Thursday, August 31, 2023

News Roundup 8/31/2023

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

Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters Approves Regionalization Plan: The unanimous action now sends the eight petitions of the plan, which was also endorsed by the Connectional Table, straight to General Conference next year: and

Church Separation Discussed in Liberia: In July, Bishop Quire convened a meeting at which proponents of both disaffiliation from the UMC and of continuing in the UMC shared their views:

Global Ministries Hosts Missionary Consultation: Global Ministries convened missionaries, staff, and partners at the beginning of Atlanta to discuss the guiding principles of missionary service:

GCFA Approves Bishops’ Raise, Increase in Agency Pay Scale: The board approved the actions at its August meeting, and they will take effect in 2024:

GCFA Conducts Training for African Leaders: GCFA hosted a virtual training on administrative matters for over 200 United Methodist leaders from across Africa:, with related resources available in English, French, Portuguese, and Swahili:

Africa University Announces New Degree in Journalism: Africa University is creating a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Media and Journalism:

Network Renamed to United Methodist Broadcast Network: The former United Methodist Radio Network, composed of United Methodists from across Africa and the Philippines, renamed itself to reflect a broader vision:

Zimbabwe UMC Conducts Evangelism Campaign: The Mubvuwi weUnited Methodist, the UMC men’s organization, of the Harare East District conducted the campaign in a rural area:

Zimbabwe United Methodists Promote Business Success: A new WhatsApp platform is designed to increase business collaborations among United Methodists in the Zimbabwe West Annual Conference and its international diaspora:, while a career fair at UMC-run high schools sought to promote professional pathways:

North Katanga Orphanage Promotes Entrepreneurship: UMC-run Kamina Children's Home seeks to help its residents prepare for long-term success by fostering entrepreneurship:

UMC Hospital in DRC Opens Mpox Research Lab: The new center at Tunda Hospital was opened with support of the Congolese government and will respond to an on-going epidemic of Mpox/monkeypox in the DRC:

East Congo UMC Seeks to Help Displace People Following Fires: The East Congo Episcopal Area is mobilizing to provide help in South Kivu after fires destroyed two camps for displaced people:

UWF Africa Regional Missionaries to Itinerate in the US: The three regional missionaries working in Africa and supported by United Women in Faith will be itinerating in the United States this fall:

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

Fresh Expressions Continue to Generate Interest: The Fresh Expressions movement continues to receive increasing interest among U.S. United Methodists, including in the Dakotas and Minnesota: and in Wisconsin:

Methodists Care for Creation: Methodists in several congregations and conferences engaged in various forms of creation care work, including the following:

Wespath CIO Defends Sustainable Investing: Wespath CIO Dave Zellner published an opinion on UMNews arguing that sustainable investing makes smart business sense, in addition to having positive values associated with it:

GBCS Appoints First-Ever Climate Fellow: Dr. Becca Edwards, a climate scientist and candidate for ordained ministry in the Rio Texas Conference, will fill the position, which is split between the General Board of Church and Society and Texas Impact:

Thursday, August 24, 2023

David Scott: Looking at autonomy and connection together

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 piece originally appeared as a commentary on the United Methodist News Service site and is republished here with permission.

Like annual conferences in the United States, some European conferences are struggling with conflicts, particularly over sexuality in the church. Some have chosen to become autonomous, while others have chosen disaffiliation.

The Czech Annual Conference is an example. During annual conference sessions in May, delegates voted to become an autonomous church, no longer part of The United Methodist Church. To become autonomous, the Czech church will follow the procedure laid out in Paragraph 572 of the denomination’s Book of Discipline. The Eurasia Episcopal Area also chose to follow Paragraph 572.

Other branches of Methodism in Europe have selected different methods to separate from the denomination – a unilateral declaration in the case of Bulgaria and Slovakia and a process negotiated with the central conference for Estonia. Other branches of The United Methodist Church in Europe or elsewhere could similarly decide to use Paragraph 572 to become autonomous.

These recent developments raise theological and polity questions. What is an autonomous church? Where did Paragraph 572 originate? Is autonomy just another name for disaffiliation? What does autonomy mean for the future of connectionalism?

“Autonomy” means “self-ruling.” An autonomous church makes its own polity. Differing degrees of autonomy can be practiced by differing bodies within the church. A congregation has autonomy over its building-use policies and program calendar. An annual conference has autonomy over its clergy deployment.

An “autonomous church” is generally understood as a separate body or denomination that makes its own polity and policy decisions without additional input by a larger church body. The Discipline’s Paragraph 570 defines an “autonomous Methodist church” as “a self-governing church of the Wesleyan tradition.”

Paragraph 572 allows individual or groups of annual conferences outside the U.S. to self-govern in all matters, no longer subject to the decision-making of the United Methodist General Conference. For a church to become autonomous by following Paragraph 572 requires annual conference, central conference and General Conference approval. (For more on that process, see this primer.)

The earliest version of Paragraph 572 was added to the Discipline in 1964 in response to the desire by branches of The Methodist Church in Asia and Latin America to become autonomous. These requests came at a time when former colonies were asserting their political independence and, therefore, their autonomy in political matters. In many cases, the church also sought religious autonomy. (For more on that history, see “Autonomy, international division mark United Methodist tradition” and “The History of the Global Connection, Part 2.”)

While the wave of church autonomy related to decolonization crested in the 1970s, the provision for autonomy remained in the Discipline. It was most recently used in 2012 to allow the Swedish Annual Conference to enter into an ecumenical union with the Mission Covenant and Baptist denominations in that country.

Previous instances stemmed from political realities in secular society or from the desire for ecumenical merger, but the current requests are related to conflicts over sexuality within the church. Especially in the case of Russia, other political and cultural factors are also at work.

That difference in intention raises a theological danger: that we will conflate autonomy and disaffiliation.

Autonomy is a church body’s desire to make its own decisions. Disaffiliation is a church body’s desire to separate from another part of that body. The two impulses may coincide. Separation from a church body allows independent decision-making, and doing so when those decisions once were jointly made implies some separation. Yet, autonomy and disaffiliation are not the same.

Autonomy and connection can go together. This expectation is reflected in language from Paragraph 572 and surrounding paragraphs. “Affiliated autonomous Methodist churches” maintain a formal connection to The United Methodist Church, whereas “affiliated united churches” result when Methodists merge into an ecumenical body.

Every autonomous or united church formerly connected to The United Methodist Church or The Methodist Church is now an affiliated Methodist or affiliated united church. In the past, branches of Methodism sought to become autonomous with the assumption that connection with The United Methodist Church would continue through nonvoting participation at General Conference, the Council of Bishops, agencies and other means.

Autonomy and connection can go hand in hand. Bishop Aldo Etchegoyen led a portion of the church that became autonomous from The United Methodist Church (the Evangelical Methodist Church, Argentina), while Bishop Emerito Nacpil led a portion of the church – the Philippines Central Conference – that continued to be part of the denomination.

Etchegoyen called for “connectionality with responsibility,” in which each church is responsible for its own identity and its own government but also shows its “historical, theological and ecclesial unity.”

“The vision of a global church,” Nacpil wrote, “relates or links autonomy and connectionality organically and essentially. In a global church, one cannot have one without the other.”

While it does not involve Paragraph 572, the current conversation around regionalism is about autonomy and connectionalism within The United Methodist Church. It will undoubtedly take a good deal of conferencing, consulting and time for The United Methodist Church to propose, test and refine theological and practical answers. That is as it should be. But our process of grappling with these questions will be aided if we understand autonomy as a positive theological quality that needs to be paired with, rather than opposed to, connectionalism.

For more historical and theological insights on autonomy and connectionalism, see “Church Autonomy and the Commission on the Structure of Methodism Overseas (COSMOS): A UM & Global Collection.”

Thursday, August 17, 2023

William P. Payne - How the Missional Hermeneutic Reveals the Missio Dei, Part II

Today’s post is by Rev. Dr. William P. Payne. Payne is the Professor of Evangelism and World Mission at Ashland Theological Seminary. The following exerts are from a soon-to-be-published book on missional theology.

Joseph and Moses

Having previously described what the missional hermeneutic is, I will demonstrate the missional hermeneutic by means of the Joseph and Moses narratives.

As I look at the missional direction of the story, I must ask myself a question.[1]Why did God call Joseph and then cause him so much hardship? Answer, even though Jacob and his family were situated in the Promise Land, they could not survive in it as a distinct nation because they were a small people. If they had remained in that land, they would have sustained intense social contact with the Canaanite peoples including bride exchanges, joint business endeavors, and participation in cultural events. In time, they would have been assimilated into the existing social lattice. When that happened, they would have ceased to be God’s special people (Lev. 18:24-30).[2] The story of Esau demonstrates this. He became compromised when he married a Canaanite woman and interacted with the local peoples. Afterward, he and his progeny were assimilated into the Canaanite world.

This concern is illustrated when the Jews began to return from Babylonian captivity. While in Babylon, the people intermingled with the nations and married their daughters. This diluted their Jewish identity and threatened to lead them into idolatry. That is why Ezra made them put away their foreign wives and rededicate themselves to their Jewish culture. As he read the Torah to them, they wept because they had all but forgotten it (Ezra 10:1-3).

Also, cultural assimilation threatened to destroy the Jewish witness when the Jews began to adopt the Greek culture in the time of the Maccabees. In particular, Jason the high priest tried to accelerate the process (2 Macc. 4:7-22). The miracle-filled Jewish uprising that freed the nation also purged the nation of Greek influences and restored biblical Judaism.

During the time of Jacob, Joseph, and Moses, the Bible says that the Canaanites were a wicked people who had defiled the land. They were so bad that the land wanted to vomit them out (Lev. 18:24-26). They practiced the worst forms of idolatry. Also, the Jewish spies said that giants lived in Canaan (Josh. 14:6-15). The giants point to genetic contamination from the Nephilim (Gen. 6:1-4). So, in order for the Jews to fulfill God’s purposes and fully occupy the Promised Land that God claimed for them (his portion), they had to leave Canaan and return to it once they were able to displace the peoples that did not follow God. This was their “manifest destiny.”

When God sent Joseph to Egypt by means of filial betrayal to prepare the way for his family and facilitate the move to Egypt, Joseph could not have imagined that God was working out God’s plan. After all, he was abandoned by his brothers, sold into slavery, and wrongly thrown into jail. However, after God put Joseph in a position of power, God drove his family to the land of Goshen by means of a great famine. When Joseph realized what God was doing, he told his brothers that they meant it for evil, but God intended it for good (Gen. 50:20). Furthermore, he knows that God will return them to the Promise Land at a later time. For that reason, he tells them to take his bones with them when they leave (Gen. 50:24-25).

The Jews were not assimilated in Egypt because they did not have routine social interactions with the Egyptians when they lived in the Land of Goshen. For this reason, the land of Goshen became the womb of Israel. While in Goshen, the people grew into a large nation. Hundreds of years later, God was ready to birth the nation. In order to do that, God needed a deliverer to lead the people through the birth canal (i.e., a narrow opening in the Red Sea) and into the Promise Land. God picked Moses.

Previously, when Pharaoh was killing the baby boys, God saved baby Moses from the reeds and placed him in Pharaoh’s home to prepare Moses for his mission. After Moses fled for his life, God caused him to learn pastoral skills while tending sheep in the wilderness because Moses would need to shepherd God’s people. At the right time, God revealed God’s plan to Moses and worked through him to defeat the gods of Egypt, free the Hebrew people from slavery, and displace the Canaanites from the Land of Promise.[3]

When viewed as individual stories, the narratives about Joseph and Moses do not fit together. However, when they are seen in light of the missional direction of the grand narrative, it is obvious that they participate in the same movement of God. The same process can be applied to the entire Bible.


This paper has made a case for the missional hermeneutic. It flows from the missio Dei and is employed by the New Testament writers. It posits that God has a plan and that God is pursuing that plan. Both Scripture and salvation history reveal that plan.

[1] See George Hunsberger’s the missional direction of the story in “What Is a Missional Hermeneutic?

[2] “For we have forsaken thy commandments, which thou didst command by thy servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land unclean with the pollutions of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. Therefore give not your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever” (Ezra 9:10-12).

[3] For a fuller understanding of this, see Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God, 51.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

William P. Payne - How the Missional Hermeneutic Reveals the Missio Dei, Part I

Today’s post is by Rev. Dr. William P. Payne. Payne is the Professor of Evangelism and World Mission at Ashland Theological Seminary. The following exerts are from a soon-to-be-published book on missional theology.

Imagine that you are touring a large mansion. Upon entering, a labyrinth of opulent corridors greets you. As the tour guide leads you through the halls, you notice that each room is painted a different color, has its own design, and is furnished in a particular way. To get a better feel for the mansion’s floor plan, you walk around the perimeter. As you stroll, you notice large walls, decorations, a solid foundation, and gorgeous landscaping. You note that the building is not rectangular because the walls do not connect at 90-degree angles. Because of all the turns, you cannot visualize the full layout of the mansion. Finally, you go up in a hot air balloon and look down upon the mansion. From this vantage point, you can see the external design.

In this metaphor, the mansion is the Bible. The rooms are the books of the Bible. The outside walls are the main groupings of scripture. The foundation is the eternal truth that the Bible reveals. The landscaping is the socio-cultural context that influenced the Bible writers. The corridors are varying themes that connect the books together. The tour guide is the history of interpretation. The roof is the grand design that overshadows the Bible.

What Is the Missio Dei?

The missio Dei[1] (God’s mission) is the grand design of the Bible and the missional hermeneutic allows one to see it. In this sense, the missio Dei is the hermeneutical key that holds the Bible together – the all-inclusive story that the Bible tells.[2] Michael Goheen calls it the “One unfolding story of redemption against the backdrop of creation and humanity’s fall into sin.”[3] In its simplest form, the missio Dei says that God is a missionary God; the Bible from Genesis to Revelation tells God’s missional story; and the church is God’s missional agent in this age. The missio Dei begins with God, runs through the church, and ends with the fulfillment of God’s purposes on earth and in the heavenly realms (Eph. 1:19-20).[4] When the end comes, every knee in heaven, on the earth, and below the earth will bow before the glorious name of Jesus (Phil. 2:10-11). Until that time, God continues to pursue God’s mission.

Mission is the mother of theology because it is the theological hub around which all other biblical themes revolve.[5] God’s self-revelation serves God’s mission. God’s action in history shows God’s mission. Prophecy declares the direction of God’s mission. Jesus embodies God’s mission. The Holy Spirit enables God’s mission.[6] The church serves God’s mission. All of scripture explicates God’s mission. God’s mission is God’s purpose and God’s will. God’s missional character and God’s missional work are fully intertwined. To know God is to be caught up in God’s mission.

David Bosch adds a necessary nuance. He says that the missio Dei is “God’s self-revelation as the One who loves the world.”[7] God’s love is not silent. It is demonstrated by God’s involvement with the world. For instance, God created humans because God loves them and wants to be in a relationship with them. When they inhaled God’s Spirit and became sapient beings (Gen. 2:7), God gave them rulership and invited them to serve with him (Gen. 2:16 and Psalm 8:5-6). They were to be God’s representatives on this earth. When they rebelled against God’s design, God did not abandon them to sin, death, and Satan. The sacrificial system pointed to God’s plan (Lev 16).

In the New Testament, the missio Dei announces the good news that God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor. 5:19). Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and brings people into a right relationship with the Father (John 1:29 and 36). In this age, Jesus is undoing the catastrophe of the fall. His ministry, death, resurrection, and exaltation destroy the power of Satan and give people the hope of full restoration into the image of God. Those who receive Christ and live under God’s rule are called the children of God (1 John 3:2-3). They are restored to their rightful place as members of God’s family (John 1:12-13).

The church is apostolic because God sends it into the world to announce God’s mission and do God’s work (John 20:21). The church does not have its own mission. Rather, it manifests and extends God’s mission.[8] Leslie Newbigin captures this when he says, “Mission is God’s, not ours. But God chooses men and women for the service of God’s mission.”[9] Yes. As the living Body of Christ, the church is the face of God’s mission in the world.

Theologians who make an exaggerated distinction between the mission of God and the mission of the church fail to realize that the church is dynamically and intimately caught up into God’s mission. In the same way that God worked through Moses to defeat the gods of Egypt and set the Israelites free, God works through God’s church to accomplish God’s mission today. This does not mean that God cannot work through a donkey, a Persian king, the magi, angels, a traitor, or an earthquake. Rather, it means that the apostolic church is so tightly tied to God’s mission in this world that it is defined by it.[10]The church has no reason to exist if it is not accomplishing the missio Dei.[11]

The Missional Hermeneutic

The missional hermeneutic is a heuristic device that enables Christ followers to read the metanarrative of the Bible in light of God’s missional intentions; purposes that supremely swirl around Christ and his ongoing work. It affirms that the whole Bible points to the missio Dei and that God’s mission is the central theme of the Bible.

When speaking of the missional hermeneutic, Boubakar Sanou says that the entire Bible reveals the various means by which God is seeking to redeem lost humanity.[12] He drives this point when he writes, "Missional hermeneutics seeks to recover biblical interpretation from a mere creedal and academic reading of the Bible and refocus it on the missio Dei. As both the central interest and the unitive theme of the scriptural narrative. From this perspective, biblical interpreters will see Scripture, as a whole, a missional thrust rather than having to focus only on the theme of mission in select texts."[13]

Stephen utilized this approach when he recounted the history of the Jews (Acts 7). His interpretation of sacred history shows that he and the leaders of the Jerusalem Church read the Hebrew scriptures from the perspective of the Christ event. I say this because Stephen reiterated what he had learned while studying at the feet of the apostles (Acts 2:42). Paul did the same thing when he preached in Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:13-41). His sermon retells the history of the Jewish people from the perspective of salvation history. God was working through the events of the Jews to bring them to a new reality in Christ. Paul concludes his sermon by saying, “And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus” (Acts 13:32-33 RSV). From the perspective of the unfolding story, sacred history points to the crucifixion, resurrection, and the new reality that has come into existence through Jesus. In order to continue with God, the Jews must receive Christ and follow in the new way.

[1] L. Hoedemaker provides an excellent overview and critique of missio Dei in Missiology: An Ecumenical Introduction, 162-166. Also, see Darren Sarisky, “The Meaning of the Mission Dei,” 258-269, Eddie Arthur, “Missio Dei and the Mission of the Church,” 1-7, and Timothy Tennent World Missions, 487-489.

[2] Boubakar Sanou, “Missio Dei as the Hermeneutical Key for Scriptural Interpretation,” 301.

[3] Michael Goheen, “Continuing Steps,” 61.

[4] In Ephesians, the “heavenly realms” (epouranios) refers to the place where God is (Eph. 1:3, 1:20, 2:6) and the place where the powers and principalities reign (Eph. 3:10 and 6:20). As a general term, it means, the spiritual realm.

[5] Martin Kahler, Schriften zur Christologie und Mission, 190.

[6] Newbigin connects the mission of the Spirit to the mission of the church when he says, “It is the Spirit who will give them (the disciples who are sent out in Jesus’ name to do his work) power and the Spirit who will bear witness. It is not that they must speak and act, asking the help of the Spirit to do so. It is rather that in their faithfulness to Jesus they become the place where the Spirit speaks and acts” (The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society, 117-118).

[7] Bosch, Transforming Mission, 10.

[8] Ibid., 391.

[9] Newbigin, The Open Secret, 19.

[10] Emile Brunner says that “The Church exists by mission just as fire exists by burning,” (The Word and the World, 108).

[11] Girma Bekele, “The Biblical Narrative of the Missio Dei,” 154.

[12] Boubakar Sanou, “Missio Dei as Hermeneutical Key for Scriptural Interpretation, 308.

[13] Ibid., 306.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

News Roundup 8/1/2023

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

Groups Work on Regionalization Legislation: The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters and the Connectional Table have been working together to develop legislation for the delayed 2020 General Conference that would regionalize the church. The legislation is being called the “Christmas Covenant 2.0”:

Mark Holland Calls for Regionalization of UMC: Rev. Mark Holland of the advocacy group Mainstream UMC published an opinion piece calling for greater regionalization in the church:

Bishop Mande Muyombo Calls for Missional Collaboration: In an opinion piece, Bishop Mande Muyombo of the North Katanga Episcopal Area reflects on the state of United Methodism in Africa and calls for continued missional collaboration across geographic areas in the denomination:

Agencies Issue Joint Statement on Renewal: Global Ministries and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry issued a joint statement on John Wesley’s birthday calling for continued faithfulness to the Methodist tradition and increased cooperation:

Mozambicans Form Pan-Methodist Council: Methodists from eight different Methodist denominations in Mozambique have joined together to form an ecumenical Methodist council:, English translation:

Estonian Methodists Complete Process of Leaving UMC: At their annual conference in June, Estonian Methodists voted to conclude the process of separating from the UMC to form an autonomous church:

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

African United Methodists Serve Others: In various ways and places across the continent, African United Methodists continued their heritage of service to others:

Africa University Creates College of Engineering and Applied Sciences: The UMC-affiliated university in Zimbabwe announced the new College of Engineering and Applies Sciences, its fourth school:

Fred Vanderwerf Appointed New In Mission Together Coordinator for Ukraine: Vanderwerf, who has long-term connections to Ukraine, will be responsible for helping church in the United States partner with UMC churches in Ukraine:

UMC Bishops Continue #DismantlingRacism Campaign: A video from UMC Council of Bishops President Thomas Bickerton provided an update on the bishops’ work to dismantle racism:

Methodist Annual Korean Peace Rountable: The Korean Methodist Church, United Methodist Church, and World Methodist Council will collaborate in sponsoring a roundtable on peace on the Korean Peninsula at the end of August:

Why United Methodists Should Care About Climate Change: Commenting on recent weather events, United Methodist Insight editor Cynthia Astle explains why United Methodists should care about climate change:

Wespath Reports on Sustainable Investing: Wespath, the pension and benefits agency for The United Methodist Church, has issued a report on the impact of its work in several areas of sustainable investing:

Global Ministries Opens EarthKeepers Applications: Global Ministries is accepting applications for the EarthKeepers program, which is focused on promoting local environmental projects, through August 23:

UMC Annual Conferences Pass Creation Care Motions: Several annual conferences in the UMC passed similar motions on creation care, as UMC Creation Justice reports:

German UMC Central Office Gets Renewed Green Certificate: The central church office for the Germany Central Conference of the UMC has again won the “Grünen Gockel” (“Green Rooster”) award for eco-friendliness:; English translation:

Cote d'Ivoire Seminary Runs on Solar: Thanks in part to support from the Central Conference Theological Education Fund (CCTEF), the Higher Institute of Theology of Abadjin-Doumé (ISTHA) in Cote d'Ivoire has been running on solar power since 2019:

Local Churches Act to Care for Climate: Local churches in California: and Iowa: have taken steps to care for creation by combatting climate change.

Lovers Lane UMC Hosts Climate Conference: Lovers Lane UMC in Dallas hosted a recent conference on "Resilience for Congregations" in the face of climate change. The conference also explored the need for action to mitigate climate change:

Mark Davies Calls for Fossil Free UMC: Rev. Dr. Mark Davies published an opinion piece calling on the next meeting of General Conference in 2024 to move the UMC toward becoming fossil free: Davies' piece prompted a further discussion by the Swiss UMC:; English translation:

Florida Fresh Expressions Launches Podcast: Fresh Expressions, the movement to reach “new people in new ways” is spreading in the US UMC. The Florida Annual Conference, which has been supporting Fresh Expressions for years, has now launched a podcast on the topic:

East Ohio Shares Stories of Missionaries, Deaconesses: The “Storyboard” podcast of the East Ohio Annual Conference has published recent episodes featuring deaconesses and home missioners: and missionaries:

Edgar Avitia, Long-time Global Ministries Staffer, Dies: Edgar Avitia, who helped promote mission connections in Latin America and throughout the world through his work with Global Ministries, died unexpectedly at the end of June. See more from Global Ministries: and UMNews:

Connexio hope and develop Issues Annual Report: The Swiss United Methodist mission agencies released their annual report on their work with partners around the world, including in Cambodia, DR Congo, and Latin America: (in German)