Promoting Missions

Woman working basket on head Ron Hansen

Dec. 3 Global Migration Sunday

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 28, 2017

This Sunday, December 3, will be a special Global Migration Sunday, to raise awareness, give support, and pray for refugees and migrants around the world. Whether due to human conflict, persecution, or natural disasters, more than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. The United Nations Refugee Agency says that over 21…

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Impact Investing

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 23, 2016

“Impact investing” was a new phrase to me until I saw a piece on YouTube. The term refers to microfinancing: loaning very small amounts of money to individuals to help solve economic and social problems. Microfinancing is a market of about 100 billion dollars today, serving roughly 100 million people by giving loans of 50…

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“Star Child”

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 27, 2014

I was stunned by Carlton Young and Shirley Murray’s song, “Star Child,” in an Advent worship service this month. Hope Publishing Company brought it out in 1994, but this was the first time I’d heard it, from the songbook The Faith We Sing. It calls Jesus “Star-Child, earth-Child, go-between of God.” Then it identifies many…

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Giving Tuesday

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 12, 2014

What a beautiful gift some anonymous donor has made for the United Methodist “#GivingTuesday”! For the one day of December 2, every gift made online to The Advance at will be matched, up to $1 million. “The Advance” is a collective term for hundreds of grassroots United Methodist mission projects in the U.S. and…

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Talking Mission

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 6, 2014

Remember all those church mission statements your congregation has painstakingly writtenover thepast years? Where are they now? I used to have a file drawer full of them, carefully formed in planning retreats, tried for a time and then filed away. But the only really great mission statement is the kind that sets our hearts on…

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One-Liners for Shared Mission

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 8, 2014

One-Liners About Your Shared Mission for Your Church Bulletin, Website, or Newsletter 1 Shared Mission is our coordinated connectional ministries a way to reach out to transform lives beyond the reach of any single congregation. 2 Not a tax but real, live ministry! Through our shared mission, we sustain vital work through hundreds of channels…

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Mission Shares: Long Arms and Jesus’ Feet

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 1, 2013

God doesn’t work just with United Methodists. We can glimpse God’s activity all around us! So why participate in God’s work through our Apportionments, or “Mission Shares”? For starters, it has to do with long arms and Jesus’ feet. First of all, our Mission Shares really do support mission.  “It’s an amazing thing when people…

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Mission Shares: A Local-Global Balance

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 1, 2013

Okay, so it’s an art keeping local and global ministries in a healthy balance. But paying our Conference Mission Shares helps us hugely on both fronts. To begin with, Mission Shares help us fight consumerism. Yes, our whole society swims in those waters. But the consumer attitude can seep into our churches – like the…

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Community Connectivity

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 8, 2011

A new publication launching this month called Brain Connectivity is a peer-reviewed journal by neuroscientists to help people understand how the human brain makes connections. The connections include when the brain is healthy, but also when it is dealing with disorders such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, stroke, and depression. The start of this new journal coincides…

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Personal Connection to Mission

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 31, 2011

His white-whiskered face lit up. “I’ve been a Volunteer-in-Mission for years,” he said, citing how many times he had gone to Louisiana to help after the hurricanes. Hands-on ministry isn’t just for folks in their twenties. People of all ages engage with both head and heart when they get their own two hands involved. Personal…

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