Bishop Ward celebrates the mission of The United Methodist Church around the world.
Learn more and give to the Vietnam Mission Initiative at umcmission.org.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Today I celebrate with you the mission of The United Methodist Church around the world. John Wesley famously said, “The world is my parish.” Many of you have used that phrase on your church bulletin or in a sermon recently. Indeed the world is our parish and John Wesley, our forebearer, urged us to be actively in mission wherever we find ourselves in that world. Just as you create mission initiatives in your neighborhood, so the global United Methodist Church identifies ways and places to be involved in the ever-expanding work of evangelism, witness, and discipleship.
It’s been my great honor and joy to be the presiding Bishop of the Vietnam Mission Initiative. I travel at least once a year to Vietnam to be with our Church there and I always travel for the annual meeting until this year of pandemic. While the people of Vietnam are not nearly as impacted as we here in the United States, it was unsafe for Steve Taylor, Jaye White, and for me to travel there and so we attended the annual meeting virtually by giving leadership in some places, and in more places being greatly inspired by the leadership in Vietnam.
Vietnam is a nation of over seventy million people stretching along the coast. Take out a map and look and you’ll be amazed to see the geography of this place, beautiful ocean fronts, amazing mountains, teeming cities. The church now, composed of about fifty local churches in the Mekong Delta, in Ho Chi Minh City, in the Highlands, and all the way up to Hanoi, is making a difference in the lives of people. They’re engaging with children in their communities. The ministry of the women in Vietnam is wonderful and inspiring, and the church in Vietnam continues to seek God’s guidance and to be energized for mission. President Tuy is a wonderful leader of the church in Vietnam, and with him, the Leadership Team is doing excellent visioning work. Training is offered, and a seminary has been established.
I invite you to offer your generosity along with my own to the Vietnam Mission Initiative. Your gifts will be well used. We celebrate this example of the ever-expanding ministry of the connection of the United Methodist people.
Thank you for your partnership in every good work.