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The Equifax Data Breech - What you need to know and actions you need to take now!

Equifax, a consumer credit rating and reporting agency, announced it was was hacked and 143 million people had sensitive personal and financial information stolen.   Your information could have been taken without your knowledge.  With that information, the thieves could take out loans in your name or steal your identity for other purposes.

You should "Freeze" your account now with each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  You may think you don't have credit records with all of them,  but you do because agencies trade information.  You also should freeze children's accounts, because the agencies have information on them.

Click on the links below to contact each of the three agencies to freeze your credit accounts:

The Federal Trade Commission explains Credit Freezes:

State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General:

Upcoming Mission Opportunities

Starting with last year's joint Circuit Charge Conference meeting, members of the churches in the circuit began discussing and exploring mission projects that would best be done on a Circuit-wide basis. We will be following up on these projects at this year's joint Charge Conference, to be held at St. Luke's UMC on Saturday, October 14 at 10 a.m.

One of these is the Jubilee Initiative, a micro-lending program for people who might otherwise resort to payday lending schemes. We've already had some discussion of this here at ESUMC, and we're close to starting the program - so long as there are volunteers whose job would be to vet prospective lenders. There is a District meeting to be held at Vallejo First UMC to discuss and review best practices on Saturday, September 16. If you are interested in this project, please talk with Pastor Mark.

Another project has to do with immigration, in particular, shielding the undocumented. In this regard, Kofi Baah-Arhin has proposed a 3-pronged program (1) to provide legal representation & assistance to undocumented and/or prospective immigrants at Bureau of Immigration and Immigration & Naturalization proceedings; (2) to assist new immigrants on how to legalize or change their status; and (3) to work closely with Sanctuary Church/City organizations seeking housing and educational opportunities to undocumented immigrants and refugees. An ambitious program, it will require some training for volunteers; but it will be of immeasurable value to those who are helped. If you are interested in this project, please talk with Kofi or Pastor Mark.

There are two other areas of interest (support for public schools, and young adult ministries) that are also being considered.

Featured News from United Methodist Communications

Current news and information from United Methodist Communications for the people of the United Methodist Church.  Please click to Read More.

Appian Wayfarer, August 2017

10 fascinating facts about John Wesley and United Methodism

History is more than facts and figures. It is full of real people with real stories. Connecting with those people and stories helps us understand our lives and discern God’s direction for our future. That is why it is important constantly to connect our teaching back to the important people in our history. To help you do that, we have gathered some interesting, and maybe even surprising, facts about John Wesley to help you connect United Methodist history to your next lesson. Read more.

How Identity Theft Can Affect Your Taxes and Your Financial Security

Tax-related identity theft normally occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund or invade your financial accounts. Many people first find out about it when they do their taxes.

The IRS is working hard to stop identity theft with a strategy of prevention, detection and victim assistance. Here are nine key points: ... Read More