By Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Communications Specialist, Mississippi Conference
Photo below left: Rev. Michelle Shrader is pictured with Rev. Vickie White, director of connectional ministries and communications for the Mississippi Conference.
As an itinerate, the Rev. Michelle Shrader is back home in Mississippi visiting from Cape Town, South Africa where she has been appointed to serve for three years. Over the next week, she will be sharing stories of her witness and ministry with Mississippi United Methodists after nine months in her position. According to Shrader, roughly 7,000 people live on the streets of Cape Town. Many of them are victims of crimes such as shootings and rapes. Through her work at Central Methodist Mission and for Bishop Michelle Hansrod of the Cape Town area, Shrader desires to be a bright spot to the community and clergy.
"Those pastors have a heavy burden of ministry a lot of what they do is crisis ministry. The pastors are in poverty areas where there is heavy crime...A large part of the work I am engaged with is outreach ministry to that population and working with township to explore work for young people. I preach and teach," she explained.
Shrader is the former pastor of Wells Memorial UMC in Jackson and Gateway UMC in Gulfport--both are in the Mississippi Conference. She expressed her appreciation for efforts by the conference and local churches to reach beyond the local communities. She named the Mississippi-Africa University Partnership as an example.
"I am incredibly thankful for Mississippi. There are so many people that live on other continents that just do not have access to some of the privileges we have here," she said.
For those who would like to hear from Shrader, she will speak at three Jackson area churches. On Thursday, April 28 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m she will be at Altawoods UMC. RSVP is required for lunch, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
. On May 1, she will be at Parkway Hills UMC, 8:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. On May 8, she is scheduled to be at Galloway UMC for services at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.