|United Methodists enlist community workers, others|
Members of the 2007 class of
missionaries respond during their commissioning service by the United
Methodist Board of Global Ministries April 24 in Stamford, Conn. UMNS
photos by Cassandra Heller.
April 30, 2007 | STAMFORD, Conn. (UMNS)
Nine new missionaries have been commissioned by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
All nine are church and community workers, a mission category devoted
to uplifting the poor and disenfranchised in rural and urban areas of
the United States. The April 24 service also included the commissioning
of 10 deaconesses and a home missioner.
Three of the new missionaries are assigned to Justice for Our
Neighbors, church-based legal clinics for immigrants related to the
United Methodist Committee on Relief. The others will serve ministries
with women and children, housing and economic development, community
services and Native Americans.
Commissioned as church and community workers were Andrew Booth, assigned
to the Justice for Our Neighbors offices in Orlando and Tampa, Fla.;
the Rev. Stephen Copley, who will serve as an immigration attorney for
Justice for Our Neighbors in Monticello and Little Rock, Ark.; and
Debbie Keeney, outreach coordinator of the Justice for Our Neighbors
office in Omaha, Neb.
Mary Ward, assigned as a community worker in Virginia, receives the anchor cross at
Others missionaries commissioned were the Rev. Kathleen Masters,
assigned to Mary's Cradle, a center for mothers and children in
Bluefield, W.Va.; the Rev. Linda and Mark Stransky, Project Crossroads
in Marion, Va.; Gail Strickler and Mary Ward, both assigned to the
Community Outreach Program within the Virginia Annual Conference; and
Diane Wood, a deaconess assigned to the Choctaw Mission, Philadelphia,
Deaconesses are women and home missioners are men who engage in
ministries of justice and service across the United States, often in
Commissioned as deaconesses were Darlene DiDomineck, assigned to the
board's headquarters in New York; Doris Frazer, missions outreach
coordinator at First United Methodist Church in Murray, Ky.; Olma
Garibay, a teacher and multi-ministry director of Resurrection United
Methodist Church in Chesapeake, Va.; and Leslie Hobson, a youth and
family ministries director at Park United Methodist Church in Brainerd,
Minn., and integration specialist coordinator with the Minnesota Annual
Other deaconesses commissioned were Sandra Hortman, director of
resource development, Open Door Community House, Columbus, Ga.;
Sherlette Lee, literacy specialist, New York Public Library, Bronx,
N.Y.; Maria Maine, psychiatric social worker, Bronx Lebanon Hospital,
New York; Melba McCallum, director of the Rockingham (N.C.) District
Cooperative Ministry; Carol Clay Mann, a teacher and crisis intervention
worker in Missouri and Illinois; and Angel Ray, a food service director
and director of volunteer ministries at Centralia (Wash.) United
Gary Locklear of Pembroke, N.C., who already serves as a church and
community worker at the Native American Cooperative Ministry, was
commissioned as a home missioner.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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