Connecting the Church in Mission

We just returned from New York City where we participated in a seminar at the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), whose motto is “Connecting the Church in mission.”

We survived the storm; more on that in the next post.

The three days were pretty intense, including two days at GBGM and one day visiting ministries in New York City. On Monday and Wednesday, we listened to presenters from GBGM. I think most of us felt overloaded with all the information we were exposed to, so it may take some time to process it.

Visiting area ministries on Tuesday was a good break from the seminar room. We visited the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew (A United Methodist church), Anchor House (A Christian rehabilitation center for men and women), and the Church Center for the United Nations (a Christian worship space owned by the Women’s Division of GBGM).

One of the things that many of us were struck most by was the passion of the presenters (people who work at GBGM). Sadly, though, many United Methodists are unaware of much of the services of GBGM, which is why our conference requires provisional members (i.e., those who have been commissioned and are on track to be ordained) to attend this seminar. Having attended this seminar, we will be better equipped to communicate to our congregations the resources that are available to us through GBGM.

The Susquehanna Conference (through the former Central Pennsylvania Conference) has a long history of making this annual trek to GBGM in New York City. This was the 38th annual trip from our conference, all led by Rev. Charles Keller (retired). Groups have ranged in size from 28 to 70 (we had 28 this year).

The trip to GBGM takes place around the beginning of February to keep costs down (off-peak time). Even though the seminar is in the middle of winter, travelers have encountered snow in New York City only three times before this year, and (only) once was there a shortened seminar (one year, the third/final day was cancelled due to snow).

We enjoyed the seminar and our time in New York City. As I said, though, we’ll need some time to process all the information and how we might make the most of the resources available to us through GBGM.

Question: What do you know about GBGM, and how have you utilized the resources they provide?

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