2020 State of the Church report

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Nyengeterai Mafongoya holds a basket of 20-day-old chicks in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. She started with 20 chicks as part of a United Methodist Women poultry project in February and grown her brood to 100 birds. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.

Sharing the inheritance of the meek

Churches in the United States and parts of Europe were unprepared for the realities of living into a pandemic, so they humbly turned to their brethren in Africa who showed them the way through past examples of fighting diseases like Ebola and malaria. The global nature and diversity of our denomination and our willingness to learn from each other and model the meekness of Christ makes our ministry and witness stronger.

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View of the offering basket at First United Methodist Church of Sulphur Springs, Texas, in 2020. Overall collection rates for general church ministries were higher than feared, but COVID-19 still presents a great deal of uncertainty for church financial leaders. File photo by Sam Hodges, UM News.

General Church

Church sees surge in giving at year's end

While United Methodist collections overcame the worst of the pandemic’s projections, the denomination still faces financial strains.

The Rev. John Makaniko (left) gathers in fellowship with teenage members from Hatfield United Methodist Church circuit in Harare, Zimbabwe. Makaniko said young people are not immune to the stress and anxiety of COVID-19. Photo by Chenayi Kumuterera, UM News.

Mission and Ministry

Pastors reveal emotional toll of COVID-19

Church leaders in Zimbabwe help counsel traumatized families, while also dealing with their own fears and anxiety amid pandemic.


United Methodists fight COVID-19 around the globe

United Methodists in Africa and the Philippines are fighting COVID-19 by making personal protective gear, raising awareness in rural areas and busy cities and breaking down myths. And they are using experiences with Ebola to stop the spread of the virus.

We can learn much from their experiences dealing with communicable diseases, from cholera and influenza to Ebola and HIV.

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Nine-year-old Shantel Resse washes the hands of her younger sister, Reina Muthoni, at Kayole St. John’s United Methodist Church in Nairobi, Kenya. Churches in Kenya are urging members to wash their hands using soap or hand sanitizer to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Photo by Gad Maiga, UM News.