Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly in the Philippines, July 2014.
Missionaries “engage, connect, grow” in the PNW!
By Joan Hackett | Photos by Jesse N. Love, Amy Pazan. et. al.
One of the 5 Columns of Mission is to establish a Covenant Relationship with a Missionary.
Relating to missionaries by contributing to their support through Global Ministries is one of the best ways to get close to the work of Global Ministries.
“How do we do this?”
The first thing to do: choose which missionary to support. If you choose one related to PNW then she/he will itinerate and visit your church every three years. These missionaries are listed in the PNW’s Funding Ministry and Mission Outreach 2014 booklet sent every year to every church. The map, on the back cover, shows where they serve – from Nepal to Africa to Washington State.
the Commissioning of Global Mission Fellows in the Philippines, July 2014.
Last August, four new Global Mission Fellows arrived after being commissioned in the Philippines by Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, Chair of Global Ministries. “Engage, Connect, Grow” is the motto on the t-shirts they were given symbolizing UMC missionaries from everywhere to everywhere. Seattle District is an affiliate office of GMFs for Global Ministries (one of only 6 nationwide) pioneering this new structure under the leadership of the Rev. Pat Simpson.
Sarah Mudge and Sarah Roemer will serve at Tacoma Community House (a National Mission Institution of the United Methodist Women). Gretchen Brown will serve at Seattle’s Faith Action Network and Alan Allis will be serving at Wesley Club, also in Seattle.
Here are ways you can support these missionaries in your local church:
–Establish a Covenant Relationship.
It is $5 per member/per year or by a youth group or Sunday School class. They also can visit your church to talk about the GMFs program and the site where they work in PNW. Please contact me to arrange a visit to your area.
-Publicize the good work they do in the community.
In your local church bulletins, newsletters, and websites – you are invited to list your missionary whether a young adult serving in PNW or a couple or individual serving in Africa or Nepal, as part of the staff of your church. Send e-mails to them, read and publish their blogs or e-mails. Have photographs on bulletin boards showing where in the world your church is in mission through your Covenant Relationship.
-Download the Covenant Relationship Form
Complete the form on page 21 of the PNW’s Funding Ministry & Mission Outreach 2014 booklet or download one from umcmission.org where you can browse through a listing of all UMC missionaries and their bios. Urge your mission committee and church to choose one today.
-Send a check to the Conference office with the missionary name and code.
Provide a copy of the Covenant Relationship form to Global Ministries and to Joan Hackett. This will fulfill one column of Mission for your church as well as help connect, engage, and grow your church in mission.
Global Mission Fellows in the PNW Conference!
Sarah Roemer is assigned to Tacoma Community House and will be working with Janjay Innis, another GMF on community and church outreach. Sarah is from Emporia, Kan., where she is a member of the First United Methodist Church in The Great Plains Annual Conference. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in rehabilitation from Emporia State University in Emporia. Roemer worked in the university United Methodist campus ministry and for the Mental Health Center of East Central Kansas, a regional mental health agency that provides holistic interventions for individuals with mental illness. She was part of the United Methodist Global Justice Volunteer program in Japan in 2012.
“I’m a fourth-generation United Methodist,” she says, “so finding Christ was something I was born into. I came to accept Christ through my mission experiences with my high school youth group. The annual work camp trip taught me so much about what it means to step outside of your comfort zone to be in community with others. It helped me accept Christ as I came to understand the ways in which he loves God’s children.
“My call to mission has been a series of stepping-stones to where I am today. First, with community service projects as a child, then mission trips, college study tours, my summer with Global Justice Volunteers in Japan, and independent backpacking overseas. Each experience has taught me more about selfless work and learning to live with others in a productive way. These opportunities have also taught me what it means to be fearless with only the grace of God to guide me.”
Sarah will be working in the Read2Me tutoring program at Tacoma Community House.
Sarah is from Boonville, N.Y. where she is a member of the Boonville United Methodist Church in the Upper New York Annual Conference. “Faith has been a huge part of my life,” Mudge says. “I was raised by two wonderful parents who truly love the Lord. My father is a United Methodist pastor and district superintendent, and my mother has been involved in volunteer ministry for as long as I can remember Leaving home and going out on my own pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a place where I have really had to rely on God for help and for strength.”
Mudge has always felt called to ministry in some capacity. “I remember missionaries coming to our church to talk and just being star-struck by these amazing people…I am so amazed and so blessed that I now have the opportunity to go into mission myself!”
Alan is from Mocksville, N.C., in The Western N.C. Annual Conference. He holds a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry from Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, N.C., and is a member of the Village Church in that city. He worked for almost three years with the Francis Center for Servant Leadership, which helps to equip students for lifelong learning and service. He also worked at Camp Tekoa, a facility of the Western N.C. Conference near Hendersonville.
Surviving surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy for a malignant chest tumor at age 15, Alan gained a healthy outlook on life and responded to God’s call to ministry. He believes that God guided him to Pfeiffer, a United Methodist-related school with a strong mission consciousness.
“I believe I have always been called to mission,” he says. “I remember sitting at my parents’ dining room table telling my mother I was going to be a missionary. I was 14 at that time.” As he related to cancer patients whose treatment was less promising than his, he became aware that he needed to appreciate and use his life for ministry. “I spent many long nights praying. During those hours, I would have the same small voice, the same burst of energy—like pure joy, flow through my body. This voice, this energy told me to follow it no matter how far I would need to go.”
Alan is working at the Wesley Club, University of Washington in Seattle.
Gretchen is serving as a GMF at Faith Action Network in Seattle.
Gretchen is from Concord, N.C., where she is a member of the Crossroads United Methodist Church in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in history from Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C. During her campus years, she worked for the university housing office. Her father is a local pastor in the WNCAC.
Raised in the church, Gretchen says that her faith journey gained momentum in college, where she was involved with the Wesley Foundation. “I began to search for the best way to live out the beliefs and morals that had been laid out for me. I struggle with doubt at times, but it has been through this doubt that I have been able to find core pieces of my faith to hold onto. These piece are: 1) the love of God that knows no bounds, 2) the grace of God that I have been shown by those around me, and 3) the example that Christ set to seek justice for those who may be unable to do so.
“My faith has led me to want to live simply and to work alongside others to make the world better for all people.”