MEETING MINUTES: Conference Board of Global Ministries on Feb 2, 2023

by | Feb 3, 2023 | MEETING MINUTES, MM-Global Ministries Meeting Minutes

PRESENT: Chair Chris Spencer, Roxana Agular, Mike Ek, Gretchen Lopez, Bill Butler, Blaine Bandi, Katie Sexton-Wood, Billie Fidlin, staff.

AZ JFON    Justice for Our Neighbors is rebranding, following direction from National. The new name is Immigration Law and Justice Arizona. The name helps clarify what they do. Public changes will be coming this year. They have been doing strategic planning in a 3 year block. They will continue doing legal representation. They are also expanding their work in training, advocacy and education – including curriculum development. They are moving from a founding board to an advising board. Will also focus on anti-racism. Changes at the federal level regarding asylum has had its impact. They work with National on policy change. Roxana Agular reporting

Justa Center     As we are in an affordable housing and eviction crisis in AZ, Justa Center has been very busy as this has affected our senior population. We are in the process of finalizing an agreement with a new executive director who is extremely gifted. Justa is in a very stable place and the future looks bright! Katie is the President of Justa’s Board of Directors.  Katie Sexton-Wood reporting

UMOM     Next week UMOM will have the grand opening of Newsom Center, honoring former Executive Director Darlene Newsom. Jackson Fonder continues to lead UMOM in their mission. Billie Fidlin reporting

The Inn     They have moved locations to a hotel, which allows for a stay of almost 200 people when at capacity. Last month they served over 2,000 people. In 2022 they served 10,000 people. As policies change different people have access to asylum – last year not many from Mexico & Guatemala etc. Now, most are from those two areas. The goal is always to take the lead from their guests. They have better access to FEMA funding now.  Gretchen Lopez reporting

UMVIM    Mike will be retiring at Annual Conference time and we are currently searching for his replacement. There has been a standardization of policies, standards, training etc. among the jurisdictions. At some point there will be a national website etc, instead of only conference by conference websites. COVID certainly has affected mission trip travels but conference work continues. Related note – Rev. George Cushman is now the chair of Disaster Response. Trainings continue.  Mike Eyer reporting

Wesley Health Centers   They continue to be in discussions about relocating the original site to central Phoenix, with several sites. They would like to form a wellness hub. Wesley does provide clinics for refugees – currently many from Afghanistan and the Ukraine. They also have a mobile unit which next week will be traveling to the Metro Center area. While they received COVID money but it doesn’t cover other much needed staff increases in salary etc. He foresees many people will be needing care and will have lost health insurance.  Blaine Bandi reporting

HIV Caring Ministries   The ministry is in good financial shape right now. Costs for the retreat have escalated due to Mingus raising their prices. Fundraisers are needed and being engaged in. Rodeo is coming up Feb 17-19. If you want to volunteer – please contact Bill. Strength for the Journey retreat is coming up May 18-21. You can find more information on the conference website. https://dscumc.org/committee/hiv/  Long term planning for SFTJ is being worked on.  Bill Butler reporting

Goal for 2023

The Conference Board of Church & Society is doing online events once a quarter – perhaps CBGM should do the same, perhaps a couple of times this year.

Board agreed to meeting quarterly from noon to 1. Next meeting date is May 4th.

Katie Sexton-Wood closed our meeting in prayer.

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Author: Billie K. Fidlin

Billie K. Fidlin is the Director of Outreach & Justice for the Desert Southwest Conference. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University and attended Claremont School of Theology for religious studies. Ms. Fidlin currently serves as the President of the Arizona Faith Network in her second term. She is President & Founder of Whisper n Thunder Inc., and sits on various boards including the Justa Center. Her awards include the UM Foundation for Evangelism 2004 Distinguished Evangelist; 2016 Church Women United / United Nations Human Rights Award; 2018 Servant Leader Award AZ Faith Network; 2022 Southern Poverty Law Center Certificate of Recognition; and 2022-23 Class of Who's Who in America.

The Desert Southwest Conference is a diverse and loving organization with open doors to a variety of people and partners in ministry. Celebrating our connection and diversity, we offer various resources. Content on this site includes information from other organizations that may not reflect the official policies or Social Principles of The United Methodist Church or the Desert Southwest Conference.

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