Seeking Ways to Be in Service to the Global UM Church – The Philippines

global church

1 Corinthians 12:27 – Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

The reach of The United Methodist Church is wide. We are a global denomination focused on making disciples for Jesus Christ wherever we encounter them.  On a recent trip to the Philippines, two GCFA staff members, two professors and sixteen graduate students from Belmont University Massey College of Business learned first-hand what it means to serve in a global denomination.

There are 12 annual conferences in the Philippines – all of whom are actively making disciples of Jesus Christ.  The members of the churches work every day to reach the poor, connect with persons seeking Christ as their Savior and receiving the Love of Christ in their homes and their places to worship.

Work began in earnest for the team on April 1 when we arrived in Manila. Belmont University and the Travel and Meeting Planning Department of GCFA coordinated the 10-day trip.  The purpose was to talk face-to-face with leaders of the Philippines annual conferences about their need for resources to support their ministries and how GCFA shared services can fill those needs.

Using one-on-one interviews, surveys and hands-on interaction, the graduate students talked with and learned of needs in the area of financial reporting, data collection, meeting planning, and giving methods in the areas they visited.

belmont students

The students worked on four areas of interest: missional giving, travel and meeting planning, effectively using the Ezra database outside the US, and training and leadership resources. Each small group met with church leadership and got responses in each of the work areas.

Dedication

However, an even bigger impact than talking first-hand with church leaders was the observance of the dedication of the people of the church.  When, in one area, the students learned that pastors and bishops sometimes travel by boat and sometimes even by horse to visit and worship with their congregations, the students saw great examples of faithfulness to the people.

The team was able to visit the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation, Inc. (KKFI) – an organization that works in the community to provide education, meals and skills training for children.  There they observed the impact that people dedicated to serving have in their ministry.

The students, in a report back to GCFA when they returned, shared the impact their experiences had on their lives as they visited people, offices and churches in Manila and Baguio.  The work in this ministry continues as GCFA leadership will review the recommendations of the team and find ways to implement them as we work to serve the global church.

Cheryl Akey, Travel and Meeting Planning Manager, The General Council on Finance and Administration

1 Doughnut, Numerous Savings

Doughnuts

 

What would you do to keep the doughnuts in your church every Sunday? When the finance committee had to cut the church’s doughnuts, Monte Chamberlin had seen enough budget cuts to last a life time. When the committee adjourned, Monte set out to save the cherished Sunday morning doughnuts—which served as a time of fellowship, sharing and caring. What he found was a way to leverage a coalition of churches to buy 200,000 doughnuts annually and reduce the church’s total expenses. Because of a doughnut, Monte founded Cost Stewardship, a company that finds abandoned or unknown refunds available from government agencies and utility providers.

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Denominational Data

Denominational Data

Gathering Denominational Data

The annual gathering and compilation of United Methodist church statistics requires the assistance of numerous people across the connection. We are deeply appreciative of those persons and their efforts. Our gratitude goes out to the pastors and other local church leaders who give their time and effort to complete the Annual Statistical Reports. Their attention to detail makes it possible to publish an accurate resource of United Methodist Church Data.

We are also thankful for all the annual conference secretaries, statisticians and treasurers for collecting and submitting the information for their annual conferences. The denomination-wide collection of this data would not be possible without their administrative ministries.

The assistance of all these people makes UMData.org possible. Through their faithful and efficient work, UMData provides appointment information and statistical history of local churches, annual conferences, and jurisdictions. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to United Methodist employees who collect, vet and combine the voluminous information that makes United Methodist Data so readily available.

God bless you and may He continue to guide your work.

Annual Conference Giving – Why We Give

Welcome!  I look forward to engaging with you in meaningful dialogue through this new forum of connection.

Why We Give

It is my belief that the connection of United Methodists increases the Kingdom of God for all of God’s people. When we give, we are doing what God has called us to do. The ministries for each annual conference are as different as the locations. But one thing is for sure. As United Methodists, when we give to the general Church apportioned funds, we impact lives. It may be hard to envision sometimes…it seems so far away and unreal at times to think we have impacted someone in the next state, or across the globe. At times it doesn’t seem “personal”. It is hard to keep connectional giving as a focus when we don’t know the people we’re helping. But, when I hear the stories, I am more convinced that the connectional nature of United Methodists is what God has in mind for his people. I am reminded of Romans 12:4-6a. “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts…”

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