Volunteers In Mission (VIM) is a wonderful organization of the United Methodist Church putting volunteers into Christian service where there is a need on a local, national, or international level. Past sites that members of our church have been involved include Vermont, Iowa, Cuba, and Nicaragua. A trip to Ireland is pending this May. The Outreach Team at Jonesville has funding available to assist members who are interested in joining a Vim project. For information on current or upcoming VIM projects visit the Upper New York Conference website at www.unyumc.org click on Mission & Ministry>volunteers in mission>upcoming VIM events. Many have found it to be a personal life changing event in their outlook of the world around them.
Our church sponsors several local missions at Emmaus UMC each year. Please watch the Main Street Messenger for information about upcoming missions at Emmaus. Please try to keep it open for this mission opportunity in your own backyard.
As another element of our efforts to focus on preserving and protecting God’s Gifts, we have begun using recycled/compostable products for the men’s breakfast and fellowship coffee hour. As many JUMC members are aware the lifecycle of plastics is huge. Styrofoam takes about 20,000 years to degrade. That same Styrofoam cup/plate will be in the Colonie Landfill 500 years from now.
There are other problems with plastic. When certain plastics deteriorate, they release chemicals that may act as endocrine disruptors and interfere with normal hormone functioning in animals and humans. Many plastic water bottles, baby bottles, and other food containers contain bispbenol A (BPA), a compound that can leach out in small quantities and, based on animal studies, can cause reproductive and developmental abnormalities.
Products--like cutlery and cups, trash bags and take-out containers--that look like regular plastic but are one hundred percent biodegradable are available today. Leading natural food stores, including Whole Foods, offer corn-based biodegradable plastic to-go containers manufactured by NatureWorks. Some stores use both corn-based containers as well as recyclable plastic containers. Earth Fare uses recyclable #1 plastic containers for foods from the hot bar, but has corn-based containers from NatureWorks available to customers in its bulk foods department.
While there are many issues, both positive and negative, that surround the products we consume, JUMC continues to be actively engaged in the discussion.