Spirit Alive: Gone Volunteer in Missioning
Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog that looks at different aspects of mission and ministry throughout the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and beyond.
July 10, 2018
With Heart, Soul, and Mind:
When Our Encounters Change Everything...and Everyone
"'And Jesus said to them, 'Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.'"
Mark 1: 17
"Jesus did not tell us to 'go to all the nations,' or care for the poor, or visit the sick, primarily to help them, to save our souls, or to be his version of the Red Cross. He sent us to 'otherness' to get us out of our own unquestioned assumptions, our own tribalism, and our self-referential worldviews that have only kept us xenophobic, ethnocentric, nationalistic, and even competitive with the other world religions. The practice of 'voluntary displacement' is a way of giving up control."
As you read this issue of Spirit Alive, Susan and I, along with twelve others, are currently in Kenya as a part of an United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) work team.
same when they left the experience.
This UMVIM trip is my seventh one. Over the years, these journeys have taken me to a Habitat Project in Central Oregon, the UMCOR West Depot in Salt Lake City, UMCOR Sager Brown in Louisiana, and to different locations in Brazil. But as a result of each experience, I have grown as a human being and as a Christian. I have gained new understanding, seen life from new perspectives, gained a deeper sense of empathy, and become more committed to advocating for justice. Simply put, participating in UMVIM experiences deepens one's faith.
This is why I'd encourage everyone to take part in an UMVIM experience at some point in life...but if not UMVIM, then follow Richard Rohr's helpful wisdom and practice "voluntary displacement" in some way closer to home. It will make a difference to others...but it will also change your life forever!
Let us walk in the light of God's love,
Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog and email by Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference. It seeks to identify where the spirit is alive in our congregations and communities. Check out past editions, or subscribe to the email list.