AC19: Mission Celebration

Celebrating mission at Annual Conference. See more photos in the gallery at right.

June 13, 2019

General Board of Global Ministries
The General Board of Global Ministries is celebrating 200 years in 2019. Rev. George Howard presented a short video celebrating this remarkable milestone. Watch it here

The Mission Celebration on Thursday, June 13, included the commissioning of the Rev. Patricia Regina Moreira
Marques, a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries. Originally from Brazil, Rev. Moreira Marques serves as a pastor of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Portugal.

Before coming to Annual Conference, Rev. Moreira Marques spent several days visiting the Brazilian congregations in New England hosted by the Revs. Juarez and Clauri Goncalves, who serve Family UMC Brazilian Ministry in Saugus, MA.

While a minority in Portugal, the Methodist community in the northern city of Porto is growing. Its three congregations are reaching out to new people in need of pastoral care.

Rev. Moreira Marques is an ordained pastor in the Methodist Church of Brazil. She holds Bachelor of Theology and Master’s in Education as well as a certificate in pastoral counseling from the Methodist University of São Paulo.  

“My awakening to pastoral service,” she says, “happened due to being with North American missionaries and local ministers. Even when I was on school vacation, I would be at church to study the Bible and take classes.”
The United Methodist Women, which started in Boston, celebrates its 150th year in 2019. NE UMW President Betty Shippee showed a video from the March 23, 2019 celebration. 

UMW 150th Birthday Celebration from New England Conference UMC on Vimeo.

Black College Fund
Black College Fund Ambassador James Cogman thanked the New England Conference for paying 100 percent of its apportionment for the fund.
“I am somebody. You are somebody. We are somebody, and we are called to love, to show grace and to continue to plant seeds and watch God do the rest,” Cogman said.

Barbara Burnside, Conference Disaster Response & Mission Coordinator, reported that in 2018, 25 churches in New England sent out 37 mission/disaster response teams. The 10 Conferences of the Northeastern Jurisdiction send out 7,000 to 10,000 volunteers each year, said guest Rev. Tom Lank, NEJ UMVIM Volunteer in Mission Coordinator. At an estimated value of $25 an hour, that represents tens of millions spent on God’s mission, he said.

Mission of Peace
The offering received during the mission celebration will go to support the three New England Conference youth who will be going on the 2020 MOP to India. One of them, Maggie Stevens Shourds, a member of the Brunswick (ME) UMC, invited members to give what they could to support her and the other two youth who will be making the journey in December 2019.

UMEM 50th anniversary
The United Methodist Economic Ministry (UMEM) in Salem, Solon, and Howland, ME, has been marking its 50th year of mission and ministry with a year-long celebration that began in November 2018. UMEM, which began in 1969, was part of the 2019 Annual Conference Mission Celebration on Thursday evening, June 13.

UMEM was presented with a check for $2,997.52 raised by local churches.

UMEM works with community partners to promote social justice and provide material, educational, and spiritual support as first steps toward self-sufficiency in rural western Maine, a region of severe economic challenge.

UMEM operates food pantries and thrift stores, as well as seasonal assistance through its back to school program, Christmas, Halloween, and Prom shop. They also provide emergency assistance including firewood, winter heating oil, medications, gas cards to travel to work and cooking propane.
Justice for Our Neighbors
At the 2018 Annual Conference Bob Parker challenged the Conference to raise $30,000 for NE JFON. Gary Richards, president, said JFON would match that. On Thursday, it was announced that local churches had raised more than $33,000 for JFON, and a grant from the national JFON for $30,000 fulfilled the match.  Read more about the grant