Global Ministries and United Methodist Women Celebrate Journey of Faith
With a commitment to deepening their collaboration in God's mission as advocates for justice, mission education, and leadership development, the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries and United Methodist Women took a step into the future.
For more than 70 years, the denomination's national policymaking body of women has been part of the mission agency. In May, the General Conference voted to make United Methodist Women an autonomous organization within The United Methodist Church. As of October 1, United Methodist Women will officially become structurally separate from Global Ministries.
At a joint staff appreciation and worship service, the two organizations celebrated their journey in mission. Thomas Kemper, who leads Global Ministries, opened the gathering and, noting the current turmoil in North Africa, prayed with the staff: "God of life, we trust that you will lead us and use us as instruments to find peace and reconciliation. May this celebration be another moment to which we can commit ourselves as peacemakers."
Witnessing to God's faithfulness in their ministries, staff from each organization named "a few of the miracles of grace." They took time to remember the many committed people who have served in different capacities to live out the missional foundation of Global Ministries and United Methodist Women. A four-part litany illustrated how through prayer, advocacy, and education the joint ministry has "gifted us with a unique opportunity to feed off each other's strengths…to reach deep into the life of the church and the world, and widen our witness."
Harriet Olson, who will be the CEO and General Secretary of United Methodist Women, addressed the staff: "As we enter into a new stage of our journey, we do so with great hope for the future and total confidence that the Holy Spirit will continue to work within us, among us, and beyond us."
Kemper said the two organizations will continue to relate to each other and those in the church with "mutuality, reciprocity, and interdependence." Drawing on the recent World Council of Churches statement on mission and evangelism, Kemper said, "We continue to live out God's mission from the margins, seeking to counteract injustices in life, church, and mission."
Photo: Staff recognition ceremony. Credit: Felipe Castillo