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UMMA Update, August 2013 (pdf version), No. 90
In this issue
- 2013 Dues Now Payable
- About this Issue and UMMA's Publication Efforts
- Forum Indefinitely Postponed
- Annual UMMA Gathering October in New York
- Thanks for Nominations Received
- The Church in China
- UMAA Pensions Task Force Formed
- Welcome to New MIRs Gordon and Teca Greathouse
- Staff Changes at Global Ministries
- "Companions in Mission" Pilot Program
- Notes From Our Readers
- Passings Noted
- The Last Word(s)
2013 Dues Now Payable!
Send a check now for 2013 dues! Just go to membership page to link to our PayPal account to pay your dues, where you will also find our treasuerer Dick Vreeland's address (). Individual dues are currently $30, while couples pay $50. Ask about lifeIme and affiliate memberships.
1. About This Issue and UMMA's Publication Efforts
Our vice-chair has largely completed transfer of our mailing list from Google Groups to MailChimp, where you can read the UpDate in a web format. A PDF file will be available for download for those who prefer it.
2. Forum Postponed
The UMMA Forum planned for next January has been postponed.
3. Annual UMMA Gathering: October in New York
Dates for the 2013 Annual UMMA Gathering are set for October 12-13, Saturday afternoon through Sunday noon in New York. (Global Ministries Directors meet October 10-12.) All members and friends are urged to attend!
4. Thanks for Nominations Received
Nominations have been received for a new retiree member of the Steering Committee and for Assistant Treasurer. We still need a nominee for the Steering Committee to fill one of the two positions for Europe, North Africa or the Middle East. Further nominations are welcome. Contact the chair or the vice chair to nominate yourself or another!
5. The Church in China
The United Methodist Church has been involved in a recent dialogue with Chinese Christians which may surprise many - not just because it is possible at all, but because of the amazing information gained. The following articles are accessible from the Global Ministries website and tell part of the story. UMMA members who would like access to printed copies should be in touch with the chair.
The Church in China: A growth in size, faith
The Church in China: One pastor's journey
The Church in China: Pews are full
The Church in China: To serve God, society
The Church in China: Focus on disaster relief
Methodist history in China
Amity: A Bible printing press
Slideshow: The Church in China
6. UMMA Pensions Task Force Formed
Dakin Cook, missionary representative to the GBGM investments and pension committees, has called together a new task force to reflect on pension and benefit matters as Global Ministries seeks to find equitable solutions for "missionaries from everywhere to everywhere." Those named to this task force and approved by the Steering Committee are Dakin Cook, chair (from USA in Ecuador and missionary on the pensions subcommittee of the GBGM Investments Committee), Zach Ferguson (former US-2), Frido Kinkolenge (from Congo in Liberia), Stephen Newnum (from USA in Brazil), Marilia Schüller (from Brazil in Brazil), José L. Velasco (from Mexico, retired), Dick Vreeland (from USA, retired), Bud Carroll (from USA, retired in Hong Kong), UMMA Chair, ex officio (Jim Dwyer).
7. Welcome to New MIRs Gordon and Teca Greathouse
It's official: Gordon and Teca Greathouse will be our new Missionaries in Residence. Gordon will assume responsibilities on August 1, 2013, and Teca will follow in the Spring of 2014.
Gordon and Teca have served as lay missionaries in Brazil for the last 35 years. Gordon is originally from Oregon and Teca from Brazil. Prior to working with Global Ministries, Teca helped organize hundreds of impoverished communities of Brazil's Northeast and Amazon to develop rural schools under the vision of Paulo Freire. At that time Gordon was working with after-school programs in New York's South Bronx before becoming a Seminar Designer at the Church Center for the United Nations.
As Global Ministries missionaries Gordon and Teca started Habitat for Humanity in Brazil, taught at the regional Methodist seminary and coordinated Volunteers in Mission in Brazil. Their primary achievement was building an after-school program called Shade and Fresh Water for more than 3000 children and teenagers between 6 and 14 years of age, a network which includes more than 70 local Methodist churches in a program that focuses on building values and character with a Christian foundation.
Thomas Kemper notes, "[Knowing] them during my own missionary years in Brazil...[I] learned a great deal from them. I have never ceased to admire their...commitment to...ministry with and alongside the poor and marginalized."
A central part of their vision is children's roles as models for the Kingdom. They look forward to getting to know, learn from and support each missionary they work with as Missionaries-in-Residence.
8. Staff Changes at Global Ministries - And Beyond!
Denise Honeycutt has been named acting Deputy General Secretary of UMCOR effective September 16. UMMA members who attended Board meetings during her 8-year tenure as a director know her as a friend and advocate for missionaries and mission. Thomas Kemper recalls knowing Denise since her service as a missionary in Nigeria "sharing the simple life of the community in Bambur." She taught at Banyam Theological Seminary. Husband Pat Watkins taught vocational training for mechanics. Pat, also a pastor, currently serves as a CCW in the Virginia Conference as Executive Director, Caretakers of God's Creation.
Denise has served as Mission Interpreter for the Southeastern Jurisdiction, as Director of Mission and Global Justice for the Virginia Annual Conference, and most recently as pastor at St. Matthew's in Fairfax, VA.
The official release tells how Denise received her call to ministry at age 6 in the Baptist Church but had to find her future in ministry among Methodists.
Regina Henderson is new interim Associate General Secretary for Justice and Relationships. (The J&R unit replaces the units for Mission Relationships headed by John Nuessle and Justice and Discipleship headed by Jeri McKie.) She is a clergy member of the North Carolina Conference. She has served as a US-2, has traveled to Peru several times and to Zimbabwe in response to children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. She has been senior pastor at Wilson Temple United Methodist Church in Raleigh, NC. Learn more here.
Gregory A. (Greg) Forrester became Assistant General Secretary for Disaster Response in the US, Central America and the Caribbean for UMCOR in May. A member of the Upper New York Annual Conference, Greg was previously Northeast Jurisdictional Coordinator for United Methodist Volunteers in Mission. He replaces Tom Hazlewood, new Director of Connectional Ministries for the Memphis Conference. Learn more here.
Jennifer Roberts Bryant, who recently assumed responsibility for the itineration office, will move on as of August 31. Dan Randall, who initiated work in the assignment for "recruitment and accompaniment" will accept an appointment in Massachusetts. Thanks to both Jenn and Dan for their commitment while in New York to their tasks of assisting missionaries in their interface with Global Ministries, on the one hand, and local churches and annual conferences, on the other,. We wish both further fruitful ministry in their new pursuits.
Rachel Debos, current US-2, will join Hannah Hanson as Mission Interpreter for Young Adult Missionary Programs in September.
At the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, Susan Henry-Crowe, dean of the Chapel at Emory University in Atlanta, will succeed James E. Winkler as General Secretary effective February 2014. See details here.
New Presidents have been named at Claremont School of Theology (CST), Garrett-Evangelical Theological School (GETS) and Iliff School of Theology (Iliff). In May Dr. Lallene J. Rector was elected to the office of president at GETS; the Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan has become the seventh president of CST; and the Rev. Dr. Thomas V. Wolfe was elected fourteenth president of Iliff.
As the first woman president in GETS's 160-yerr history, Rector will join a legacy of remarkable women, including Eliza Garrett, founder of Garrett Biblical Institute in 1853; Lucy Rider Meyer, founder and first principal of the Chicago Training School for deaconesses in 1855; Georgia Harkness, first woman professor of theology in the United States in 1939; and Rosemary Skinner Keller, the seminary's first female academic dean appointed in 1993 (to name but a few).
As the first layperson to be appointed president, Rector will bring a creative perspective to the seminary's commitment to train bold leaders. A person of profound faith, she is devoted to theological education in the ecumenical church and the building of strong interfaith alliances. She is a member at First United Methodist Church (Chicago Temple) in Chicago. She offers unique leadership in pastoral psychotherapy, in the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and as convener for the United Methodist Theological Schools academic deans.
Rector's education includes a B.A. in psychology and religion from Texas Christian University, an M.T.S. from Boston University's School of Theology, and a Ph.D. in psychology of religion from Boston University's Graduate School for the Arts and Sciences. She holds memberships in the American Academy of Religion, the American Psychoanalytical Association and the Chicago Society for Psychoanalysis.
A first generation Asian-American of Chinese ancestry, Kuan was born and raised in Malaysia, to which country his grandparents had emigrated from China. He left for Singapore for college studies. Kuan earned a Ph.D. in Old Testament from Emory University, an M.T.S. from Perkins School of Theology and a Bachelor of Theology from Trinity Theological College in Singapore. Bishop Robert Hoshibata notes "He [will lead] us with deep faith into our future firmly grounded in our United Methodist Wesleyan heritage. His relationships across both oceans will enhance our ministries to our sisters and brothers in the global and ecumenical contexts."
Kuan, a member of the California-Nevada Conference, currently chairs the Commission on Theological Education of the University Senate, was a director and vice president of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, serves on the boards of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) and the Asian American and Pacific Islander United Methodist Clergywomen Association, and chairs the Member Council of the Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium. He also preaches regularly in local congregations and retains charge conference membership at Chinese Community UMC in Oakland, CA.
Dr. Wolfe will become Iliff's 14th president. As senior vice president and dean, Division of Student Affairs, Syracuse University he currently leads that school's employees in the areas of Health and Wellness; Discovery and Engagement, Inclusion, Community and Citizenship; and Central Services.
Wolfe previously served as dean and chaplain at Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse and has pastored United Methodist parishes in New York. He is a trustee of Lycoming College and of the Upper New York Conference of which he is a clergy member, and a senator of the University Senate and its president. Wolfe holds a B.A. from Lycoming College, an M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion, and a doctorate in higher education administration from Syracuse University.
9. "Companions in Mission" Pilot Program
Rachael Barnett, formerly working with the Advance and Missionary Service, has been engaged as consultant to flesh out a pilot project of "companions in mission" for new missionaries and those in transition. The pilot program will focus on the Young Adult Missionaries who will be sent out this year. The project proposal asserts, "Through conversations with staff and current missionaries, there is a consensus that missionaries would benefit from the listening ear of an unbiased, non-staff person who will reflect honestly with them throughout their service and offer prayerful support." The pilot explores how best to achieve this goal with a manageably-sized group of missionaries. Details of the program and an application form are available for download here. You should see three WORD files [.doc] in the directory.
10. Notes From Our Readers
Following a recent Skype call of the Steering Committee, Eunice Arias shared the following: "I forgot to mention my first and full time actual "job" as retiree: a Christian resources website in Spanish. It is called "Espiritualidad en Medio de la Vida" (Spirituality in the Midst of Life) and addresses spirituality in a holistic-integral perspective....I would like you to have this ministry in your prayers and share with your Spanish speaking fellows the site address. To hear your voices today made my day! Un abrazo, Eunice."
In response to the "issues identified" in UpDate 89, lifetime member Maxine Colbert Bascom, now 88, and widow of UMMA co-founder Gil Bascom wrote: "I always read thoroughly and appreciate UMMA UpDate. Remembering how much energy my late husband...put into editing and several other jobs for UMMA, I can imagine that you also give a huge block of time and huge hunk of energy to our UMMA work. Thank you very much indeed." The note included questions about the Theology of Mission document, which was provided to Maxine and drew this response: "Thanks so much for the document! It's great to be taking Global Ministries' Theology of Mission statement on the road and sharing it with mission leaders around the world, explaining 'this is where we are coming from' and asking our partners how they view our understanding. Now that I've been in the local church pew for 18 years, I want the U.S. local church to study this document and answer 'Does this speak for my local church? If we accept this document as our ideal, where do we need to shape up? Where are our gaps?' This document inspires me as if I've never read it before. Let's promulgate it!!!"
Charles Germany responded to same "issued identified." "Thanks for another good issue of the Newsletter. I have copied out Adam Shaw's account of his five weeks with the farmers in the Philippines to share around with our family members. It was particularly good to read about the challenge to GBGM to seek to establish relationship[s] with ecumenical partners everywhere and, especially, when entering new areas of work. At times I have sensed an urgency on our part to move unilaterally, where possible ecumenical partners were present."
11. Passings Noted
Cathy Whitlatch, still as MIR, provided the following list of deaths which became known to Global Ministries during the first quarter of 2013. Robert E. Hughes, 84, who died December 9, 2012, served in Zimbabwe and is survived by his spouse Dorothy; Lyman P. Taylor, who died December 12, 2012, served in Korea, and is survived by spouse Marian; Billie Jo Chappell, 85, who died December 19, 2012, served in India; Dora Kennedy, 90, who died December 26, 2012, served in India, and is survived by children, John Kennedy and Linda Kennedy; Helen Seamands, 90, who died January 3, 2013, served in India, and is survived by son Steve; Masako Niimi, 91, who died January 25, 2013, served in Japan, and is survived by daughter Reiko Niimi; Rev. Harry Burton-Lewis, 70, who died January 30, 2013, served in Japan, and is survived by spouse Kathy Burton-Lewis; Nathalie Closson, 92, who died February 2, 2013 served in Sierra Leone; David E. Williams, 80, who died February 3, 2013, served in Pakistan, and is survived by spouse Aileen; Dorothy T. Daily, 99, who died February 4, 2013, served in Cuba, and is survived by her son, Tom Daily; Dale B. Fritz, 90, who died February 13, 2013, served in Sierra Leone, and is survived by spouse Lillian; David A. Law, 67, who died February 22, 2013, served in Central Congo, and is survived by spouse Leveda; Martha Bigham, 83, who died March 14, 2013, served in Brazil, and is survived by spouse Rev. William O. Bigham; Daniel E. Speakman, 88, who died March 18, 2013, served in Korea, and is survived by daughter Victoria Joann Koshivas.
We give thanks for the lives of these saints.
12. The Last Word[s] (Sojourners Magazine, August 2013)
From the Talmud quoted in "Mourning for the Earth" by Katharine M. Preston: "Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work. But neither are you free to abandon it."
"Linking mission workers worldwide and moving forward"
|Last Modified: 11 August 2013
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