Monday, May 18, 2015

mission U
July 21 - 25
There are a couple of people interested in attend the Sampler on July 25th.
Registration can be found here:

Along with the registration form for the week program.

United Methodist Women &
UMCOR's Charge this Year
is Maternal & Child Health

Women's Reproductive Health

"No One Teaches You About Pregnancy or Parenthood."

A difficult pregnancy leads to large financial burdens.

As children grow up and take sex education classes, the emphasis is always on protection against pregnancy, and on abstinence. Sex education is primarily focused on preventing pregnancies — very little is taught about motherhood (or fatherhood). Motherhood is still primarily thought of as a natural, intuitive process; thus no one takes much time to teach young girls about the maternal mortality ratio, what it means to be a parent, or the financial responsibilities that come with pregnancy and parenthood.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the U.S., maternal mortality rates for black women are 2.7 times higher than for white women. (28.4 versus 10.5 per 100,000). Interestingly, a 2003 report from the Centers for Disease Control found that African-American women do not have a higher prevalence of pregnancy-related illnesses (such as preeclampsia or post-partum hemorrhage) than white women. However, they have a significantly higher mortality rate from each of these conditions. The question is why. Is it due to racial disparity factors such as lack of prenatal care, lack of access to adequate care or preexisting conditions? Socioeconomic disadvantages can often lower access to prenatal care.

First Child

When I got pregnant with my first child at 24, I wasn’t aware of most of these issues. I knew some women died during childbirth, but no one ever explained why. Although I had what is considered good private insurance, the doctors or nurses didn’t educate me for things to watch for. A pregnant woman doesn’t think about her health. Everything that is done is for the unborn child’s health. My son was born at full term, but he was small. Many tests were conducted and nothing out of the ordinary was found. He was healthy, and I was thankful.

Second Child

Due to my first son being born small, I was more vigilant with my second pregnancy, which was at 26. I pressured my doctor and asked more questions.
When I was six months pregnant, I moved from Florida to Georgia. It was hard to find an obstetrician. Every doctor I called said I was too far along and didn't want to take on the pregnancy. I was shocked. I finally found one doctor who agreed to take me as a patient. Seven months into the pregnancy I was having symptoms that felt abnormal. I would feel blood rush to my head, and a warm feeling in my face which would last for about a minute and then disappear — followed by an intense headache. I spoke to my doctor and he shrugged it off as stress.
Since my doctor said it was nothing I didn’t press him anymore on the issue. One day I got a call from my mother while experiencing those strange symptoms. My mother lost her mother (my grandmother) when my mother was 13 years old. My grandmother was pregnant with her sixth child and always complained of a warm feeling in her face, followed by an intense headache. One day she was hospitalized and died in the hospital. My grandmother probably died from complications of pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. I explained my symptoms to my mother and she advised me to be vigilant with the doctor.
I therefore pressured the doctor for an appointment. At the appointment, my blood pressure was 180/110. It was at a dangerous level, and I had to go to the hospital to be induced. My second son was born at 34 weeks and weighed six pounds. He was healthy and didn’t need any medical help.

Third Child

Five years later I decided  I wanted one last child. I got pregnant and was very excited. This time it was different. I was more informed. I was in my last year of college. College empowers you to ask questions and not be afraid to challenge the norm. This time I had knowledge; I wasn’t going to let any doctor brush off my concerns as just stress.
I had a new ob/gyn and explained my past pregnancies. He was very understanding and explained that his own grandmother had complications from high blood pressure when she had his father. At 20 weeks I had my first ultrasound and found out I was having a baby girl. I was ecstatic to have my first girl. But my joy quickly turned to worry when the doctor informed me that my blood pressure was too high. He said I needed to be on bed rest. Despite being on bed rest and visiting the doctor’s office every week, my blood pressure got worse. My doctor assumed I wasn’t taking the medication so I insisted he admit me to the hospital for observation.
While I was in the hospital, one morning the doctor came in with what seemed like 20 other people to explain to me that he had to deliver the baby to save my life. I was confused. As he was explaining the procedure to me, a nurse was prepping me for surgery, while another nurse gave me a form to sign. A third nurse was trying to insert a catheter. It felt like I was being pulled in a million directions.
The surgery was quick. The baby was delivered via cesarean section and immediately sent to the Neo Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I just prayed she would be all right. She weighed 2 pounds and 10 ounces. When babies are born this early, they look transparent, frail and helpless. As a mother, you feel powerless because there isn’t anything you can do to help. For several weeks you are not allowed to touch or hold your baby. You feel weak, empty and depressed.

Medicaid and Insurance Struggles

As the weeks passed, I accepted the fact that she might not make it. I visited her three times a day. Then the financial aspect of it all started to hit me. How was I going to pay for all this? I never thought about finances before getting pregnant. I wasn’t prepared for this situation. I tried to get government assistance, since I couldn’t afford the $3,000 per day for NICU care. I was denied government assistance because I earned about $2,000 a month and had around $5,000 in savings. My income was too high for me to receive government assistance, but too low to pay my bills.
I was turned down for all government assistance I applied for. My premature baby was in the NICU for 65 days. Being born that early had impacted her. She was in and out of the hospital with all sorts of complications from being born too early. I couldn’t work anymore, as taking care of her had become full time work. Finally, she was accepted for Medicaid.
To be honest, I was ashamed to have to use Medicaid. There are so many negative stereotypes associated with government aid recipients that I felt ashamed to receive it. But I used it anyway, as it paid for all of my daughter’s medical bills. Medicaid came with a lot of restrictions, but it was better than nothing.

Affording Feeding Therapy

The only thing that affected my daughter in the long-term is oral aversion. Since she was born prematurely and intubated for 50 days, she lost the ability to suck or make a connection between food satisfying hunger. She refused to take anything by mouth. I lived in a small city with limited resources, so I decided to move to Atlanta, which also happens to have an intensive feeding program at the Marcus Autism Center.
After I moved to Georgia, it wasn’t easy finding resources to help my daughter. Applying for Medicaid was a terrible ordeal. My daughter has a gastrostomy tube, also known as a g-tube, in her belly. A machine is used to pump food through her belly because of her oral aversion. After waiting for two months, Medicaid was approved. But it came with many restrictions. It does not pay for her medical meals. I will have to apply for food stamps for that.
I used to have private insurance, but I had to give it up after the Affordable Care Act went into effect. I couldn’t afford the insurance offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and the Marketplace suggested I place my children on Medicaid.
I also found out that the doctor’s offices that accept Medicaid are limited. My daughter needs feeding therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy. I was referred to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) hospital, which has the best therapists. I got a call from a representative from CHOA, letting me know that they do not accept Medicaid.
While there are resources to help kids with special needs, they are often under-funded and over-worked. There is a long waiting period, and the support from these resources may not provide enough help. My daughter needs to be in a daily intensive feeding program, but the Medicaid program would only allow feeding therapy once a week. That will not help her.
Right now, I can’t work because my daughter’s condition requires my 24-hour care. And since I can’t work, I cannot afford to get private insurance that will pay for her to get the best medical care. The only thing I can do at this moment is to enroll my daughter at the right program as a self-paying patient. I will incur the debt to give her better medical care. I have to do this, because the only way I can go back to work is if she gets better.
If only I had known that getting pregnant had so many risks, that becoming a parent could have such a huge financial impact on my life, I would have maybe made different decisions. I love my kids and wouldn’t trade them for anything. I just wish there were better resources to help people like me whose income is too high to get them help and too low to actually pay for unforeseen situations. Young women need to be educated about complications that could arise during pregnancy. Pregnant women need to be made aware of the resources available to them in case complications arise. I had to search hard to find what resources were available to me, and I learned that government assistance is not accepted by a lot of medical practices. Everyone has the right to good quality healthcare, regardless of their socioeconomic background.
Posted or updated: 5/15/2015 11:00:00 PM
this is from United Methodist Women's website
Our mission u, mission project is
UMCOR Layette Kits
Your circle leaders have instruction on what is need for these kits

Happy 95th Birthday 
to Betty Jankowski!!

Betty is a member of the 
Deborah Elizabeth Wesleyan Circle

Monday, May 4, 2015

 Exciting Things Happened this Weekend!!

Habitat for Humanity Women's Build
Kickoff for Women's Build week was May 2nd.
Our UMW & Valpo FUMC were there!

Joyce McMurtrey, Kandal Baxter, Dennis Deeter, Suzette Sorrells,
Andrea Lakatos, Kay Morris, Pat Buckler, Kathi Thompson

Mother Daughter Tea
Sunday May 3rd

Looks like every one had a great time!

mission U
Tuesday July 21st through Friday July 24th
Sampler Day Saturday July 25th
If you are thinking about attending you can find online registration here.

If you can not attend an would like to participate in the Hands on Mission Project it is the UMCOR Layette kits also found at the above link.

Here is an interesting article found in the May response

Abundant Life/  Each year, 300,000 women die globally during pregnancy or in childbirth.  Yet 90 percent of these deaths could be prevented if women had access to low-cost interventions.  Although 99 percent of maternal deaths occur in the developing world, developed countries such as the United States have their own maternal mortality crisis.  The United States ranks highest in maternal mortality rates compared to all industrialized nations, with 650 women dying per year.  The statistics are even more shocking for poor, low-income and rural women - a 2013 report by the New York Women's Foundation found that black women in New York City have worse maternal mortality rates that women in either Syria or Iraq, with 79 deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to 10 per 100,000 live births for white women.
   Global efforts are being made to reduce such deaths, but many countries are not making substantial progress toward this target.  Can United Methodist Women lead efforts to improve maternal health?  If women do not lead the campaign to help other women, who will?
At Assembly last year one of our call to mission was Maternal and child health:  Life-saving access and education that promotes well-being
As Women of Valparaiso FUMC what have be done to promote this call?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tickets for Mother - Daughter Tea
still available $5:00
entertainment by VU'S Reader Theater

if you are bringing goodies for the Tea, please bring them to the the Church kitchen on Sunday.

Habitat for Humanity
Women's Build
Joyce McMurtrey  has put together a team for this build, if you would like to help with this project please contact Joyce.

Craft Day
May 16th
Catch up on all your crafts, or start something new.  
9:00 - 3:00

Mission u 2015
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 12:00 PM -
Friday, July 24, 2015 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)

DePauw University
5 E Hanna St
Greencastle, Indiana

Mission u (weekday school) registration deadline - July 1, 2015 at 11:59 pm; Late Fee - $25 per person

If you don't remember your password from last year click on "start a new registration" to the right of where you enter your email address.  During the registration process you will be asked to create an optional password. 

Mission u
is for everyone!  Women, men, youth, children, laity, clergy - You!  Mission u is where persons of all ages come together to grow in understanding of the mission of the church in the current world context through study, fellowship, worship and fun. 

This year's studies are: 

  • Spiritual Growth:  Created for Happiness:  Understanding Your Life in God
  • Geographic:  Latin America:  People and Faith
  • Social Issue:  The Church and People with Disabilities
What to bring:  Study books, Bible, notebook, drinking cup, flashlight, casual clothing, jacket, comfortable walking shoes, rain apparel, toiletries, bath linens and bed linens (beds are twin XL - using two flat sheets works well)

For your information: Golf cart shuttles are available on campus.  Call 911 for emergencies
Housing and MealsAccomodations are college dorm style.  If you would prefer hotel accomodations, please register as a commuter and make hotel arrangements on your own.  Dormitory and meeting rooms are air-conditioned.  All rooms are smoke free.  There are elevators in the dorms.   Each dorm room is equipped with two (extra long) twin beds.  Children and youth MUST stay with the adults who bring them.  Accomodations for couples and men are available.  Meals begin with lunch on Tuesday and end with lunch on Friday.

We do our best to match roommate and rooming near preferences.  All rooms must contain at least one person over the age of 18.  No one under the age of 18 will be issued a room or proxy (building access) card.

Special Needs Children
Any special needs child must be accompanied by a qualified caregiver.  Please contact the Registrar with any questions.

ScholarshipsScholarships are available for first time attendees, youth, children, young women (age 18-39) and Clergy.
Contact your local UMW president for an application form.  Local churches and UMW organizations may offer scholarships also.

FeesDouble Room....................................................$210
Single Room......................................................$270
Commuter (no lodging/all meals)....................$160
Child age 3 - grade 5 (Chi-Mi-Ca)..................$ 95
Middle/High School (Yo-Pe-Mi-Ca)................$165

Optional early arrival:   Monday night $35 (includes room and breakfast on Tuesday) No charge for children and/or youth.

A minimum $15.00 processing fee will be charged for all cancellations

Mission u fees include registration, meals (Tuesday lunch through Friday lunch), lodging and materials.

Mission u (weekday school) registration deadline - July 1, 2015 at 11:59 pmYou will receive a confirmation e-mail when you finish registration - be sure to click the "Finish" button!
Register early to ensure class placement preferences.

CEU CreditsClergy requesting CEU credits should indicate this on the registration form.  A certification letter will be provided upon appropriate completion of the School.

2015 Mission u Hands on Mission Project will be the in-gathering of UMCOR Layette kits.

Even if you are not planning on attending we can be a part of it by helping with the  Mission Project.  UMCOR Layette kits, Layette kits

Lucille Raines Residence
May Birthday List

May 12       Clint Ostby                  #404
May 14       Felicia Vidito               #407
May 20       Lee Hitchel                  #603
May 28       Jim Mersch                 #401

address:  947 N. Pennsylvania St.
               Indianapolis, IN  46204-1070

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tickets for Tea available between services
$5 per person 

If you have volunteered to provide items for the Tea, 
please bring them to the kitchen on Sunday May 3rd.

  • May 15-17: Silent Retreat at Sarto House, Evansville. POSTPONED  United Methodist Women of Indiana's Silent Retreat scheduled for May 15-17,2015 in Evansville is postponed.  Sarto House cannot accommodate those dates due to staff concerns.   The registrar will return checks to all who are already registered.

Craft Day 
May 16th
Bring your unfinished projects or start something new.
9:00 - 3:00 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Save the Date

Upcoming Business Meeting
April 29th

Mother - Daughter Tea
 Sunday, May 3rd
1:30 - 3:30

tickets $5 per person
on sale between services

mission U
July 21 - 24th
sampler day
Sat. 25th
information can be found on
Also copies of registration forms will be in the UMW mail box.

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 8th 
7:00 pm  in the Sanctuary
" Listening for Grace"
We are honored to be part of their tour.

May 3
Mother Daughter Tea
1:30 - 3:30
Tickets $5.00
will go on sale April 12 between services

Habitat for Humanity
Starting May 2, the Valparaiso chapter of Habitat for Humanity will begin building a home.  A unique part of the build is the first week is designated as a Women Build,
meaning 75% of the work done the week of May 2nd to May 9th, must be done by women.
There will all types of roles involved with the Women Build week so if someone is not interested in doing physical labor,
but wants to join in, there will be a role for that person.  Work will be done daily May 2 - 9 so we could have a team working during the week or on the weekend.  There will be some competition for the weekend slots so if we have a group of women interested; we'd need to reserve one of those slots right away.
If anyone is interested in forming a team or want more information, they can contact Joyce McMurtrey

We need to think about getting a group of women together to head south this summer for:

mission U

mission U is held July 21 -24th at
 De Pauw University in Greencastle IN

Studies this year will be
 Spiritual Growth:
      "Created for Happiness: Understanding Your Life in God"

     "Latin America: People and Faith"

Social Issue:
     "The Church and People with Disabilities"

mission U hands on Mission Project will be the in-gathering of UMCOR Layette kits .

Monday, March 30, 2015

Thank You
A Huge thank your to each and everyone of you wonderful ladies and gentleman!!!

The Hilltop Neighborhood House Soup Event was a huge success in large part to each of you for making so many wonderful desserts!   They were beautiful and tasty!!! The masses kept coming back for more and more of the sweet treats!!!  Our church provided 65 desserts - pies, cakes, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, everything - all beautiful.

We surpassed last year in number of people and income for scholarships.

First United Methodist Church has wonderful caring people and I'm so glad to call them friends!!!
Sue Clemens

Photos from event

Up Coming events

Please join us this Thursday at 9:00 in Fellowship Hall for breakfast and a view of John Wesley's England.  Karen Fritz and Kay Morris are presenting a program from their trip last year. 

Wednesday, April 8th 7:00 pm
" Listening for Grace"
for more information on the program follow this link

"Faith and Fear"

I have returned from Africa to the U.S. and found that while I was away the Indiana state legislature passed and the governor signed the so-called "Religious Freedom Restoration Act." As best I can tell this measure is founded upon FEAR and not religion and certainly not upon FAITH. People are afraid of change, and especially some persons who consider themselves to be religious are afraid that the changes in our society - most notably the legalization of same-gender marriages - may affect their freedom of religion. This fear is part of the over-all fear that government is interfering more and more in our private lives. This fear takes an especially dangerous turn when politicians scare people into thinking that somehow the government is going to force them to engage in practices that might offend their own personal beliefs and practices. The examples given in the political debate seem far-fetched (like a bakery chef having to create a "gay wedding cake"), and so I can only explain this law on the basis of FEAR. People are afraid, and when people are afraid they react (or over-react) in ways that might not be their typical attitudes.
Likewise some of the reactions to the passage of the bill seem to be based upon FEAR - fear that we will somehow go back to the days of segregation and divisions where personal liberties are curtailed and discrimination is legalized. Certainly it would have helped if the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" would have included language to verify that discrimination is unlawful, and it seems that the governor may want such language passed or added now to "clarify" the law. But the fearful and angry response to the law seems to overlook that we have a Bill of Rights which takes precedence over any state law - which again tells me that people are full of FEAR.
The truth is that FEAR is the opposite of FAITH. Many people think that doubt is the opposite of faith, but not really. Doubt is often the doorway to faith, if only we wrestle with our doubts (and perhaps even with God) in ways that are honest and open and seeking the truth. No, doubt is not the opposite of faith, FEAR is the opposite of FAITH. That is why so many times in the Bible the message of the angels and of Jesus himself is "Fear not," or "peace be with you." The Bible teaches us to overcome our fears with love and faith and trust.
There are places in the world where Christians are indeed persecuted and where fear might be a legitimate response. Ironically in those places many, many Christians have learned to overcome fear with FAITH. The state of Indiana is certainly not a place for Christians live with a persecution complex, and those politicians who try to create such an atmosphere are likely doing so for their own political agenda.
Back to the "Religious Freedom Act." I suspect that this whole thing will be much ado about nothing. I understand that there is already a similar federal law on the books (passed in 1993 and signed by President Clinton), but no court has ever upheld a claim using that law. Several other states have similar laws but they are not used. It will likely be the same here in Indiana. Businesses which want to limit their customer base will lose business. Businesses and individuals who are welcoming and hospitable to all persons will grow and prosper. I am not an attorney, but I can't imagine any successful lawsuits on the basis of this new law. People may sue, and some attorneys will surely take their money to file suit, but that is a far cry from a successful lawsuit. How would anyone prove "damages" or "loss" from their failure to serve a paying customer? Likewise, what customer is going to bother with a lawsuit against a business for refusing to serve them? They will just move on to another business which earns their respect. In the long run, people will learn that hospitality is a good business practice.
Perhaps the only real loss to the state of Indiana will be our reputation. Perhaps some potential new residents will choose to locate elsewhere. Perhaps some businesses will go to other states which are more hospitable to all persons. Most likely those who have supported this new law will be disappointed to discover that it does not insulate them from a changing culture, and then they will move on to some other FEAR to worry about.
As United Methodists our stance is clear as indicated in our Social Principles: We defend everyone's right to freedom of expression of their own religion or personal faith. We also believe all persons are of sacred worth, and so we oppose discrimination against anyone. We hope this law will not allow or encourage any forms of discrimination.
Meanwhile I believe that persons of genuine faith will go about their lives, treating every person as child of God, feeling free to share their own faith in ways that are hospitable and loving, and living in the peace of God. Ultimately FAITH will triumph over FEAR.

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We defend everyone's right to freedom of expression of their own religion or personal faith. We also believe all persons are of sacred worth, and so we oppose discrimination against 


We defend everyone's right to freedom of expression of their own religion or personal faith. We also believe all persons are of sacred worth, and so we oppose discrimination against 

Upcoming Indiana UMW events
The April 17-18 Spring Retreat in Fort Wayne is coming soon!
You can still register---the deadline to register is April 5th!!  

Full flyer (viewable below) is available click here or go to

See below for flyer for this retreat AND the May's silent retreat in Evansville!

The May 15-17 retreat is in Evansville---registration deadline is April 29th
The  silent retreat flyer can be viewed here or at 

Lucille Raines Residence
Birthday List for April

April 16th              Vincent Rice        304
April 19th              Lawrence Roper   202