I am a United Methodist. My denomination recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, remembering how it was formed by a union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968. This church has formed me as a disciple of Jesus Christ, has taught me grace, taught me how to sing grace, preach grace, … Continue reading The Hopefulness of Mission, or Why I’m Not Worried about the Future of the UMC
Yesterday in a meeting I was asked who is my favorite mission theologian. I quickly answered: Glory Dharmaraj. Glory and her husband Jacob worked for many years in United Methodist mission agencies, Glory for United Methodist Women and Jacob for the General Board of Global Ministries. They wrote about complex mission concepts in such a … Continue reading Mutuality Takes Work
Eleven years ago I had the opportunity to lead a mission trip to Belhar, near Cape Town. Our team worked with a Methodist Church, helping them with the part of the construction on their new building. We took a lot of pictures. Everyone had a camera, most with digital memory sticks that we downloaded onto … Continue reading Mission Selfies
Today is Good Friday, the day on which Christians mark the crucifixion and death of Jesus. On my morning walk, I thought of all the churches I've had the blessing to worship with over the years. As a child growing up on the Mexico-Texas border, our church would worship once or twice a year with … Continue reading Liturgy In Place
Dusting and Vacuuming Yesterday I worked cleaning chairs and polishing wood. As I vacuumed off construction dust from the seats and used old t-shirts to clean and condition the old altar, I thought about all the people through the history of Christianity who have done work like this – cleaning, setting up, taking down, organizing, … Continue reading Faithfulness in Small Work
Next year, United Methodist Women will celebrate their 150th anniversary of women organized for mission. In 1869, Methodists had been training and sending missionaries for nearly 50 years, but women were only allowed to participate as missionary wives. The Mission Board did not financially support mission training for women, nor did they see the need … Continue reading What’s History Got to Do With Mission Trips?
Putting Together A Team About a month ago one of my daughters came for a visit. We had a list of places to visit and things she wanted to see, but it was a rainy weekend and we had to make some changes. That Sunday afternoon, the skies cleared and it was a glorious day … Continue reading Planning a Mission Trip – Part Four