Global Ministries' directors focus on God's mission in a fractured world

Global Ministries' Board of Directors conducted critical global business on behalf of the United Methodist denomination and voiced their commitment to connect Methodists across the world and across political and theological spectrums for mission and ministry. Especially in a fractured world, mission offers opportunity and purpose for all Methodists to find common ground to spread the love of God to all people.

Your support of The World Service Fund apportionment supports program-related general agencies, which are especially important to the common vision, mission, and ministry of The United Methodist Church

Celebrating the Asylum Initiative partnership: Roland Fernandez, executive director and treasurer, UMCOR; Mary Lee Fitzsimmons, Chair, NJFON board of directors; Rob Rutland-Brown, executive director of NJFON; Erol Kekic, senior vice-president, CWS; Jack Amick, director, Global Migration, Global Ministries; and Bishop Thomas Bickerton, New York Annual Conference, chair of UMCOR. Photo: Anthony Trueheart.

Bishop Hector F. Ortiz-Vidal of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico urged directors to focus on mission, spiritual renewal, and living in God's peace, a message echoed by Yambasu later in the meeting. Though no solution seems apparent and conflict increases, "Jesus Christ makes the impossible possible," Ortiz said.

Thomas Kemper, Global Ministries' general secretary, continued the theme by illustrating, in practical terms, the ways that mission embraces the strength of the church, bringing people together for God's greater purpose despite human fractures. He highlighted the work of the Roundtable for Peace on the Korean Peninsula, held in November 2018, which brought together key leaders to discuss lasting peace between the Koreas. The Agricultural Summit, held in Johannesburg in January, brought together leaders, lay people and missionaries from across the African continent to consider church-sponsored agricultural projects to build up mission in communities, raise funds, and meet peoples' basic needs.

Kemper saw signs of hope in returning sacred ground in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, to the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma last month, and opportunity in an invitation by Robert Redfield, of the Centers for Disease Control, for churches and other faith-based institutions to partner with the CDC for health initiatives across the U.S.

"We have a historic responsibility," Kemper said as he contemplated Methodism without UMCOR and Global Ministries. "We cannot just walk away from the missions entrusted to us."

During the opening worship, directors celebrated a milestone for the Encounter with Christ Permanent Fund established in 1992. Encounter with Christ is a mission partnership of Global Ministries, the Council of Evangelical Methodist Churches in Latin America and the Caribbean (CIEMAL), and the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA). Encounter is a central UMC funding source for evangelism and outreach projects developed throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Directors also received a gift of $24,272, given by the Methodist Church in Puerto Rico to the United Methodist Committee on Relief for disaster response work in the Bahamas..

UMCOR directors approved a total of $5,982,153.11 in grants for disaster relief in the U.S. and internationally, and projects covering Sustainable Development, Global Migration and Global Health. Global Health grants totaling $1,824,611.

With the directors' approval, UMCOR's Global Migration office announced the launch of a new three-year, $1.8 million pilot project designed to provide wrap-around services for asylum seekers in three major U.S. cities.

In preparation for the 2020 General Conference, directors and staff discussed ways to work as vessels of peace in what is predicted to be another unsettling denominational meeting.

excerpt from a story by Christie R. House, senior writer and editor, Global Ministries.

The World Service Fund provides basic financial support to program-related general agencies, which are especially important to the common vision, mission, and ministry of The United Methodist Church. Through World Service funding, agencies support annual conferences and local congregations in living out God's mission for the worldwide Church. General agencies also provide essential services and ministries beyond the scope of individual local congregations and annual conferences through services and ministries that are highly focused, flexible, and capable of rapid response.