Global Missions


 

"I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."    --Matthew 25:35-36, NRSV 

Methodism’s founder John Wesley said, "I look upon all the world as my parish." Wesley reminded us that we are called to step out of our corner of the world to spread the good news, transform hopelessness into hope, and help God’s children wherever they may be.

At WUMC, part of our worship and service to God is put money into the offering plate on a regular basis. Then, through connectional giving, our offerings are joined with thousands of other UMC congregations to support United Methodist mission and ministries around the world.

On this page you will find information about the global ministries that our local church helps to finance through the United Methodist connectional giving system.


New Head Nominated for Relief Agency

 

In June 2013, The Rev. Dr. Denise Honeycutt, a pastor from Virginia and former Global Ministries missionary who has a background in the local church, global mission, and theological education, has been nominated to serve as the new deputy general secretary of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

 

In the meantime, Honeycutt has been appointed by Thomas Kemper, the general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries to head up the agency’s relief and development unit on an interim basis, effective September 16.

 

Noting her eight years as a director of Global Ministries, including serving on the UMCOR board, Kemper said, “I have known Denise for many years, since the time she served as a missionary in Nigeria, sharing the simple life of the community in Bambur. I am excited to have her on our leadership team at Global Ministries as we work to be an expression of the worldwide mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church.”

 

UMCOR is a major Protestant disaster relief and development organization and is part of the General Board of Global Ministries. It is well known for staying on the scene of disasters to help with long-term restoration of lives and communities. UMCOR, which operates internationally, often remains in a disaster area after most other humanitarian organizations have gone. In the United States, much of its efforts are coordinated through United Methodist annual conference disaster networks.

 

Heifer Ark Project


WUMC is helping to change the world two by two! 
With the overwhelming generosity of members and friends of WUMC, in June 2010, we reached our goal of gifting an Animal Ark to the world through Heifer International. This generous $5,000 gift represents 15 pair of oxen, donkeys, water buffalo, cows, sheep, goats, and a variety of other animals that will change the lives of many families for years to come. A gift of a pair of animals not only provides families with a way to secure food, but also a source of dependable income.


We are thankful for this opportunity to pass on our spirit of faith and charity to places in the world where generosity, kindness, and vision are needed the most.

 

United Methodist Shared Ministries

 United Methodist Shared Ministries were formerly known as "Apportionments." Shared Ministries represent the minimum needs for the mission and ministry of the United Methodist denomination. Shared Ministries are the first benevolent responsibility of the local church and provide a way to extend the ministry of our local church and spread God's love in the following ways:

 

  • Undergirds a network of United Methodist missionaries and others who serve around the world
  • Strengthens evangelism efforts, outreach, and service in the name of Jesus Christ
  • Supports specific local church work with children, youth, singles, students, persons who are mentally and physically challenged, adults and older persons
  • Provides leadership and coordination for denominational ministry with youth
  • Continues nearly 200 years of commitment to quality college and graduate education
  • Certifies United Methodist professional Christian educators, communicators and musicians
  • Continues a proud tradition of cooperation and dialogue with other faith traditions through interdenominational and ecumenical work
  • Gives our denomination a presence in the mass media and makes new communication technologies accessible to the local church
  • Expresses our commitment to God's reign through ministries of peace and justice, and efforts to build a church and society that are inclusive of all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or handicapping condition

Click the icon at the beginning of this section to learn more about United Methodist Shared Ministries.

Church World Service - Tools of Hope and Blankets Program

During the Christmas and Easter holiday seasons each year, the WUMC community has the opportunity to make donation toward the purchase of blankets for the Church World Service's Tools of Hope and Blankets Program. This program supplies blankets, tents, bedding, and other emergency supplies to people in the wake of natural disasters. The blankets we donate are always needed, and every contribution helps someone in need of care. You can donate blankets during these holiday seasons by completing the appropriate section that is included on the Poinsettia and Easter Lily order forms.

 

United Methodist Committee on Relief

China EarthquakeThe United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the humanitarian relief and development agency of the United Methodist Church, which is a worldwide denomination. Compelled by Christ, UMCOR responds to natural or human made disasters—those interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community's ability to recover on its own.

  • UMCOR's mission is to alleviate human suffering. We provide practical, proactive support to the most vulnerable survivors of chronic or temporary emergencies due to natural or civil causes.
  • UMCOR honors cultural differences. We deliver aid to people without regard to race, religion, politics, or gender. We seek input from local communities in identifying needs. 
  • All people have God-given dignity and worth. The most essential partner in UMCOR's work is the beneficiary, the ultimate end-user of our service. There are no "victims" in our vocabulary - only survivors whose courage can change their community. 
  • UMCOR always works with partners—usually in local settings. Civic organizations, faith communities, school leaders, and other local resources are great assets to sustainable recovery and development, particularly after massive traumatic events.
  • UMCOR is a good steward of our gifts and grants. Private donors can designate their gifts to our programs with the assurance that 100 percent is spent on the programs.
  • UMCOR avoids tying the promise of its relief and development activity to any religious or political viewpoint. 
  • UMCOR welcomes the good efforts of countless individuals and churches who support us through gifts and prayers and service. We incorporate volunteer action everywhere we can and ask our supporters to accept that sometimes it is not appropriate.


United Methodist Special Sunday Collections

When we give from the heart, we receive unexpected blessings—especially the joy of making a difference in someone’s life. The United Methodist Church has six annual opportunities to share offerings beyond our regular gifts through churchwide Special Sundays.

The General Conference created the six unique Special Sundays listed below to help congregations work with communities, rebuild shattered lives, strengthen self-sufficiency, encourage partnerships, nurture Native American ministries, model peace and justice, provide scholarships and loans for United Methodist students, and much more. 

Human Relations Day 

The Human Relations Day offering is used to strengthen United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico that encourage social justice and work with at-risk youth. Priortiy areas for funding include:

  • Community developers that work in racial- and ethnic-minority communities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico
  • Multiracial grassroots social-justice organizations related to United Methodist Voluntary Services that provide vital outreach
  • Christ-centered youth offender rehabilitation projects that give teenagers a chance to succeed

One Great Hour of Sharing

Necessities of life include food, shelter and clothing. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering makes those necessities a reality by sharing the goodness of life with those who hurt. When a catastrophe occurs, UMCOR uses One Great of Sharing offerings to reach out and ease the pain and suffering by providing humanitarian aid of food, shelter, health and peace. You can continue to share God’s love with those in need by giving online to One Great Hour of Sharing. God calls us to be the hands, heart and hope of the church for people who are suffering. Through the One Great Hour of Sharing, we enable the church to answer that call.

Native American Ministries Sunday

On Native American Ministries Sunday, United Methodist’s support urban missions with Native Americans and fund scholarships for Native American seminarians. The annual conference retains 50 percent of this offering to develop Native American ministries. However, if no Native American ministries exist in the conference, the entire offering is remitted to the General Council on Finance and Administration for Native American ministries in other areas. The remaining 50 percent of the offering expands mission work with the Native American Urban Initiative and provides scholarships for Native Americans attending United Methodist and other approved schools of theology.  

World Communion Sunday

Through the World Communion Sunday offering, we can make a difference for the future by funding scholarships for U.S. (racial- and ethnic-minority) and international students. These scholarships enable people from around the world to serve and lead in their home churches and communities by making higher education a reality. Ethnic scholarship recipients use the scholarships to study in a wide variety of fields including family pastoral care, Christian-Muslim relations, clinical psychology, peace and governance, crop production, and law. Fifty percent of the offering goes to World Communion Scholarships of the General Board of Global Ministries. This program provides scholarships for students of mission partner institutions in advanced studies (master’s or doctoral) preparing them for leadership in church and society. Priority areas of mission include elimination of poverty, expansion of global health, leadership, and congregational development. 

United Methodist Student Day

For many United Methodist students, the continuous increase in college tuition places an enormous financial burden that many cannot assume. However, through the United Methodist Student Day offering, we can prepare students to unite faith with knowledge. Each year, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry uses this offering to award scholarships and loans to students attending United Methodist and other accredited colleges and universities. In addition, a portion of the United Methodist Student Day offering is returned to annual conferences for merit scholarship awards to students of their choosing.

Peace with Justice Sunday

Poverty and violence need not be a reality in the world today. Peace with Justice Sunday aims to witness to God’s hope for a faithful, loving world. Peace with Justice Sunday supports programs that advocate peace and justice at home and around the world. For example, in 2007 Peace with Justice grants were given to a shelter that provide a safe place for single women and families, and then helps them to obtain housing. Another grant benefited the Peaceful Resolution of Conflict in the West Congo Annual Conference to help participants understand the judicial system and train church leaders in conflict management. Half of the offering is remitted to the General Board of Church and Society to help fund U.S. and global work in social action, public-policy education and advocacy.

Golden Cross Sunday

Over the years United Methodist Churches have been in the forefront of community leadership in caring for the elderly, young, ill, and needy. Our local United Methodist churches express a compassionate ministry for the elderly through the Golden Cross offering.

The Golden Cross Offering provides needed funds for our full time chaplain who serves our residents daily at the Beechwood & Blocher Homes. Under the direction of Reverend James Weisz, chaplaincy programs and services provide comfort and guidance to hundreds of men and women in their twilight years.

Because of our commitment to providing a full-time chaplain, our residents have the opportunity to participate in weekly worship services and Bible study groups. Services and programs include hymn sings, counseling, hospital visitations, devotions, and memorial services. Over forty spiritual volunteers are trained and supervised by Reverend Weisz to provide assistance in any number of the above-mentioned services.

Residents are urged to continue membership in their local church, with special arrangements made to accommodate their individual religious needs. In addition, local congregations and the community at large is encouraged to share their ministry with residents.

As an active member of the health care team, Reverend Weisz is informed of the changing physical and emotional needs of each resident so he may effectively continue to assist in their spiritual care. Families that experience feelings of guilt, anxiety, and grief find great comfort and healing through the support of Reverent Weisz.

All Golden Cross gifts are used within our Western New York Conference to ensure that our elderly residents receive the compassionate spiritual support they need.