Volunteers In Mission (VIM)
The UMVIM program is a grassroots program within the denomination to promote mission volunteers, preparedness for work in missions and cultural sensitivity while working with others at home and abroad.
ALL persons are VOLUNTEERS IN MISSION and we strive to do all the good we can, wherever we can, and do no harm. To that end, the conference UMVIM coordinator provides resources for:
- Individuals or groups interested in a mission experience
- Sites requesting volunteers
- Volunteers seeking a project/location where they might be appreciated
- Training for those sharing their passion for mission
By definition, an UMVIM team/individual serves:
- at the invitation of the UM church or partner wherever they go
- in a ministry endorsed by that host Methodist church entity and
- in cooperation with the local host group.
The team’s presence should not interfere with the authority and integrity of the church leadership, thereby strengthening and upholding the local church. The team should have a trained leader.
A training program is offered for anyone that is interested in learning more about the many aspects of mission volunteer opportunities, the support of the connectional system for team mission experiences and facilitation of the most effective experience for participants. Training events may be held at any local church, cluster or district gathering upon request. Dates and locations are announced through the e-Mission news, a weekly electronic publication on the conference; on the inumc.org website and often through district and local church newsletters. Training material, developed by lay people and host missionaries, includes information for leaders and/or team members as they consider team objectives, projects and travel considerations. Matching of a team’s interests and a project’s needs, appropriate cultural transitions, team building and fundraising options will all be discussed. For more information or to schedule a training session, contact the conference UMVIM Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 317-924-1321 or visit inumc.org/Volunteer.
It is critical that all persons participating in volunteer efforts have appropriate medical and accident insurance, particularly when serving abroad. Insurance is available through a collaborative agreement of the UMVIM jurisdiction offices. For appropriate forms, costs, etc. go to inumc.org/Volunteer for links or to umvimncj.org. The Indiana Conference does NOT “automatically” carry insurance on all volunteers.
We all like to share our experiences and insight with others and it is nice, too, to be counted. Please be sure to let us know that you have been active in your community, Indiana, the US or internationally by filing the Mission Report (found at inumc.org/Volunteer) with your local church so the information is included in its Charge Conference report. Also, it is helpful if you report your national, international or disaster response activity through the VIM report found online at inumc.org/Volunteer (VIM); then see Reports.
Where should we go?
The most common question of the UMVIM office is “where can I take my team?” There are literally thousands of options depending on your interests, age group, travel interests, funds available (or capacity to raise) and time available (to plan and to be away.) Certainly we recommend that you support those projects that have already been vetted by various UM mission programs and placed on the UMVIM Project lists. There are lists for International, US (Disaster and Non-disaster related) and Youth. Additionally, there are projects approved within the Indiana conference. Links to the various lists may most easily be found at umvimncj.org, click on UMVIM Links in the menu.
Two specific and very different projects are included in Indiana’s approved UMVIM Project list at this writing (2/2014). These include: Kokomo Urban Outreach and Creative Women of the World located in Ft. Wayne. Additionally, each of the camp/retreat facilities owned by the conference is an approved UMVIM site.
Creative Women of the World (CWOW) affords you the opportunity to include more participants in an International mission experience who might not want be able to travel internationally. CWOW needs volunteers to assist with the final touches on hand crafted items from Haitian artisans and others. The training is done that day and is easily learned. Most jobs are sit-down jobs except for ironing. There are other simple sewing and warehouse organizational jobs, shipping preparation, etc. CWOW is the main distributor for Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI) and is dedicated to providing design and business training for women around the world. They represent products from 38 countries and work directly with women in six countries. If you like “face to face” sales CWOW frequently asks for assistance at the many conferences and shows where items are displayed and sold. See creativewomenoftheworld.com or umvimncj.org; U.S. Projects, Indiana.
Kokomo Urban Outreach serves children and families in 26 low income neighborhoods in Kokomo. KUO provides meals for children during the summer along with Vacation Bible School programs, food pantries, home rehab, landscaping and painting. This is a great opportunity for youth groups or mixed age groups to work together. Contact email@example.com; learn more at kokomourbanoutreach.org or umvimncj.org; U.S. Projects, Indiana.
A great way to assist our church in keeping costs down for campers of all ages is to volunteer your time and skills at one of the camp or retreat properties across the state. Each property is unique and, depending on the time of year, has unique needs. For more information see umvimncj.org; US Project List, Indiana or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A full list of projects can be found at umvimncj.org/NCJVIM/UMVIM_Links.html.
Indiana Conference UMVIM Coordinator
Beth Stickles McDaniel
301 Pennsylvania Parkway # 300
Indianapolis, IN 46280
North Central Jurisdiction UMVIM Coordinator
Embark on a spiritual journey with new adventures every day with Mission Volunteer opportunities around the globe!
Check out these Web sites for more comprehensive information regarding Mission Volunteers:
- General Board of Global Ministries Mission Volunteers
- Southeast Jurisdiction Volunteers In Mission
- North Central Jurisdiction Mission Volunteers
- Center for Disease Control travel health and immunization information.
- U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs (general travel information).