Dec 11, 2020 | John W. Coleman

The new Eastern PA Conference Global Ministries Team, which combines the work of three previous committees, has published an expanded Fall/Winter issue of Wellspring, the newsletter formerly published by the Conference’s Health & Healing Council. That council has now merged into the Global Ministries Team, along with the Conference’s former Missions Committee and Church and Society Work Team.

Charles Mulemena, missionary, and his family.

The merger means health promotion, global missions and social advocacy are all topics and ministries cared for by the new team. That includes administration of the Conference’s Peace with Justice grants, funded by the annual Peace with Justice Sunday offering, and support for missionaries assigned by UM Global Ministries.

The impressive, colorful, new issue of Wellspring explains the new arrangement in its cover story, “New Connection for Health Ministries, Missions, and Social Action.”  

“There is a natural connection between health, missions and social action,” it reads. “Health in the U.S. is connected to global health, as we have clearly seen in the COVID-19 pandemic. The right of every person to have access to affordable health care is a justice issue, as well as a goal of our mission work internationally.”

Churches and groups may apply for Peace with Justice grants to “develop ministries related to health for all people and social action on many justice issues,” according to the article.

“We invite every church to look at your ministries to see how they combine health, missions, and social action,” the team writes, “and then to work towards combining mercy and justice in all ministries of your church.”

Wellspring, published since 2015 is now “the voice of the Global Ministries Team,” which has the following goals:

  • To connect churches to the resources of the General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Church and Society.
  • To cultivate church giving through Advance Specials for mission projects, missionaries, and the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
  • To coordinate the itineration visits of missionaries and encourage churches to develop covenant relationships with missionaries.
  • To encourage church participation in ministries of mercy and justice that meet human needs in their communities.
  • To help churches develop abundant health ministries.
  • To promote attendance at Mission u and trainings on justice advocacy.
  • To administer the EPC Peace with Justice Grants.

The newsletter article further explains:

One of the initiatives of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) is Abundant Health, which grew out of the success of Imagine No Malaria. GBGM challenged churches to develop health ministries that focus on four areas of health: physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco-free and drug-free living, and mental health education and promotion. The emphasis is on holistic health, which includes health of body, mind, and spirit.

The new issue features articles on: flu vaccines; the Conference Domestic Violence Committee’s October seminar titled “When Home Hurts”; Christian mindfulness practice, healthy foods; mental health as a justice concern; UM Global Ministries’ new giving campaign to raise $1 million, and our Conference’s support for the Congo Partnership,

A two-page feature depicts the 16 Global Ministries missionaries supported by churches across our Conference. And the “Books Not to Miss” section recommends three recently published books by noted Black authors about racism and how to be anti-racist.

Brenda Binns, of Salem UMC, Orwigsburg, is the new publisher of Wellspring and one of 16 members of the Global Ministries Team, representing all four districts. Barbara Drake, a Deaconess and Conference Global Missions Secretary, chairs the team.

“This is beautiful! I especially love the book recommendations, missionary bios and healthy recipes,” said the Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm, Connectional Ministries Director. “Many thanks to this faithful team. I am deeply thankful for Brenda’s leadership and the support of each contributor.”  

Read the new issue of Wellspring. Read past issues online. 

Fall/Winter 2020 issue

  • Health and Wellness
  • Good Food, Good Health
  • Health and Justice
  • Mission & Ministry at Home & Abroad