By Rev. Bruce Case, Mississippi Conference Peace with Justice Coordinator
The Mississippi Annual Conference will be sending 10 young people to South Korea on June 30-July 11, 2015. The conference will be partnering with an equal number of young people from the South Carolina Annual Conference. The goal of this delegation is to provide young people who have a vibrant faith and strong leadership potential with a life-changing experience, to connect with United Methodists and others in South Korea, and to learn from the history, faith and stories of another part of the world so that we can take these lessons learned back to our own conferences. "This is a golden opportunity for our young people," said Bishop James Swanson Sr.
It all started with a conversation at the recent Peace with Justice coordinators gathering between Rev. Bruce Case, Rev. Jeri Katherine Sipes of Columbia, South Carolina and Levi Bautista, assistant secretary of General Board of Church and Society.
"We began to ask how we might provide our young people a chance to lead the way. We know firsthand that Mississippi and South Carolina have exceptionally gifted young disciples - and it is time to let them shine," said Swanson.
Applications for young men and women will be available at this year's Mississippi Annual Conference. Those who will be graduating high school in 2016 and all college students are eligible to apply.
"We will lean heavily on our local churches to help us with three crucial things: to pray for us in this endeavor, to identify young people in our churches who exhibit a deep faith and strong leadership skills and to encourage them to apply, and to give generously on Peace with Justice Sunday in June," Swanson added.
Since half of the money collected from the Peace with Justice offering stays in our home conference, this is our best opportunity to raise the funds needed to make this happen. "The Gospels tell us that God can use a small group of young people to change the world," said Case. "We believe we can find them in places like Mississippi and South Carolina. Didn't Jesus say, 'go?' We know God will provide the people and the means - right here in our local churches - to make this happen."
For more information on this project, please contact Rev. Bruce Case at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on Peace with Justice Sunday - June 15, 2014
How does The United Methodist Church help the underserved and witness to God's call for a faithful, just, disarmed and secure world?
One way is through the church's annual conference, national and global advocacy program. This work advocates for services such as adequate jobs, housing, education, food, health care, income support, clean water and much more. The United Methodist Church cannot do this work without the support of local congregations. Support from pastors is vital to the success of this ministry.
Peace with Justice Sunday is only weeks away. Now is the time to order free offering resources to share with your congregation. Order bulletin offering inserts and posters. Download videos, children's sermons, pictures, sermon starters and a worship litany.
Annual conferences keep 50 percent of the offering to support local peace with justice projects in your communities.
In 2013, the General Board of Church and Society awarded grants totaling $48,000 to 14 Peace with Justice Ministries in the Central Conferences and in the United States.
If you cannot celebrate this special Sunday with an offering on June 15, 2014, observe Peace with Justice Sunday on any other day of the year.