"Mission Saturation," a United Methodist program that will bring 61 speakers to 75 Northern Virginia churches for the next 10 days, will feature lectures by career missionaries who will discuss the church's worldwide mission work.
The lecture series has been in planning stages for a year, said Douglas True, program chairman of the 55-member Northern Virginia United Methodist Board of Missions. The series began yesterday and features 316 speaking engagements through Oct. 15.
"Our goals are to lift the consciousness of the members in local churches about the total mission program of United Methodism," True said. "We do this by bringing speakers from the missions . . . from as far away as India, and from all over the United States."
The 10-day program will be held at United Methodist churches from Dumfries to McLean. The program is sponsored by the Arlington and Alexandria districts of the church.
Church leaders say the program will cost about $20,000 to fly speakers. The cost will be paid partly by donations at each lecture.
The United Methodist Church runs about 10,000 missions in 60 countries. There are more than 29 mission outreach projects in the church's Virginia Conference.
Some of the 12 missions in the five counties that fall under the jurisdiction of the Northern Virginia Board of Missions, include the Downtown and Specialized Ministries and the Builders Club.
The local mission board spends $250,000 annually on mission work, according to True, who says that figure has doubled since 1974. Similar "mission saturation" programs were conducted separately by the Alexandria and Arlington United Methodist districts in the mid-1970s.