Testimony of Becoming a Global Mission Church
A while back Delhaven Christian Church voted to work toward becoming a Global Mission Church. Several members attended an MMI training. Because I was unable to attend that event, this past April I went with church member Carol Johnson to attend the Disciples Women Spring Event at FCC Fullerton, which was to include MMI training. In the morning women who had traveled across the country and the world on Woman to Woman mission trips shared their stories, many shedding tears of joy and gratitude for the lessons learned and relationships built. After lunch we reconvened for Ministries and Mission Interpreters Training led by Bob Shebeck. At the end of the training session we were given a supply of the Be a Global Mission Church workbooks and encouragement to go forward with our congregation’s stated intent to become a Global Mission Church.
Carol and I returned home excited about what we had learned. The workbooks contained everything we needed to lead the congregation through the process to become a Global Mission Church. We decided that we would begin as soon as possible and we knew exactly how we were going to start. Every month Delhaven has an informal event called the Second Tuesday Supper. Members take turns preparing a simple meal, usually soup, bread and a light dessert. We never know exactly who or how many will show up but so far it has always worked out that there was plenty of room at the table for everyone and plenty for everyone to eat. After supper we have a short presentation and discussion on topics as diverse as immigration and prayer practices. We agreed that this event gave us the perfect opportunity. We began on the Second Tuesday in May.
When the Second Tuesday rolled around we did a couple of things differently. Usually we cover the supper tables with white paper with simple decorations appropriate to the season. For this event we used Global Ministries place-maps and Pick Me Up coasters. Not surprisingly, everyone picked up their coasters to discover the landmines on the other side. That, of course, began the discussion. After supper Carol and I led the group through the workbook. We talked about all the questions in each step and at the end of the evening were agreed that at June’s supper we would work on our Action Plan.
We all felt very encouraged by the fact that we were already engaged in many of the suggested actions we found in the workbook. For example, we were already teaching the children about mission. This was easy for us because mission chair Doug Smith had recently returned from Congo where he was a volunteer missionary for three months. We already have a Global Ministries bulletin board. And we already included the Global Ministries monthly mission story in our worship bulletins. It wasn’t difficult at all for the group at the June supper to agree to a 3-year Action Plan.
However, we knew we didn’t represent the entire congregation. We didn’t want to commit the whole congregation without their approval. So that very Sunday in place of the usual sermon I presented our Action Plan, inviting questions and conversation during the worship service. At the end of the service we signed the covenant and put it in the mail.
We are excited about the possibilities ahead for us as a Global Mission Church. We feel blessed and grateful to be able to help our brothers and sisters around the world in their efforts to make life better for the least of God’s children.
In loving service,
Maria Tafoya, Pastor
Delhaven Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
La Puente, CA