Friday, November 21, 2008

Connecting Congregations & GBGM In Mission Together

I've learned many lessons over the years by working with churches and Christians in international settings. We tend to call these "mission teams" in the U.S. and got to foreign destinations to assist and encourage the local church. Often we supply "people power" and offer medical teams, construction, children's ministries or other resources which help advance the work of the local congregation. Of course, the financial boost is typically a significant element of the work. Usually for me the experiences and the relationships work their way into my soul and have profound effect in the short term, and ongoing effects upon me for the long term. shows the World Methodist work through Connecting Congregations. This program offers churches in a number of countries throughout the world which need outside support. My first experience with this was in the late '90's as Trinity on the Hill UMC supported a Roma (Gypsy) Methodist congregation on the eastern side of Slovakia. After one of our medical missions in Romania a few of us spent a few extra days and traveled to the Slovak church and had an incredible time in this land of castles.

A similar effort is offered through the UMC General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) called In Mission Together. A number of partnership projects, are underway in Cambodia, Czech Republic, Latvia, Laos, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Vietnam. The commitment as a partner congregation includes annual financial support and may also include sending a team to visit and make friends, opportunities to learn about the culture of your partner church, and working together on a mission project.

Such long term relationships with churches around the globe will change the world!

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