Hope Born Out of History: Our Missional Impact
Even in its darker moments, United Methodists shine as a light to the nations. We are missional. We embrace the vision that “Transformed Lives Transform Lives,” and live out our call to make disciples for the transformation of the world with ministries like Volunteers In Mission (VIM), the United Methodist Women (UMW) and United Methodist Men (UMM), the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Imagine No Malaria, and others. Over the decades, the people of the BWC have built hospitals, universities, retirement communities, orphanages, camps and so much more. How does our mission define us? How do we honor God in our actions as a Church?
- Article: "2018 BWC Annual Report", discover some of the missional priorities and Spirit-driven work of the people of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.
- Scripture: Matthew 28:19-20
Small Group Session Agenda
Omnipotent God: Unlimited is Your power and magnificent is Your name.
In the person of Jesus, You’ve shown us how to love and respect. Grant us the humility to love one another with dignity and equity as extensions of ourselves.
Omniscient God: You know everything and have infinite awareness, knowledge, and insight into all that concerns us.
Teach how to love as You love.
Omnipresent God: You are in all places and there is no place devoid of Your healing presence.
Teach us how to show up in the world in ways that reflect Your glory and work for liberty and justice for all.
Redeemer God: You’ve defeated the power of sin and death and You’ve called us to be One.
Unite us and bless us, now and forever.
Merciful God: You are better to us than we deserve and love us deeper than the human mind can imagine.
May we forgive one another as You have forgiven us.
Enliven us to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sustainer, and teaching them to follow everything Jesus commanded.
You are with us not for a moment but for a lifetime. Therefore, we go to make and be Your disciples.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
In the gift of this moment, we affirm that we are divinely loved and lovable.
We are the children of God.
Together, we will learn from the actions and words of one another.
Christ’s lessons on love are centered in how we treat others and in how we treat ourselves.
We will exercise courage in this study as we share stories of struggle and strength.
We will stay at the table and receive those stories with grace.
We will not be afraid to launch into the deep.
We will commit to the vulnerability necessary to allow God to break us open.
We will set and respect boundaries and honor confidentiality together.
When uncertainty arises, we will remember the Spirit of “peace that passes our own understanding” and can intercede for us.
We will remember that even when we don’t feel “United,”
The uniting love of Christ can reveal a pathway to greater
wisdom and mutual respect.
No matter what, there is a place for each one of us in this study together.
Let us hold each other up in prayer, hold each other accountable in love, and
trust that our God is making all things new.
Thank you for the gift of being present to one another in this holy time.
Video with Leaders from Across the Conference
Several BWC leaders lent their voice to this video. They include: Sharon Milton* of Emory Fellowship in Washington, D.C. and Greater Washington district youth coordinator; Megan Blizzard* of Westminster UMC in Westminster and chair of the Young Adult Ministry Team; Ken Ow* of North Bethesda UMC in Bethesda and a member of the General Commission on Finance and Administration; Rev. Sung Hwan (Steven) Cho of Ward’s Chapel in Randallstown and the Grow Asian Ministries Team; Nathanial Wright of Christ Church of the Deaf in Baltimore; Lutebula “Danny” Pembamoto* of Hiss UMC in Baltimore; Nathan Jones* of Epworth UMC in Cockeysville and a Youth Member at Large; and Rev. Yolando Pupo-Ortiz, a retired Elder who serves as pastor emeritus at Epworth UMC in Gaithersburg.
Head & Heart Discussion
- At the beginning of the video, Sharon Milton states that “God reveals Godself as love, and this love is on a mission to transform the world. Missio Dei means ‘God’s mission’ or the ‘sending of ’.” Describe what Missio Dei looks like in your context.
- If your church closed tomorrow, would your community notice? If not, how can you reclaim your missional impact?
- What does it say of our witness when we withhold our time, talent or treasure? And, how does that withholding influence our lives together?
BEYOND THIS SESSION
Prayer and Pathway to Journaling
Often, when we become reflexively resistant to what we’ve experienced through study, it is pointing towards an area worthy of more reflection and prayer. In this part of study, we invite you to examine your areas of resistance or struggle. Allow God to reveal how transformation can occur in those areas.
Use these open-ended questions to facilitate your introspection:
- What surprised you or caught your attention?
- How does the discussion we had apply to your life, your church, our denomination?
- Where is the Spirit revealing to you areas for growth and transformation?
- How does what we talked about transform your relationship with God and others?
- Write a prayer to ask for God’s support and enlightenment, which applies what you learned, and then go forth and live it.
- Timeline: The people of the Baltimore-Washington Conference were, and are today, builders of the faith. View a timeline of some ways we impacted our communities and the world.
- Book: Missio Dei and the Means of Grace: A Theology of Participation by David Martin Whitworth; this text examines how, through the means of grace, disciples can love and transform the world.
- Interactive: Visit the United Methodist Building, located at 100 Maryland Ave., NE, in Washington, D.C. This building serves as home to the denomination’s General Board of Church and Society and General Commission on Religion and Race.
our missional impact family album