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Ministry with the Poor

Taylor Memorial UMC meets Bazillion Book challenge


Taylor Memorial UMC in Chalkville recently had to make an important decision. Their collection of 576 books donated to the Bazillion Book Drive needed a home. After poring over requests provided by the Bazillion Book Drive team, church member Jo Jones, one of the leaders of the church's efforts, delivered them to Robinson Elementary School in Birmingham. "Our book drive lasted four weeks," she said. "About midway through we shared a challenge from Bishop Debra Wallace­-Padgett in our Sunday ...

Hundreds of books help kick off new ministry


The Bazillion Drive is a dream come true for the Yellow House Book Pantry. In 2015, Wesley Chapel UMC opened Yellow House Children’s Book Pantry. On Wednesdays, when the church food pantry is open, parents, grandparents, and other caregivers can choose two free books for each of their children. The book campaign has been a tremendous success. Churches in the Sylacauga area have donated hundreds of children’s books. Since the book pantry opened last summer, more than 600 books have been sent ...

Bazillion Book Drive team delivers 190 books to STAIR


When the Ministry with the Poor Team decided to collect new children's books for the 2016 Annual Conference mission project, they knew connection with nonprofits working with the issue of child literacy would be important. Therefore, the Bazillion Book Drive Team worked with the Conference Office of Communication to create a request form and began to solicit requests from nonprofit agencies, classrooms, libraries and other agencies. One of the earliest requests received was from STAIR (Start ...

Bazillion Book Drive provides books to learning center


Mary Kaye Gubenski received a message from a friend recently. Her friend had seen something that she knew would be of great interest. It was a Facebook post about the Bazillion Book Drive, an initiative of the North Alabama Conference to get new books into the hands of children living in poverty. It just so happens that Gubenski has a passion for that very issue. As coordinator of the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Learning Center, she works with children in one of the poorest areas of Birmingham. In...

Poverty Simulation offers participants insight into the challenges and frustrations of living in poverty


The Conference Ministry with the Poor Operational Team sponsored a “poverty simulation” held at Gardendale/Mt. Vernon UMC on Feb. 27, 2016.    The Poverty Simulation was an opportunity to experience some of the challenges and frustrations faced everyday by people living in poverty. Dozens of participants were given roles to play that varied from “single mother” to “injured and laid off worker”, from "elderly and on fixed income” to “divorced with no child support”, and even an “individual with a...

Church of the Reconciler offers Christ’s presence to Birmingham's homeless


“Church of the Reconciler can be a messy, disorganized, and confusing place. It also can be a grace-filled, redemptive, and holy place – just like the ministry of Jesus and his disciples,” says Senior Pastor Rev. Matt Lacey.   The downtown Birmingham church offers programing familiar to many United Methodist Churches – worship and Sunday school on Sunday, Bible studies throughout the week and opportunities for the congregation to enjoy fellowship and meals together.  Other ministries of the ...

2016 Annual Conference Mission Project is to collect a "bazillion" new books for children


The 2016 North Alabama Annual Conference mission project is being led by the Conference Ministry with the Poor Operational Team. The team has created a project that will allow each North Alabama local church to make a difference in the lives of children in their local community—not just during the three days of Annual Conference, but year round! The mission project is called the Bazillion Book Drive.   What is the Bazillion Book Drive? Rev. Sally Allocca, Chair of Conference Bazillion Book Drive...

Ministry with the Poor Team schedules Poverty Simulation


Poverty is a daily reality for nearly 900,000 Alabamians, including 300,000 children, according to analysis released by Alabama Possible, a statewide nonprofit organization that works to reduce systemic poverty and its root causes across the state. The North Alabama Conference Ministry with the Poor Team has scheduled a Poverty Simulation to help pastors and church groups confront these realities. The event will take place at 9 a.m. on February 27 at Gardendale-Mt. Vernon UMC. The Poverty ...

Ministry with the Poor Operational Team extends invitation to Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) national conference on Nov. 11-14


The Ministry with the Poor Operational Team is planning to take a group of spiritual leaders (both clergy and laity) who are called to be in ministry with the poor to the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) national conference in Memphis, Tennessee on Nov. 11-14.  The CCDA national conference will inspire and equip us to do effective, Christ-centered ministry in communities of need.  It will also connect us to some of the best practitioners of ministry with the poor across the ...

Ministry with the Poor training event to be August 29 at Sumatanga


Ministry with the Poor is one of the four conference-wide priorities in North Alabama. The Ministry with the Poor Operational Team has a vision that every church in the North Alabama Conference will be engaged with a community of need. The team will guide the Conference to live into this vision by discovering, developing, and deploying spiritual leaders (both lay and clergy) who will build effective ministries with the poor. To that end, the Ministry with the Poor Operational Team has partnered ...

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