By Jackie Pennington, Dean
My dilemma is this. What words do I choose to describe Mission u (formerly School of Christian Mission) so that you will want to attend or if you already plan to attend, motivate you to bring a friend? As one who has attended for over 30 years, I could talk about supportive community. At least once each year I get to spend quality time with friends across Mississippi that I may see only once a year, but know they are praying for me throughout the year. I could talk about expanding concepts of mission, for that is certainly what Mission u is about. Who are the Roma of Europe and how are we as United Methodist Women connected to their lives? Every two years we examine a new geographical area of the world and learn about another segment of God's people. This study is an option for 2014-2015, but it will not be offered again at Mission u.
I could talk of spiritual growth and knowing God. This year's study, How Is It With Your Soul?, will help us examine our lives from the perspectives of praying, learning, mentoring and transforming self, community and world. Within the last five years two young women have felt the call of God and asked to be baptized at Mission u.
I could use the word advocate.The Church and People with Disabilities will enlighten us regarding the problems of persons with disabilities and challenge us to become advocates in our churches and communities. We are called to be advocates for justice.
United Methodist Women never forget children. The children's study is Making a New Picture Together: Welcoming Persons with Disabilities into our Lives. Adults will learn how to lead this study for children in their local church and/or community. God's mission includes children and we can enable a child's participation in that mission.
There are so many descriptive words, but I am running out of space. So, let me mention one more little word - fun.In the midst of all else that goes on at Mission u. There is always fun. Every local organization of United Methodist Women needs to send at least one person to Mission u.
The event takes place July 16- 19, 2014 at East Central Community College, 275 West Broad Street in Decatur, Mississippi.
Photo right: A Mission u gathering where one woman was baptized.