One Year and One Year

It became clear one year ago today that we were in the midst of a deadly and rapidly expanding COVID-19 pandemic. After receiving wise counsel, I made the decision to stop all annual conference in-person events, moved to institute our conference staff working from home and recommended that congregations not hold in-person gatherings of any kind. It has been a trying year, yet you have responded with deep concern for others, an abundance of creativity and a desire to keep proclaiming the Good News of Jesus through word and deed. What is more, you have done it with grace in the face of ridicule for your abundance of caution and having to do things for which you were never prepared. You have been amazing. And I want you to know how grateful I am. 

The pandemic now seems to be ebbing. While we still need to exercise an abundance of caution by following all CDC directives and guidelines, there is great hope on the horizon. Not surprisingly, there is also a strong desire for life to get back to normal. And we will. But only if we realize that we have to discover our new normal because we can never go back to the way things were pre-pandemic. Don’t worry, however, because we don’t have to do it on our own. The Holy Spirit already is at work leading us to a future we can only begin to imagine right now.  

So hang in there. Hang on for the ride of your life. And start giving God thanks and praise right now for what God will be doing one year from today. 

A Life-Changer

Life is slowly – and in some cases far too quickly – reopening, and it will continue to do so in the weeks and months to come. No doubt you’ve been thinking about what you want your life to be like; especially since you don’t want to lose some of the very positive things you have experienced in the midst of Covid that you never would have experienced otherwise. But what if you switch the focus from what you want your life to be like to what God wants it to be like? That would be a life-changer. You won’t merely want to go back to the way things were. You won’t be satisfied with some of the things you used to think were so important. And you will spend more and more time seeking God’s way for you rather than your way for you. Don’t waste the wonderful opportunity you now have to delve more deeply into God’s heart, live as a newly energized Jesus’ follower and be led by the Holy Spirit step-by-step-by-step. 

Global Mission Fellows Accepts Applications from Young Adults Who Feel Called to See Differently and Serve Differently

ATLANTA (Sept. 27, 2019) – The Global Mission Fellows Program is accepting applications through Jan. 7, 2020. This two year program is a wonderful way for young adults, ages of 20 through 30 to engage with local communities outside of their home context, connect the church in mission and grow in personal and social holiness. All who fall within the age range and who are passionate about putting their faith into action while addressing the root causes of injustice are encouraged to apply.

The Global Mission Fellowship offers placement opportunities within the United States and internationally. Once accepted, candidates are matched with partner organizations which support community development and they enter into the faith life of the local community to form lasting relationships. Each fellow becomes a part of a cohort of other Global Mission Fellows and the group trains and regroups with the same young adults throughout their two years of service. This provides a framework of support and community for each Global Mission Fellow as they share in their individual journey.

For more information or to apply go to umcmission.org/gmf or contact gmfellows@umcmission.org.

Donations to support the Global Mission Fellows program are being accepted at https://advance.umcmission.org/p-1806-global-mission-fellows.aspx.

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About Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church
Global Ministries is the worldwide mission and development agency of The United Methodist Church. Founded in New York City in 1819, Global Ministries today supports more than 300 missionaries in 60 countries, including the United States. It has personnel, projects and partners in 136 countries. Learn more about Global Ministries by visiting umcmission.org or by following facebook.com/GlobalMinistries and Twitter.com/UMCmission.

Change

Your life is going to change today. It may be a little or it may be ginormous. It might be the most exciting thing ever or it might scare you to death. It could be something you saw coming or it could be a complete surprise. So here’s what you need to know. God wants to walk with you through it so you’ll discover how the change that happens in you is not nearly as important as the change that happens in you.  

Bitter or Better

You’re going to mess up, do something you regret, hurt someone and give less than your best. Sometimes the impact will be huge, at other times small and most of the time somewhere in-between. Unfortunately, this will happen every single day.That’s why you have to decide whether you’re going to let your mistakes make you bitter or whether they’ll make you better because you’ve opened yourself to God’s grace, learned something about yourself, lived with greater humility and become more understanding of others. Bitter may be tempting, but better is always better.

“The Best of All, God is With Us”

It hits you in a moment of startling truth. You don’t have much hope. Maybe it’s the headlines or a personal tragedy or something that has turned your world upside. So what are you to do? Embrace John Wesley’s words,  ”The best of all, God is with us.” When you are able to do this through the grace of God, you will experience a startling truth. You do have hope – real hope. Not because you have created it. But because you have experienced God’s presence, power and promise.