Monday, June 4, 2018

Recommended Readings: Norwegian and Swiss-French UMC Mission Documents

Most American United Methodists may be familiar with Global Ministries and United Methodist Women as mission agencies of the church. Yet the UMC also has mission agencies in Norway, Germany, and Switzerland-France. While their range may be smaller than Global Ministries, these European agencies work collaboratively with Methodist and non-Methodist partners around the world on evangelism, development, and poverty relief projects.

Due in part to the focused nature of its work and following broader Norwegian conversations about development work, The Norwegian Board of Global Ministry (Metodistkirkens Misjonselskap) in particular has made partnership an important focus of their work.

That focus on partnership is evident in two documents of that Board, both worth reading:

The Board's "Vision, value, and strategy document" (in Norwegian and English). The third page of this document lays out a clear philosophy of partnership.

An example "Reciprocal Friendship Agreement" between Oslo Central UMC and Garjay Memorial UMC in Sonniewen, Liberia (in English). The Reciprocal Friendship Agreement is a great example of the connection between friendship and mission and is also quite clear about the types of mutual exchange necessary to build such a friendship. It may be used as a model for other agreements, including those between American churches and their overseas partners.

Connexio, the "Network for Mission and Service" of the UMC in Switzerland and France has likewise made partnership and relationship a central feature of the mission work that it undertakes or facilitates for others.

That focus on partnership and relationship is evident in Connexio's "Objectives and Tasks" document (in English). The document also highlights awareness of the global connection of the UMC.

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