May 15 – World Service Fund (General Board of Global Ministries)
A Moment for Mission
“I give you a new commandment … love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.” —John 13:34-35a, NRSV
Disciple-making is an important role of Global Ministries. The agency “works in more than 115 countries,” said Roland Fernandes, “partnering with local churches and organizations to amplify the impact of its projects and programs around the world.” Fernandes heads the General Board of Global Ministries and the United Methodist Committee on Relief .
Through its networks, programming and missionary personnel, Global Ministries reaches thousands of people every year. It focuses its efforts in four missional priorities: missionaries, evangelism and church revitalization, humanitarian relief and recovery and global health.
Training, commissioning, assigning and supporting missionaries in the United States and around the world have been at the heart of mission since the founding of the first denominational Methodist missionary society in 1819. Today, United Methodist missionaries serve in about 60 different countries in many different types of professional careers. They work as pastors, evangelists and church coordinators; educators; health professionals; agriculturists; development specialists; community organizers and peacebuilders.
Global Ministries also establishes and nurtures new faith communities and strengthens existing congregations. This commitment to evangelism and church revitalization includes missionaries who train pastors to plant churches in new places; mission initiatives, which start new Methodist faith communities; scholarships that assist church leaders to earn the credentials and degrees they need for service and ministry; and networks that resource racial and ethnic faith communities across the United States.
United Methodists enrich Global Ministries through the World Service Fund . Thank you!
What is a missionary? Usually, we think of missionaries as people who travel to distant places to tell people about God. That is just part of the story.
Yes, some missionaries serve as pastors, evangelists and church coordinators. But missionaries are also teachers and educators; doctors, nurses and other health professionals; agriculturists; development specialists; community organizers and peacebuilders. They work in the United States and in other countries.
The apostle Paul is remembered as the first missionary to travel to spread the good news about Jesus. He brought other early Christians with him—Barnabas on his first journey in A.D. 46-47, then Silas and Timothy. We read about Paul in the New Testament, especially in the book of Acts (chapters 13 and 14), and in his letters to people he met in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae and Thessalonica.
Today, United Methodist missionaries serve in about 60 different countries.
When you tell others about Jesus, you, too, are a missionary!
Loving God, you call us to love one another. Thank you for United Methodists around the world who show us how to follow you and make disciples. We love you. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fifth Sunday of Easter — Generous and giving God, we offer gifts this day as those who have received so much more. You gave yourself to us and asked only for devotion, yet we got distracted by the world. You offered all of creation to meet our needs for food and shelter, yet we decided we wanted more. You offered your love to all, yet we decided some were more worthy and valuable than others. So, you gave us “the repentance that leads to life,” and all our giving pales by comparison. Dedicate us, we pray, in Christ’s holy name. Amen. (Acts 11:1-18)
Teaching churches and communities to prepare for disasters, providing immediate humanitarian relief and aiding long-term recovery are important jobs of Global Ministries and UMCOR. This work, said top executive Roland Fernandes, is “accomplished through disaster relief and recovery, risk-reduction programming, addressing the needs and rights of migrants worldwide, improving livelihoods, increasing food security, and promoting environmental sustainability to reduce the impact of climate change.”
Methodism’s focus on health as a part of mission dates back to the 19th and 20th centuries when missionaries expanded the options for health care in underserved communities. Through United Methodist conferences and health boards, Global Ministries strengthens networks of health responses, from revitalization of facilities and staff training to building better water sources, developing sanitation facilities and promoting nutrition. Global Health concentrates on eradicating preventable diseases, such as malaria, HIV and AIDS and COVID-19, and supporting the most vulnerable populations, including mothers, newborns and children.
Through the World Service Fund, United Methodist congregations support Global Ministries.