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Students Luzia Bandeira, Angel Tshindj Musaw, Rose Otshi and Betty Kayembe wait to begin graduation rehearsal at Africa University. More than 3,000 students from throughout Africa have graduated from the university, which  celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013.

COURTESY AFRICA UNIVERSITY

Students Luzia Bandeira, Angel Tshindj Musaw, Rose Otshi and Betty Kayembe wait to begin graduation rehearsal at Africa University. More than 3,000 students from throughout Africa have graduated from the university, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013.

Barratt’s Chapel, which opened in 1780 at Frederica, Del., is the oldest existing Methodist building in America. The General Commission on Archives and History maintains vigilance on heritage landmarks, such as the chapel, which is owned by the Peninsula-Delaware Commission on Archives and History.

UMNS/PHIL LAWTON

Barratt’s Chapel, which opened in 1780 at Frederica, Del., is the oldest existing Methodist building in America. The General Commission on Archives and History maintains vigilance on heritage landmarks, such as the chapel, which is owned by the Peninsula-Delaware Commission on Archives and History.

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, a United Methodist clergyman, discusses faith and public policy and other subjects with summer interns from the General Board of Church and Society and its Ethnic Minority Young Adult program.

COURTESY GBCS

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, a United Methodist clergyman, discusses faith and public policy and other subjects with summer interns from the General Board of Church and Society and its Ethnic Minority Young Adult program.

Katie Quigley serves as a site supervisor for A Future With Hope, a long-term recovery program of the Greater New Jersey Conference. It started with support from the United Methodist Committee on Relief. More than 5,000 volunteers from 37 United Methodist conferences have traveled to Greater New Jersey to help rebuild more than 107 Hurricane Sandy-damaged homes.

UMNS 2013 FILE PHOTO/MIKE DUBOSE

Katie Quigley serves as a site supervisor for A Future With Hope, a long-term recovery program of the Greater New Jersey Conference. It started with support from the United Methodist Committee on Relief. More than 5,000 volunteers from 37 United Methodist conferences have traveled to Greater New Jersey to help rebuild more than 107 Hurricane Sandy-damaged homes.

Volunteers for Impact Las Vegas 2013 help clean up the Palos Verdes neighborhood near the Las Vegas Strip. Together, more than 3,700 churches have rallied more than 103,000 volunteers to serve 4.2 million people through Impact Community events. The events are part of Rethink Church, a program of United Methodist Communications.

UMNS/JOEY BUTLER

Volunteers for Impact Las Vegas 2013 help clean up the Palos Verdes neighborhood near the Las Vegas Strip. Together, more than 3,700 churches have rallied more than 103,000 volunteers to serve 4.2 million people through Impact Community events. The events are part of Rethink Church, a program of United Methodist Communications.

Students at Gbarnga School of Theology in Liberia explore their e-readers provided through a collaborative project of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Discipleship Ministries. The United Methodist Publishing House provided at no cost many of the theological texts and reference books loaded on the devices.

COURTESY GBHEM

Students at Gbarnga School of Theology in Liberia explore their e-readers provided through a collaborative project of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Discipleship Ministries. The United Methodist Publishing House provided at no cost many of the theological texts and reference books loaded on the devices.

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Transforming the world for Christ – together

 

United Methodists are connected – and in that is one of our biggest strengths. Whether it is two churches starting a food pantry, an annual conference challenging every congregation to adopt a school or a worldwide initiative against poverty, together we serve and accomplish more than we could alone – all in the name of Jesus Christ.

Read these stories telling of United Methodists connecting for mission and ministry. Know that there are thousands more to be told.

Scholarships for all

The Stegall Seminary Scholarship Endowment Foundation allows each full-time, on-campus seminary student from the Alabama-West Florida Conference to receive a $10,000 scholarship each year. Mary Catherine Phillips

From clean up to rebuilding

After an April 2 tornado ripped through Central Arkansas, more than 950 United Methodists and their friends assisted over 200 households with clean up and debris removal, chainsaw and heavy equipment work, utilities, storage, temporary housing and rebuilding. Amy Forbus

Breakfast's ready  — every day

Manna House in Baltimore, which started 48 years ago, feeds 200 homeless people breakfast every day – 365 days a year. The Rev. Erik Alsgaard

Beginning ‘green'

A grant from the United Methodist Council of Bishops allowed Valley & Mountain United Methodist Community in Seattle to create "Green from the Start."  The  resource helps churches incorporate ecologically healthy behaviors. Valley & Mountain UM Community, Seattle

1,000 children loved

A $10,000 grant from UMCOR let volunteers from Desert Southwest churches offer love and hope to over 1,000 unaccompanied immigrant children and displaced families searching for help in the United States. Christina Dillabough

Learning and sharing

The Children's Ministries Network of Discipleship Ministries uses Facebook to provide continual learning and idea exchange among 800 annual conference and local church leaders. Webinars also provide training. Report to the Connectional Table

Bringing camp to church

In North Georgia, 34 youth volunteered more than 4,200 hours as day camp counselors for 630 children at 24 local churches. Sybil Davidson

Painless fundraising

The General Council on Finance and Administration regularly reviews UMCmarket.org, an online shopping service that allows United Methodists to have a percentage of their total purchase donated to a congregation or church-related organization. www.gcfa.org, www.umcmarket.org

Supporting displaced workers

Greater New Jersey United Methodists  formed the Atlantic City Emergency Response Team to help the thousands of workers who were laid off from the casino industry this fall. Carolyn Conover

Expanding campus ministry

Over 500 campus ministers used training offered in 2014 by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, which also  has developed new collegiate ministries in Japan, Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Report to the Connectional Table

Sharing learning

Germantown United Methodist Church in the Memphis Conference trained over 100 volunteers from several churches for Team Read. The program is now in 16 elementary schools. Church teams lead all but one. Lane Gardner Camp

‘I have a home.'

Mississippi United Methodist churches in the Jackson area, Methodist Build for Habitat for Humanity, have built or rehabbed six houses since 2009. Tamica Smith

Sharing together

United Methodists in Missouri were among volunteers assembling 9,269 health and school kits and loading 45 tons of gleaned potatoes and grain to deliver to local relief agencies during an annual Festival of Sharing. Fred Koenig

Filling tummies

More than 2,000 Action Ministries volunteers in North Georgia donated 23,000 hours in summer 2014 to serve 200,000-plus healthy lunches to 24,390 individual children. A United Methodist mission network in Western North Carolina's Northern Piedmont District collaborated with schools and local businesses to serve more than 43,000 meals in summer 2014. Sybil Davidson and the Rev. Michael Rich

New undies, socks abound

Churches in the Oregon-Idaho Conference had "Undie Sunday" to gather underwear for collection at annual conference and distribution to agencies in the Boise, Idaho, area. The Desert Southwest Conference collected 43,946 pairs of socks for 20 different agencies. Greg Nelson and Christina Dillabough

Driving change

Improvements in working conditions and treatment of tomato pickers in Florida have been partly driven by the work of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. The pension board acts on its stance that a sustainable, stable and productive global economy requires fair and equitable treatment of all workers  by having discussions with the companies in which the church is a shareholder. Sondra Long Weaver, www.gbophb.org

Having vital conversations

The General Commission on Religion and Race awarded nearly $1.3 million in grants to fund initiatives across local churches, annual conferences, jurisdictions, seminaries and central conferences to increase intercultural competency and vital conversations about race, cultural diversity and systemic equity leading to action. www.gcorr.org

Starting a ministry

In the South Georgia Conference, Speedwell and Trinity United Methodist churches in Savannah are joining in a community project to feed the homeless. Kara Witherow

Forming faith

More than 2,400 children and youth experience radical acceptance and faith formation in Christian community  during the North Georgia Conference's summer camps at Glisson. Sybil Davidson

Caring for families

The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women leads an interagency task force that convened the Clergy Family Care Summit. Participants emphasized that healthy clergy families underpin effective pastoral leadership – one of the drivers of vital congregations.www.gcsrw.org

Opening doors to serve

United Methodists from 13 churches in Western North Carolina helped turn a former prison into a homeless shelter, soup kitchen and halfway house. The Rev. Michael Rich

Giving to those who serve

Since 2002, more than 400,000 military members have received copies of the Strength for Service to God and Country devotional from the General Commission on United Methodist Men and local United Methodist congregations. United Methodist Men

Have books?

United Methodist Women of the Mid-State District of the Missouri Conference created a district library to increase access to books for the UMW Reading Program. The collection travels to district meetings where members can check out and return books. Stephanie Greiner, United Methodist Women News

Caring for homeless families

Several churches in the Desert Southwest Conference committed to Family Promise. Each feeds and houses homeless families for one week and provides services to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness. Christina Dillabough

Interpreter thanks the annual conference communicators who provided many of these vignettes of connectional mission and ministry.