Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

World Communion Sunday: October 2, 2011

Sep 27, 2011


Walk together in God's mission with our scholars.
Give to your utmost ability.
As we invest in their education and leadership, churches and communities shall help transform the world.
By God's grace and sitting around the Lord's Table,
We bear witness to multiple ministries everywhere.

Transforming Global Health
Prince Patrick Myers, Liberia

"The issue of health is my paramount concern because a viable society cannot exist in the absence of a good health-delivery system for the people. Today, Liberians die because of lack of good health facilities and the limited number of healthcare workers."

Prince Patrick Myers is from Liberia, a country in West Africa that in 2003 emerged from a brutal 14-year civil war that devastated the country. Among the many challenges faced in reconstruction is the building of a healthcare system. Prince, who is 24 years old, has just completed his first year of medical school at The Gambia University.

Prince came to us through the efforts of Dr. Mark Schroeder, Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and member of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Schroeder coordinated his local church's support to help with Prince's scholarship. "In return for the support he will receive, Prince will serve for five years at Ganta Hospital after graduation." This plan has been approved by the leadership of Ganta UM Hospital, Asbury UMC, the Bishop of the Liberia Annual Conference, and the medical missionaries serving at Ganta Hospital. The World Communion Scholarship program is proud to join in this embracing partnership.

Creating New Places for New People
Efrain Zavala, US

Efrain ZavalaEfrain Zavala, a layperson who had been assigned to a small Hispanic mission in Arizona, sums up his two most crucial concerns: "the need for resources in church and society to build healthy families, and the gap between the church and the growing Hispanic population." His interest in the first is born from having witnessed the struggle of entire families dealing with poverty, domestic violence, and substance abuse.

Mr. Zavala, who is a member of the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, has just completed a Masters in Counseling at Northern Arizona University, at the same time that he was working as a clinician at Chicanos por la Causa, as a behavioral health provider serving the diverse populations of southern Arizona. He finds it to be "a ministry of compassion and an expression of God's grace that would be solidified by the appropriate theological background. My goal is to integrate Christian principles to clinical practice through the MDiv curriculum at Drew University Theological School, in order to enhance my work and benefit the people whom I serve."

Efrain has begun his MDiv program at Drew this fall with the assistance of a World Communion National scholarship.

Focusing on Elimination of Poverty
Mary Grace GalaponMary Grace Galapon, Philippines

Mary Grace Galapon, a Deaconess of the Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference, is also deeply concerned with the healing of families. As a small child, she labored in exchange for food and clothing as a housemaid. In the midst of this turmoil as a young person, her survival came because she was allowed to go to church, and it was there that she found hope.

Ms. Galapon fervently believes that the church should work harder to find relevant ways to address factors that threaten the whole being of a person. "Social work is where I see myself in a new perspective of carrying out Christian Mission" Galapon's bishop, Bishop Leo Soriano, posits that of the 60 deaconesses in the Davao Episcopal Area, most, if not all, are involved in work directly related to a local church. Hardly any is assigned beyond where the mission of the church is new, in programs that deal with "poverty, health, illiteracy, injustice, farmers, fisherfolk, laborers," etc. Mary Grace is one who has the commitment and initiative to do such work, beyond the local churches, and directly with the communities beyond the local church.

Mary Grace Galapon is the recipient of a World Communion International Scholarship to complete her Master's in Social Work at Silliman University, in Dumaguete, Philippines.

Supporting Leadership Development
Renilda Martins GarciaRenilda Martins Garcia, Brazil

"Culture produces its own social hierarchies that create distinctions and discrimination among people in cruel and extreme ways. This situation manifests in diverse social behaviors such as violence, exclusion from education, and healthcare and gender inequality. Faced with this scenario, I feel compelled to contribute to a societal transformation, and I believe that education is a fundamental means for social transformation, whether local or global. As National Coordinator of Christian Education for the Methodist Church of Brazil, I believe I understand the relationship between the acquisition of knowledge for social transformation and the exercise of pastoral ministry with an emphasis on Christian education."

Renilda is the recipient of a World Communion International Scholarship, and she is in the second year of her PhD program with an emphasis in Education and Curriculum at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de São Paulo.

World Communion Sunday offerings are shared equally by the General Board of Global Ministries' World Communion Scholarship program (formerly the Crusade Scholarship) and the scholarship programs of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Please join us in nourishing our future leaders. Give as generously as you can. Each gift will impact not only the life of one individual, but on the life-sustaining work of our churches and the communities around them.

Give to World Communion Scholarships, Advance #982161.

Support new leadership development.
Make disciples of Christ
for the transformation of the world.

World Communion Sunday--
when Christians from all around the globe
celebrate our oneness in Christ.

World Communion Sunday: A Special Time

World Communion Sunday on October 2, 2011, is one of six special Sundays. They are called special because they offer churchgoers a special opportunity to share, educate, celebrate, and give beyond ordinary Sundays.

World Communion Sunday is a day to sing the praises of living a life united in Christ across all Protestant faiths. Fifty percent of the giving in United Methodist churches will benefit World Communion Scholars, formerly known as Crusade Scholars. These are students who are pursuing expertise in a wide range of fields, for example, in theology, public health, sustainable development, and other areas that relate to social justice, health, and wholeness. They are scholars who are called to be leaders in communities and churches around the world. The program prioritizes individuals from marginalized communities, including women.

Here is a special devotion to include in a children's sermon, a family worship, a Bible Study, or a Moment for Mission in your church. This devotion comes from, an innovative online community that celebrates mission for ten days beginning October 10, 2011. But you may tune in any day. On Saturday, October 15, 2011, connect to meet and chat with scholars and new church leaders. Learn more at Developing Community Leaders.


Bible reading: Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

Quote: "When you educate a girl, you educate a nation." --UNICEF

Prayer: God, all too often, women and the marginalized are among the last people considered when it comes to education, to rights, to options, to opportunities--especially women of color, both from the US and around the world, and certainly women from indigenous communities.
Yet it is women who hold the families together, who are the farmers, who are the nurturers and micro-business motivators.

As often as we are able, we stand to support the women themselves in developing their own voices and capabilities.

--Lisa Katzenstein, executive secretary for the Scholarship/Leadership Development Office of Global Ministries.

Question for reflection: How can I help create spaces for all women and girls to develop in leadership? How can I support women scholars and students?