Timeline: 60 Years of Sharing Through The Advance
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World War II Creates Massive Relocation of Missionaries
World War II begins, and Methodist mission and personnel are disrupted. Political upheavals force missionary evacuations and relocations around the world.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Protestant Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South unite to form the Methodist Church. Mission work is centralized.
The United States Enters World War II
The United States enters World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
$27 Million Is Raised for Mission
A world traumatized by World War II is in dire need of new vision and new hope. Amid the hunger and want of ruined cities and scorched villages, hope seems lost.
Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam requests $25 million over four years for the “crusade for Christ” to finance war relief and evangelism efforts. An unprecedented 1.6 million new members join the Methodist Church in one year. Fund-raising and evangelism efforts go hand in hand. More than $27 million is collected for the Board of Missions, predecessor of the General Board of Global Ministries.
General Conference Commits to World-Wide Mission
General Conference declares a commitment to “a world-wide Advance in which Methodists may share in a ministry of relief and in carrying the Gospel of Christ to the peoples of the earth.” Because United Methodists from all over the world are connected by doctrine, practice and mission, we are positioned to do the work of Jesus Christ both within and beyond our immediate reach.
General Conference approves the “Quadrennial Plan for Christ and His Church,” with an educational component and “The Advance Fund.” Projects authorized for giving through The Advance receive designated funds from churches and conferences directly. World Service is raised by 33 percent, and a channel of giving for churches—the “Week of Dedication”—is established.
Gifts are generous, with $10.5 million for The Advance, $2.5 million for the Week of Dedication and $27 million for World Service.
Special Conference Partnerships Are Established
The Advance continues for four more years with a provision that 10 percent of funds raised would go to conference-initiated projects in the United States.
The Advance Is Established as a Permanent Structure of Contribution
By 1956, General Conference solidifies The Advance as a permanent structure and a continuing source of funding and begins to regulate the ways in which contributions are collected and designated. Local churches collect and send funds to the conference treasurer, who forwards the money to The Advance.
The United Methodist Church Is Formed. Advance Continues.
The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB) unite to form The United Methodist Church. The EUB Church had a similar second-mile giving channel. The Advance continues as the two structures merge.
Advance Projects Received $44 Million
Contributions to Advance projects totaled $44 million in 1999, compared to $30 million in 1998. The previous record for annual giving to the Advance was $34 million in 1985.
Advance Responds to Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks
By the end of November, UMCOR had received a total of $22.3 million through general Advance specials, including “Love in the Midst of Tragedy”, the church’s special offering in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
In addition, Advance specials to other mission program areas totaled $13.2 million. Almost $1 million had come in for bishops’ appeals.
Together, these three areas of Advance specials had receivednearly $36.4 million.
United Methodist Global HIV/AIDS Fund Established
The United Methodist Global AIDS fund has awarded a grant to Chicuque Rural Hospital.
The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund was established at the 2004 General Conference to raise $8 million by 2008. Funds are to be used to support programs offering HIV and AIDS education, prevention, treatment and care services in the United States and around the world.
The Advance Is Assigned a New Oversight Committee
General Conference votes to dismantle the General Council on Ministries and replaces it with the Connectional Table. Oversight for The Advance is changed to The Advance Committee of the Connectional Table and the General Board of Global Ministries.