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PNC Global Ministries adds two members; Frees tell of floods

Contrary to the report in an earlier version of this article, the Global Ministries Committee of the Pacific Northwest UCC Conference with the Northwest Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will NOT be hosting itineration for Monica and Tom Liddle in August. 

Road flooded out in Mozambique.               Photo courtesy of Kim Free

They visited several years ago and a detailed itineration schedule published in an earlier version is where they visited on an their earlier visit.

Co-chairs of the regional Global Ministries Committee, Lon Rycraft with the PNC and Lillian Moir with the NW Region, are working with the regional churches to develop new goals for the coming year when they hope to reach out to local churches in the Disciples and UCC with educational opportunities, said Lon. 

The committee had a display at the PNC Annual Conference in April 24 to 26 in Spokane. 

At the Annual Meeting, Lon ended his term of service on the Conference Global MInistries Committee.

Two new UCC members were elected, Ellen Blaise of Plymouth Congregational UCC in Seattle and Mary MacKay of Westminster Congregational UCC in Spokane.

Continuing UCC committee members are Karen Haworth, also of Westminster, the Rev. Sandy Neal of the Community of Interfaith Celebration in Olympia, and the Rev. Ruth Brandon of Everett UCC.They will meet with other UCC committees as part of the PNC Leadership Retreat on Friday and Saturday, June 12 and 13 at N-Sid-Sen.

Lon submitted the rest of the article and researched to find the need for the correction regarding the itineration.

Noting that the Zulu ethic says, “I cannot be fully me unless you are fully you,” Lon said that “sharing in community with others around the world means Global Ministries speaks out on issues of peace and justice, poverty and human rights, so nationally, Global Advocacy and Education raises awareness, encourages action in local congregations, and works ecumenically in Washington, D.C., and at the United Nations to bring public witness to critical policy questions.

Advocacy priorities are shaped by the positions of the Common Global Ministries Board and by United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) resolutions, and by the first-hand experience of global partners and their communities around the world.

Lon said Kim and Eric Free from Oregon, who are completing their first year of ministering in Mozambique, have reported about devastating floods in late January.  They have updated reports in a blog at and a facebook page at  Global Ministries also has a donation page for gifts to mission personnel such as the Frees.

The Frees report that since Jan. 27, 157,000 people have been affected and 117 died in flooding in northern Mozambique, where infrastructure has been washed away and buildings of mud and stone collapsed.

“Getting help to the flooded areas is a challenge because transporting supplies by land or boat is slow and dangerous,” they said. 

As waters receded, people tried to go home to rebuild but were challenged by destroyed sanitation systems leading to spread of disease.

The ICUM, Council of Churches and community leaders are meeting to plan ways to help with rebuilding and replanting to replace the harvest and stores lost.

“Mozambique is one of the poorest nations in the world,” the Frees said.  “They work to improve infrastructure every year and prepare for the next year’s rains, but every year there is flooding and destruction.”

Asked if the U.S. has experienced flooding, Kim said she has told of Katrina and Ivan, explaining that “even wealthy countries can’t prevent natural disasters from causing destruction and deaths.”

She struggles to challenge the notion that people in wealthy nations are better Christians than people in poor nations, and that is “why God has blessed them more, and nothing bad happens to them because God protects them more.”

People hope that if they are better Christians, bad things will stop happening to them.

As she encourages them to question that idea, she seeks to offer different ideas that encourages spiritual growth.

“Being a person of faith doesn’t mean your house or belongings or person will be supernaturally spared from all suffering, but when bad things do inevitably happen because of the imperfect world we live in, as people of faith we have faith in God and something stronger to rely on than ourselves alone,” she said. 

“Help may not happen the way we ask but because we have faith, we know God is always with us,” she added.

Kim requests prayers for those affected by flooding, for people who risk traveling to affected areas to offer assistance and for relief efforts and inspiration.  Interested people may respond to the crisis through the Africa Office of Global Ministries.

From June 2013 to February 2015, Global Ministries has received designated gifts for the appointments of Erik and Kim totaling more than $95,000 towards the total goal of $200,000—$50,000 a year for four years. 

With their appointment, a new approach of personalized fund raising for missionary appointments was launched.

For information, call 206-824-1770 or email


Copyright © April 2015 - Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ Conference News


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