Team Affiliation & Other Teams

Table 1 of the Local Church Report to the Annual Conference for the 2009-2012 Quadrennium includes “number of UMVIM teams” and “number of persons on UMVIM teams”. It also includes “other mission teams sent out from the local church” and “number of persons sent out on other mission teams”. The column numbers are 30a, 30b, 31a and 31b.

The term used to define UMVIM teams is “affiliated with United Methodist Volunteers in Mission”. The term used to define other mission teams is “teams sent out for mission not affiliated with UMVIM”.

The Iowa Conference Volunteers in Mission Coordinator and Standing Committee have traditionally refrained from making such distinctions. Mission volunteering is a grass roots movement and the primary purpose of the Coordinator and Committee has been to be of assistance to all mission volunteers. Since local churches have now been asked to make the distinction, however, the committee has defined an affiliated team as one that follows the Guidelines for United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Teams in the 2005 GBGM Training Manual for Mission Volunteers.

A United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team is one that serves locally, nationally, or internationally where it is invited, works in a ministry endorsed by the host Methodist church, partner church or agency, or Non-Government Organization (NGO), and serves in cooperation with the local host group. The intent of this guideline insures that the presence of the team will not interfere with the authority and integrity of the church leadership, thereby strengthening and upholding the local church. The team will have an UMVIM trained leader who provides training for the team, insures completion of proper forms and insurance coverage and is in communication with annual conference and jurisdictional UMVIM leadership. 

The teams are also reminded that for the team to use GBGM insurance the project must be listed in the Jurisdictional and Mission Volunteers websites, Advance Specials or involve working with GBGM missionaries.

The UMVIM Coordinator and Committee will still make themselves available to all teams regardless of affiliation, offering training, information and assistance.