged city officials and local citizens ...

Fair Trade palms for Palm Sunday are now available


The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (NACEC) and the University of Minnesota Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) are working together with the Rainforest Alliance TREES program, Smartwood, and TransFair to certify palms harvested from the forests of Mexico and Guatemala for sale to Christian congregations in the United States and Europe. These Fair Trade palms are availble for order beginning January 4, 2010. Make social and ...

Chestnut Grove UMC Hosts Drug Forum


On Tuesday, August 25, Chestnut Grove UMC hosted the Southeast Madison County Meth Awareness/Educational Forum. The Partnership for a Drug Free Community, under the leadership of Deborah Soule, wife of the pastor of Chestnut Grove, put the program together as a way of helping our neighbors deal with a growing problem in their midst. More than 100 people filled the Family Life Center to hear a panel of leaders share their expertise and to ask questions. The panelists included Madison County ...

"Serve God, Save the Planet" author to speak at Trinity UMC in Birmingham on August 23


Dr. Matthew Sleeth, Christian environmentalist and author of Serve God, Save the Planet, will speak at Trinity UMC in Birmingham on Sunday, August 23, 2009, during the morning worship services (8.45 and 11a.m.). He will also speak and answer questions during the Sunday school hour (10 a.m.). Five years ago, Dr. J Matthew Sleeth and his family lived in a big house on the coast, had two luxury cars and many material possessions. As chief of the medical staff at a large hospital, Sleeth was living ...

Riverchase UMC members offer finance classes to help former inmates


Several men from Riverchase UMC have been involved with the Birmingham area ministry called The Foundry by offering finance classes as a ministry to help people as they exit the prison system and search for ways to live a normal life.  One of the big problems for many former inmates is the issue of finances and correct ways to handle money. The class was the idea of Riverchase member and Board Chair, Jim Seale.  Senior Pastor Rev. Jim Savages says, "His efforts are to help people that most folks...

2009 Louise Branscomb Barrier Breaker Award recognizes young adult's ministry in breaking down racial and economic barriers


This year’s North Alabama Annual Conference is focusing on the Conference priority of empowering a new generation of Christians.  This year’s Conference winner of the Louise Branscomb Barrier Breaker Award is a young adult who has been empowered through the church and lives a ministry in breaking down racial and economic barriers. The 2009 winner of the Lousie Branscomb Barrier Breaker award is Miriam Smith, a recent graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and founding member of the Community ...

Flint Hill and Haven Memorial UMC's Take a New Approach to Building Bridges


On Sunday, April 19, the pastors and choirs of Haven Memorial UMC (an African-American church) and Flint Hill UMC (a Caucasian church), both in the Southeast District, exchanged pulpits and choir lofts. This action came about because of the connectional system, the friendship between the two pastors and, most importantly because of the love of Christ that tears down walls and builds relationships. Reflecting on the experience, Rev. Tiwirai Kufarimai, pastor of Haven Memorial UMC, writes, “No ...

Trinity UMC, Homewood promotes good stewardship of God’s creation


“Biblical faith teaches us that creation is a gift from God, and that God entrusts us to care for creation in the same loving way in which he would,” said Dr. Andy Wolfe, Senior Minister at Trinity United Methodist in Homewood. This sense of environmental responsibility has really taken hold of many churches, and Trinity UMC is doing something about it. Recently, Trinity UMC committed an entire month to caring for God’s creation. March was Walk/Bike/Carpool to Church Month. For five weeks, the ...

Highlands UMC's Community Ministry reaches out to homeless with love and hospitality


Highlands United Methodist Church at Five Points South, in downtown Birmingham regularly welcomes homeless men and women to a hospitality hour in the church fellowship hall.  Each day, Monday through Saturday, volunteers from Highlands and other United Methodist congregations (Pinson, Canterbury, St. Marks, Cahaba and Columbiana) offer a simple breakfast; telephone and mail service; toiletries; and even a laundry service for an average of 108 chronically homeless men and women.  Many of these ...

UM Churches invited to live out Wesleyan Heritage in ministry to newly released prison inmates


Asbury United Methodist Church in Madison (Northeast District) has been invited by the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) to assist in finding faith-based community support for newly released prison inmates.   The ADOC believes that faith-based community support is an excellent way to introduce former inmates to wholesome and meaningful relationships within the community.  The component of this program focused on the need for inmate transition support from local churches is called the ...

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