Western Jurisdiction UMVIM Mission Strategy

October 27, 2011

By Phil Bandy
Interim Director, CA-NV UMVIM Office

The Western Jurisdiction has developed a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) strategy. It includes:
  1. offering more local projects;
  2. urban ministry projects; and
  3. projects specifically for youth. 
In recognition of the power that risk-taking mission brings to congregations, UMVIM is creating a series of projects that offer to double the impact. Focusing the UMVIM experience on our own congregations offers the chance to rekindle hope and interest and inspiration for our own. This is not just for the church that sends a team to visit somewhere: The church that hosts the team can be revived, too.
The project includes publishing opportunities that exist already within the Western Jurisdiction, creating new projects, and adding a mix of experienced team leaders to coach churches as they explore how to work together. Bringing these projects closer to home makes them more affordable and opens opportunities for projects that are less than a week in duration. They also can develop into church partnership relationships that are ongoing.
Watch the website for new projects in nearby Conferences, and for opportunities for guests from nearby Conferences to come visiting. 
The second part of the WJ UMVIM Strategy is to focus on urban ministry. Recently we coordinators compared notes and saw a disturbing increase in numbers of homeless people served in many of our urban areas. A number of great ministries are operating within our jurisdiction; most of them are suitable destinations for teams, and they offer great places to learn about new ways to serve locally or to improve existing projects after teams return home. 
Youth UMVIM opportunities are being identified from the projects we know of, and being listed specifically to make them easier to find and to make connection with them easier. In addition, new opportunities are being developed and promoted. The list is located on the WJ UMVIM website.