May 19 – World Service Fund/Fifth Sunday Of Easter

A MOMENT FOR MISSION

"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. … By this everyone will know that you are my disciples." —John 13:34a-35a, NRSV

Recently, representatives of the General Commission on Religion and Race conferred with episcopal and local leadership across Africa. The meetings were part of the United Methodist agency's ongoing commitment to partner with Central Conferences in forwarding the work of intercultural competency, institutional equity and vital conversations. Participants traveled to Zimbabwe, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to gain a better understanding of tribalism throughout these regions and to support ongoing efforts that build bridges across tribal lines.

Bishop Earl Bledsoe, board president, went to Zimbabwe to establish a partnership with Africa University, and to see how cultural diversity is experienced in a pan-African educational context. "The administration, faculty and student body," he said, "are working to break down the dividing walls of culture, tribal and ethnic barriers … using intercultural competency and vital conversations to accomplish their stated goals."

Erin Hawkins, GCORR general secretary, traveled with another group to Uganda. "Our trip allowed us to see firsthand the difficulties of life for Congolese and South Sudanese refugees," she said. "GCORR is more committed than ever to do our part to address the root causes that fuel the discrimination and injustice faced by migrant and refugee people …, namely racism, violence, and political and social oppression."

When congregations support the World Service Fund, they nurture the Commission on Religion and Race, helping The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

—Adapted from "CORR Board Continues Investment in Global Church," General Commission on Religion and Race website

OFFERTORY PRAYER
Loving God, when we love your children around the world, we show what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ. Thank you for opportunities to witness. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Fifth Sunday of Easter — God of Limitless Love: Your love washes over us like ocean waves, powerful and relentless. Your love comes to us in what we see in creation, what we taste in the food that sustains us, what we hear in the words of hope and encouragement that we know is your voice speaking through others. We offer our gifts this morning, hoping that they will used to show the world that we our yours – by our love and not our judgment. May the world know we belong to you by seeing compassion, not condemnation; by seeing love expressed in hope and healing. In Christ, we pray. Amen. (John 13:31-35)

NEWSLETTER NUGGET
The Rev. Ben Adams traveled recently to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Along with other representatives of the General Commission on Religion and Race, he learned about the agency's ongoing commitment to partner with central conferences in encouraging intercultural competency, institutional equity and vital conversations.

"The United Methodist Church in the East Congo Conference is doing excellent work to restore unity in this territory," he said. "Despite the significant obstacles this community faces—tribal conflict, water shortages and health crisis—the people … are faithfully answering the call to address the immediate needs of the community, while also tackling the undergirding issue of tribal rivalry in creative and spirit-led ways. The church is truly a blessing and sign of hope for the people."

Supported by the World Service Fund, the commission challenges, leads and equips United Methodist laity and clergy to become interculturally competent, ensure institutional equity, and facilitate vital conversations about religion, race, tribe and culture.

Thank you!

—Adapted from "CORR Board Continues Investment in Global Church," General Commission on Religion and Race website