Global Ministries was thrilled to welcome so many of you at this summer’s ¡Missionworks! We gathered to celebrate, pray and engage in God’s Mission with global partners, and had a spirit-filled time in the process.
Friday night began with a powerful sermon from Paul Turner, who is currently serving with the Community of Disciples of Christ in the Congo, and lively worship music from around the world performed by the band Oikos. Participants then chose from several active workshops that included crafts and games, a musical celebration, a discussion of the film The Stones Cry Out, and dances from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Saturday was a day full of learning. We began with testimonies from two Palestinian Christians about their experiences which were followed by a stirring address by Bishop Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Their messages challenged congregations in the United States and Canada to reconsider their approach to the Holy Land and to seek opportunities for building peace.
Participants then had another wide variety of workshop options – The Middle East Initiative, with Peter Makari; The Origins of the Syrian Refugee Crisis and How Congregations Can Respond, with Jim Moos and Megan Hochbein; Understanding and Expanding Interfaith Relationships, with Karen Georgia Thomspon; and An Introduction to African Dance, with Nicole Kamana.
We heard back from dozens of attendees that they had wished there had been time to go to all four of the workshops, and many of those who attended with friends from their congregation split up to make sure they could collect all of the information.
In the afternoon, we heard stories from Global Ministries mission personnel Judy Chan, Tyler Reeve, Paul Turner, and Beth Guy celebrating the work of global partners, and from Diane and Tim Fonderlin, Jayanthi and Jim Wilson and Elena Huegel about the many different forms of worship they experienced with global partners. Their contribution to the weekend helped many attendees understand the importance of mutuality in Global Ministries’ approach to mission.
After our time with missionaries, we heard from Rev. Dr. Johnson Mbillah from the Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa. Rev. Mbillah spoke at length about the challenges in working for better understanding between different groups in the region and the hopeful opportunities he sees.
Global Ministries’ staff then presented the work of the program offices: Mission Personnel, People-to-People Pilgrimages, Child and Elder Sponsorship, Advocacy, Resource Development, Mission Engagement; as well as the area offices: Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and Europe, and Southern Asia. Each office shared specifically how they engage with congregations and shared opportunities for action. These short presentations were meant to whet the appetites of the participants for the Mission Festival that evening, which provided opportunities to connect with missionaries, staff, and guests from Disciples Women, One Great Hour of Sharing, and Council on Christian Unity.
¡Misisonworks! concluded Sunday morning with a Call to Mission from Global Ministries Co-Executives Julia Brown Karimu and Jim Moos, followed by a lively worship service featuring three gifts from the Pentecostal Church of Chile as shared by Elena Huegel.
¡Missionworks! was a resounding success according to those who were able to attend, and we hope to see you at the next Global Ministries event so you, too, can share in celebrating, praying, and engaging with global partners.