Grace and peace,
In The United Methodist Church bishops are responsible for ecumenical and interreligious ministries. The Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR) was created in 2012 to assist the Council of Bishops in this calling. The vison of OCUIR is to support the bishops as they lead our denomination to live more fully into Christian unity and deepen interreligious relationships. One way we do this is to engage and train young adults.
United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT) is the venue through which OCUIR trains United Methodists in ecumenical in interreligious history, theology and ministry. In early 2016 OCUIR will kick off a new ministry called YAN (Young Adult Network). Young adults who participate will be trained in group leadership skills, the history and theology of the ecumenism, and the unique importance of Christian unity and interreligious relationships in our denomination. YAN will form young United Methodists in ecumenical and interreligious ministry and give them the skills to similarly train other young adults.
A small group of 12 adults between the ages of 21 and 31, who represent all jurisdictions and central conferences of The United Methodist Church, will be selected. They will be both lay and clergy, live around the world, and be willing to commit to this training period of up to 4 years. They also will need to be able to read and speak English, be able to travel elsewhere in the world once a year, have access to a phone and computer, and be willing to organize and lead a Young Adult Network in their home context. Beginning in early 2016 the participants will be sent books on current leadership theory and ecumenical history and theology. They will have monthly phone conference calls, as they work together to build a covenant, define their context, solidify their plans around their vision and mission, and create their own MAP (Ministry Action Plan). Once a year, they will come together around a major ecumenical event for fellowship, worship and more training.
As the training continues participants will create similar Young Adult Networks in their home contexts, and they will facilitate them. The eventual outcome will be a world-wide network of small groups being formed in and creating ministries to uphold ecumenical and interreligious actions.
To receive an application to be a part of YAN, young adults should contact Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst at OCUIR (firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications are due to her no later than November 30, 2015.
I look forward to hearing from young adults in your conference.
Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst
The Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships