Scenes from Mission u.  If you are interested in attending, contact

By Joan Hackett

Mission u, an annual mission event at Central Washington University, welcomed many in the Conference to provide education on relevant events through a missional perspective for attendees and the local church. This event was held July 15-18, 2016. Here are some gleanings from this year’s event.

Human sexuality, climate justice and the Bible…what are their connections? Over 160 participants from 66 churches examined these connections in Ellensburg last July at Mission u.

The Revs. Jen Stuart and Keith Hackett led an all-school study “The Bible and Human Sexuality,” with people potentially bringing this class back to their churches. Many appreciated that this topic was tackled – as too often the church avoids it because of the difficulty. “Honesty was mixed with humor” in the joint leadership.

Alternate electives included classes on Latin America in Spanish by missionaries Miguel Mairena and in English by Nan McCurdy.


Conversations on climate justice brought awareness through both workshops, worship and in practice. Toni Stewart, Katherine Parker and the Rev. Pat Watkins led climate justice classes. About 57 people stated they plan to report back, lead studies, and raise awareness of climate justice issues at their local church, United Methodist Women, and youth fellowship. (Note: The youth study on climate justice was led by Amanda Hutchinson who also will return in 2017 with the Rev. Christopher Gudger-Raines as co-leader.)

Lanterns and liturgy from the General Conference Climate Vigil were used at Vespers. Church-pool vans from three corners of PNW carried full loads of passengers to Ellensburg, and then shuttled between dorms, dining areas and classes for anyone with mobility issues.

Worship at Mission u was phenomenal with the support of our young adults. For the first time, we had a liturgical dancer. Naomi Hanvey of Moses Lake UMC served as part of the worship team while Lyda Barr Nisbet provided music with pianist, Clare Kennedy.

Here are more responses from this year’s Mission u from participants:

“I was glad to get another perspective on Bible.”

“I now look at creation story in a different way.”

“Leaders did excellent job of creating a safe and welcoming place for discussing a difficult subject.”

“I especially liked the shuttle service and wonderful drivers. I wouldn’t be able to attend without it; the shuttle is excellent and absolutely necessary.”

“Katherine’s love for Nepal and climate affected persons in the world and flowed through her messages.”

Plan now to attend Mission u 2017: July 14-17, 2017 at Central Washington University, Ellensburg. For more information on Mission u, bookmark

Joan Hackett will serve as the dean of Mission u 2017. Study guides, speaker info, program resources (lesson plans and plenaries) are available to help you bring Mission u to your church, e-mail


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