Momentum is gathering in our conference around missions and community engagement. We “got engaged” at Annual Conference with the issues of racism, homelessness, disaster response, stewardship of the earth, and justice in the Middle East and other places. More than $70,000 (and growing) was raised through the Love Offering for Emma Norton Services in St. Paul and the United Methodist University of Sierra Leone’s School of Applied Health Sciences. More than 14,000 pounds of relief supplies were donated, including 1,000 birthing kits that Annual Conference members made in a St. Cloud park.
But engagement doesn’t just happen once a year. Like the early church in Acts 2, making connections with people around us and caring for the less fortunate continue on a daily basis for those of us who call ourselves Jesus’ disciples.
Here's a look at three opportunities offered in the coming months that will help you continue your ministry of community engagement and missions. Two are about specific ministry ideas. The third offers a plethora of information and ideas. All are free. One even offers you seed money to start something new.
Minnesota United Methodist Volunteers-in-Missions Round-Up: Saturday, August 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Cross Winds UMC, Maple Grove. Past, current and future VIMers are invited to meet one another, learn about current opportunities, discuss how to identify and recruit/train volunteers, create a spiritual atmosphere, facilitate best practices, and collaborate. Learn more and register
Church-School Partnership Round-Up: Saturday, September 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Hennepin Avenue UMC, Minneapolis. The keynote speaker will be Jake McGlothin, director of serve ministries at Floris UMC in Herndon, Virginia and author of The Mission-Minded Guide to Church and School Partnerships. You will learn about the impact and theology of partnership, how to start a partnership, and practical tools and tips to sustain a long-term partnership. Learn more and register
Annual Mission Summit: Saturday, September 30, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., First UMC, Duluth. This event is sponsored by the Mission Promotion Team, the conference Church and Society Team, and the Big Waters District. Former United Methodist missionary Ruth Wiertzema will lead a session on the philosophy of missions. Lori McBride will teach about the Social Principles. Jason Frazier, North Central Jurisdiction disaster response coordinator, and Tammy Kuntz, North Central Jurisdiction Volunteers in Missions coordinator, will provide updates. And breakout sessions will cover missionary covenant relationships, UMCOR, Church and Society, Haiti partnerships, and an overview of Minnesota Conference opportunities. Attendees will have the opportunity to pack health kits and be led in worship by World Beat Connection. Seed moneyfor new mission initiatives ($50 per church) will be given out at the end of the day. Learn more and register
See you at one of these events soon—and thanks for all you do to help heal a broken world!
Rev. Lyndy Zabel is director of community engagement for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.