|Staff Welcomes and is Presented to New Global Ministries Leader|
New York, NY, Sept. 16, 2008--The staff of the General Board of Global Ministries on September 15 warmly received the Rev. Edward W. Paup as the executive leader of the mission agency. Staff members were in turn introduced by units and work groups to Rev. Paup in a service of worship and welcoming.
Dr. Maggie Jackson, a professor at Cleveland State University, presented Paup on behalf of the directors of Global Ministries. She also led a litany in which the staff pledged to work with the general secretary and one another to accomplish the purposes of the board, and in which the new general secretary said, "I covenant with you to strive to be faithful to the work entrusted to us."
Paup spoke briefly about his vision for Global Ministries, building on the strong legacy of the agency and its "foundation in Jesus Christ, who is the source of all life." For the "sake of the realm of God," he said, mission today and tomorrow must be concerned with the physical welfare of the planet, peace on earth, and the alleviation of poverty.
He projected a mission board of "grace, grit, and gumption," using the description of a hard-working Christian woman he heard while serving as bishop of the Alaska Missionary Conference. He also stressed the important role that each staff member has in being a "face of mission."
The General Board of Global Ministries is the official mission agency of The United Methodist Church, with roots back to the early 1800s. It has personnel, projects, and mission partners in 136 countries, and includes the Women's Division, the corporate expression of United Methodist Women, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Paup's election by the board of directors took place last March. Before assuming the new post on September 1, he completed a four-year term as resident bishop of the Seattle Area of the denomination. His resignation from the episcopacy was effective at the end of August. Bishop Felton E. May (retired) served as interim general secretary and is continuing at Global Ministries as a special consultant on Africa for six months.
Edward W. Paup grew up in Oil City, Pennsylvania, and in his youth harbored thoughts of being a missionary, inspired by stories he heard from visiting missionaries and members of the Women's Society of Christian Service, now United Methodist Women.
He graduated from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania and Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado, and became an elder in the Rocky Mountain Conference. Elected to the episcopacy in 1996, he served two four-year terms as resident bishop of the Portland Area and one in Seattle. In both assignments, he was also bishop of the Alaska Conference. He was president of UMCOR from 2005 through 2008.
Dr. Jackson, chair of the department of social work at Cleveland State University, was vice chair of the committee that nominated Paup as general secretary. She is returning for a second four-year term as a director and is the nominee to head the personnel committee.
Global Ministries has some 300 employees in its New York City headquarters and deployed across the United States. Most of them took part in the September 15 welcoming, as did guests from several other religious and humanitarian organizations housed in The Interchurch Center at 475 Riverside Drive.
Enthusiastic singing, accompanied by a five-member musical ensemble, filled the new renovated Interchurch Center Chapel: "There's a sweet, sweet spirit in this place.... Without a doubt we'll know that we have been revived, when we shall leave this place."
One theme of the welcoming event was the mission "journey," introduced by Dr. Jackson in expressing the appreciation of the directors for the work of the staff. "Thank you for being part of this journey," she said. It was picked up in "Let's Walk Together," a song about peace and healing, and emphasized in the closing hymn, "In the Midst of New Dimensions," the refrain of which Paup repeated in the sending forth:
God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar, we your people, ours the journey now and ever, now and ever, now and evermore.*
*Words and music by Julian B. Rush, from The Faith We Sing © 2002 General Board of Discipleship.
Audio Interview with the Rev. Edward W. Paup:
Mary Beth Coudal, Global Ministries staff writer, interviewed Rev. Edward Paup. The new General Secretary discusses peace, poverty, the planet, and his personal vision for Global Ministries in part 1 of this 2-part podcast.
For Fast Online Connections:
Date posted: Sep 16, 2008