What is the Missionary Relationship Program?

The Missionary Relationship Program matches Regions in the Disciples of Christ and Conferences in the UCC along with their member congregations with missionaries worldwide. By developing a relationship with a missionary, a UCC Conference or Disciples Region can personalize global mission, focus on new ways of being in mission, develop international understanding, and provide a caring church community for a missionary.

This program is not a fund-raising vehicle for the missionary's special projects or for the partner church. Disciples Mission Fund/Our Churches Wider Mission is the primary source of support for missionaries. Funding for special projects is arranged through the Global Ministries Area Office and the Resource Development Office.

A Missionary Relationship usually extends for the full term of service of the missionary, two to four years. The relationship is renewable if the Region/Conference and the missionary agree. When a missionary is on home assignment, the Missionary Relationship Program office will pay round-trip airfare to the Region/Conference for an extended visit.

The Missionary Relationship Program matches Regions in the Disciples of Christ and Conferences in the UCC along with their member congregations with missionaries worldwide. By developing a relationship with a missionary, a UCC Conference or Disciples Region can personalize global mission, focus on new ways of being in mission, develop international understanding, and provide a caring church community for a missionary.

This program is not a fund-raising vehicle for the missionary's special projects or for the partner church. Disciples Mission Fund/Our Churches Wider Mission is the primary source of support for missionaries. Funding for special projects is arranged through the Global Ministries Area Office and the Resource Development Office.

A Missionary Relationship usually extends for the full term of service of the missionary, two to four years. The relationship is renewable if the Region/Conference and the missionary agree. When a missionary is on home assignment, the Missionary Relationship Program office will pay round-trip airfare to the Region/Conference for an extended visit.

How can a Missionary Relationship help us focus on mission?

  • Developing a relationship with a missionary gives insight into mission in other parts of the world.
  • A Missionary Relationship can provide a focus as you plan your mission awareness and promotion.
  • Members of congregations learn how their mission dollars are put to work, through articles and letters sent by the missionary.
  • Mission becomes real to church members as they become familiar with the work and witness of the missionary. Maybe some will want to plan a mission trip to visit the missionary and the partners with whom he/she works.
  • The lives of our global sisters and brothers take on new meaning as we learn about their faith, hopes, struggles and religious practices.
  • When the missionary comes back for home assignment, a block of time will be offered to the Region/Conference for visits to congregations, youth camps, the assembly, annual meeting, ministerial meetings, and men's, women's, youth groups.

How does our Conference/Region establish a Missionary Relationship?

  • The Mission Personnel office has made an initial proposal to each Conference and Region. These proposals are in the process of being finalized. Please contact Julia Brown Karimu, jkarimu@dom.disciples.org, Executive of the Mission Personnel office to see where your Conference or Region is in the process. If you have an interest in a particular geographic area or type of ministry, please tell us that as well.
  • The Mission Personnel Office will work to establish a relationship with a missionary, attempting to match your Region's/Conference's interests with available missionary personnel. We try not to pair missionaries with more than three Regions/Conferences.

How Do I Get Started?

  • Designate one primary contact person who will be in regular contact with the missionary.
  • Let the missionary know who the primary contact person in the Region/Conference will be.
  • Add the missionary to your mailing list to receive the Conference or Regional newspaper.
  • Discuss with your missionary partner what type of correspondence will work best: post and/or email, how many letters you will write and how often and how many letters you expect to receive.
  • Begin to talk about the missionary's visit and to plan activities around it.

How to get the most from your Missionary Relationship

  • Consider creative ways to share the news from your missionaries and ways to include this information. Use monthly ministers' mailings, Regional/Conference newspaper and website, moments for mission, mission illustrations during sermons. Lift them up any time the church gathers.
  • Include your missionaries, and those with whom they work, in your prayers. Invite local churches to pray for your partners.
  • Urge individual congregations to create a bulletin board highlighting this relationship.
  • Consider including your missionary relationship names on your stationery.
  • During an assembly or annual meeting, consider emphasizing your missionary's ministry using photos, a video (if available), and a map of the host country. Why not try organizing a live phone call.
  • Develop youth and children's mission programs focusing on your missionary and their host country. Ask the missionary for input.

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