By Rev. Ever Burt, Meridian District, Dekalb Parish
Exploration is a three-day event for young adults ages 18-26 to hear, discern and respond to God's call to ordained ministry and to explore their gifts for service as deacons or elders in The United Methodist Church. The event washeld in Denver, Colorado on November 15-17 at the Marriott Denver Tech Center.
Representing the Mississippi Conference were Kelsey Hall, Jenna Johnson and Abigail Herrington from Millsaps College, and Sarita Hayden from Jackson State University.These students were given a $300 scholarship by the Mississippi Annual Conference.
The Rev.Ever J. Burt accompanied the students on the trip. Burt is an elder and member of the extended Board of Ordained Ministry and chairperson of the Vocational Call and Nurture (VCAN) committee. In addition to serving on committees, Burt is the pastor of the Dekalb Parish United Methodist churches in the Meridian District. Erin Beasley, a Mississippi student at Candler Theological Seminary also attended the event and she is with the Mississippi Conference.
Exploration's mission creates sacred space for young adults to be in meaningful fellowship,passionate worship, theological reflection and practical workshops as they discern whether or not God's call on their life is to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church and what faithful steps they can take in response.
Burt further stated that the vision of Exploration seeks to respond faithfully and effectively to the United Methodist Church's focus on increasing the number of young adult clergy in the denomination by creating sacred space to challenge the most gifted and promising young people of our denomination to hear God's call to ordained ministry.
The students representing the Mississippi Conference have much intellectual curiosity with many unique insights. Exploration definitely gave them a confirmation of God's call.