VIM Team Sending Process & Resources

While procedures for VIM Teams are in the process of being made consistent across the US and may change in the future, these are the common practices and expectations. Once a host is ready and has issued a call for teams or has set up an on-going hosting process, the Team Leader should contact the potential host site to discuss their needs, setting, and calendar availability. Frequent host sites and those with a strong current needs are listed in the table at the bottom of this page and the Project Lists below contain comprehensive lists by geography.  Stephanie Gottschalk, WPA VIM Coordinator can also consult with teams in their planning process. 

Register Once basic plans and team are firm, all Team Leaders should share their team plans with their Conference VIM Coordinator. The best way to do this is online using Register Your VIM Team in the menu bar to your right or bottom. If your Team Leader has not had VIM Team Leader Training since 2013, they should take it again as this will help to ensure that you are using the current WPA legal forms. All VIM Teams should purchase VIM insurance or its equivalent to safeguard the volunteers that are serving.

Report Team Leaders are also asked to report and reflect on their experience using the online Mission Service Report after they have returned. This information can then be compiled to share with others and may be sent back to your church upon request to be used in their annual reporting on ministry (statistical and charge conference reports.)

Managing Risk Appropriately  Though we seek to reduce risk for all participants, congregations, and partners, no activity is without risk. While most teams serve with little or no incident, it is not uncommon for medical, health, political, and other conditions to arise that call for the team leader to pay attention to the safety of both individuals and sponsoring ministries. All team leaders should fully discuss risk factors with their host and teams in advance and use the following resources to address matters of liability and risk, including taking risk into consideration in your timeframe and planning. It is better to re-schedule a team than to put team members, sponsor, and hosts in high-risk scenarios.  


Current Forms for UMVIM Teams

Additional Forms In addition to short term VIM insurance, it is the Volunteers in Mission standard practice to ask each participant to fill out liability release forms to acknowledge the risk and protect the sponsoring church as well as medical release forms to ensure that medical treatment can be administered while traveling. These and additional suggested forms are distributed at VIM Team Leader trainings and are available upon request from WPA Missions/VIM Coordinator, Rev. Stephanie Gottschalk at or by calling the UM Center.  If you are unsure if your church and mission team are using the correct paperwork, please consult with the VIM Coordinator. 

Additional Resources  Team leaders are encouraged to check the following organizations for guidelines, travel warnings, and other information that should be passed along to team members as part of their preparation and discernment before travel. 

Zika Virus  Many VIM teams and local churches have relationships and ministries in areas that are currently affected by the Zika outbreak. The CDC currently recommends that anyone traveling in Central and South America (include most of the Caribbean) create and travel with a Zika Prevention Kit. It is also suggested that you see a doctor or County Health Dept. upon return for testing as not everyone who contracts the disease has noticeable symptoms. 

Birth defects are among the most serious side effects of Zika, and therefore UMVIM’s policy is to advise that no one who is attempting to get pregnant participate in an UMVIM mission journey to a country with active Zika cases. Please note that this advisory also includes males, as the virus can be spread by sexual contact. More information from CDC. 

At this time, our VIM insurance currently continues to insure those teams traveling to Zika-affected areas. 


UMVIM Project Lists

These are sites connected through the United Methodist Church and ecumenical partners that are aware of the UMC goals of mission, our standard practices of financial accountability and are set up to welcome teams. Your reports after service help to maintain the accuracy and quality of the sites on these lists.

Recommended Sites Calling for Teams  (plan your own travel)

Location Type of Work Lodging Host Organization Host Cost Scheduling Information / Links Notes
Connellsville, PA

Disaster Cleanup and Rebuild

(Flood Recovery)



(air mattresses, kitchen access)


Donations to church or for materials appreciated

Fill out online Volunteer Questionnaire to schedule a team

Volunteers  needed now thru Fall 2017 




Disaster Response

(Flood Recovery)


West Virginia Conference

Rev. Jack Lipphardt 


Donations to church appreciated. Download Flood Relief Volunteer Form at   

Rebuild Teams requested



Disaster Response:

ERTs and Rebuild

Churches Louisiana Annual Conference

Possible donation for materials or hosting.


Register for Rebuild or Early Response

North Carolina


Disaster Response

(Hurricane response)


North Carolina Annual Conference

Possible donation for materials or hosting. Call 888.440.9167 or go to NCCUMC website 

ERTs still NEEDED 



Disaster Response  (Tornado Recovery) 


Forrest White 


Contact Forrest White or go to

South Carolina

Disaster Response

(Hurricane Recovery


Sara Mccutcheon 

Phone: 803-888-3051


Possible donation for materials or hosting.






Disaster Response

(Flood recovery)

Housing w/showers available 

Wayne Winter 


Rev. David Newton


Rev. David Newton

Dantzler Memorial First United Methodist Church

P.O. Box 8704 Moss Point, MS 39562

Office: 228-475-7888

Cell: 228-216-6567

Early Response Training helpful but not required
Oklahoma Conference 

Disaster Response

(Tornado/Flood Recovery


 Karen Mangano


Spiritual Caregivers.

Over age 16

Rio Texas Conference 

  Disaster Response  


 Gene Hileman

Connellsville, PA Home repair, volunteering at CACM Varies by time of year

Connellsville Area Community Ministries: PUMP Program

Varies by project  Local to WPA
New Jersey Sandy Recovery - rebuilding, spiritual care Usually churches Go to website or call 732-359-1012 $220/volunteer per week Deposit required, Requires use of their own insurance
Wheeling, WV Poverty & Hunger outreach, Local repairs Guest House for up to 25 or churches

House of the Carpenter

Mike Linger, Director or Julie Polley, Volunteer Coordinator

Varies Senior-friendly