Helping Hands Scholarship


The Helping Hands Scholarship promotes commitment and excellence by aligning a United Methodist communicator with more than 200 professional general agencies, conferences, districts, and local church communicators. It also provides an opportunity to develop partnerships and relationships to enhance their communication ministry within the UMC.

The scholarship is offered in recognition of the commitment and work of UMAC’s past president, Rev. Dawn Hand. She was a conference director of communications for The United Methodist Church and the UMAC 2004 Communicator of The Year.

The scholarship is awarded each year to at least one Central Conference communicator working at the district, conference, or local church level.
Donations are accepted for the scholarship throughout the year. Please consider making a donation by clicking the “donate” button below.

The Rev. Dawn Hand addresses the UMAC membership during the gala on Feb. 22, 2019. The Helping Hands scholarship is named after Hand who served as a conference director of communications and was the UMAC 2004 Communicator of The Year. Photo by Matt Brodie


Previous Scholarship Recipients

Gladys P. Mangiduyos

Philippines Central Conference

Madams and Sirs,

With humility and respect, I wish to express my utmost gratefulness for the enormous help you have granted for making my attendance to the UMAC annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri on February 21-22 & 27, 2019, possible.

The meeting was a tremendous opportunity to meet face to face the people who facilitated my learning on how to do Journalism with utmost fairness, criticality, and objectivity.

It was a great chance to rub elbows with the great team behind the UMAC 2019, S.H.A.R.E.  and other communicators from entire United Methodist connection.

I am humbled for the opportunity to share the context of the Philippines, my joys and challenges, and how it was to cover the reactions of United Methodists on the three plans.

I would say that I had enormous empowering moments, I have gained more grounds on this discipline, have become more confident and now am getting ready for bigger tasks ahead.

With this added experience, I came up with a more anchored framework on how I can best help the United Methodist Church in general and the Philippines Central Conference in particular.

I never had a degree in Journalism, but it was through the person who opened the door for me to embark on communicating, Tim Tanton; the training provided by Vicki Brown, Linda Bloom and Mike Dubose;  and the UMNS team which embody connectedness as a network of reciprocity and trustworthiness, which have taught me to do this ministry. “Communicate in a part of the community and the whole of it benefits.”  Thank you!  And to Andra as well.

The gala night has impressed on me the following traits: intellectual humility, courage, integrity, empathy, perseverance, faith in reason, sense of justice that communicators can make this world a better place for everybody.

“Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.  Acknowledge the pain. Respond in ways that are caring. Engage in dialogues.”

These were the words of Rev. Kenneth a Bigham-Tsai during the post conference analysis.  It was a moment meant to help prepare for doing the important job of communicating what transpired and where the church goes from there.  It was a moment to make sense of the passage of the plan which has continued to shake one’s ground.  And my journey to tell stories continues.

Thank you so much Helping Hands!

“For all that has been, THANKS! For all that will be, YES”

Very respectfully yours,

Gladys P. Mangiduyos

Ndzulo (Joe) Tueche

Connectional Relations Manager, GCFA

I was very excited about the United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) meeting in 2017 that took place in New Orleans, Louisiana. The fact is that it all started way before then because I had dreamt about attending such a gathering.

At the time I was attending the New Orleans event, I was serving as Field Project Manager for the West Africa Central Conference with United Methodist Communications (UMCom) and had requested from my supervisor to attend the 2017 UMAC meeting with the aim to eventually see how I could inspire communicators in my area and do better my job.

However, it’s not possible for me to tell this story without mentioning that my first encounter (virtual) with UMAC was in 2013 when I was serving as district Communications Director of the Abengourou Missionary District, a voluntary position. I needed bearings to build a structure that would facilitate telling the story of how the UMC was making disciples of Jesus Christ in that part of the Cote d’Ivoire Annual Conference. While digging through news articles and blog posts on General Conference 2012, I discovered UMAC and had the feeling God had plans to make my task easier than I had thought. From then, I monitored the UMAC website for upcoming events and updates and actually learned many skills listening to the audio files of the previous UMAC meetings.

Fast-forwarding to 2017, I was really excited when my supervisor approved I could attend the New Orleans event though with reserves, that were financially related. Weeks later, a good news came in: The Helping Hands scholarship would cover the cost of the air ticket. Seriously, today I see this scholarship as a bridge builder.

In New Orleans, I met with many of the folks behind the news article or the photos on the UMC website I had read and seen years before. Attending the social media workshop was a great opportunity to learn skills that I continue to use today. Following the panel discussions on “Communicating the Way Forward” was enriching as well. Not to mention the inspiring worship service and discussions held at First Grace United Methodist Church.

Today, I’m serving with another agency of the UMC in a role that builds on communications and relationships to provide solutions and sustain ministries; and I believe that God wanted the three-day experience I had in New Orleans – thanks to the Helping Hands Scholarship – to be an addition for me to be one of those links that build new constructive relationships across the denomination. Not just to be edified and helpful in the process of making disciples for Jesus Christ but primarily to God’s glory.

For me, UMAC stands for the global association of United Methodist Communicators and there should be a mechanism for central conference communicators to be part of this body be it physically or virtually. I think the Helping Hands scholarship is doing what their names says and at the same time I dream of a UMAC meeting outside of the USA perhaps ones every three or four years.

If you’ve read to this point, I invite you to join me to ask God to inspire making the Scholarship sustainable so it will continue to impact one communicator at the time or as many as God will inspire its leadership to support, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Ndzulo (Joe) Tueche