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Summertime = Reading: New Mission Studies

by Mary Beth Coudal

Summertime equals reading. This year, tens of thousands of United Methodists and friends will crack open one of several books known as mission studies, as if they are all in one big, meaningful book club.

The hot books are: God's Mission, God's Song by Joyce Sohl, Israel and Palestine by Stephen Goldstein, and Globalization by elmira Nazombe.

Under the guidance of leaders who have studied the books and their subjects at regional schools of Christian mission in June, readers will discuss the books, their meanings, and action ideas throughout weeks or weekends in July-October, in family camps or conference schools of Christian mission.

As in previous years, mission studies fall into three categories:

  • general theme - Globalization and Its Impact on People's Lives
  • spiritual growth theme - God's Mission, God's Song and
  • geographic theme - Israel and Palestine.

Israel and Palestine

Written by the Rev. Stephen Goldstein, Israel and Palestine offers a personal, historical, and reflective analysis on a region ripped from today's headlines. This book can serve as a tool to navigate the many roads and obstacles to a lasting peace. Israel and Palestine is a must-read for all who want to learn about the people and context of this important, dynamic, and tumultuous region.

With an extensive study guide written by the Rev. Sandra Olewine, groups are encouraged to engage in dialogue prayerfully and actively.


Globalization and its Impact on People's Lives focuses largely on economic justice. Written by elmira Nazombe, racial justice executive for the Women's Division, the book explores timely topics like immigration, free trade, outsourcing, and privatization of water. New supplemental resources for 2007 have been added to this study's website.

The youth study on globalization, The Big G by Tamara Walker, former executive for youth and young adults at Global Ministries, invites teens to examine and discuss the ways in which two big Gs—globalization and the gospel—speak directly to kids and their choices.

God's Mission, God's Song

Joyce Sohl, former deputy general secretary of the Women's Division, wrote this study, a substantive look at early missionary hymns, the holiness movement, missionaries' use of music, and contemporary justice music. As a member of the Global Praise working group, a group that has produced several global music hymn books and audio recordings, Ms. Sohl emphasized music's power as "imaginative, bold, faithful, and full of God's love."

Within this spiral-bound book, you can find 77 hymns, many of them popular, such as the first hymn, "I'm gonna live so God can use me." Ms. Sohl wrote a study guide that completes this unique mission study.

J. Ann Craig wrote a readable and downloadable youth study, Singing God's Mission, packed with prayers, songs, historical facts, and creative exercises. The study gets kids talking on the power and spirit found in music.

Mission Possible!

Last year, the Global Ministries mission studies team offered a curriculum for teaching six- to twelve-year-olds about mission all over the world. The study, Mission Possible! A Teacher's Guide for Children, was compiled by Martha Bettis Gee. Mexico, Interfaith Communities, Cuba, and Children of Biblical Lands are previous mission studies made new in this resource that spans 39 weeks. "They (Christian educators) have been waiting for this," said project manager for mission studies, the Rev. Toby Gould.

Mission Possible, Israel and Palestine, and Globalization were produced by the communications office. The spiritual growth study, God's Mission, God's Song, was produced in partnership with the Women's Division.

To order any of these resources, call the Mission Resource Center, 1-800-305-9857
Or order online at

Globalization #3724 $7.50
God's Mission, God's Song #M3001 $10.95
Israel and Palestine #M3006 $8.50
Mission Possible #3727 $10.00

To learn more about or to register for an annual conference school of Christian Mission near you, visit the United Methodist Women webpage at:
To learn more about the mission studies, including past years' themes, visit:
To read  the youth study, Singing God’s Mission by  J. Ann Craig visit  and click on the graphic "New Resource Available Online!" or download it right now (PDF, 26pp, 700K).

See Also...
Topic: Bible Education GBGM programs Human rights International affairs Jesus Christ John Wesley Music Prayers United Methodist Church Methodism
Geographic Region: IsraelMiddle EastPalestineWorld
Source: GBGM Mission News

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: Israel    Middle East |    Palestine |    World |   

Date posted: Jun 22, 2007