Feb. 21—1st Sunday in Lent—The Advance

A Moment for Mission

“Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth—teach it to me—because you are the God who saves me.” —Psalm 25:4-5a, CEB

Three United Methodist churches prayed for opening their doors to those who are deaf and hard of hearing. La Plaza UMC , the oldest Hispanic United Methodist church in Los Angeles, hosted a Deaf Ministry “boot camp” in 2017. Two years later, they proposed making their bilingual church trilingual by offering American Sign Language and Deaf culture classes. For hard of hearing constituents, La Plaza installed an assistive-listening system and captioning on an LED screen. They also provided interpreter services for those deaf needing language access to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. In 2019, La Plaza received a grant from the United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries (UM-DHM) to fund their “Be Opened” ministry.

West Forest United Methodist Church , Millington, Michigan, recognized the need for a hearing loop system for 20 hard of hearing members in worship, as well as captioning during Bible studies. In 2019, the UM-DHM gave a grant to fund access and advocacy for those who are deaf and hard of hearing in the community and in the Michigan Annual Conference.

In Philadelphia, Grace United Methodist Church , an African American congregation, hired a culturally Deaf Christian assistant to expand their Deaf ministry, supporting pastoral leadership, training ushers/greeters and offering additional activities to strengthen outreach. In 2019, a UM-DHM grant helped promote Christ’s love to those often overlooked by hearing people.

Your generous gifts through The Advance (#982562) enrich these vital ministries. Thank you!

Adapted from “Giving Opens Worship for Deaf and Hard of Hearing,” Tom Hudspeth, United Methodist Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries consultant. Used by permission.

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, make your ways known to us; teach us your paths. Lead us in your truth—teach it to us—because you are the God who saves us. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: First Sunday in Lent — Righteous God, we mark these early days in the Lenten journey with reminders of your covenant with your people. In your judgement, you sent upon creation the great flood -- yet you saved a faithful remnant. You followed with a covenant not to use the flood again. As we prepare to offer our gifts to you, we are reminded that we have been spared from judgment by the one, your son, our Savior, who took on our guilt and bore our judgement. May gratitude for his sacrifice move us to offer not only money, but our whole being. In Christ, we pray. Amen. (Genesis 9:8-17)

Newsletter Nugget
Promoting community health is the sole goal of the United Methodist Health Council of East Congo. It is not an easy goal. Only 52 percent of the Democratic Republic of Congo has access to safe drinking water. Six million children under age 5 are chronically malnourished.

With a grant from Global Ministries’ Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program (Advance #3020600), the council hopes to create favorable conditions to improve the health of women and children.

“We believe that increasing community access to clean water and food security, while also improving maternal, newborn and child health services, is essential for better health, empowerment and sustainability,” said Kathleen Griffith, program manager, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Global Ministries.

The project provides seeds and tools to families to cultivate healthy foods and improve nutrition. Four health clinics are being equipped with water-collection systems. A borehole will enhance sanitary conditions for the families the clinic serves. Over 25,000 people will benefit from these efforts.

Thank you for your Advance gifts!