Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Young Adults Ready to "Dazzle" the World

Aug 22, 2011

Event, News

New York, NY, August 18, 2011--With celebratory singing and dancing, 25 candidates processed down the aisle of the Interchurch Center chapel in New York City to be commissioned as US-2s and Mission Interns by the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church.

Incorporating humor, joy, and storytelling into her sermon, Bishop Hope Ward shared an account from her recent trip to South Africa and listed the groups of animals she saw. "A parade of elephants, a tower of giraffes, a crash of rhinoceros, a dazzle of zebras." Addressing the candidates, she said, "Entering into this chapel with you today, I see that you are like the zebras--ready to dazzle the world."

Thomas Kemper, who leads the mission agency, welcomed the young people. "Thank you for saying, 'Here I am Lord. I am ready to make a difference in the world.' Thank you for being ready to serve and giving us the opportunity to celebrate with you." Addressing those gathered in person and online (950 page views, 431 unique views, and 95 commenters) to support the missionaries, he said, "My hope is that no one will leave this celebration unchanged."

US-2 missionaries serve in ministries of justice in the US for two-year terms, and Mission Interns serve half of a three-year term outside the US and half in their home country. The missionaries, 20-30 years old, spent three weeks together in prayer, meeting with Global Ministries staff, and participating in training sessions.

Following a tree theme, the commissioning worship service included prayer, Scripture readings, artistic spoken word, and spirit-filled music. As part of the offertory, those in attendance each received a leaf with a photo and information about one of the missionaries. Kemper encouraged them to "take it and pray for this one mission partner and stay in touch. Be part of their mission in the name of Jesus."

Elizabeth Chun Hye Lee, the executive for young-adult mission service, explained that through integrated faith and justice partnerships, the missionaries are "branching out to give and to receive, to transform and be transformed. These young adults are duly trained and ready to be commissioned by The United Methodist Church."

Overjoyed. Excited. Blessed. Ecstatic.

The missionaries were full of infectious enthusiasm as they described how they felt about their assigned mission fields. They will be serving throughout the United States and in Switzerland, Nicaragua, Colombia, Germany, Palestine, Ukraine, Mongolia, Haiti, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

Each of the candidates had an opportunity to share where they come from and where they are going, as well as what they anticipate from the experience and how God might use them.

In addition to the 25 who were commissioned, Joseph Kanyike participated in the Mission Intern training via Skype and through the same technology was able to share his message from Uganda. He will be commissioned at a later date. In the online webcast, he wrote, "I bless God so much that he has given the knowledge to improve his creation....the world will become a global village [through] advanced technology. If someone down here in Africa can be part of the wonderful worship, why not bless the Lord? I am thinking about this over and over!"

Bishop Ward, who leads the Mississippi episcopal area and is the Vice President of Global Ministries, offered a sermon based on Mark 4:30-32, the parable of the mustard seed. She compared the missionaries to branches where birds find rest. She explained that the reality of Christian mission is similar to a mustard seed shrub--it may not always have beauty, stature, or grace, but God has given it a humble and meaningful destiny.

Before laying hands on each of the young adults, Bishop Ward addressed them: "Friends in Christ, we are here to raise the roof with praise. At a time when most desire quick gratification and short-term results to deep problems, you are willing to devote years of your life to Christian service.

"When most relationships are defined by how much multitasking you can do--by being LinkedIn and friended, tweeting on Twitter and hashtagging down to a one-word description of a life--you stand here ready to friend a whole community focusing on one goal: partnering with them to help transform communities in the name of Christ Jesus."

The newly commissioned missionaries responded with a covenant prayer:

God, today I join my sense of self and purpose with you and yours. Your work is my work, your deep sacrifice is my sacrifice, your full integration of Christ's path has shaped a way of life for me that now moves to the next level. I will push until I find the "tipping point" where the needs of all people are met and we can rejoice together for life abundant. Jesus, you are my Savior. God you are my covenant Friend. You are my soul mate in all things I strive to accomplish in your good name. I am your dedicated servant. Let this bond I make with you and those I partner with fill my heart and deeds forevermore. Amen.

Supporting the Missionaries and their Work

US-2s

Rachel Michelle deBos
California-Pacific Annual Conference
Assignment: South Florida Urban Ministry
Miami, Florida
Make an online donation to: Rachel Michelle deBos #3021350.

Zachary Ferguson
Virginia Annual Conference
Assignment: Workers Interfaith Network
Memphis, Tennessee
Make an online donation to: Zachary Ferguson #3021351.

Marjorie Hurder
Louisiana Annual Conference
Assignment: Crossroads Urban Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
Make an online donation to: Marjorie Hurder #3021352.

Stephanie Kimec
Virginia Annual Conference
Assignment: Immigration Task Force, California-Pacific Annual Conference and
Echo Park Shalom Ministry
Los Angeles, California
Make an online donation to: Stephanie Kimec #3021353.

Brinna Kolitz
New York Annual Conference
Assignment: Family Support Network
Billings, Montana
Make an online donation to: Brinna Kolitz #3021354.

Alexander Larson
Dakotas Annual Conference
Assignment: United Methodist General Board of Church and Society
Washington, DC
Make an online donation to: Alexander Larson #3021355.

Christopher Alan Steppe
Virginia Annual Conference
Assignment: Nome Community Center
Nome, Alaska
Make an online donation to: Christopher Alan Steppe #3021356.

William Wilson, Jr.
Greater New Jersey Annual Conference
Assignment: United Campus Ministry in Fargo-Moorhead
Fargo, North Dakota
Make an online donation to: William Wilson, Jr. #3021357.

Mission Interns

Rachel Rebecca Berry
Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference
Assignment: National Council of Churches in the Philippines
Manila, Philippines
Make an online donation to: Rachel Rebecca Berry #3021331.

Kara Johansen Crawford
Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference
Assignment: Centro Popular para America Latina de Comunicacion (CEPALC)
Bogota, Colombia
Make an online donation to: Kara Johansen Crawford #3021332.

Alexander D. Devoid
Western North Carolina Annual Conference
Assignment: Accion Medica Christiana
Managua, Nicaragua
Make an online donation to: Alexander Devoid #3021333.

Michelle S. Dromgold
Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
Assignment: Evangelisch-methodistische Salem-Gemeinde Neukolln,
Kindertreff Delbrucke (Kindertreff)
Berlin, Germany
Make an online donation to: Michelle Dromgold #3021334.

John Daniel Gore
West Michigan Annual Conference
Assignment: Wi'am Palestinian Conflict Center
Bethlehem, Israel/Palestine
Make an online donation to: John Daniel Gore #3021335.

Nicholas L. Haigler
Western North Carolina Annual Conference
Assignment: United Methodist Church
L'viv, Ukraine
Make an online donation to: Nicholas Haigler #3021336.

Joseph Kanyike (to be commissioned separately at a later date)
East Africa Annual Conference
Assignment: World Student Christian Federation
Geneva, Switzerland
Make an online donation to: Joseph Kanyike #3021337.

James Kjorlaug
Arkansas Annual Conference
Assignment: United Methodist Mongolia Mission Initiative
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Make an online donation to: James Kjorlaug #3021338

Su Hyun Lim
Korean Methodist Church
Assignment: World Council of Churches
Geneva, Switzerland
Make an online donation to: Su Hyun Lim #3021339.

Ashley Norton
West Michigan Annual Conference
Assignment: Haitian Artisans for Peace International
Mizak, Haiti
Make an online donation to: Ashley Norton #3021340.

Stephanie Norton
West Michigan Annual Conference
Assignment: Haitian Artisans for Peace International
Mizak, Haiti
Make an online donation to: Stephanie Norton #3021341.

Michelle J. Ozier
North Alabama Annual Conference
Assignment: Haitian Artisans for Peace International
Mizak, Haiti
Make an online donation to: Michelle Ozier #3021342.

Clifford K. Pauley
South Georgia Annual Conference
Assignment: Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute
Davao City, Philippines
Make an online donation to: Clifford Pauley #3021343.

Joy N. Prim
Western North Carolina Annual Conference
Assignment: Mission for Migrant Workers
Hong Kong, China
Make an online donation to: Joy Prim #3021344.

Matthew Roudebush
West Ohio Annual Conference
Assignment: United Methodist Mongolia Mission Initiative
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Make an online donation to: Matthew Roudebush #3021345.

Adam T. Shaw
East Ohio Annual Conference
Assignment: Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao
Davao City, Philippines
Make an online donation to: Adam Shaw #3021347.

Katharine Steele
West Ohio Annual Conference
Assignment: Youth to Jesus
L'viv, Ukraine
Make an online donation to: Katharine Steele #3021348.