What is PPUMC doing?
WITH CHRISTIAN TEACHING”
“In 1972 the United Methodist Church adopted the phrase,
‘homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.’ In 1984
the United Methodist Church declared that, ‘no self avowed
practicing homosexual could be ordained’ (or appointed.) Then in
1996 the United Methodist Church adopted into church law that no
pastor could officiate over a same gender union and such a ceremony
could not occur in a local Methodist Church.”
with Christian Teaching”, directed by Anne Brown is a
documentary film that chronicles through interviews the effect of
these church rules on the lives of GLBT people and allies in the
United Methodist Church. A professor of ethics calls the
“incompatible” phrasing a sin by the United Methodist Church because
it separates GLBT folks from God. God’s love is compatible with
As Methodists we can step out in support of GLBT folks working to
change these church laws. It would be one small, nonviolent, legal
and fair step to agree at Prospect Park United Methodist Church to
continue wedding ceremonies for heterosexual couples, but to not
sign the civil papers required by Minnesota law for civil
marriage. Much conversation needs to happen among our congregation
before any procedure changes.
-The Peace and Justice Committee
PPUMC's commitment to social justice as a Reconciling Congregation
is immediately evident in our mission statement, found on our Home
Park United Methodist Church is a a Reconciling Congregation
that seeks spiritual growth through reason, experience,
scripture and tradition. We engage in work that struggles for
justice in the community and in the world. We use inclusive
language to explore the many faces of God. We believe that music
inspires us, that sharing binds us together, and that reflection
and prayer empower us to act. We welcome seekers of all ages,
races, cultures, sexual orientations, gender identifications,
and creeds to join us for worship and fellowship."
PPUMC was the third congregation in Minnesota to become a
Reconciling Congregation, so we have been involved and committed for
a long time. We actively live the commitment to be a congregation
that welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans gender people. PPUMC
is a member of the Minnesota
United Methodist Reconciling Congregations, and participates
in many events related to furthering this ministry throughout the
year, including the Gay Pride Parade each June.
Judy WestLee is the current Reconciling Chair and works with the
Peace and Justice Committee to keep this important ministry going.
Please consider stepping forward to help Judy achieve this part of
our mission. Let's continue our welcome with our words, actions and
PPUMC & ISAIAH
How does a small church like ours make its voice heard on social
justice issues? We answered that question by joining ISAIAH. The
Ad Council unanimously approved membership in ISAIAH, a
self-directing, proactive organization that is moved by faith to
strengthen congregations and effect justice on social and economic
issues. The current issue on the agenda is the campaign for a
Minneapolis Living Wage Ordinance. Other concerns are education,
immigration rights, and transportation. You can find more
information about ISAIAH on their Website at: http://www.gamaliel.org/isaiah.
Joining with other churches deepens our efforts to build a just
community by organizing together for the common good. The list of
ISAIAH members (mostly Lutheran and Catholic) now totals about 85
in the metropolitan and St. Cloud area of Minnesota. PPUMC works
with what is called the Minneapolis caucus of 20 churches, because
our church is in Minneapolis. Since we are members through our
church, we work with other churches in Minneapolis, not
necessarily where our own home are.
It is a joy to attend ISAIAH gatherings. It is a privilege to
work for social justice!
The ISAIAH meetings are held at 7:00 pm on the third Thursday of
each month at one of the member churches.
PPUMC & The Gandhi Ashram School
Gandhi once said, "The first principle of nonviolent action is that
of non-cooperation with everything humiliating."
The adults who weave for a living at the Gandhi Ashram in Jaipur,
India established a place of peace and hope in their weaving
cooperative by refusing to accept the humiliartion of begging for a
living. Because of their leprosy this group of men and women are
outside the mainstream Indian society. They worked hard to form a
cooperative, to find a market for their weavings, to begin an
infirmary for the neighborhood, and also to begin a neighborhood
Prospect Park UMC has supported them by donations and by buying the
hand-woven goods sold at our first of the month fair trade sale.
(Fair Trade means the money for the product goes back to support the
people who make the product, and they receive a fair price for their
PPUMC and Hennepin Ave. United Methodist Church are working together
through our Indian Partnership Committee to help make the school
more self-supporting. It is increasingly difficult to obtain
weavings to sell. As a result the school needs a foundation of
income, apart from sales, to support this vital educational mission.
Here are two practical examples of what our churches have done.
First we have hired an Indian business consultant who comes for one
week a month to insure the school is run with efficiency and
integrity. Also our churches have recently supported the set up of a
computer lab and hired a computer teacher for two reasons. There are
many jobs available in India for those with computer skills. And a
computer lab is a big draw to get students to enter and stay in
school, and not have to go to work in unskilled jobs while they are
If you would like to help the school at the Gandhi Ashram, please
notify the church office (612-378-2380) or Joy DeHarpporte at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Peace and Justice Committee has been selling fair trade
chocolate, tea and items produced at the Gandhi Ashram during the
monthly coffee hour. Sales have been great, so we plan to continue
this indefinitely. We get our chocolate from the Equal Exchange
Interfaith Program in Massachusetts, an organization that seeks to
improve the lives of small farmers and their families through fair
trade. The organic cocoa used in the chocolate bars, baking
chocolate and hot chocolate mix we sell is grown by CONACADO, a
9,000 member cooperative in the Dominican Republic. The organic
sugar in the hot cocoa mix is grown by small-scale cooperative
farmers in Paraguay, and the milk powder in the mix comes from
Organic Valley, an organic, farmer-owned cooperative based in
Wisconsin. (Talk about knowing where your food comes from!)
About 5% of the proceeds from these sales go to UMCOR's Small
Farm Programs to assist small farmers; the remainder of the
proceeds goes to the Peace and Justice Committee to be used for
local, national and international projects. Thanks for your
support--in addition to getting really good chocolate, you are
supporting just and equitable economic systems that directly
affect small farmers and their families around the world.
Check the Calendar for the Fair
Trade/Coffee Hour Sundays.
PPUMC & Minnesota Foodshare
All food shelf donations brought to PPUMC will go the Share and
Care Food Shelf at Glendale.
Some numbers to ponder:
- Visits to MN food shelves in 2004: 1.7 million
- Pounds of food distributed in 2004: 36 million
- Number of the hungry who are children: over 50%
- Number of adult food shelf clients that are employed: over 50%
- Number of food shelves in Minnesota: over 300, serving every
Families Moving Forward
The Families Moving Forward program provides a place for homeless
families to stay. PPUMC volunteers to provide a meal and overnight
facilitators several times a year. The following story was
reported back by one of our volunteers:
“I sat around the
table with two preadolescent girls, chatting about such things as
school, boys, music and holidays. One of the girls had recently
come here with her family from Georgia, the other from Illinois.
The 10-year old told of how she had just come back from Illinois
for the funeral of her 25 year-old cousin, who had her throat slit
and was then stabbed multiple times by the father of her 10-day
Hopefully, most of us will never experience being homeless, as
these girls are. Hopefully, most of our children will never have
to deal with this kind of violence in their families. Hopefully,
we will continue to work towards a society where every person
Families Moving Forward has announced their merger with Plymouth
Church Neighborhood Foundation. Because of this merger, FMF will
have more support and resources for the homeless families they
serve. PCNF partners with congregations to create and maintain
affordable housing with very low income and/or homeless families
and individuals. PCNF currently has nearly 400 safe and affordable
housing units in Mpls. and St. Paul.
Watch for announcements in the bulletin and on the web site for
when PPUMC will be needing volunteers to honor our commitment to
this important ministry. If you would like to help or want more
information, please contact Joy DeHarpporte or Kelley Rae Jewett.
Every summer, Prospect Park UMC participates in Habitat for Humanity
projects in association with St Frances Cabrini and St Cecilia
churches as Tres Iglesias.
These three neighborhood churches have worked together since 1992 on
a variety of building projects in the Twin Cities area.
Volunteers are needed to help organize and coordinate the project,
work on the site, prepare food for the on-site volunteers, provide
child-care for the volunteers, and, of course, donate money and
The most up-to-date information for donors, the project calendars, a
picture gallery of past projects, and online
sign-up for volunteers can be found on the Tres
Iglesias Home Page . Please check it out and consider
volunteering to help with the current year project.
What can you do for Social Justice?
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
-- John Wesley
There is a common theme underlying living wage campaigns in
various cities (including our ISAIAH campaign here in Minneapolis)
and the fair trade movement. Both struggle to work for social and
economic justice. Both affect thousands of people's lives. Both
strive to provide for a decent income. Here's a reminder list of
ways we can participate in best practices for both causes with
1. Call your city council member in Minneapolis or St. Paul to
state your support for a living wage. Here at PPUMC I'm sure we DO
vote in the elections. You can also influence legislators through
letter writing campaigns, attending town hall forums,
demonstrations. It does matter, because politicians listen to the
voting public especially if there are A LOT of people.
2. Make socially responsible purchases. It was inspiring to see
the purchase of eco-palms for Palm Sunday last spring. Coffee and
weavings are available at our coffee hour once a month or by
request. Both Ten Thousand Villages at 867 Grand Ave. in St. Paul
and THE WORLD JUBILEE sell all fair trade items.
3. Tell your friends and family about this list of alternative
gifts that you wish to receive for birthdays, anniversaries, and
special days. And ask them if there is anything on this list they
might like to receive. Changing our world begins with us! As
Christians we have a call to work for the common good and the life
and dignity of each person.
UMC on Relief (UMCOR)
Partners in Pakistan - UMCOR
is working through partners such as the Church World Service and
Muslim Aid to bring help and relief to victims of the cataclysmic
floods in Pakistan. Donor response has been slow, but the needs are
great. By working with partner organizations, UMCOR is able to
accomplish more to help suffering people in Pakistan. To make a
donation, make checks payable to PPUMC and designate it to Advance
#982450, International Disaster Response, Pakistan. You can also
donate online at http://www.umcor.org
Other UMCOR relief efforts:
- HAITI RELIEF, Advance #418325
- MATERIAL RESOURCE MINISTRY, Advance #901440
- MIDDLE EAST EMERGENCY, Advance #601740
- PAKISTAN EARTHQUAKE, Advance #232000
- CENTRAL AMERICA FLOOD RELIEF, Advance #501300
Additional Donation Options
For the items below, make checks to PPUMC with the specific ministry
on the memo line.
- EMMA NORTON SERVICES. Fosters stability and personal growth
for women who are homeless by providing affordable, secure
housing and supportive services.
- O. C. MINISTRIES. A ministry with churches, clinics and
classrooms in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Latin America.
- COMPATIBLE TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL. A Minnesota agency
creating income producing projects to improve nutrition in Third
- SERRV INTERNATIONAL (http://www.serrv.org/).
nonprofit alternative trade and development organization
accredited by the International Fair Trade Assoc. Phone
- NO SWEATSHOP (http://www.NoSweatshop.com)
Garments and accessories not produced in sweatshops.
- TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES (http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/).
fair trade retail store that sells products from around the
world. Run by the Mennonite Church. Located at 867 Grand Ave,
St. Paul, Phone 651-225-1043. Gift Certificates Available.
- THE WORLD JUBILEE. A fair trade sale that sells products from
around the world. One fall sale and one spring sale each year.
- HEIFER INTERNATIONAL (http://www.heifer.org/).
Box 8058, Little Rock, AR/USA, 72203. Tel 800-422-0474. Works to
end hunger through self-help
Hope Lodge Volunteers Needed…
The Richard M. Schulze Family American Cancer Society Hope Lodge
opened in late December 2007 at 2500 University Ave SE in
Minneapolis. This nurturing, home-like environment will provide
free, temporary accommodations for adult cancer patients traveling
long distances for outpatient treatment. Here is your chance to
make a difference. Whether you have a few hours once a week or
once a month, you can make a difference. Volunteer as an
individual or as part of a community or civic group. Some
volunteers help at the front desk or drive patients to treatment.
Some volunteers cook while others make the lodge shine. The
personal rewards for volunteering at Hope Lodge are immeasurable.
Living a Green and Sustainable Lifestyle
"Global warming is so scary!", a friend declared helplessly to
me. It's easy to think that this is a problem that we can't do
anything about or to voice complaints about our slow-to-respond
political system. It's easy to not "see" the problem and it can be
inconvenient to try to be "green". But as Christians we are called
to try to take steps toward being faithful stewards of creation.
It's a social justice issue.
Our church is doing a lot. We've been lucky to have Dave Robinson
directing our church renovation and considering how to incorporate
"green" technology. Our "Bird by Bird"
group has been exploring sharing and learning about how to make
our lives more sustainable and conserve resources. We're connected
Caring for Creation that is a resource for us. And we
encourage each other along this path.