Additional Resources

View and download the study guide here.

Final question that was asked which didn’t make it into the video:

Question: Can you speak a bit about how itineration currently works? I know some non-Americans itinerate in the US. Are they also required to itinerate in their home countries? Do American missionaries ever itinerate outside the US? Is there an idea for having missionaries from everywhere itinerate everywhere in the future?

Answer: Currently, all Global Ministries missionaries are required to travel to the United States for their itineration assignment once every three years to connect with supporting churches and to build new covenant relationships. All Global Ministries missionaries are also encouraged to itinerate, and share their stories, in their home context as well as their place of assignment. The Global Ministries itineration office provides assistance for all itinerating missionaries, whether they are itinerating in the U.S. or other nations. Although every missionary already has opportunities to itinerate “from everywhere to everywhere”, there is room for growth. Missionary Service, Global Connections and the itineration team will continue to work toward an itineration plan that looks more like the Global Ministries “from everywhere to everywhere” structure and  approach to mission.

About

thomaskemper photo

Thomas Kemper, General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church

General Secretary Kemper is responsible for personnel, projects, and mission partnerships in more than 130 countries. A native of Germany, Thomas Kemper is the first person from outside the United States elected to lead a United Methodist agency. Prior to his position as general secretary, he was mission leader for the German Central Conference of The United Methodist Church and was Director of Ecumenical Learning at the Lippische Church, a regional church of the Association of Protestant Churches in Germany. He spent 8 years in Brazil as a missionary, where he taught in the Brazilian Theological Seminary in São Paulo and engaged in ministry with the poor and new church development. 

 

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Discussion

10 Comments

    • Thank you for your comment and your concern for the Hmong communities in Southeast Asia. Always good to hear from you. Our mission personnel in the area and our regional staff are aware of the situation and often precarious conditions of the Hmong people. We keep them in our prayers. In mission together.

  1. Along the line of migrants: The congregation I serve in rural Missouri has a long-standing relationship with work in Mulunguishi , in the Dem. Rep. of Congo. There is now an immigrant community of Congolese in Kansas City, some leaders of whom are United Methodist. As we explore the possibilities of being partners in ministry together, it would be helpful to know of like situations and their experience.

  2. How can we model partnership that overcomes the understanding of power that overpowering people, that is competitive and in the end violent whether in the church and mission or outside?

    • Hi Romy. Thank you for your very difficult question. The use and misuse of power are matters of great complexity within and beyond the church. In my experience, one of the first steps in building partnerships of the kind you envision is to exercise the grace of listening–listening by all parties to the hopes and expectations, the fears and anxieties of all those involved. We can also study the models of the abuse of power in order to learn what not to do. In mission together.

  3. Shirley Edgerton on

    Thank you for this conversation. We GBGM Long Term Volunteers to Haiti and at one time considered an appointment in Cameroon. As Haiti is not United Methodist and considerably more conservative and orthodox our time in Haiti was very productive. Yet we could never overlook the more progressive and liberal mainline theology than the more conservative and orthodox belief of the Haitians we served. What we learned was that the “structure of the theology” in other words the interpretation of the personal aspects of the bible, take a back seat to the application of God’s love and light, and the radical compassion of Christ lived out in mission. How do we balance the need to be always “in mission mentality” while living in the political variations of the nations? This was our struggle not a question we ask for an answer. Thank you for the conversation.

    • Amen to your observations, and thank you for sharing your experiences. The political variations of nations are, I believe, aspects of our mission challenge in a world of diversity. In mission together.

  4. Thank you GCORR and thank you, Thomas for having this discussion and making it available to all of us. I feel that often we in the U.S. think and talk as though racism stops is only a domestic issue that stops at the water’s edge. We are a global church and serve a God who is no respecter of national boundaries. We need to confront and talk about the ways that racial identities and privilege still work themselves out in our mission work today. I am particularly interested in how we can confront these realities within the community of short-term missions through United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM).

  5. Hello Tom, thank you for your comment. Racism is, indeed, a global reality and nationalism is one of the major challenges to the concept of a universal church. I like your idea of addressing such overarching concerns in the UMVIM context, perhaps in training settings. In mission together.

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