The Mozambique Initiative


By Fred Koenig

In an effort to resource and support local churches, the Mozambique Initiative (MI) is excited to announce that it will be rolling out a brand new, four week discipleship curriculum in June 2015. The material is designed to engage churches in new ways, specifically around mission, service, and justice. The curriculum package centers on the holistic work of the MI, a dynamic partnership in mission between the Missouri United Methodist Conference and the United Methodist Conferences of Mozambique. The hope is that this resource will help you and your congregations learn more about mission and tell the story of the Missouri Conference’s work in Mozambique in a compelling and transformative way.
An exciting element of this new curriculum is the collaborative nature of the work that highlights talent throughout the Missouri Conference. Last year, a team of artists from La Croix UMC, led by Pastor Jim Beise, traveled to Mozambique with the goal of capturing high quality video material to be developed into resources for local churches in Missouri. After a long process of filming, creating, and editing, these videos are nearly complete and will be included in the curriculum package. 
In collaboration, photographer Dustin Bryson of Morning Star UMC is contributing photos from his recent mission experience in Mozambique for the curriculum guide, and a few of these photos are sampled here in this article. 
Rev. Angie Olson, who works at the Office of Creative Ministries, is assisting with writing the theological content, formulating the questions, and formatting the guide. All of these gifted individuals have given their time and talents to make the project come to life.
This four week curriculum package will include a DVD with six high quality videos that share the story of the MI’s work in Mozambique, a CD of original Mozambican worship music, and a guide for small group discussion and/or sermon series material. The first week is introductory and provides a general overview of the ministry. Subsequent weeks will focus on the MI’s three central ministry areas: 
  • Health & Wellness
  • Education & Leadership Development
  • Community Development
Each of these weeks incorporates footage collected on the ground in Mozambique and authentic stories from our brothers and sisters in Mozambique related to each topic. These stories are contextualized with scripture and thought provoking discussion questions within the guide. We encourage churches to use this material freely with Sunday school classes, small groups, or as a sermon series.
The MI will be releasing this material beginning in June 2015 at Annual Conference. All registrants will receive the DVD, CD, and curriculum guide at no cost, as part of their registration.       
In addition, Sarah Bollinger, the Associate Director of the MI, will be giving a workshop at Annual Conference about how to use these materials and will be unveiling the videos. The workshop is open to all attendees. Please plan to attend the workshop if you are interested in learning more.
The MI is excited to reveal this material and hopes that it will be an asset to your congregation as we journey together in mission and service to our world. Join us in telling the story!