Mission Ambassadors to Gather for Historic Summit
By Sara Logeman*
More than 175 lay and clergy volunteers and staff from across the U.S will come together for the “Mission Ambassadors Summit” on Dec. 3-5. Held at Impact Church in East Point, Georgia, as well as Global Ministries headquarters in Atlanta, the gathering is designed to “strengthen the collaboration between annual conference and jurisdictional mission advocates, increasing their capacity to connect the church in mission,” said George Howard, director for connectional engagement.
Acting as ambassadors for God’s mission in the church and world today, these dedicated mission leaders serve as key connection points between Global Ministries and local United Methodist congregations. They facilitate volunteer ministries in roles such as Disaster Response Coordinators and Volunteer in Mission Coordinators, and strive to connect others with Global Ministries’ mission in capacities such as In Mission Together Partnership Coordinators, Conference Secretaries of Global Ministries, Conference Mission Staff, Mission Advocates, Health Ambassadors and Representatives of Ethnic and Language Ministry Plans.
As Global Ministries looks toward celebrating 200 years of mission in 2019, the Mission Ambassadors Summit will feature a presentation from general secretary Thomas Kemper on “Global Ministries at 200” and plenary sessions on the four primary ways the agency connects the church in mission: Missionary Service, Evangelism and Church Growth, Disaster Response and Global Health.
Through more than 10 workshop sessions, participants will explore such topics as how to cultivate a call for mission service and accompany missionaries in their discernment process; how conferences can assist local congregations in strengthening multicultural and racial/ethnic ministries; and how to evaluate methods of mission engagement by using newly developed training resources and assessment tools. The event will also “equip mission leaders with new electronic and print resources,” said Howard, to take home and share within their own ministerial contexts.
Beyond gaining deeper insight into the work of Global Ministries, the gathering creates space for these mission leaders – key connection points themselves - to connect with one another. Opportunities to share how mission is thriving in their own settings and learn from the work of others are woven throughout the event. Participants will also connect in worship. The Rev. Olu Brown, pastor of Impact Church, a rapidly growing United Methodist congregation, will preach at opening worship. Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, Wisconsin Annual Conference and president of Global Ministries’ board of directors, will preach at closing worship.
The Mission Ambassadors Summit is an occasion for the sharing of resources and best practices in mission today. But more importantly, it is an opportunity for mission leaders to be reminded of their partnership with one another and Global Ministries as we bear witness to God’s activity in the world and equip others to go forth and do the same.
On the significance of the Summit, Thomas Kemper said, “We are partners in the work of mission. I recall the words of our Mission Theology Statement: ‘Partners in God’s mission seek to hear God’s voice, to discover the signs of the moving of the Spirit through the world today, and to bear witness to God’s activity — overarching past, present and future — in every local setting.’”
*Logeman is the content strategist for Global Ministries.