Bishop Khegay: Connecting through Missions, Gifts and Suffering
By Amy Pazan
Amy Pazan recently visited the Philippines for the Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly serving as a communicator for The Pacific Northwest Conference. Pazan shares a summary inspired by the message of Bishop Khegay of the Eurasia Episcopal Area.
During the GYPC-LA, we had the opportunity to listen to Bishop Eduard Khegay during an evening worship service.
Khegay reminded us that our generation of young people has the power to impact the future of the church. Young people are the most connected group of people in the church. We have been raised in a world where technology is always at our fingertips.
Bishop Khegay made three points during his sermon: Connecting to missions, connection to gifts, and connection to suffering.
Connecting to Missions
The UMC has the ability to help people through missions and disaster relief around the world. With the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) we are able to prepare ourselves when a disaster strikes and provide relief with partner agencies long after the disaster happens.
The Imagine No Malaria campaign is a great example of how we are connecting with missions around the world. About six years ago, a person would die from Malaria every 30 seconds. Today, through the partnership with The United Methodist Church and other denominations and humanitarian organizations, the fatalities from malaria is now every 60 seconds. INM shows us what we can do together to make a tangible difference in our mission field.
Connection to Gifts
What are your gifts? What gifts can you bring to the well or offer to others? As Christians (and especially as young people) we offer unique gifts that are only available through us. When we are able to recognize our own personal gifts, we can begin to connect with other people who share the same gifts as us. Once we understand our own gifts we can begin to figure out what personal gifts you can bring to the common well of the church.
We have this deep common well in the church that often goes unused. Collectively, we have a diverse offering of gifts that can be used to help the Church both locally and globally. One example of this is the Global Mission Fellows program with (GEN)eration Transformation. Young people have the ability to use their gifts to provide help for the common good in other areas of the world by going to places where our direct impact is needed.
Connection to Suffering
We are all connected through suffering. When one person or a group of people suffers, we all end up suffering. When our brothers and sisters are dealing with a crisis in their area, whether it is dealing with malaria in Africa or famine in Europe, we all suffer.
By sympathizing with our brothers and sisters, we understand that what they are going through is real. People need prayers and tactile support.
As young people in The United Methodist Church, we have the power to create change, now. From our connections through missions, gifts, and suffering we have the ability to connect with other people around the world through our local churches, annual conferences, jurisdictions and central conferences.
I pray that young people are able to use the connection from missions, personal gifts, and common suffering to create a deeper well of connecting with others and create a common good of reaching out to people in need.
the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church during the GYPC-LA.