New Name, New Mood, New Emphases
In 1973 Methodist connexional structures were rationalized by merging numerous departments into six Divisions, while the Missionary Society formed a seventh and became known as the Methodist Church Overseas Division. Many felt more comfortable with the label ‘MCOD’ than with ‘MMS’, as the new name reflected the reality that the organization was no longer primarily in the business of sending missionaries, or mission partners as they came to be called. Books with titles such as The End of the Missionary1 and The End of an Era2 signalled that the missionary enterprise had taken on a new shape. Overseas Mission Sundays in local churches tended to be rebranded as World Church3 Sundays, or even completely discontinued; while the last General Secretary before further restructuring suggested that MCOD could stand for Multi-Cultural Omni-Directional, the new nature of mission.