Global Outreach - It Really Is All About Helping Others

Missions Commission.The Missions Commission sponsors Mission Bucks, an envelope tucked into the bulletin the first Sunday of each month whose proceeds go to a specific cause. These include church, community, national, and international organizations, everything from Save Ourselves (SOS) here in Costa Mesa to Nothing But Nets, an organization providing mosquito netting to families in the poorest countries of the world. Although anticipated donations are earmarked early in the year, those designations can change, as was the case after Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Indonesia.

The group has been a major supporter of the Red Cross, holding blood drives four times a year in the Fellowship Hall. To date, Costa Mesa UMC has given more than 2,828 units of blood over the years. And once a year the commission sponsors an Alternative Christmas, inviting nonprofit organizations such as the Mary Magdalene Project and Heifer International onto campus on a Sunday to sell their wares. In-between annual events are others that are undertaken to meet special needs. Recently, for example, the group collected DVDs to send to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Each year the Missions Commission also sponsors a missionary, a missionary couple, or a missionary family. In 2009, it's Lamberto and Angelita Valino. This couple have been in mission to the seafarers in and around the ports of Yokohama, Japan, since 2001. Seafarers are the men who load and unload cargo ships. They suffer exploitation, abuse, corruption, unpaid wages, poor food, and primitive accommodations. "We are focused so as not to lose sight of the goal we envisioned from the very start of our mission, to share our lives with others who are struggling to carry their loads, perhaps in lonely isolation. We have been given the chance to provide physical, emotion, and spiritual assistance for these over worked and underpaid men," Lamberto says

United Methodist Women (UMW). UMW holds a series of fundraisers throughout the year, including events such as chili cook-offs, boutiques, rummage sales, bunco nights, ice cream socials, and the like. At the end of the year the total is drawn up and divided among various organizations. Over the years these have included the Children's Defense Fund, FISH, Garden of Angels, Hospitality Kitchen, David and Margaret Home, Toberman Settlement House, Orange Coast Interfaith Shelter, Project Cuddle, Threads of Love, and Women Helping Women, among others. UMW members may also make a pledge to the Women's Division of the Methodist Board of Global Missions. Pledges go towards national and international humanitarian relief.

United Methodist Youth. The youth are seldom without a humanitarian project in the works. The largest annual event is a work team that travels to a national or international location and spends a week working there. In the past, they have often gone to Mexico. The year Hurricane Katrina struck, they worked in Mississippi. This year they were in Florida. There's no telling where they'll go next.

But they do other projects, too. Recently, they collected hundreds of pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls, an international non-profit organization, collected school supplies for SOS, a local entity, and sent snacks and personal hygiene items to a fellow Mesa Verde member and his Marine platoon serving in Afganistan.

Peace, Environment & Justice Committee (PE&J). The PE&J Committee has participated in a number of local, national, and international environmental projects, including the Costa Mesa Parks & Recreation Arbor Day and the 350 International Day of Climate Action. Through this committee, Mesa Verde UMC is also exploring the opportunity to become an affirming church. The group also seeks to provide its members with information related to the major political issues of the day.

Helping One Another. The church truly is a family, and every effort is made to help a family member in need. Our Stephen Ministry provides ongoing and long-term emotional support. Other members deliver hot meals to those in crisis or coming out of the hospital. And our pastors spend much of their time visiting the sick and those in need. Not all support comes officially from the church, but it comes nontheless. Jane McComb told of the church member who bought her a coat one winter while she was fighting cancer and just didn't have the strength to go shopping. Another tells of a phone call she received after having not shown up a church for several Sundays; the caller just wanted to make sure she was all right. And these stories go on and on. Providing spiritual and practical help and support to those in our chuch family is part of what Mesa Verde UMC is all about.


Mission Bucks

Our Missionaries

Mission Bucks this month go to support our missionaries in Japan. Lamberto and Angelita Valino are in mission to a group they call seafarers in and around the ports of Yokohama. Seafarers, they say, are the men who load and unload cargo ships. They suffer exploitation, abuse, corruption, unpaid wages, poor food, and primitive accommodations. They often feel neglected, isolated, and abandoned due to job conditions and language and cultural differences.

The Valinos help to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual assistance as well as actively working to improve work conditions. The couple has been in mission to the seafarers since 2001.