Vermont District Bottle Challenge for JFON & UMEM

January 09, 2019

Special Offerings for Justice for Our Neighbors
and the United Methodist Economic Ministry

The 2018 Annual Conference enthusiastically approved a resolution “Encouraging a Special JFON [Justice For Our Neighbors] Offering at 2019 Annual Conference” (RS-18-215) with a goal of $30,000 that is supported by all local churches.

This year we are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of UMEM, United Methodist Economic Ministry, in western Maine. They have an anniversary goal of raising $25,000.

To meet these goals, each district in the New England Conference will raise funds for these ministries by means of a Bottle Challenge!

What is a bottle challenge? Each church should have two 2-liter soda bottles to collect coins: one marked for JFON and the other UMEM. (A 2-liter bottle filled with nickels holds about $150 or filled with dimes $500.) Folks could do their own collections at home using smaller bottles.

Vermont District’s goals: raise $3000 for JFON and $2000 for UMEM. We have labels for your soda bottles if you contact Jill or Evie (

Your local church bottle challenge should wrap up by May 1, 2019. Make checks for each ministry payable to the Vermont District, indicate UMEM or JFON in the memo, and mail them to the Vermont District Office by May 15. The district will keep track of the donations and send the final amounts to the Conference. Churches will be credited for their donations.

What is “JFON”?

Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) is a faith-driven ministry, welcoming immigrants into our churches and communities by providing free, high-quality immigration and legal services, education, and advocacy. United Methodist churches in Springfield and Woburn, Massachusetts operate clinics out of their buildings and clinics specializing in unaccompanied minors have just opened in UM churches in Lawrence and Lowell. (Use these links, Mission Shares at Work and Source of Hope, for recent articles about New England’s Justice for Our Neighbors.)

What is the “UMEM?”

Since its inception nearly 50 years ago, The United Methodist Economic Ministry has been in partnership with rural communities in western Maine seeking to break the cycle of poverty by creating healthy, sustainable communities within the region. Its most important mission is day-to-day connection with the people in the community, and its core services are the Food Cupboards, Thrift Shops, and Summer Mission Teams. The scope of its outreach also includes the Emergency Heating Program, Backpack and Sneakers Program, the Christmas Shoppe, the Prom Shop, community meals and gatherings and more.