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ZOE - A Ministry of Empowerment

After the Nets - Now What?

by Lesley Cooper

As a founding partner of Nothing but Nets and then Imagine No Malaria, The United Methodist Church has been fighting to end malaria since 2006. Thanks to the UMC, millions of bed nets were sent to families in need in sub-Saharan Africa. Together we have made amazing progress against the disease. Millions of children are alive thanks to the mosquito nets and health education and care –

But now what?

Mark LaBranche, President of Lewisburg College and member of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, introduced Jim and Lesley Cooper of FUMC Montgomery and Alecia Glaize of Fairhope UMC to an empowerment program called ZOE. This summer they traveled with Mark and Mona LaBranche to Rwanda to check it out.

ZOE offers an opportunity for orphans and vulnerable children to have a chance at life through a three-year empowerment program. Using a model developed in Africa by Africans, ZOE gathers these orphan families who have been identified by the government into mutually-supportive working groups. They do not receive charity. They do not receive gifts. They are loaned funds to develop businesses that will support their families. Those loans are paid back into a group fund that is used to help others.

Read more.


Church Mission Agency Completes Move to Atlanta

by Linda Bloom

During an Oct. 20 dedication service and reception, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries officially marked its new status as an Atlanta institution. 

The establishment of the mission agency’s headquarters and U.S. regional office in the renovated buildings of Grace United Methodist Church, 458 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, is the result of an October 2014 decision to move from its longtime home in New York. Read more.


UMVIM, SEJ Seeking New Executive Director

Paulette West, current director of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, has announced her retirement in 2017. The board of directors has chosen a selection committee to hire a new executive director. Click here for the position information.


Open Doors Resale Store - Mobile

by Don Woolley

The Open Doors Resale Store celebrated its second annual Customer Appreciation Day Saturday with free food and a massive 50% off sale. While the store appreciates its customers, the people of the Mobile District are deeply grateful to those who make Open Doors such an incredible success. Since its grand opening, Open Doors has contributed over $204,000 to area ministries. Read more.


New Beginnings at Dumas Wesley

Dumas Wesley Community Center's transitional housing program, Sybil H. Smith Family Village (SHSFV), welcomed two new families in Septemer. One mother has two girls age 1 and 11, and the second mother has three boys ages 7 months, 3, and 5.

There are 11 families and 26 children currently residing at SHSFV. In the month of September, three families successfully completed the program and obtained permanent housing.  Read more.


Conference Churches Respond to Louisiana Flooding

Mulder Memorial UMC has been one of many AWFC churches that have gone to Louisiana to serve in response to the flooding there in August. Their team of 6 stayed and worked in conjunction with First UMC of Baton Rouge October 12-14. They worked on at least two different homes to remove sheet rock and wiring that had been damaged beyond repair so that restoration work could begin.

The people in Louisiana will be needing help for months to come. Your church can put together a team, too. Click here for the Baton Rouge FUMC's website, and here for the Louisiana Conference's website for more details on how you can respond.

Thank you to Mulder Memorial UMC and the numerous other AWFC churches who have sent teams to Louisiana to respond to the flooding disaster.

If you church would like to share its experience working with disaster response in Louisiana, send your stories and pictures to Susan Hunt at


Raise the Roof Project Seeks Summer Work Teams

Raise the Roof Project is a home repair ministry partnership of Dauphin Way United Methodist Church and St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mobile, Alabama.  Raise the Roof Project is a member of both United Methodist Volunteers in Mission and the ReFrame Association. They are seeking summer work teams for the month of June in 2017. Click here for more information.

General Brochure



The Conference Advance

With integrity, transparency, and a commitment to The United Methodist Church’s connectional vision of the world, the Conference Advance provides a conduit enabling persons and churches to support mission and ministry projects within the bounds of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The Conference Advance exists to share the love of Jesus Christ by offering hope and alleviating human suffering.

The Advance is an accountable, designated arm of The Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church ensuring 100% of each gift is used for its intended mission or ministry. These gifts fulfill both physical and spiritual needs to make a life-changing and long-lasting impact. 

AWFC churches have given over $260,000 through the Advance since 2012. Click here to read more about how your church can give through the Advance, too.


Young Adult Mission Opportunities

QuadW Ministry Summer Internship

The QuadW Internship program is transforming lives and cities across the country. Click here to see a fantastic video about the ministry and learn how you can be involved. Read more.

Alabama Rural Ministry Summer Internship

Applications are now available for ARM's summer mission internship positions! Apply before the first round deadline of December 1, 2016. Check out to learn more and apply online. Read more.

Global Mission Fellows

Global Mission Fellows is a 2--year mission opportunity for young adults ages 20 to 30. Young adults are invited to engage with local communities, connect the church in mission, and grow in personal and social holiness.

Complete the application online by the early submission date of December 31, 2016, or February 15, 2017, for International Track and March 15, 2017, for US-2 Track.

Read more.


Upcoming Events

COSROW Event 2017

Commission on the Status and Role of Women

Blue Lake Camp, Andalusia, AL
January 20-21, 2017

Domestic Violence: What the Church Can Do

Click here for the brochure with more information.


Giving Tuesday

Because We Have Received ...
UMC #GivingTuesday is Nov. 29

We're less than two weeks away from UMC #GivingTuesday - a celebration of generosity and all the amazing things that The General Advance is doing to support mission and ministry throughout the world.

We give because we have received so richly. And when you give through The General Advance, you know that 100 percent of your gift goes to the missionary or project you select - not to overhead, not to staff costs, not to marketing, but directly to the ministry you have chosen to support.

It's not too soon to start thinking about where you want your UMC #GivingTuesday gift to go. Visit to explore the more than 300 United Methodist missionaries and more than 800 United Methodist-related projects that are giving light, giving love, and giving life to people across the globe.

Click here for a toolkit for your church.


River Region Alternative Gift Fair

The River Region Alternative Gift Fair is a new, faith-inspired, community-wide tradition which started in 2013. It aims to give area residents an alternative to the materialism that sometimes takes over our Christmas celebrations—and it seeks to align those celebrations more closely with the redemption promised through Jesus Christ. An “alternative gift” is a charitable donation which will fund a specific need in our community through one of the Fair’s 30-plus participating nonprofit groups. The Fair will be held from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, at the Cloverdale Campus of Huntingdon College, 1125 East Fairview Avenue. Online shopping will be available from Tuesday, November 29th, to Tuesday, December 6th—with gift cards and envelopes mailed to online shoppers on Thursday, December 8th. For more details, visit


Additional Resources

Eight Reasons Many Bible Belt Churches are in Trouble

Adopting a Missionary Mindset

So That: Two Powerful Words for Mission Results


Want more?

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Montgomery, AL 36106
Phone: 334.356.8014
Toll free: 888-873-3127
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Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.