By Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Communications Specialist, Mississippi Conference
Photo right: Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of Global Ministries and Bishop James Swanson Sr. of the Mississippi Conference, at the break of clergy training hosted by the conference treasurer on Aug. 15.
Mississippi Conference clergy, who were present for the recent annual 3 "L" Academy, will be familiar with at least one guest speaker for the 2017 annual conference session. During the academy they heard from Thomas Kemper, who was the keynote speaker.
The 3 "L" Academy provided an opportunity to explore clergy benefits, financial planning, stewardship education, and connectionalism.
Kemper is the General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. He is responsible for personnel, projects and mission partnerships in more than 125 countries. A native of Germany and a layperson, Kemper is the first person from outside the United States elected to lead a United Methodist agency. Prior to his position as General Secretary, he was mission leader for the German Central Conference of The United Methodist Church.
His presentation to the clergy included an overview of Global Ministries.
"I hope people will take away that they are a part of a very exciting missional global church which is growing in parts of the world. Everybody here from a local church can be a part of this larger church," Kemper explained.
He also talked about surviving the attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport on June 28. He was waiting in a lounge for a flight to Japan when the terrorist attack began. He hid in a kitchen area until it was safe to come out.
"I really felt strongly in God's hands at that moment and protected and knew I was with Him. Everybody was trying to find a place to hide...but then we started to slowly talk and make connections. That was really a moment when you felt like we are in this together."
For more information about Global Ministries, click here