From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Gathering will put spotlight on international mission

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Thu, 16 Jan 2003 11:44:30 -0600

Jan. 16, 2003  News media contact: Linda Bloom7(212) 870-38037New York

By United Methodist News Service

Church leaders from around the world will share their stories and challenges
during the United Methodist's "Global Gathering" April 10-13 in Birmingham,

Sponsored by the Board of Global Ministries, the denomination's mission
agency, the event will feature morning and evening worship services, daily
Bible study, panelists and keynote speakers discussing mission, a choice of
43 different workshops and a "global village" area with exhibits and

The opening worship at 7:30 p.m. April 10 will celebrate partnership with
churches of the South Pacific. The preacher will be the Rev. James A. Forbes
Jr., senior pastor of Riverside Church in New York. A former professor at
Union Theological Seminary, Forbes is well known for leading his church in
mission outreach both in New York and around the world.

Methodist Bishop Nelida Ritchie, Evangelical Methodist Church of Argentina,
will lead the morning Bible study sessions April 11-13. 

Morning keynote speakers for April 11 and 12 will be the Rev. Elizabeth
Tapia, a theologian and ecumenical leader from the Philippines, and Janice
Love, a United Methodist lay person and professor from South Carolina who has
been active in the World Council of Churches. "Witnesses" from various
countries, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia and Cambodia,
will talk about the need for global mission.

The April 11 evening worship will be a service of baptismal remembrance,
celebrating partnership with churches in Africa. The Rev. R. Randy Day, new
chief executive for the Board of Global Ministries, will preach.

Morning worship April 12 will focus on prayers for wholeness and mark
partnerships with churches in North America and Europe. The Montana Logging
and Ballet Company, a performing group whose satirical commentary on current
events is heard regularly on National Public Radio's "Sunday Weekend
Edition," will provide the evening's entertainment.

The four members of the group, who met as students at Rocky Mountain College
in Billings, Mont., 27 years ago, are Tim Holmes, an internationally
acclaimed sculptor; Steve Garnaas-Holmes, a United Methodist pastor and poet;
Bob Fitzgerald, a business manager; and Rusty Harper, a musician, writer and
seminar instructor.

The closing Palm Sunday worship service April 13 will celebrate partnerships
with churches in Latin America and the Caribbean. Members of two Birmingham
churches will lead a procession to the service, where the Rev. Randolph
Nugent, the board's recently retired chief executive, will preach.

Events connected to the Global Gathering include the April 9-10 "Youth Go
Global" conference, drawing young people from every continent to share their
diverse faith journeys in seminars, workshops and fellowship; three planned
tours of national mission agencies and institutions in Birmingham and North
Alabama immediately following the gathering; and projects for mission
volunteers, such as the construction of a Habitat for Humanity house.

The Global Gathering registration fee is $150 per person. Those registering
will receive information about hotel reservations, which are being
coordinated through the Birmingham Convention Bureau. More information,
including event registration forms, can be found at, the
board's Web site. 

# # #

United Methodist News Service
Photos and stories also available at:

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home