United Methodist Event at Columbus Zoo Celebrates Imagine No Malaria
Approximately 2,000 United Methodists are expected to attend Saturday’s Imagine No Malaria Day at the Zoo to celebrate children helping children, a thank you to the many creative and generous ways in which young people and their congregations throughout West Ohio have contributed to the United Methodist initiative to end malaria deaths.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium event, sponsored by the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church, also celebrates the more than $3.5 million raised by members for Imagine No Malaria in more than 1,000 United Methodist churches throughout the region. Many of the funds have been raised by youth, church leaders say.
“The campaign for Imagine No Malaria in our Conference has been encouraged and nurtured by the stories of some of our youngest United Methodists,” said Dave Boling, Imagine No Malaria coordinator for the West Ohio Conference. “The children have not only given through Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. They have given sacrificially in so many ways to save the lives of other children from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Imagine No Malaria Day at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a day for all of us to thank God, to encourage the gift of gratitude that is so alive in our churches and cheer them on in the generosity of Jesus Christ lived out in their communities and the world.”
Imagine No Malaria is an initiative of the people of The United Methodist Church to eliminate malaria deaths. To-date, the denomination has raised more than $66 million toward its commitment to end death and suffering from malaria through prevention, communication, education and treatment.
In addition to exploring the zoo and aquarium, the day will include lunch for all attendees and kids’ activities, such as face painting. Two special guests, Molly McNamara and Logan Martens, both 14, will tell about their involvement with Imagine No Malaria. The two teens have been raising money for Imagine No Malaria since 2007 at the yearly gathering of The United Methodist Church’s East Ohio Annual Conference in Lakeside, Ohio. Together, they have raised more than $58,000 for the initiative.
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer of the West Ohio Annual Conference and the Rev. Dennis Miller, a district superintendent in West Ohio who recently returned from traveling by motorcycle to the Arctic Circle to raise $12,000 for Imagine No Malaria, also will be in attendance.
“We are excited to all be together on Saturday and we want to especially thank the children of West Ohio," said Bishop Palmer. ‘Their leadership and sacrificial giving set the bar high for the rest of us. They have broken open piggy banks, set aside their own wants for what one child said ‘I want to help make sure other kids don’t get sick.’”
About Imagine No Malaria:
Imagine No Malaria is an extraordinary ministry of the people of The United Methodist Church, putting faith into action to end preventable deaths from malaria in Africa, especially the death of a child or a mother. With a comprehensive approach to fighting this killer disease, Imagine No Malaria empowers the people of Africa to improve health infrastructure and achieve a sustainable victory over malaria.