The conference secretaries for the General Board of Global Ministries (CSGMs) from the Southeastern conferences gathered in New York City as the guests of the General Board. Our group of 15 stayed in the Alma Matthew's house, the property of the Women’s Division, located in a charming neighborhood in Greenwich Village, and traveled each day by subway to Riverside Drive for breakfast, lunch and scheduled meetings with various ministry representatives.
Each day began with morning devotions and worship. The group heard reports from The Advance, Missionary Services, UMCOR, Justice and Discipleship, Mission Volunteers, the Women’s Division and In MissionTogether. We also heard from Thomas Kemper, the newly appointed General Secretary, about restructuring efforts, a focus on challenging youth and young adults to cross cultural ministry, as well as ongoing efforts to build deeper relationships and partnerships with those outside our formal structures who are doing God’s Kingdom building work around the world. Our group was encouraged by the fresh perspective Kemper is bringing to leadership at the Board, as well as the stories of the incredible generosity of United Methodists, especially as it related to natural disasters both in the U.S. and around the world. Afternoons included time for the CSGMs to meet together and share what God is doing in mission within our conferences.
All in all, the two days in the city proved helpful for networking, renewing relationships, and seeing firsthand what God is doing through the mission arm of our denomination.