Thursday, July 13, 2023

UM & Global 10th Anniversary Stats: Content

Today's post is by UM & Global blogmaster Dr. David W. Scott, Mission Theologian at the General Board of Global Ministries. The opinions and analysis expressed here are Dr. Scott's own and do not reflect in any way the official position of Global Ministries.

This blog is sponsored by the Association of Methodist Professors of Mission (formerly United Methodist Professors of Mission). At the AMPM meeting four weeks ago, I (David) offered a 10th anniversary update on the blog. After having shared statistics and reflections from that report about contributors in a previous blog post, in this post, I want to share in this post some statistics and reflections on blog content and the achievements of the blog.


The tagline for UM & Global is "Dedicated to fostering conversations about the global nature of The United Methodist Church." Following that tagline, the blog has sought to publish material about mission, especially international mission, in the UMC, stories about and analysis of the UMC outside the United States, and stories about and analysis of denomination-wide news and trends, especially when these trends cross national boundaries.

If one looks at the "big bucket" tags that I have used to categorize UM & Global material, one sees the above foci reflected in the tags used to label content on the blog. In descending order of frequency of use, the most popular categories of content have been mission, global ecclesiology, theology, history, culture and diversity, global social issues, ecumenical and interreligious relationships, migration, central conferences, international partnerships, evangelism, reciprocal relationships, women, connectionalism, health, and education.

Looking at more specific tags, one sees General Conference, Africa, the United States, LGBT, resources, money, the Philippines, coronavirus, and A Way Forward added to the list. These categories reflect the geographic distribution of The United Methodist Church, its recent denomination-wide foci, and my own interests in talking about how money and resources shape the church and mission.

In terms of specific pieces, Pete Bellini's two pieces on "Global Mental Health and the Church" are the first and eighth most popular pieces of all time on the site. Dana L. Robert's piece "The 'Other' Issue of Gender: What Happens to United Methodist Women Leaders?" is the second most popular piece, and my piece "American UMC is a white people problem" is third.

UM & Global has also sought to create resources for those teaching and learning about mission and the global church. Among those resources are our Collections (compilations of articles on a theme) and YouTube playlists to help people access content (created by others) on topics related to mission and the global church.


Ultimately, the question of significance is less about how much of something one has done and more about the impact of that work on others. In the regard, I think UM & Global and its contributors can feel some justifiable satisfaction. Articles from UM & Global have been widely read and discussed by those in the church. They have also been cited in academic publications and other blogs. In this regard, the blog has been able to strike a rare balance between accessibility to non-academic readers in the church and (enough) respectability among academic audiences.

Much of the content of UM & Global has been part of overarching series. Some of these series have had an impact beyond their individual component blog posts. The commentary series on Grace Upon Grace, one of the first series on the blog, helped re-spark interest in that document. A series of comments on Wonder, Love, and Praise, the draft ecclesiology document for the UMC, helped push revision of that document into Sent In Love in a more missional direction.

While it has not always been easy work to put together a consistent stream of reasonably high quality content, it has been satisfying work, and I (David) am grateful to the Association of Methodist Professors of Mission for the opportunity to take this project and run with it. I hope the results have served and will continue to serve to build up the church as a diverse, global body, deeply engaged in God's mission.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

News Roundup July 2023

Below is a run-down of significant (United) Methodist stories from the past month.

Bishop Bickerton Invites United Methodists to “Reclaim, Revive, and Renew”: Bishop Thomas Bickerton, chair of the Council of Bishops, issued a video inviting United Methodists to “reclaim, revive, and renew” their identity and mission as United Methodists:

Global Ministries and GBHEM Call for "A Season for Renewal": Global Ministries and GBHEM issued a joint statement promising "to work together to support our worldwide connection" during "a season for renewal" in the church:

Estonian Methodists Leave UMC: Methodist churches in Estonia have finalized a process for leaving The United Methodist Church to become their own autonomous Methodist denomination:

United Women in Faith Selects New Leader: United Women in Faith announced Sally Vonner as their new General Secretary and CEO: Meanwhile, UMNS profiled retired UWF leader Harriett Olson:

Methodists Celebrate International Partnerships: Methodists in several countries reaffirmed international partnerships, including Methodists in the following places:

European Methodists Promote Sustainability: The Austria Annual Conference passed a resolution at their June meeting calling upon the Austrian government to advance the cause of environmental sustainability:, English translation: The Switzerland-France-North Africa Annual Conference voted to create a Creation Care group:, English translation:

2 Churches in Louisiana Become Solar-Powered Relief Centers: Two New-Orleans area churches have partnered with others to install solar electricity generation so that they can serve as community relief centers in the case of catastrophic loss of power:

Reports on IAMSCU Meeting: International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities (IAMSCU) met in England in April. UMNS reported on that meeting:, and Adriana Murriello, newly elected president of the body, also offered reflections:

Africa University Graduates Largest Class Yet: Africa University graduated over 950 students on June 10th, including the first deaf student with a theology degree in Ghana ( and the first PhD graduates in Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance: and

Czech United Methodists Support Hospital in Ukraine: As part of their response to the war in Ukraine, Czech United Methodists have been supporting a volunteer surgical hospital in Western Ukraine:, English translation:

Swiss Methodist Retirement Center Wins Mediation Prize: Haus Tabea has won the 2023 Swiss Mediation Prize for its work with elder mediation:, English translation:

Michigan United Methodists Welcome Refugees: The Michigan Annual Conference and the Immigration Law & Justice Network have shared stories of Michiganders welcoming refugees from Haiti ( and Ukraine ( In related news, applications for Global Ministries’ Mustard Seed Migration Grants are open until Oct. 1st:

Woman Leaves Sanctuary at UMC Church: After receiving a Stay of Removal, Maria Chavalan Sut has left sanctuary at Wesley Memorial UMC in Charlottesville, VA:

Bishop Dyck Chosen as WCC Committee Head: Bishop Sally Dyck, the ecumenical officer of the UMC, has been selected as co-moderator of the Permanent Committee on Consensus and Collaboration (PCCC) of the World Council of Churches:

Hawxhurst Elected President of Churches Uniting in Christ: Rev. Jean Hawxhurst, Ecumenical Staff Officer for the UMC Council of Bishops, has been elected as president of the multidenominational ecumenical group Churches Uniting in Christ:

Avitia Legarda Mourned: Longtime Global Ministries staff person Rev. Edgar Avitia Legarda, known for his work with Latin America, was mourned after his sudden passing on June 27. Global Ministries statement:, UMNews story:

Commission on General Conference Meets: The Commission on General Conference, which is responsible for planning that meeting, met to continue to make preparations for the 2024 General Conference: They referred a question about petitions submitted by those who are no longer United Methodist to its Rules Committee: