Global Ministries’ Center for Mission Innovation Commissions First Class of EarthKeepers

By Mary Andreolli and Alysha Thompson* ATLANTA, Dec. 1, 2016--Global Ministries’ Center for Mission Innovation (CMI) held its first United Methodist EarthKeepers training, Nov. 15-19, and commissioning, Nov. 20. CMI is Global Ministries’ newest program area, now six months old. CMI is a forward-thinking, forward-leaning unit, cultivating a best-practice learning and innovation “laboratory” for reenvisioning and redefining 21st century mission practice in the church and in the wider world. “The Spirit is calling us to a place of wholeness, and the EarthKeepers are a great first step in participating in that mission movement,” said Denise Honeycutt, CMI’s executive director. CMI launched the EarthKeepers’ training as a response to the growing awareness of creation care as an essential part of our discipleship as Christians. EarthKeepers are United Methodists who discerned a call from God to a vocation of caring for God’s creation. Global Ministries’ Theology of Mission asserts: “God’s Mission reclaims ...
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‘Roving Listeners’ and the Practice of Ministry With*

More than a decade ago, Broadway United Methodist Church, an urban congregation in Indianapolis, Indiana, had a food pantry, a clothing ministry, and an after-school program. They tutored kids in the neighborhood and ran a summer program for 250 daily. Their pastor was a self-identified “Matthew 25 Christian,” interested in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and those in prison. All of this would seem like cause for celebration and self-congratulation in a church of a different prophetic caliber than Broadway UMC. But Rev. Mike Mather felt differently: “We weren’t doing much. We had a food pantry, but the food was unhealthy. We tutored children, but the neighborhood school declined.” Recognizing this reality, Mather and the church “decided to take another path.” As De’Amon Harges describes this time period, “The church decided its call was to be good neighbors. And that we should listen and see people ...
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