December 18, 2022 - Fourth Sunday of Advent/World Service Fund (GBHEM)

Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.

December 18 – Fourth Sunday of Advent/World Service Fund (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry)

A Moment for Mission

“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! … Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” — Psalm 80:1a, 3, NRSV

Efficient functioning is difficult for any organization. Local church pastors are no exception. They operate in dynamic environments, performing activities and duties requiring a wide range of skills and capabilities. From administrative tasks to caregiving, from evangelism and fellowship to team building and training, pastors are called to lead in new and diverse ways.

To address this reality, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry recently introduced “EM360,” a system for enhancing the effectiveness of individual and collective leadership within The United Methodist Church.

With the tagline “Better Me, Better We,” EM360 is a strengths-focused growth program built upon industry-leading technologies designed to uncover new ways for pastors to lead churches and engage with the community. By embarking on this journey, pastors discover how to improve their individual leadership talents and guide their churches to achieve mission and ministry goals.

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry is called to embrace the ministry of learning and leadership formation in The United Methodist Church and the Wesleyan tradition. The agency serves Christian leaders around the world who are defined, formed and shaped by a process of intellectual engagement, spiritual and character formation and leadership development.

Through our congregation’s generous support of the World Service Fund, we help pastors to become the best they can be as they answer God’s call to ministry. Thank you!

Children’s Message

When you learn to read in first grade, are you ready to read 12th-grade books? When you learn to add and subtract numbers, are you ready for high school math? Of course not!

No matter how much we already know, we can learn more. The famous physicist John Dewey said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Learning starts the minute we are born and never stops.

United Methodist leaders around the world become stronger leaders because of a program called “EM360.” It builds on each person’s strengths and challenges, helping them to do their best in serving the church.

Remember: “Education is life itself.” We grow every day as we learn new things. And others grow as we share our knowledge!

Offertory Prayer

Loving God, thank you for our pastors who shepherd our congregations, guiding us to serve you and your people around the world. Help us to support our pastors. We love you. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries:  Fourth Sunday of Advent Holy God of hope and promise: when the children were in deep despair, you promised them a sign, the indication of a Savior coming into their midst. As we bring you our tithes and offerings this day, so many of us are discouraged, trying to find our way. We need your sign; we need your Son, not as simply a reminder of history but as a new direction, a revolution of love that starts in our hearts, a resurrection of compassion that looks beyond self and the accumulation of more and more things that don’t satisfy. We need what only a Savior can give us. Guide us by your signs on this day and as we begin the journey to Bethlehem once again. In the Savior’s name, we pray. Amen. (Isaiah 7:10-16)

Newsletter Nugget

Effective pastors cast a vision, then mobilize and empower people to work toward it. They understand their strengths and blind spots. And a new tool called “EM360” is helping them in the process.

Provided by United Methodism’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, EM360 is a system for enhancing the effectiveness of individual and collective leadership within The United Methodist Church (link to It magnifies the dimensions of leadership and identifies a leader’s unique strengths and challenges.

Today, EM360 is better than ever before. Newly improved features include a more user-friendly design for mobile and desktop, aggregate reporting capabilities and an upgraded dashboard at district and annual conference levels, streamlined administrative functions for a more elegant and intuitive experience and a redesigned report generator for deeper understanding and overall clarity of results and data. That’s good news for pastors and the congregations they serve.

When we support the World Service Fund, we strengthen our clergy leaders through EM360 and in many other ways.

Adapted from General Board of Higher Education and Ministry website. Used by permission.