WNCC Clergy Leading Project to Get Children Involved at General Conference

October 1, 2015

gc4j2General Conference will be meeting in Portland in May of 2016, and as you might expect, not many children will be in attendance. An initiative of the United Methodist Rural Advocates (UMRA), and with the leadership of two Western North Carolina Conference clergy, children from across the world will have the opportunity to be involved. Laura Beach of Boone UMC and Kevin Miller of Messiah UMC in Lincolnton, are inviting children and congregations across the globe to participate in GC4JC, making handmade cards that will help General Conference delegates engage with the homeless of Portland. Beach and Miller attended the UMRA Legislative Consultation a year ago in Portland and were confronted with the issue of the homeless around the convention center.  Beach reflects, "I was part of a group that was looking at ministry with the poor. As a group, we decided that the thing we could do that would have the most impact in this area would be something hands-on, not a new piece of legislation." Miller is credited with laying out a vision for GC4JC. He said, "God is calling us all to change the negative narratives of General Conference, not simply with words or legislation, but with love-in-action especially for those who are hurting, mistreated, and/or marginalized. With Christian leaders across the world gathering in a single location for General Conference we have such an incredible opportunity to unite together in boldly sharing with the surrounding area the Good News of Jesus." All it will take is the creation of a blank, handmade card with a colored picture depicting the love of Jesus on the front, along with finding some way to come up with $2.00 to go with the card. The blank card will allow space for a delegate to share a message about God’s love and concern for all people and the $2.00 will provide an entire meal for someone who is homeless in Portland. They are currently set up to work with a local organization called Sisters of the Road that is already doing incredible work in downtown Portland. Every $2.00 sent in by a child will be exchanged for a meal voucher for the Sisters of the Road Café, which in turn provides a full meal and beverage. The two are working with other persons across the connection to spread the word. "UMRA operates throughout the U.S. and our local chapters/members are helping spread the word within their conferences.  We are also trying to get the word out through social media and our website. GBGM is also interested in partnering with this project, and we hope that as that relationship continues we may even be able to spread beyond the U.S.," according to Beach. For more information, go to the website, www.gc4jc.org or to the Faceboook page: https://www.facebook.com/GC4JCUMC For more information or to get involved, contact: Rev. Laura Beach 540-­420-­0352 beach.laura@gmail.com Rev. Kevin C. Miller 704-­579­-6971 revkevumc@gmail.com

gc4jcGC4JC Card Instructions:
  1. Using the attached GC4JC Plan, talk to kids about the purpose of the GC4JC
  2. Have kids make a card of any size (standard 5x11 printer paper or construction paper folded in half is recommended) with a drawing and perhaps a brief message sharing the love of God
  3. Send cards to: Messiah UMC (4102 W. NC Hwy 27 Vale, NC 28168)
  4. Raise $2 that will pay for a meal for the person receiving the card
  5. Send all collected money to: UMRA c/o Mollie Stewart PO BOX 27 Waveland, MS 39576 All checks should be written to UMRA with “#GC4JC” in the memo line
  6. Pray for our General Conference delegates and those they will meet in Portland
  7. Look for stories of how God used your card in Portland at GC4JC.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GC4JCUMC, or Instagram and Twitter using #GC4JC