By Julia Kayser*
Update: The priority due date is past. However, applications are still being accepted as program space permits.
Jan. 11, 2013 | New York: Young adults may now apply for the 2013 class of Mission Interns and US-2s. Feb. 15 is the deadline to submit the application for these long-term mission assignments through the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries...
Young adults are encouraged prayerfully to consider applying for these programs if they:
- are between the ages of 20 and 30,
- have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent life experience,
- feel called to address the root causes of injustice,
- are open to new settings and new perspectives,
- want hands-on experience living in Christian community, and
- feel called to serve with, not to or for others.
Working as a US-2 in Fargo, N.D., helped Ashley Rosser to clarify her call. She now studies theology at Emory University in Atlanta with the prestigious Volunteers Exploring Vocation Fellowship from the Fund for Theological Education. Alex Devoid, who just finished his international service as a Mission Intern in Nicaragua, calls the experience transformative. “To truly live in Latin America, you have to throw out the value of independence that we hold so dearly,” he says. “You depend on each other.” With increased interdependence comes a heightened sense of responsibility to make a positive impact on the world.
“We’re looking to commission up to 50 young adults this year,” says Elizabeth Lee, executive secretary of young adult mission service. Each young adult will be assigned to a nonprofit placement site. Organizations interested in being a placement site are encouraged to apply before March 24. For more information and an application, please email the young adult mission service office.
Program structure clarified
Young adults selected for both programs receive lodging, transportation, health insurance, training and a stipend.
Mission Interns will now commit to 25 months of service that include 20 months of international service, followed by two and a half months of integration and interpretation in their home country. The integration phase may include itineration at churches to raise awareness about mission, projects and training for subsequent classes of Mission Interns.
US-2s will continue to commit to two years of service in the United States.
For both programs, young adults will be in regular communication with their churches and annual conferences, sharing their experiences and learning with the wider church. Lee says that this new format will “bring the global and U.S. together from the beginning of the experience” and “encourage more dialogue.”
The United Methodist Church has commissioned young adults for long-term mission projects for more than 60 years. The program’s rich history is one of its greatest assets. The 2013 class of US-2s and Mission Interns will join a group of celebrated program alumni. For example, Jim Winkler, currently the general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, served as a Mission Intern in the 1980s and considers it a “leadership development program.”
Young adults who apply for the US-2 program will be invited for Interview and Discernment Days March 6-9 in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Annual Conference will co-host the event. Mission Intern Interview and Discernment Days will take place March 20-23 in New York City. Applicants accepted to the program will be notified in April or May.
Placement site assignments are made in May or June. Both programs will start on July 23.
Please share this information with any young people whom you think might be interested. Here is more information about preparing to apply.
*Julia Kayser is a writer and a regular contributor to www.umcmission.org.
Media contact: Melissa Hinnen, New York, NY (212) 870-3833