We Dream of a Future for UMVIM
(Part IV of "Guidelines for Sending and Hosting United Methodist Volunteers in Mission")
Mother Teresa observed before she died that "there is a tremendous strength that is growing in the world through ... sharing together, praying together, suffering together, and working together." Those of us in the mission volunteer movement know about the power. We speak of spiritual renewal, life style changes, new relationships and revitalized local churches.
As we move into the 21st Century, it is clear that mission volunteers have an increasingly important role to play. The linking of mission volunteers with global mission projects will enable us to build bridges, develop relationships, and experience cross cultural enrichment as we reach out to each other in cooperative ministry. Education for mission will take on new meaning as we learn to serve and serve to learn. We will deliver resources and empower mission leadership in effective, meaningful ways as we develop new levels of understanding.
We dream of a future in which the partnership is strengthened. We will come to understand and be able to work on each other's contexts. Volunteers In Mission will be integral to the realization of global church. Volunteers in Mission is a program in which information, understanding, and sharing are reciprocal and people can create continuing relationship with sister and brothers of different races, faiths, and experiences around the world.
We dream of a future with increased involvement in the Volunteers In Mission program. Every country will be enabled to send teams, as well as receive teams. Every church of the connection will have at least one new volunteer in mission joining a team every year. There will be increased opportunities for individual volunteers to participate in a mission experience. Individuals will be empowered with the knowledge that they can make a difference.
We dream of a future of improved coordination and communication in which international network of mission volunteers in Annual Conferences, Jurisdictions, Partner Churches, and the GBGM Mission Volunteers Office will be linked via the internet. There will be a Volunteers In Mission Coordinator in every church with E-mail capability. There will be a large pool of volunteers ready to respond to emergencies. There will be an extensive skills bank and data base of persons who are willing to be called into service. There will be a system to locate local and regional projects through which teams can respond to missional opportunities on weekends with minimal expense and travel. There are effective trained coordinators at both ends of the project that will allow for trouble free, effective work projects.
We dream of a future where volunteers in mission will become the driving force for mission renewal of the local church. There will be a continuing positive impact of love, brother-and-sisterhood in a world torn apart by injustice and separated by apathy. Volunteers will provide homes for the homeless, medical care for those who have little or none, ministries that seek to provide food for the undernourished, goodwill exchanges so that Christ's love builds bridges between cultures and people. Volunteers will be strong witnesses and advocates for world peace, justice and equality. We envision a church which recovers its purpose and power as it demonstrates God's mission by pouring itself out for others, crossing all boundaries to identify with struggles and needs, yearnings and sorrows, joys and fears, confusion and doubt, and the quest for true human dignity among all people everywhere, especially those regarded as the least of God's children.
Mission for the 21st Century challenges us to focus on relationships between people for common mission. God has given us the United Methodist Volunteers In Mission movement to lead the way!!
For additional information and assistance, you may get in touch with your
Jurisdictional or Annual Conference UMVIM Coordinator
Mission Volunteers, GBGM
475 Riverside Drive, 3rd floor
New York, NY 10115