AREAS OF IMPACT
From everywhere to everywhere, United Methodist missionaries come from many nations and backgrounds and witness and serve in dramatically different locales and cultures. They serve in more than 60 countries around the world in a range of activities and professions including pastors, educators, congregational and leadership developers, agriculturalists, health coordinators, and doctors.
Disaster Response and Recovery
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) responds to disasters in the United States and around the world by working with communities and local partners. When a disaster overwhelms a community’s ability to recover on its own, UMCOR provides essential relief supplies and supports long-term rebuilding efforts. While UMCOR is not a first-response organization, it stands ready to accompany communities in need over the long haul of their recovery until a “new normal” is established after a crisis. “Early in and last out” is a guiding principle of UMCOR.
Evangelism and Church Growth
Global Ministries works to share the good news of God’s love by planting new churches and helping existing ones to grow. New or renewed mission initiatives in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America have planted over 1,000 new faith communities. Programs like the annual School of Congregational Development, implemented in partnership with Discipleship Ministries, offers training for new congregations and established churches that seek to create new places for new people. Additional programs support racial/ethnic churches with initiatives that are geared specifically for their unique needs.
Global Ministries’ vision of abundant health for all focuses on efforts to promote physical, emotional and spiritual well-being through programs in the United States and overseas. Global Health programs focus on assisting economically vulnerable communities to protect children and disadvantaged adults from preventable causes of death and disease. To do this, Global Ministries partners with thousands of communities and health workers through community-based health programs and provides support to more than 300 United Methodist hospitals and clinics. Global Ministries is also the lead agency for the UMC’s Abundant Health Initiative so it strives to prioritize programs that meet the needs of the marginalized.
Hunger and Poverty
Lack of access to healthy and nutritious food is a major factor in starvation and malnutrition around the world. UMCOR works with partners to improve farming and agricultural methods using eco-friendly practices, increase crop diversity and yields, expand market access, improve food-storage facilities, and boost nutrition in vulnerable households and communities. UMCOR’s food security grants give special consideration to holistic programs that focus on subsistence and small-scale farmers, particularly women, keeping in line with international standards to eliminate global hunger.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Water, sanitation and hygiene, known together as WASH, are essential for good health and well-being. Some 783 million people around the world do not have reliable access to clean drinking water, and even more people lack access to water for agriculture and household tasks to meet their everyday needs. Around the world, 2.4 billion people lack adequate sanitation facilities. Global Ministries supports WASH programs worldwide, providing direct help through UMCOR and supporting the work of partners. Programs provide education and increase access to improved water sources. Every U.S. dollar spent on water, sanitation, and hygiene generates U.S. $4.30 in increased productivity and decreased health care costs.
Education is a foundational piece of Methodist mission and has continued to be a way to improve individual lives, foster religious transformation, and be of service to the world. Global Ministries helps to facilitate the education and training of mission partners whose subsequent work will have the most direct and positive impact on the communities from which they come.
Every day, thousands of people leave and flee their homes in search of a better life for their families. Recognizing that migration is a complex issue, UMCOR works with partners to examine the causes of migration and to ensure the four rights of migrants: right to stay, right to safe passage, right to welcoming and belonging, and right to return. Global Ministries is committed to providing support for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers from all over the globe with our partners Church World Service and National Justice for Our Neighbors, along with our collaboration with other domestic and international humanitarian agencies.
Racial and Ethnic Ministries
In recognition and celebration of the increasing diversity of the world, Global Ministries administers four of The United Methodist Church’s six ethnic/language ministry plans, also known as the U.S. “national plans.” These four ministries serve Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Korean and Pacific Islander communities in the United States. The national plans strive for unity within diversity. They aim to expand the ministry of The United Methodist Church in a way that does not compromise the ethnic and cultural context of each of the communities they serve.
Connect with a nation plan
The Leadership Development and Scholarship office administers scholarship funding to students worldwide through two scholarship programs:
1. The World Communion program (formerly known as the Crusade Scholarship) offers scholarships to United Methodist and other Methodists church members seeking to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree and then serve the church and community in some form after their studies.
2. The Leadership Development Grants offer funding to students seeking a post-secondary, master’s, doctoral, professional or leadership development program. These grants support the preparation of students who will work to further the mission of Christ in the world.
In choosing our scholarship recipients each year, we focus on candidates who fit our four areas of focus. Those areas of focus are combating the diseases of poverty by improving health globally, engaging in ministry with the poor, creating new places for people and renewal of existing local churches, and developing principled Christian leaders for the church and the world. Using these areas of focus allows us to find the students who have the best opportunity and best drive to further the Christian mission in the world and serve the global United Methodist Church and its partners after their studies have concluded.
Global Ministries is engaged in a variety of programs to nurture and sustain community organizations. Through financial assistance, volunteer skills, economic development, advocacy and material resources, Global Ministries creates new initiatives to support the lives of women, children, youth, families and older adults.
Recognizing that climate change and environmental degradation increase disaster risk, the UMCOR Creation Care program looks inward at the work of UMCOR and Global Ministries and outward at the ministries of The United Methodist Church to equip the church to address modes of living and working that contribute to climate change and environmental degradation. These include wasteful consumption, deforestation, poor water management and agricultural practices that diminish the land. The EarthKeepers program equips United Methodist laity and clergy to develop or deepen environmental initiatives in their communities.
Women and Children
Women and children are often the ones left most vulnerable in times of crisis and in communities that struggle with poverty. Global Ministries strives to improve access to quality prenatal, delivery and postnatal services for women, and to provide access to essential health care for children under 5 years old. Global Ministries works to improve the quality of health services provided in rural communities by building the capacity of local health professionals and equipping health facilities to deliver essential care, as well as to increase the demand for maternal and child health services through community education and engagement.
UMCOR works to facilitate long-term community development and empowerment in areas of great need. Many development issues and opportunities are interrelated. Because of this, UMCOR uses integrated solutions to address the root causes of specific problems. This is done by working with UMCOR’s extensive partner network alongside local communities to develop their assets in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); sustainable agriculture and food security; livelihoods and resilience; climate change adaptation and mitigation; and education and health.
Individual volunteers serve any period from three months to three years. Even shorter-term volunteer opportunities are also available, typically with a local team. Volunteers build churches, assist in community health programs, advocate for social justice, build leadership skills and help after a disaster.