On Saturday morning, Jorge Lockward led us in worship with several songs; and Sharon Cook, Coordinator of Camp, Retreat, and Age-Level Ministries, offered opening prayer. The Bible Study was led by Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, who talked about how he has enjoyed working with Bishop Jung, who is serving as President of GBGM this Quadrennium. He thanked the bishop for his leadership, and thanked the Wisconsin Conference for sharing their bishop with the General Board of Global Ministries.

Kemper discussed the history of mission work in the Methodist Church, and how it has evolved over time. Jorge Lockward and Thomas Kemper together led the singing of “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations.” The song is from the late 19th century and is representative of the views at the time, with lyrics such as, “We’ve a story to tell to the nations, That shall turn their hearts to the right.” In mission work today, we see more mission from the margins: those who had been the object of mission have now become the agents of mission. Kemper said, “We can see this here in Wisconsin with the number of migrant churches you have, but this is also happening all over the world.” Lockward and Kemper led us in singing again, but now with updated lyrics to represent mission work today, “We’ve a story to hear from the nations, That shall turn our live upside down, A story of strength and struggle, A story of hope and light.”

His Bible Study was based on Luke 10:1-11, when Jesus sends out seventy disciples in pairs. Kemper said, “The first lesson we can learn is we are sent in pairs – we are one with each other. Jesus did not send his disciples alone, but he sent them in pairs. So mission is not something we can do alone. But this whole concept of partnership in mission is key.” Kemper also saw four mission exhortations in this story. The first is, “You are like lambs in a wolf pack.” His Bible Study continues Sunday morning, when he discusses the other three exhortations. View his presentation here.