(Top) Choir performs a song in-between learning sessions.
(Bottom left) A drama session on disabilities.
(Bottom right) Special music at Mission u.

Mission u:
Course studies enrich, challenge attendees
By Judy Dirks, Joan Hackett, et. al. | Photos by Linda York

John Wesley paid a surprise visit to 154 Mission u participants (including eight enthusiastic youth) from 63 churches within The Pacific Northwest Conference. He assisted the Rev. Keith Hackett as he guided us through the all-school spiritual growth study, “How Is It With Your Soul?”

Participants choosing the “Roma of Europe” study are now better able to empathize with the people sometimes called “gypsies,” not only in Europe but also the United States, as they understood the Roma history.

Class members of “The Church and People with Disabilities” study could be seen performing accessibility audits around the Central Washington University campus. Now, they are better equipped to assist in the process at their local churches.

The Resource Room and Learning Center had many opportunities to secure Reading Program books and UMW resources, along with hands-on activities with crafts and UMCOR kits. For a portion of the participants Mission u was a new experience; for others, many were attending their 32nd+ time.

Attending Mission u is one of the 5 Columns of Mission that every church is challenged to complete each year. Next year’s Mission u event has been set for July 17-20 at Central Washington University. Come learn, equip for action, resource yourself and your UMW/church, sing praises, meet and make friends.

Get ready for:

  • “Finding Joy in Christian Living” the Spiritual Growth, all-school study.
  • “The Church and People Living with Disabilities” the Issue Study, in its second year.
  • “Latin America” the Geographic Study.

Make your attendance to Mission u 2015 a priority!

Judy Dirks served as the dean for Mission u.
Joan Hackett serves as the Conference Secretary
of Global Ministries for the PNWUMC.

Here are some Mission u highlights from a few of our attendees:

“I was immediately greeted by many enthusiastic, happy, and smiling people. This was the first thing to really strike me – the exuberance and the abundance of happiness; everywhere I turned there was a warm, welcoming face. The instructor of this course was able to deliver the content, ideas, and ‘feel’ intended by the course author in a most extraordinary manner, despite the obstacles presented by a large audience. There were skits and questions from the audience. We studied everything from the history of Methodism to methods of prayer. We also learned how prayer can enrich ourselves and society surrounding us. I was thoroughly amazed by the instructors, utilizing their innovation & knowledge base to make topics enjoyable (that might normally seem uninteresting). We learned the concept of ‘person first’ language, where we place emphasis on the person. I was truly astounded at the number of just simply happy people in attendance; it was really a great experience. Most of all, Mission u 2014 opened my eyes to see how I could better myself and better my congregation so we as a team can contribute to the inclusivity of the church – for all people”

Kenneth McGavran, a first-time attendee

“’There is no them.’ That was the overarching message of Mission u 2014. All of us learned how to pray, learn, mentor, and transform the world together, in better ways. Us. We. The Body of Christ. Together. All are welcome.”

Lethe McGavran, a UMW officer

“Learning in the disabilities study, getting guidance for measuring spaces for parking, and learning about accessible restrooms were my favorite moments at Mission u.”

Richard Holmes, a lay minister

“We were invited to attend by Linda Hay and will tell about our class at a potluck after church.”

Donna Wilson, member of White Swan/Wilbur Memorial UMCs

“I liked painting with my mouth in our class.”

Courtney A., youth

“I loved hanging out with other young adults; I would consider coming again and really liked the stations in the disability class.”

Athena K., youth, first-timer

“Keith used a variety of learning modalities as a way to engage the large group of varying ages. There was a balanced amount of lecture, interviews, humor and information. We were challenged to incorporate John Wesley’s Holy Club 22 questions daily and even visited by John Wesley himself! I did have a small group with the youth from my church share their thoughts about these questions and they were quite insightful.”

Deb Avery, youth chaperone

Courtney Pazan is a young adult and a member of Bothell UMC.


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