Where Love Lives April Resources

by | Mar 25, 2021 | Where Love Lives

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are all called to love God and each other. As members of the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, we do that through acts of justice, community outreach, and personal practices of devotion. In April’s video message of the #WhereLoveLivesUMC campaign, we address the myth that the church is just a building and demonstrate a variety of ways we love all people by highlighting some of the ministries across the Desert Southwest Conference. Although we hope the video will inspire you to start a new ministry or connect with one of the ministries featured in the video, we also invite you to use the resources listed below to host small group discussions and encourage further collaboration during the month of April. If you’re not sure how to do that, please review the sample leader’s guide provided at the bottom of this post.

The official theme is “cares more about people than the building; the church is not a building.” The video message is approximately six minutes featuring Bishop Bob Hoshibata and churches and ministries in the Desert Southwest Conference. The resources for further discussion include short video clips from the main video, contact information for each ministry in the segment, a pastoral prayer for the week, and Faith & Facts cards from the General Board of Church & Society that cover the topics shared in the video clip. In case you’re not familiar with GBCS’ Faith & Facts cards, we’re also providing a sample leader’s guide to using the cards and resources for leading a discussion.

Topic 1: To Do Justice

Click on the titles below to open the box and read the content.

Prayer
Help us not to point fingers nor launch accusations.
Help us to firmly and peaceably stand up for what is good.
Help us to take care of our own hearts before criticizing others.
Help us to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with you. Amen
Adapted from Call & Response: “Liturgies for Congregational Prayer: Litany for Humility” by Fran Pratt.
Video Segment

Click here to download a clip of the full video for this week’s small group discussion.

Ministry Contacts
  1. AZJFON: https://www.azjfon.org/
  2. AZ-Mexico Border Community Alliance: https://bordercommunityalliance.org/
  3. Humane Borders: https://humaneborders.org/
  4. Health Care/Chaplaincy: Check with your local healthcare facilities for volunteer or education opportunities.
  5. Human Sexuality: https://umcstmarks.org/?s=Rainbow+Fellowship
  6. Support for people living with HIV: https://tihan.org/
  7. Catalina UMC: https://www.catalinamethodist.org/
  8. Kairos Prison Ministry International: https://www.kairosprisonministry.org/
  9. DSC Race Coalition: https://dscumc.org/dsc-race/

Topic 2: To Love Kindness

Prayer

Holy God,

We come to you each in the spirit of thankfulness and giving. We know there are so many that are suffering from a lack of proper diet, access to nutritional food, clothing and other basic needs. We also know in today’s society there are supplies people need that do not fit the standard food, shelter and clothing. To gain access to education and be able to sustain a lifestyle now and in the future, there are many needs we all must focus on to help everyone possible.  As we put forth our efforts together to provide for those who are in great need, we are grateful for your love, your mercy and your kindness in giving us strength and knowledge of how to do what we need to do to carry out your plan.  Thank you for our abilities to show love and kindness to each other on our teams of love, and to those we serve as we gather our resources to sustain all God’s children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Video Segment

Click here to download a clip of the full video for this week’s small group discussion.

Faith & Facts
  1. Global Hunger and Poverty: https://www.umcjustice.org/documents/45
  2. Hunger and Poverty in the U.S.: https://www.umcjustice.org/documents/22
  3. Sustainability: https://www.umcjustice.org/documents/31
Ministry Contacts
  1. Community Garden Zion UMC, Las Vegas, NV: https://www.facebook.com/ZionUnitedMethodistNLV/
  2. Eloy Food Bank, First United Methodist Church of Eloy UMC, Eloy, AZ: https://1stumceloy.org/
  3. Food Drop Off, St. Marks United Methodist Church, Tucson, AZ: https://umcstmarks.org/
  4. Ash Sifters – Spirit of Hope UMC, Peoria, AZ: https://www.spiritofhope.cc/
  5. Sandwiches for the Homeless, Tempe First United Methodist Church, Tempe, AZ: https://tempefirstumc.org/
  6. Trinity UMC/Society of St. Stephen, Las Vegas, NV: https://www.tumclv.com/
  7. Laptops for the Lord, Prescott UMC, Prescott, AZ: http://www.prescottumc.com/
  8. Pumpkin Patch, Santa Cruz Valley UMC, Sahuarita, AZ: https://www.santacruzvalleychurch.org/
  9. Thanksgiving, AZ State University Campus Ministry, Tempe, AZ: https://www.valleywesley.com/ or visit https://dscumc.org/campus-ministry/ to find a campus ministry in other parts of the Desert Southwest Conference.

Topic 3: To Walk Humbly

Prayer

Gracious God,

We humbly call on your Holy Spirit to be our guide and comfort as we attend to living out our faith. Just as your Spirit accompanied Jesus in the wilderness and throughout all of the days of his ministry, we call on your Spirit to be with and remain with us as we live into your call upon our lives. Help us, oh Lord to deepen our faith through the Means of Grace, and help us to be an example to others beyond the walls of the church. We give you thanks in all things, and for the gift of your precious Spirit, in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Video Segment

Click here to download a video clip of the main video for this week’s small group discussion.

Faith & Facts

This topic is about personal piety and does not connect to Faith & Facts cards, so you could either use the sample leader’s guide this week or your favorite devotional.

Click here to download a sample leader’s guide (Click here to download the Spanish version) for a group discussion on the Faith & Facts card topic, “Food Justice.” Remember to connect with the ministries from each section to find more recent statistics on this topic.

Ministry Contacts
  1. Potosi Pines Camp https://potosipinescamp.org/
  2. Mingus Mountain Camp https://mingusmountaincamp.org/

Bonus:

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