Historic Sending of Missionaries to be Live Streamed from General Conference

Sonia Vargas-Maldonado is commissioned as a United Methodist church and community worker by Bishop Bruce Ough at the  April 29, 2012 commissioning  service, which took place at Palma Ceia United Methodist Church in Tampa, Fla., site of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference. UMNS photo by Paul Jeffrey

Sonia Vargas-Maldonado is commissioned as a United Methodist church and community worker by Bishop Bruce Ough at the April 29, 2012 commissioning service, which took place at Palma Ceia United Methodist Church in Tampa, Fla., site of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference.

Families, friends, and the church at large can watch via the internet on the morning of May 19 as The United Methodist Church commissions (sends) 29 new missionaries as part of the denomination’s 2016 General Conference, its legislature that meets every four years.

Connect by going online to: www.umc.org/live

The General Conference Feed is available in English, French, and American Sign Language

It will be the first time in memory that the blessing and sending of missionaries has been included in a General Conference service of worship during a plenary session. Commissioning has sometimes been an optional occasion at churches near the General Conference site.

The new missionaries, who will serve through the General Board of Global Ministries, are from 11 countries and 12 states of the United States and will serve in 17 countries, reflecting a mission practice of sending missionaries “from everywhere to everywhere.”

The service will originate from the Oregon Convention Center in Portland on Thursday, May 19, at 8:00 a.m. (Pacific Time). The theme is, “Go to the Lost Sheep.” Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of North Carolina, president of Global Ministries, will preside. Bishop John Yambasu of Sierra Leone, vice president of the mission agency, will preach. The Cherokee Choir of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference and the Choral Bethel dos Coqueiros of Bethel United Methodist Church, Luanda, Angola, will sing.

The missionaries will serve as church developers, chaplains, teachers, health practitioners or administrators, agricultural specialists, and youth workers.  Six of the 29 will work in the health field. Four will engage in ministries with migrants.

“Global Ministries is deeply grateful to the General Conference for including the commissioning of missionaries in the official schedule,” said Thomas Kemper, the mission organization’s chief executive. “The symbolism is deeply moving: It represents missionaries called by God and sent, not by a single mission agency, but by the whole church, the United Methodist people.”

The first missionary society in the United Methodist tradition was organized in 1819, and today Global Ministries has personnel, projects, and partners in more than 125 countries.

Twenty-five of the 29 are in the category of “global missionary,” in international service. The other four are Church and Community Worker missionaries, who serve in rural and urban areas of economic scarcity in the United States.

Those expected to be commissioned on May 19, their home annual conferences or churches, and their places of mission service are:

Global Missionaries
  • Patrick Abro, Côte d’Ivoire Annual Conference, assistant health board coordinator, North Katanga Episcopal Area, Democratic Republic of Congo
  •  Michael Arteen, House of Bread Church, Palestine, chaplain and director of spiritual life at Bethlehem Bible College
  • A. Broncano, Philippines East Annual Conference, coordinator for English language program for the United Methodist Mission, Southeast Asia
  • Douglas Childress, Upper New York Annual Conference (USA), pastor of international ministry and teacher at the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary, Tallinn, Estonia
  • Eden Fletcher, Methodist Church in Britain, coordinator of education, resources, and administration for the United Methodist Mission, Southeast Asia
  • Leo Garcia, Methodist Church in Cuba, professor at Quéssua School of Theology, East Angola
  • Florence Kaying, North Katanga Annual Conference, Democratic Republic of Congo, maternity and child health nurse practitioner for the Mozambique Episcopal Area, Mozambique
  • Hector N. Laporta, Methodist Church of Peru, professor at Dr. Gonzalo Baez Camargo Methodist Seminary in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • David McCormick, Louisiana Annual Conference (USA), administrator of Chicuque Rural Hospital, Mozambique
  • Elizabeth McCormick, Louisiana Annual Conference (USA), pharmacist for Chicuque Rural Hospital, Mozambique
  • Jennifer Moore, Church of the Nazarene, Maryland (USA), Christian education with the Serbia-Montenegro-Macedonia Provisional Conference, Macedonia
  • Jean Mwenze, North Katanga Annual Conference, professor at  Banyam Theological Seminary, Nigeria
  • John Nday, North Katanga Annual Conference, agricultural coordinator for Cambine Mission, Mozambique
  • Jim Perdue Iowa Annual Conference, missionary for global migration, Central America and Mexico, Central American University, El Salvador
  • Marcel Sachou, Côte d’Ivoire Annual Conference, church planter and pastoral mentor in the Central African Republic
  • Desiree Segura-April, Pacific Northwest Annual Conference, resource person for children at-risk ministries, Nicaragua
  • Külli Tõniste, Upper New York Annual Conference (USA), assistant professor at Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary, Tallinn, Estonia
  • Josh Van, California-Nevada Annual Conference, ministry with Vietnamese migrant workers for the Methodist Church in Malaysia
  • Aaron Vandersommers, East Ohio Annual Conference (USA), chief operations officer for the Church of Christ in the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Mary Vandersommers, East Ohio Annual Conference (USA), community development consultant for the Church of Christ in the Congo, DR Congo
  • Ryan Williams, Westmark Community Church, Dallas, Texas, teacher at United Methodist English-speaking School of Lubumbashi, DR Congo
  • Stacey Williams, Westmark Community Church, Dallas, Texas, teacher at United Methodist English-speaking School of Lubumbashi, DR Congo
  • D. Yang, Minnesota Annual Conference (USA), congregational development specialist, United Methodist Mission, Southeast Asia
  • Mike Zdorow, Florida Annual Conference, pastor of Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy, Moscow, Russia
  • Henri Zombil, North Katanga Annual Conference/Florida Annual Conference, health services administrator, Sierra Leone Annual Conference
Church and Community Worker Missionaries
  • Jennifer Henneman, New Mexico Annual Conference, program director, Faith Community Health Connection, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • Amy Purdom, Virginia Annual Conference, mentoring program coordinator, House of the Carpenter, Wheeling, West Virginia, USA
  • Linda Stransky, Holston Annual Conference, executive director, Jubilee Project Inc., Sneedville, Tennessee, USA
  • Anna Troy, Rio Texas Conference, outreach coordinator for Partners in Ministry, Youth Empowered to Succeed, Laurinburg, North Carolina, USA

Original post at: http://www.umcmission.org/learn-about-us/news-and-stories/2016/may/0506sendingofmissionaries

UMReporter Staff

This story was posted by a staff member of The United Methodist Reporter. For over 160 years The United Methodist Reporter has been helping the people called Methodist to tell their stories. If you have stories that you think need to be told, please let us know at editor@circuitwritermedia.com

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