Katherine T. Parker, a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, is slated to begin a new assignment in 2013 as part of the Health Team of the United Mission to Nepal, focusing on water, sanitation, and hygiene. She previously did similar work with the Community Health and Agricultural Development program of the Methodist Mission in Cambodia.
The United Mission to Nepal (UMN), an ecumenical ministry, has a vision of a “fullness of life for all in a transformed Nepali society.” United Methodists have been involved with UMN since it was was founded in 1954. More information on its work is available on the UMN website.
In Cambodia, Katherine has been involved in organizational development of the Social Concerns Committee of the emerging Methodist Church in Cambodia. As a national team of pastors and laity, the committee works to help local congregations articulate and practice a theology of reaching out in Christian love to neighbors to realize God’s promise of abundant life for all. Katherine helps develop food security and “livelihood” cooperative projects—cow, pig, chicken, and duck raising, rice co-ops (‘banks’), vegetable farming, and various small-business projects through savings and credit groups.The work in Cambodia also assists congregations in assuring that their communities have continued access to biologically safe drinking water.
Native to California, Katherine comes from a family with deep roots in United Methodism on the West Coast. Two grandfathers, a great-grandfather, an aunt, and several cousins have served as United Methodist clergy.
Katherine attended Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology. Her Master of Science degree, also in biology, is from California State University in Sacramento. Her thesis was on bacterial contamination of drinking water in rural Ghana.
Active in the church since childhood, from a young age Katherine wanted to be involved in mission work. In August 2000, after completing college, Katherine began service as a Mission Intern with Global Ministries’ Young Adult Program.
Her overseas assignment, as part of that program, was with the Asian Rural Institute in Nishinasuno, Japan. After 16 months Katherine returned to the United States to serve with the Practical Farmers of Iowa in Ames. She completed her Mission Intern service in May 2003.
Katherine’s home church is Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church in Mill Valley, California. She has been involved in the life of the church in many ways: serving with the California-Nevada Annual Conference’s delegation to General Conference, the conference’s Board of Church and Society, the Golden Gate District Council on Ministries, and as a local church volunteer organizing mission trips.
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