By Nica Sy
Nica Sy is a young person who attended Mission u, an annual cooperative mission experience by the PNW Conference’s United Methodist Women and the Conference Board of Global Missions. This event was held at Central Washington University on July 14-17, 2017. Sy met with different attendees on campus and asked a few questions about their thoughts on this year’s Mission u experience!
What is one new thing you’ve learned at Mission u?
“I have learned a lot so far about the history of The United Methodist Church’s involvement with Native American tribes and the missionary conferences…the ways that the church has been both helpful and harmful to the Native American tribes in history gives a lot of perspective on what our future goals should be.” –Naomi Hanvey, Moses Lake UMC
“I’ve learned that depending on where you are, it’s “app-uh-lay-sha” or “app-uh-lay-chin” …there’s a lot of different sayings [to pronounce] the area of Appalachia” –Chloe C.
“At Mission u, I’ve learned that the image of God is in everyone. Therefore, we are one and creation is God’s self-realization.” –Chasity Jones, Seattle: Grace UMC
What is one fun or joyous moment you’ve had at Mission u?
“It’s been an experience of joy to get to know others that are part of the UMC in this area and learn about the ministries that they’re participating in and the justice initiatives that they care about.” – Audra Hudson, Tacoma: First UMC
“The most fun I’ve had was watching a video on Appalachia with the youth. We had a great time and a really great discussion looking at just how different and how similar the region is.” –Amanda Hutchinson, Stevenson UMC
“When I get together with these women, and I haven’t seen many of them for a year, it is joyous to see them…They’re here, we’re all happy, we’re all interested in mission and I just relish in the whole weekend.” –Stell Wallace, Ellensburg UMC
“A joyous moment was in Bishop Mary Ann’s presentation on Appalachia; to hear her story and her connections to the missionary conferences, and then to have music that came in that just brought it home. I felt that I really connected with the culture, like these were some of their roots. Music really gets to the heart of the people and who they really are and how they represent themselves, not what people say about them.” –The Rev. Neal Christie, The General Board of Church and Society
What has inspired you to take action after Mission u?
“The fact that I know so many people who are in so many of the situations that we are studying and I have the ability to help. God has called me to help, especially people from my own heritage. I know I have those skills that they need to either go in the next step to become an American citizen or to be a legal resident of this country.” –Lourdes Tifre, Palabra Viviente UMC +
“I am a study leader for Mission u, so I’ve had to go back to the Bible and see that right in front of me is a wealth of knowledge on how to engage in justice work. It’s through my faith and through something that has grounded me and shaped me into who I am. God, just out of being God, and loving us unconditionally desires a relationship with us. For that reason, we are mandated to be in relationship with all people. I think this notion of covenant, especially as a study leader, has inspired me to continue to use my faith as my main tool in the work of justice.” Janjay Innis, John Wesley UMC
“I was really into the class about covenant relations. It inspired me to do more reading and research on it and become closer to God by trying to make my own covenant.”
Penny Wharton, Vancouver Heights UMC
“I think what inspired me is trying to connect my head, my heart and my body. We tried some new things with morning ‘Praisarise’ and it made me realize how important it is that I practice my spirituality physically as well. Being able to have movements like tai chi that not only allow my body to move, but allow me to feel and experience scripture in a different way. –Lyda Barr, Valley and Mountain UMC
Nica Sy is a member of Seattle: Beacon UMC. Special thanks to Hailey Jensen.