We're partners in the healing ministry of Jesus

This Annual Conference promises to be the beginning of a partnership across continents, languages, cultures, and a great physical expanse as we welcome Bishop Paulo Lockmann of the Rio Conference of the Methodist Church of Brazil. We encourage our 912 congregations in north Georgia, east Tennessee, and southwest Virginia to collect a generous offering and bring it to Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska, N.C., on Tuesday night, June 12. On that night, we will partner with the Rio Conference to assist them in their continued growth. The Rio Conference has set a goal of making one million disciples of Jesus Christ in the next eight years.

We have committed to two ministries in Brazil. The first is Evangemed: a mobile health clinic ministry that offers medical services to areas with little or no medical care. After ministering to the physical body during the day, Evangemed provides powerful and moving worship opportunities in the evenings. Evangemed provides the combination of personal piety and social holiness that John Wesley envisioned for the people called Methodist. It is the offering of Christ's healing power to people that is holistic.

The second ministry we have targeted is the Rio Conference School of Mission. This ministry trains laity and clergy to minister to their communities through mission, worship, and prayer. The School of Missions combines the teaching of the introduction to Christ with the equally compelling call of Christ. We will choose people from Holston to go to Brazil to experience this School of Mission — with the hope of inspiring, training, and empowering them to learn how to make disciples back home.

If we are serious about becoming a conference that "reflects the saving grace and redeeming justice of our Lord Jesus Christ," we must dig deep to support this year's Annual Conference missions offering. Our goal is $100,000, but I believe we can do far more than that. I am looking for our greatest-yet outpouring of support for this ministry, which will give back to us women and men equipped to help fulfill our mission of "making disciples of Jesus Christ."

Your offering will bring healing to those who are suffering from physical sickness, while offering the love of Jesus to those suffering from broken relationships, wounded spirits, depressed minds, and a lost of hope. I'll see you and your wonder-working offering at the Lake.


Bishop James Swanson
Resident Bishop

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