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United Methodists commission 16 young adults for missions

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A UMNS photo by Mary Beth Coudal

Amy Spaur is commissioned as a mission intern and missionary of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

July 6, 2005

By Mary Beth Coudal*

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Sixteen young people have been commissioned to missionary service with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

The late June commissioning of mission interns was the first since 2000, according to the Rev. Edith Gleaves, who heads the board’s mission personnel unit. “This shows our ongoing and firm commitment to the mission intern program as well as the US-2 program,” she said.

The mission interns and US-2s, between the ages of 20 and 30, are college graduates or have equivalent life experience. All are connected to the United Methodist Church through their local church or campus ministries.

US-2s serve for two years and work in United Methodist-related centers around the United States. This class of eight is the 53rd class of US-2 missionaries commissioned.

Members of the 2005 class are Elizabeth Clark, East Ohio Annual Conference, serving at Bethlehem Center Inc., Jackson, Miss.; Mary Gladstone, Detroit Annual Conference, serving at the Deaf Shalom Zone of Christ United Methodist Church of the Deaf in Baltimore; Joshua Gray, West Ohio Annual Conference, serving at Samaritan House in Atlanta; and Breanne MacFarland, Virginia Annual Conference, serving at Nome Community Center in Alaska

Also, Laura McDowell, West Ohio, serving at the denomination’s Board of Church and Society in Washington; Laura Ralston, Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference, serving at Saranam: Central United Methodist Church’s Family Transition Assistance, Albuquerque, N.M.; Sarah Reynolds, Virginia, serving at A Healing Cooperative, a ministry of Ukiah United Methodist Church, Ukiah, Calif.; and Tiffany Stanley, South Carolina Annual Conference, serving at Warren Village, Denver, Rocky Mountain Annual Conference

Mission interns serve for three years, with half of that time spent overseas and the other half spent in a U.S. church-related community center.

Members of the 2005 class are Jill Conway, West Ohio, serving with GROOTS, a grassroots network of women in Kenya; T. Ryan Clayburn, Oklahoma Annual Conference, serving with the World Student Christian Federation Middle East in Lebanon; Alexandria Jones, New York Annual Conference, serving with the National Council of Churches in the Philippines; and Stephanie Kellner, Virginia, serving at IXCAVAA (meaning ‘this good earth’) Development and Indigenous Information Association in Costa Rica.

Also, Angela Miller, Iowa Annual Conference, serving at Forthspring Inter Community Group in Northern Ireland; Crickett Nicovich, Mississippi Annual Conference, serving at SHADE, a faith-based nonprofit organization for displaced people in South Africa; Amy Spaur, Iowa, serving at CEPALC, or Centro Popular Para America Latina de Comunicacion, Colombia; and Ashley Wilkinson, Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference, serving at Wi’am Palestinian Resolution Center in Palestine.

*Coudal is a staff writer for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or

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