Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Global Ministries - ConnectNMission
January 6, 2016 · Issue 1

In this issue of connectNmission, watch an overview video that highlights some of the mission events that marked 2015 for Global Ministries; get resources in observance of Human Relations Day, January 17; and learn about upcoming events.
In 2015, worldwide events marked a prophetic shift in the way the church responds to its neighbor. The plight of refugees arriving on the shores of Europe from war-torn regions such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, created a global phenomenon as the world witnessed their perilous journeys in the name of freedom and safety. As the church saw the new global reality emerge, it opened its arms.

“Helping the refugees was an ecumenical project right from the start,” stated Rolf Held, United Methodist pastor in Messstetten, Germany. “The basic Christian idea we are trying to convey is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, to give a little comfort and warmth for people who are coming into a country they don’t know.”

A special 2015 highlight for Global Ministries was the selection of Chelsea Spyres to deliver the Young People’s Address at General Conference. Spyres is a young adult missionary serving in Detroit through Global Ministries Global Mission Fellows program.

Also in 2015, a call for solidarity among all churches was made to strengthen the Christian witness in the face of modern-day discrimination and persecution. The ecumenical Global Christian Forum organized a consultation that drew some 150 faith leaders to Albania to hear a wide range of accounts about the suffering of Christians today. Global Ministries was one of the funding sponsors.

Watch this video to learn more about Global Ministries’ compassionate response to needs around the world and review some of the mission highlights that marked 2015.

Human Relations Day
United Methodists from across the connection help bridge the gap between church and community by participating in Human Relations Day, January 17. Observed annually on the Sunday before the national observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Human Relations Day is one of the denomination’s six church-wide Special Sundays with offerings.

Gifts on Human Relations Day benefit ministries aimed at helping people reach their God-given potential. These include ministries that help people recover from addictions, help ex-offenders start anew, and help people become disciples while still in prison.

Learn 18 Ways to Promote Human Relations Day; download and share a children’s sermon; church bulletin; sermon starters; or, get more details about this special offering.


Friday, Jan. 15
Early-bird registration deadline

Sowing Seeds - Caretakers of God's Creation Conference, April 8-9, 2016
First United Methodist Church, Decatur, Georgia

This year’s event will focus is on food and food systems. Keynote speakers include Norman Wirzba of Duke University, Jennifer Ayres of Emory University's Candler School of Theology, and Alice Rolls of Georgia Organics. Scholarships are available. Another discounted registration deadline is March 15.
Register here.

January 20-22, 2016
Pre-General Conference 2016 Briefing
Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon

A pre-General Conference 2016 briefing is designed for annual conference delegations and conference communicators. Other church leaders, including bishops, general secretaries, and general agency communicators, are also invited. Guests coming from outside of the United States can register for the briefing by calling 1 ­800 ­264 ­0444. The attendance fee is $249.

January 28–30, 2016
Beyond These Walls 2016
Powder Springs, Georgia

Beyond These Walls 2016 will mobilize, revitalize, and equip congregations through "best of the best" missions teaching and training. Watch this video to learn more.

Photos in order of appearance: Paul Jeffrey; United Methodist Communications