Emily Kvalheim is a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service in the United States. She was commissioned in July 2015.
The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experiences and service. The program grew out of the faith and justice emphases of the historic United Methodist US-2 and Mission Intern programs. Global Mission Fellows become parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.
Global Mission Fellows in the US work through geographic affiliates, such as United Methodist annual conferences, districts, local ministry networks, and educational institutions. Emily’s affiliate is the Florida Annual Conference. US-based fellows engage in advocacy for justice; social services, notably for youth and the elderly; and leadership development for church and community
Emily’s work site is the South Florida Justice for Our Neighbors (SFJFON), operated by the South East District of the conference and related to South Florida Urban Ministries. National JFON is a network of ministries that provide support, advocacy, and immigration legal services through church-based clinics staffed by attorney and volunteers. Emily concentrates primarily in community relations, recruiting and coordinating volunteers, promoting JFON among churches and community groups, and taking part in advocacy efforts. Global Mission Fellows in the US may move through a spectrum of ministries in the course of their two years.
Emily is from Westerville, Ohio, where she is a member of the Church of the Messiah, United Methodist in the West Ohio Annual Conference. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and international studies from American University in Washington, DC. She also studied in Santiago, Chile. In Washington, she served as an economic justice intern at the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, and as an organizing intern at Trabajadores Unidos, an organization composed of day laborers who want to create positive change and better working conditions for immigrants.
Emily grew up in The United Methodist Church, taking part in all aspects of the local church, youth retreats, and mission trips. In the summer of 2013, she took part in the West Ohio Conferences’ Next Generations Leadership Ministry Internship Program, working through Belmont United Methodist Church with a program in English as a second language
She says she feels “called to do social justice work with people disadvantaged in some way, praying or talking with them about Jesus as I feel led, but mostly by demonstrating Christ’s love through my actions…I feel called to bridge the gap between the world and the church, to help privileged United Methodists to understand social justice, to ensure that disadvantaged people have their needs met, both immediately through charity and, ultimately, through social justice.”
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