Easter is the season of resurrection, renewal, and for many, chocolate. The sweetness of chocolate bunnies and eggs is often only matched by the faces of little ones opening their baskets on Easter morning.
But for many, the world of chocolate is much darker and is often a world of abuse and hopelessness. The cocoa industry is one that employs a multitude of unethical and unjust labor practices, including child labor, forced labor or slavery, unsafe working conditions, and wages far below the cost of living (if the laborer receives any wages at all).
On Saturday, March 29, ten West Ohio Conference churches participated in the second half of the Breakthrough Prayer Lab training, an initiative of Connectional Ministries Spirit Formed & Empowered Leadership Lead Team. The training was hosted at Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church in Hilliard and included a full day of training in best practices led by Rev.
Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) of Family Promise provides shelter, meals and support for homeless families by relying on existing community resources: houses of worship for overnight lodging, congregations for volunteers, social service agencies for screening and referrals. Currently Butler County families are not represented. Faith Community United Methodist Church is holding a fact finding meeting on Monday, May 19 at 7PM.
Church series campaigns invite congregations to experience spiritual growth through the combination of attending Sunday worship and participating in a small group study. The ORV district is committed to providing materials for small group/sermon series four times a year.
The 2014 offerings are Kingdom Come, The Wild Goose Chase, a study of the book of Ecclesiastes and resources for Advent.
Bishop Eduard Khegay of the Eurasia Episcopal Area requests prayers for the people in Ukraine. His prayer is for Ukraine, for peace and unity. He sends the video below, created by our United Methodist brothers and sisters in Kiev to us and writes:
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has approved a $50,ooo grant to assist with recovery needs from the December 2013 Marion County Flood that affected the communities of LaRue, Prospect and Greencamp in West Ohio. The request for the grant support was submitted by Rev. Dee Stickley-Miner, Director of Connectional Mission and Justice for the West Ohio Conference and Mike Fogle of Waldo United Methodist Church, who serves as the Capitol Area North District Disaster Coordinator. In addition to the UMCOR grant, the West Ohio Conference is providing $15,ooo in relief support.