Missionary Itineration Returns to the U.S.

January 11, 2023
Photo: www.umcmission.org
submitted by the Rev. Courtney Randall, Mission Advocate for the Western Jursdiction 
Global Ministries, United Methodist Church

In-person itineration of missionaries serving with Global Ministries will begin in 2023. This is an opportunity for local churches in the Mountain Sky Conference to hear from missionaries IN PERSON. There are over 40 missionaries that are coming to the US from all over the world this spring and summer. The missionaries serve in roles as health care providers, agriculturalists, church developers, church planters, justice workers, educators, pilots, and environmentalists.
If your church or a group in your church is interested in connecting with a missionary, please reach out to the CSGM (Conference Secretary for Global Ministry) Kathryn Witte, or the Mission Advocate for the Western Jurisdiction, Courtney Randall, to help arrange the visit. During the visit, the missionary will have the opportunity to share about their ministry and to ask for support. Churches support missionaries through prayer, connections, visits, covenant relationships, and many ways. Missionaries also provide a concrete way for churches to see and hear how apportionments are used in the connectional system to support the work of missionaries.
            Kathryn Witte (kathrynwitte75@yahoo.com)
            Rev. Courtney Randall (crandall@umcmission.org)
Visits with missionaries can happen on Sundays during worship gatherings but they can also happen with groups on other days and times in the week. Here are some possible ways to connect with a missionary during itineration:
  • Missionary can meet with the church’s UWF for a time of fellowship with a presentation
  • Invite a missionary to join a session of the church VBS or VBC to share about their ministry and place of assignment
  • If the church is drawn to a particular area of the world – invite a missionary to share about the church in that area and the work, they are currently doing in that area
  • Let a confirmation class raise awareness for the work of a missionary and host a missionary gathering with a shared meal
  • Ask the missionary to share a recipe from their place of assignment that the hospitality team can prepare for the church. While people are eating together the missionary can share about their placement.
  • Host an UMCOR Kit building session and invite the missionary to serve and share
  • If the church is having a missions project ask the missionary to lead a devotion, serve alongside the church, and then share about their work.
  • Ask the missionary to help lead the Bible Study or Sunday School Class
  • If you have a strong or a building AV team- invite a missionary to get training on AV equipment and talk through possible video connections after itineration
  • Post pictures of the missionary site prior to the visit and allow for a visual time of sharing with a group in the congregation
  • If the church is connected to a camping ministry include a missionary in that space to share in a church setting beyond the physical walls of the church
  • Invite the itinerating missionary to send a video of them reading a lectionary scripture before their visit
  • If there is a Green Team in the church have them connect the work of a missionary with their focus on creation justice
  • Find a missionary that is doing similar work in missions that the church is currently embracing and hold a local/global conversation in an evening time
  • In Mountain Sky there are beautiful trails – invite a missionary to take a hike with members in the congregation with a shared meal and time of sharing