Event strengthens global connection for participants
3/11/2003 News media contact: Linda Green · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn
NOTE: This report may be used as a sidebar to UMNS story #132.
By Pamela Crosby*DALLAS
(UMNS) - Seventeen people from outside the United States came together
at a four-day gathering to express their commitment to forming leaders
for the United Methodist Church.
From countries such as
Mozambique and Mexico, the international participants at the Feb.
27-March 2 Convocation for Deacons and Diaconal Ministers said the
meeting connected them to the global church. They felt less isolated and
were receptive to being wherever the church needs them in ministry,
They also said their annual conferences need to be
educated about the new Order of Deacons and that training should be
offered for the varieties of service available through the ministry of
the deacon and the diaconate.
About 400 people attended the
convocation, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education
and Ministry's Section of Deacons and Diaconal Ministries, with offices
in Nashville, Tenn. The deacons and diaconal ministers affirmed the
board's commitment to forming faithful leaders for the church and the
Liv Berit Carlson, a deacon from Norway appointed to the
bishop in the Nordic and Baltic areas, said such meetings helped her
reflect on her call and her future. The workshops and plenary sessions
helped her decide how to work effectively for the diaconate and how to
inform annual conferences that they need deacons. In her work, she will
concentrate on opening "the eyes and minds of conferences and seminaries
in the Nordic and Baltic areas to welcome and receive blessings from
the deacons and diaconal candidates."
Edwin Clark, communications
director for the Liberian Annual Conference, is considering the deacon
track. For Clark, who also works with the church's "Hope for the
Children of Africa" appeal, the convocation transformed his way of
thinking about the varieties of ministries available to deacons and
diaconal ministers. In Liberia, once an individual is ordained, he or
she is expected to preach, he said. "Some people are afraid to go into
the area of ministry because they can't preach."
and church workers alike still do not realize the possibilities of
service available to them, participants said. Besides realizing the
abundant opportunities for service in professional ministry, they said
the convocation also helped them understand that in accepting servant
ministry they are transformed, authorized by God and supported by the
"For me, the transformation is: I am Edwin Clark,
missioner of hope; I have worked with the Liberian Annual Conference for
so many years," Clark said. "Now I need to transform to be a deacon.
Let other people see me now as a deacon, working in the specialized area
as a deacon, instead of the area of preaching."
international participants included Fiolmena Balingoay, Philippines;
Lucia Leiga de Oliveira, Brazil; Gunvor Englund, Sweden; Noemi Equila,
Philippines; Joseph Hatungimana, Burundi and Kenya; Vincia Celestine,
Guyana; Maie Ilumets, Estonia; Amelia Macietla, Mozambique; Jean Claude
Masuka Maleka, Congo; Gita Mednis, Latvia; Leonardo Roldan, Philippines;
Torhild Ruud, Norway; Oseias Barbosa da Silva, Brazil; Dania Soriano,
Philippines; and Violetta Talandis, Lithuania.
# # #
is a staff member in the Office of Interpretation at the United
Methodist Board of Church and Society in Nashville, Tenn.
Back : News Archives 2003 Main
“We believe in God and in each other.”The people of The United Methodist Church
Still Have Questions?
If you have any questions Ask
Purchase a $20 buzzkill t-shirt and help save a life
Buy a t-shirt