District Vision


Updated 2015


            "Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  (Philippians 2:9-11)



            "To make (new)disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."



Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Shawnee Valley District,

I am so grateful for new starts, new beginnings, new creations, new hearts, forgiveness and cleansing, reconciliation and all the other aspects of the gospel that make it welcome news in our lives. As I come to grips with the ugliness and sin in my own life, I love the hope of being able to start fresh again. Maybe I need it more than the rest of you but somehow I think we might all be in the same boat on this one. The good news of Christ is such welcomed relief when my life isn’t what it needs to be and I am at the end of my resources. No wonder we call Jesus- Redeemer, Savior, Wonderful Counselor and  Prince of Peace.

As we begin a new year together, I pray that all of us will fall more in love with God  as we contemplate all that God has done for us and the promises still on the horizon we have yet to experience. We have One who is here for us and who intercedes in prayer on our behalf. We are never alone, forgotten or forsaken!

Yet not only do I hope we fall more in love with God as God's disciples, but I yearn that we be diligent in sharing the good news with others around us. We see the heartache, pain, conflict and violence of a world living apart from God. It is in need of the good news of Christ!  So… I simply want to reiterate the goals we set for this District last year and the goals we will continue to pursue this year as well.

“to make new converts,

Goal for 2015- 120 new converts to Christ

to nurture/disciple them in their faith,

Goal for 2015- A small group, discipling experience offered in each church for new believers at least twice during the year

to develop and equip new disciple-making leaders,

Goal for 2015- 120 new spiritual leaders who are nurtured and equipped on a one-on-one basis by the pastor and other lay leaders

and to establish new small groups, new faith communities and new churches.”

Goal for 2015- 30 new alternative places for people to worship, pray and grow in faith who currently don’t attend our churches

We need to continue going back to the basics of what made the early church such a dynamic movement. Our society and culture are in need of the good news we have embraced in our own lives.  Our region is in need of the light of Jesus and he has called us to be that light! Let’s start over this year and become again the movement God yearns for us to be.



Acts 1:8 New International Version (NIV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


Locally (Jerusalem) - 9 Counties

      Mission Focus:  Prison Ministry in 5 Facilities plus County jails/Kairos (See Attached Vision)

Our Local Churches have the opportunity to be involved in transforming their community in the following categories while building relationships with people in the area:

1)   Lifelong Learning Opportunities:

      College Ministry (5 campuses)

      Local Public School Systems - Partnerships

      At-Risk Children/Youth - Live Free Schools, Freedom Schools, After School Programs

2)   Public Safety:

      Creating a Disaster Preparedness Plan for their community

3)   Economic Vitality:

      Ministries to the Poor - Food Pantries, Clothing, Emergency Funds, Jackson Area Ministries, etc.

4)   Community Connectedness:

      Partnerships with helping agencies in the community

5)   Physical Health:

      Health Fair - Nutrition Education, Emphasis on Exercise

6)   Spiritual Vitality:

      Sending people to Emmaus/chrysalis Weekends

      Sending Young People to Church Camps

      Campground Ministry in the State Parks (9) / Private Campgrounds

      New Faith Communities for New People in the Community

      Addressing Pertinent Issues from a Spiritual perspective


Regionally/Nationally (Judea & Samaria)

      Mission Focus - Disaster Response Ministry

Our District has the opportunity to be involved in:

            Early Response Training and Mission Trips

      Next Generation Mission Trips

      Being supportive of the Foothills District and/or the Kentucky Conference-District


Internationally (Ends of the Earth)

      Mission Focus:  Vietnam Ministry (See Attached Vision)

      Churches who don’t support Vietnam can give to Imagine No Malaria (West Ohio Conference)

      Local Churches monetary support of Mission around the glove

      Mission Teams





      We, in the Shawnee Valley District, along with Gary Hopkins (SHV Prison Ministry Coordinator) want to provide an atmosphere where people’s lives are transformed by Christ; especially inmates, ex-convicts and their families.  We want to build onto the foundation already established through the ministry of Kairos and engage prisoners on a more consistent basis through the Horizon Prison Dorm and ministry.  We want to encourage individual Christians as well as congregations to see the need to become part of the lives of those affected by incarceration so that all can experience the redemptive power of God to transform and heal.  We desire to see ex-convicts and their families to become part of the ministry of a local church so that they see their lives as a gift to others.


1)         To identify and train one outside brother for every inmate in the Horizon Prison Dorm who will be returning to Southern Ohio.  If we have more volunteers, then they will be assigned to others not returning to this region.

2)         To identify and train female volunteers to work with female inmates in the Reintegration process who will be returning to Southern Ohio.  .  If we have more volunteers, then they will be assigned to others not returning to this region.

3)         To raise needed funds through the Charge Conference Mission Call (Fall, 2014) and donations for Bibles, books, devotionals and transition funds to help with reentry into the community.

4)         To recruit African-American volunteers to assist with this ministry both within and outside the membership of the Shawnee Valley District.

5)         To set up various meetings with prison officials in order to keep the lines of communication open and to work closely together for the good of the Horizon Prison Ministry program and those we are striving to serve.

6)         To encourage volunteers to be actively involved in the Kairos ministry.




Looking forward into the 21st Century -  A few statistics about Vietnam:

            Current Population: 90,000,000         2020 Projected Population:  99,100,000

            Current United Methodist Churches: 270                  Current UM Pastors: 250


                        1,000 Churches and 1,000 Pastors (Number of New Pastors needed will be 730)


1)         Open 5 Theological Centers in 5 regions

2)         Each theological center will train around 50 students per year

            1,750 graduates between now and 2020


            1000 people give $25.00 or 500 give $50 each month

            Monies will be used for:

                        Full Tuition Scholarship for theology students

                        Tuition Reduction Scholarship for students

                        Salaries for teachers and staff

                        Operational expenses

4)         Offer Course of Study classes for pastors as they pursue their education.  We will be recruiting Pastors in our District/Conference to teach.

5)         Offer Practical Ministry classes - Church Administration, Preaching, Discipleship, Worship, etc.  We will be recruiting Pastors in our District/Conference to be teachers.

6)         Offer Practical Skill classes - Mechanics, Sewing, Computer Use, Small Business skills, Micro-lending, Basket Weaving, etc., in order to create economic opportunities for Vietnam pastors and Lay People alike.  We need lay people from our District/Conference to be will to go to Vietnam to teach these skills.