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connectNmission: December 2011, Issue 13

ConnectNMission December, Issue 13
December 2011, Issue 13   
    Click Here Featured Resource       Click HereAdvocate of the Month
Click hereLetter from Thomas Kemper
Click hereGrowing the Mission Field
Click hereCall for Young Adults
Click hereIndividual Volunteers
Click hereRecovery in Japan
Click hereMission Engagement in Vietnam
Click hereMinistry With*
Click hereBoard of Directors Take Action
Click hereRoundtables
Click here10-Fold Report


click hereLetter from Thomas Kemper

HopeFor all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:5-6

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the General Board of Global Ministries, thank you for all you do to share God's love and light throughout the world. Through our work, together we are building a path that Isaiah prophesized--a radical path to liberation, peace, and justice. A path that is possible because of the birth of a small and helpless child.

The MagnificatIn a world filled with violence and destruction, I am always grateful for those moments when I catch a glimpse of the peace of the Christ child. Where in your life are you seeing glimpses of this vision? I saw a glimpse in my recent visit to Japan where the church is responding to the tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear disaster that shook the country in March. I saw a glimpse at the Asia Rural Institute, where in spite of challenges, they are continuing to plant for abundant harvests in health, justice, and peace. I saw a glimpse in Côte d'Ivoire at the funeral of our missionary Isaac Agré, where hundreds of people filled the church in a celebration of his life. Isaac lived each day with a spirit of hospitality and graciousness and was a wonderful example of how we are truly connected in living out God's mission in this world.

As you read through this month's connectNmission, I hope you will catch a glimpse of Isaiah's vision in the work that is happening on your behalf through Global Ministries. I pray this Christmas that each of us will let the child be born in us--transforming us and bringing Christ's light into the world.

Christmas blessings,

Thomas G. Kemper
General Secretary
General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church

Click here For the full text of Thomas Kemper's Christmas message

Photo: The Magnificat
Photo Credit: Chris HeckertBack to Top

click hereGrowing the Mission Field

Jennifer Hansen, is commissioned to be a UMC missionaryIn the fall of 2011, ten missionaries were commissioned in a large Korean American church, First United Methodist Church in Flushing, New York.

The number of Global Ministries international missionaries, currently at 168, continues to grow. Thomas Kemper has committed the mission agency to nurturing and expanding the number of missionaries in the field, calling their work "grace abundant."

The global missionaries grow The United Methodist Church as they love, serve, and learn from the world around them. Give to missionaries around the world through The Advance, the designated giving channel of The United Methodist Church.

Photos: Jennifer Hansen (from North Georgia) is commissioned to be a United Methodist missionary during the Global Ministries Board Meeting.
Photo Credit: Cassandra Zampini
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click hereCall for Young Adults

Commissioning service of US-2s and Mission InternsIn the summer of 2011, one of the largest classes of young adult missionaries (25) in recent history were commissioned for service in a joyous celebration at the Interchurch Center in New York City.

The newly commissioned missionaries recited a covenant prayer:

God, today I join my sense of self and purpose with you and yours. Your work is my work, your deep sacrifice is my sacrifice, your full integration of Christ's path has shaped a way of life for me that now moves to the next level. I will push until I find the "tipping point" where the needs of all people are met and we can rejoice together for life abundant….

If you are 20-30 years old, consider applying to become a US-2 or Mission Intern in 2012. Information and the application can be found from here.

Photo: Commissioning service of US-2s and Mission Interns
Photo Credit: Cassandra Zampini
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click hereIndividual Volunteers

Individual VolunteersWhile recovering from heart surgery, Robin Hurley was swamped with phone calls and prayers from the many Individual Volunteers whom she had met just a few months before. Although Robin and the group trained for only four days, the Individual Volunteers "became part of a family," according to Nancy Eubanks of the Individual Volunteers program.

While the number of Individual Volunteers is holding steady at about 70, the goal in 2011 was to make the placement sites sustainable so that Individual Volunteers can work and live together for anywhere from two months to two years and then move on, leaving the resources and the housing with the local community.

The trainings include theological grounding, spiritual enrichment, and practical nuts and bolts information. Consider becoming an Individual Volunteer.

Photo: Loretta Davidson is a United Methodist individual volunteer in mission in Talanga, Honduras, where she works with children and their families.
Photo Credit: Paul Jeffrey
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click hereRecovery in Japan

Recovery in JapanIn March 2011, Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunamis, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) was on the ground as relief helped the Japanese people to embark on recovery and rehabilitation. Despite economic downturns all over the world, financial gifts for the Japan earthquake flowed in.

"We were able to provide a lot of initial relief aid to our partners and now, with the generosity of our United Methodist donors and other UMCOR supporters--who so far have given more than $11 million--we have the resources to pick up where others have left off, and keep going," said Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR executive for International Disaster Response. The giving supports the rebuilding of communities, among other needs. Go to: Japan Emergency.

Photo: Young people grill food during the Harvest Thanksgiving Celebration 2011 held at the Asian Rural Institute in northern Japan. Grants from the United Methodist Committee on Relief have helped the institute recover from the March earthquake.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Asian Rural Institute
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click hereMission Engagement in Vietnam

Mission engagement in VietnamGod is doing amazing things in Vietnam through The United Methodist Church. In the past year, 100 new churches have been planted in Vietnam. The Vietnam United Methodist Church is currently doing ministry that reaches out to women, children, orphans, and people who are disabled. The church in Vietnam is part of the Southeast Asia mission initiative, one of the more than one dozen initiatives around the world.

Rev. Patrick Friday of the In Mission Together program said: "The Mission Initiatives continue to thrive because of the generous support of partner churches across the connection. At this time of year, covenant agreements between partners are fulfilled and many are renewed for yet another season. We celebrate how sharing stories and prayer between church leaders of different backgrounds and languages have brought about transformation through hope on both sides of the relationship."

The gifts of mission just keep giving. Global Ministries provides programs and mission personnel for and from Asian American churches to participate in missions in Asia. Through developing global partnerships with Global Ministries for mission engagement, Asian American churches have become vitalized. In that sense, it becomes a tool for congregational development here in the US as well. 

The United Methodist Advance project for the mission in Vietnam provides financial support for congregational development, pastors' salaries and training, the orphanage ministry, women's health ministries, and building projects. Donation information is available at Vietnam Mission Initiative, Advance #14932A.

Photos: Vietnam Mission Initiative
Photo Credit: Patrick Friday
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click hereMinistry With*

Ministry WithLaunched in May 2011, this dynamic online teaching and conversation tool continues to challenge thinking about and action on reducing poverty. Creative videos, fact sheets, discussion questions, podcasts, worship resources, and Bible studies inspire and challenge what it means to be in ministry with the poor. Tune in to ministryWith.org and tell a friend about the how The United Methodist Church has made Ministry with the Poor a priority.

Photo: Residents of Kamina, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, clean an irrigation canal as part of an effort to destroy breeding grounds of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The project, sponsored by The United Methodist Church, is part of a larger effort to eradicate the disease, which kills more than a million people a year, most of them in Africa.
Photo Credit: Paul Jeffrey Back to Top

click hereBoard of Directors Take Action

Bishop Bruce OughAt their April and October meetings, the Global Ministries board of directors engaged in a process to make the agency more flexible, effective, and cost-efficient in response to contemporary mission opportunities. Directors talked about, prayed about, and voted on comprehensive decisions and a strategic plan to uplift the work of missionaries, expand global partnerships, and streamline operations, including a vote to cut the size of the board of directors by two-thirds, from 92 to 32 directors. In addition, at the spring 2011 semi-annual board meeting, Global Ministries and United Methodist Women took action to become structurally separate while remaining connected in mission.

At the fall board meeting, the directors were asked by board president Bishop Bruce R. Ough these provocative mission questions rooted in Jesus' sending of 70 disciples in Luke 10:

Rejoice! God's name is written on your heart and your name is written in heaven. You are sent!
You are sent! You are sent, with…!
Read more about the work and news from the 2011 Board of Directors' Meetings.

Photo: Bishop Bruce R. Ough, President of Global Ministries, Board of Directors Meeting, 2011 Fall Board Meeting
Photo Credit: Cassandra Zampini
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click hereRoundtables

Members of the Sudan roundtable in KampalaA team of clergy and lay leaders from Yei District met for a roundtable meeting in Kampala, Uganda, August 9-10, 2011, with delegates from the East Africa Annual Conference, the General Board of Global Ministries, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the Holston Annual Conference, and Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio.

This "roundtable" approach that brings together all of the mission players is growing in the global ministry of The United Methodist Church--most recently dealing with Argentina, Cambodia, and South Sudan. Mission roundtables include not only funding partners, such as the General Board of Global Ministries and annual conferences, but also representatives of the churches and communities served. The objectives are equality and empowerment in decision-making.

For example, at the South Sudan Roundtable, participants spent time considering goals identified by a group of pastors and lay leaders from that recently independent nation where Methodism is relatively new but thriving. Cambodia and Argentina represent more long-standing mission relations, and in the case of Cambodia five different Methodist mission organizations are involved, along with local Cambodian church leaders. 

An extensive look at mission roundtables will appear in the January/February issue of New World Outlook, Global Ministries' mission magazine celebrating 100 years of print publication in 2011.

Photo: Members of the Sudan roundtable in Kampala, Uganda
Photo Credit: Grace Nakajje
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click here10-Fold Report

Ken Cruz, a United Methodist missionaryPart of caring for God's creation means using finite resources, like paper, wisely. Global Ministries offers print resources online, including the 2010 Annual Report (PDF).

For a more interactive experience of the vast array of Global Ministries' work, go to the 10-Fold website. For every click, one dollar for mission is raised for the work of your choosing. You can help raise $100,000 to support United Methodist mission work.

As of December 1, 2011, the number of 10-Fold advocates reached almost 36,000. Go to 10-fold.org to add one more advocate.

Photo: Ken Cruz, a United Methodist missionary from the Philippines, works with the Community Health and Agricultural Development program of the Methodist Mission in Cambodia.
Photo Credit: Paul Jeffrey
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click hereAdvocate of the Month

Connie DiLeo is a United Methodist missionary in the Dominican RepublicYou and Your Year-End Gift

You know it is possible to battle poverty, disease, and intolerance. It is possible to build churches and hope where none exist--not only possible, but necessary. As United Methodists, your support for missionaries in more than 60 countries around the world is what you do.

To make your gift to mission go farther this year, consider the possibilities. For your gift of $50 you can support two medical co-payments for a missionary's preventive healthcare, $100 toward their training, $300 to support a young adult working in mission with marginalized communities, or $500 to set up a new place for a new young person entering into mission service.

Make your gift by December 31, 2011, at givetomission.org (Global Mission Undesignated, Advance #01138A).Give Now: Online and Secure

Thank you for your faith, prayers, and support for God's people around the world.

Photo: The Rev. Connie DiLeo is a United Methodist missionary in the Dominican Republic. She works in the southwest area of the country, developing new ministries among Dominican and Haitian immigrant youth. Here she talks with a Haitian-Dominican woman in the Bombita batey near Barahona.
Photo Credit: Paul Jeffrey
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click hereLaunch of the Mission Musings Blog

Mission Musings BlogMusing about mission? Join the hundreds of readers of the Mission Musings blog at gbgm-umc.blogspot.com.

Musing about mission? Join the hundreds of readers of the Mission Musings blog at gbgm-umc.blogspot.com.

The blog is updated weekly with personal reflections from volunteers, missionaries, and Global Ministries staff. Writers inspire through sharing their struggles and joys as they engage in service and justice ministries in new ways, in new places, and with renewed hope. Join the conversation at the Mission Musings blog.

Global Ministries uses social media like blogs, FacebookFacebook, TwitterTwitter, and YouTubeYouTube. More than 7,000 people "like" the General Board of Global Ministries on Facebook, and more than 2,000 "follow" connectNmission on Twitter. You, too, can like, follow, update, and comment.

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