Recent Blogs

Third week at UPAVIM

It has been another busy but fun week at UPAVIM. On Monday, I had a nice meeting with the women in charge of the hermanamiento (our Sister Parish connection between DGFUMC and UPAVIM). I gave them some updates about our church, including special summer activities like camp and mission trips. We also discussed ways to improve communication between DGFUMC members and the UPAVIM women. We will try to send more updates and photos via email and Facebook (I am always happy to help translate). In addition, we are going to try to set up an online "pen pal" program for the youth. I will collect the names and email addresses of the 4th - 6th graders at UPAVIM that are interested, and then I will connect them with youth from our congregation. It will be a great opportunity for them to practice English and Spanish, respectively, and to learn about each other's cultures, interests, and daily lives.

Second week at UPAVIM

Hello again from Guatemala City! It has been a busy week at UPAVIM. The big news for the clinic is that we received a delivery of much-needed medications! We purchased these medications through donations from DGFUMC, via Guatemala Connection and the MJC (missions, justice, and community) Work Area. Dr. Hector, Nurse Johana, and the directors of the clinic committee are very grateful for our church's generosity, and they are excited to see the pharmacy's shelves much more full than usual. We still have about half of the donated funds left, which we will use to buy more medications and supplies for the clinic.

New Meaning for the Future

A week ago at this time I was just arriving back from Wesley Woods, still savoring the crisp Wisconsin morning air, bright blue waters of Lake Geneva, and boisterous voices of children and teens that are all a part of our congregation's annual church camp.  

It was, as always, a joy to work with John Smoke and Howie Snyder, and the great team of volunteers from our church; to enjoy seeing the campers zoom down the slip-and-slide, take turns kayaking, or share stories of the day over the dining hall tables.

First week at UPAVIM

Hello from Guatemala City!

The weather is great up here on the techo ("roof," actually the 4th floor of the UPAVIM building), and I have a nice view of the La Esperanza neighborhood. I am sharing the volunteer living space with Elena (who works in the clinic and the Montessori classrooms), Matt (one of the English teachers), and their two sons, Sam and Michele (who attend 1st and 3rd grade at the UPAVIM school). They gave me a warm welcome on Monday and they've taught me many useful skills, like how to wash my clothes by hand, how to take the bus to the market, and where to buy the best bread and fruit. I've also met three of the four young women that teach English, but they live in a house nearby, not on the roof.

Summertime

The scripture this Sunday is John 5:2-18 and tells the story of Jesus healing a man on the Sabbath who had waited 38 years to be healed as he lay by a pool of water. I hope to tease some meanings from it for today as we listen to Jesus ask the guy, "what do you want?"

Thank you to everyone who came out Monday evening to hear the Pure Sound Youth Choir from Bethany United Methodist Church in Austin, TX, a small, but powerful ensemble of singers.

Claire arrived safely in Guatemala

Hello DGFUMC family!

I just wanted to let you know that I arrived safely in Guatemala City yesterday. I have a cute little room on the top floor of the UPAVIM building. The other volunteers are very friendly and helpful. Today I took a tour of the UPAVIM building and met many of the UPAVIM members and their children (some of whom I met last July, since I was part of the North-to-South delegation). I also started helping with the Reforzamiento tutoring program. Tomorrow morning I will start working in the clinic as well.

Father's Day

Father's Day is an opportunity for each of us to show our love and appreciation to those men in our lives who have nurtured and cared for us; a moment to honor our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and husbands who have guided us through sunny days and stormy nights. This Father's Day my sermon will focus on Luke 8:22-25, which tells the story of Jesus calming a storm. I will reflect on my experience of watching my dad set sail into some stormy weather and focus on how faith, hope and trust help us to negotiate the storms we all face along life's journey.

The Start of Summer

For many of us, summer unofficially begins after Memorial Day weekend - but for Jim and me, summer starts when we arrive back home from our United Methodist Annual Conference, held again this year in St. Charles.

Conference was Sunday through Tuesday of this past week, and as always, it was a refreshing and inspiring time with good sermons, services, and teaching; news about the ministries and missions we are connected with as Northern Illinois United Methodists; and meeting and reconnecting with some great people.

Walk by Faith

Welcome to June!  We will kick off the new month by moving to our summer worship times of 8:30 and 10:00 a.m., beginning this Sunday, June 5.

A very special part of this Sunday's 10:00 service will be the Recognition of graduating high school seniors in our congregation.  We'll celebrate with them this milestone in their life, and bless them as they step into the future.

We'll reflect on the scripture account, in Acts 13:1-3, of Paul and Barnabas being prayed for by their church as they embarked on a new journey, with the message You Are Called.

Spiritual Gifts

This week as the temperatures rose, we were giving a reminder of what summers in Chicago are really like; a surprising reminder after a cool spring.

With the warmer weather, comes the job of dusting off the winter debris. I want to thank the 20 plus volunteers from DGFUMC who joined in cleaning up a stretch of the St. Joseph Creek as part of the annual DuPage River Sweep last Saturday.

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