United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network Gathers

By Deborah Coble

The United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network held a workshop, April 27 at the Urban Mission in Steubenville, OH. Angela Kirtdoll, the director for UMAMN was our host.

We went into the sanctuary where a devotion was led by Gayle Lesure, Board Member and a Church and Community Worker in the Wesleyan District. Members of the board from all over the United States gathered to find new ways to address poverty in Appalachia that enables the individual to find employment and become independent.  Rev. Ashley Steele from the Urban Mission led this discussion and shared some innovated ideas that they have started to use at The Urban Mission.

Shari Prichard shared some startling facts on Human Trafficking. The state of Ohio ranks in the top 5 for these activities. There are overwhelming challenges faced when working with women that have been taken into captivity and are fleeing their circumstances. Public awareness is key to finding a solution to helping the young women finding themselves in these circumstances.

Cody Stoltz, the presenter on the opioid crisis shared ways that he feels that Christians and Non-Christians need to become more aggressive and inventive in addressing this national problem.

The UMAMN’s vision statement: “We envision a society where all people in Appalachia are valued. One in which all are offered discipleship for Jesus Christ and where all have the opportunity to realize God-centered spiritual, social, and economic potential.” This group is diligent in trying to find and support groups that are empowering individuals to carry out their vision.

To learn more about UMAMN visit: http://www.umamn.org.  UMAMN is in partnership with the General Board of Global Ministries.  You may learn more by following this link.