|United Methodists revive summer mission
Jan. 3, 2008 | NEW YORK (UMNS)
mission agency of The United Methodist Church is resuming a
program that places young adults in mission settings in the
United States for 10 weeks of summer service and
College student Sarah Bakersman sorts
groceries at a food pantry during the Student Forum held
at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., in
May. The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries is
resuming a summer intern program that places young
adults in mission settings in the United States. A UMNS
file photo by Vicki
A dozen people ages 18 to 25 will be selected for 2008 as
the program is reintroduced after nearly a decade of
inactivity. The sponsor is the mission personnel program area
of the denomination’s Board of Global Ministries.
The young people selected to take part will receive a
$1,000 stipend, travel to and from their place of assignment,
and room and board.
"I am so pleased that we are reviving the summer
internship," said the Rev. Edith Gleaves, who leads the
mission personnel unit. "In the past, this program served as a
strong introduction to mission service for young adults, and
some participants went on from there into the longer-term
young adult missionary programs and to other professional
roles in the church."
Gleaves noted a particular interest in internships among
ethnic and minority students in the past.
The revival of the summer program is part of a renewal of
emphasis on short-term young adult mission service at the
mission board. The Rev. Suzanne Field-Rabb is the newly named
executive secretary for youth and young adult ministries.
The 2008 summer interns will be placed with United
Methodist institutions and churches across the United States.
"Working in new, often unfamiliar environments offers young
people opportunities to experience firsthand how mission
functions in a world of diversity," Field-Rabb explained.
"Each placement involves some element of social justice, which
allows interns to become engaged with the church in action in
eradication of injustice."
Successful applicants must be able to dedicate a full 10
weeks to the program. Orientation begins in New York City on
June 1. Service gets under way June 8 and ends Aug. 2,
followed by a week of debriefing, again in New York.
Participants must have completed at least one year of higher
education. An online application form is at http://new.gbgm-umc.org/connections/youth/.
The deadline for applications is Feb. 1. Phone interviews
will be in March. Notifications of acceptance will come in
March or April, and the placements will be announced in
The summer internship was popular in the 1980s and 1990s,
with 26 placements in 1996. The program went dormant in 2000
when the mission board shifted funding to several
multiple-year mission opportunities designed to appeal to
young adults. Those programs were themselves allowed to run
their courses when a financial crisis hit the organization a
few years ago.
*Wright is the public information officer for the Board of
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759
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