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What’s in our Name Change?

United World Mission and Overseas Council announce a new name!
Written by John Bernard, President of Mesa Global

“What’s in a name?”

William Shakespeare posed this famous question. His answer was, “not much.” After all, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And it’s true that when it comes to an organization’s name — what they do, how they do it, and the impact that results is more important than the name itself.

Yet names matter. God said, “You are Abraham, and you will be the father of many nations.” Jesus said, “You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church.” A name has something important to say about the character of a thing. Its purpose. Its posture.

We are excited to announce that United World Mission has a new name!

United World Mission (UWM) was born in 1946. In 2014, the Latin America Mission joined us through merger. Then in 2018, Overseas Council did the same. As we’ve reflected upon the strengths of our combined organization as well as the needs and opportunities in global mission today, we have refreshed our vision and mission.

To see a flourishing church in every place, embodying Jesus’ love for every person.

We equip servant leaders with the church for God’s mission.

The three little words in the middle of the mission statement — "with the church” — are significant to us. We have a long history of partnering with churches and Christian ministries globally in order to build their capacity for God’s mission, especially through equipping leaders. In our day of a globalized church, partnering is more important than ever. Because vestiges of colonialism persist, a posture of servanthood, mutuality, and listening is critical for anyone engaged in missions from the West. We’ve wanted our name to reflect our commitment to this posture.

We’ve changed our name to Mesa Global.

Mesa is the simple Spanish word for table. Consider everything that happens around the table. It is the place where families come together for sharing life and laughter, as well as hard times and tears. The table is also a place for mentoring and studying, planning and prayer. Mesa is a symbol of how important relationships are in our ministry.

The name Mesa Global also reminds us of our place around the table of the global church – where every member of the body of Christ is welcomed and every voice is heard. As equippers, we are servants at that table, forming and uplifting leaders as we humbly offer our gifts alongside those of others. In everything we do, this posture of servanthood, and this eagerness to learn from and support our global partners is central to our work.

The story of Mesa Global is rooted in Jesus’ way of table fellowship. At the table Jesus welcomed sinners, washed feet, and formed disciples. At the table he broke bread, opened the Scriptures, and revealed himself to those who walked with him along the Emmaus Road. Mesa Global also points forward to the end of history when Jesus promised a great banquet for all nations. That will be a truly global table! A Mesa Global.

What’s in a name?

For us, Mesa Global reminds us to follow Jesus’ way of relational ministry in everything we do. The name Mesa Global rings out our commitment to a learning, listening, and serving posture as we seek to do ministry with the global church. For the glory of God!

Partnering with Mesa Global:

As we turn the page for a new chapter of our ministry, we invite you to partner with us. Your support, prayers, and involvement are crucial as we equip leaders and churches to reach, serve, and love all people. Together, at the table, we can uplift the church and its leaders around the world. And we will find ourselves uplifted and challenged, too, by the witness of our brothers and sisters around God’s world!

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