Youth Leadership/Mission Trip
to Nashville, Tennessee / July 6-13, 2014
Music City here we come! Our 2014 mission trip was a unique leadership training and mission opportunity. Our youth visited the hub of United Methodist agencies and served in missions addressing social justice in Nashville, Tennessee. In a busy week they saw a lot of this dynamic city.
Among the scheduled stops were the UMC Museum, UM Communications, and the UM Publishing House, as well as the General Boards of Discipleship and of Higher Education and Ministry, and Meharry Medical College. They also visited and worshiped at the Belmont, West End, South End, and Ebenezer United Methodist churches. Plus, there was time for relaxing and sight seeing!
Travelling with Andrew Wymer and Leah Cozad was Emilee Warner, Victoria Ottaviano, Eddie Wendling, Emma Dyer, Jenna Wear, and Donny Paisley, as well as a youth group from Christ UMC in Deerfield.
Thanks to the the First UMC missions supporters whose donations and fundraising efforts have made this trip possible!
Mission trip receives a Northern Illinois Conference Creative Ministries Grant
In May 2014 our Junior and Senior High Youth Mission Trip, which has been jointly planned with Christ United Methodist Church of Deerfield, Illinois, was awarded a Creative Ministries Grant from the Northern Illinois Conference.
This is an exciting affirmation of our work to more strongly connect our youth with the United Methodist Church. Through service and education, this trip has the potential to be a challenging and perspective-expanding learning experience. In a real sense, on this mission trip the youth are the mission.
This coming fall, the leaders of the trip, Andrew Wymer, Patricia Bonilla, Uziel Hernandez, and Leah Cozad will be presenting a brief overview of the ministry at the Creative Ministries Celebration. Also, an evaluation of the trip will be presented to the Northern Illinois Conference. Hopefully this can turn into a regular event for youth throughout the Conference.
Vocation – Discerning our purpose and gifts is central to developing a life-long vision and plan for ourselves. We will partner with the GBHEM (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry) of the United Methodist Church to help youth discern their vocation, as well as exploring service opportunities and discussing our own senses of call to a specific vocation throughout the week.
Opportunity – What opportunities exist through UMC programs and in urban settings like Nashville for young people to learn and to serve faithfully? We will meet with the GBOD (General Board of Discipleship) and come alongside agencies working toward justice in the Nashville metro area, to explore the many opportunities that youth have to grow and connect.
Initiative – The UMC has started an initiative to help young people explore their call to ministry. We will meet with the Division of Scholarships and Loans of the United Methodist Church to hear how the church is helping young people pursue higher education and ministry training. We will also express and form initiative as we find practical ways to serve in Nashville.
Connection – We are a connectional church; as young people we are called to be, through the Young Clergy initiative. We will hear about the new focus of the church and we learn new ways of being a Church that can connect with the world in our current global context.
Engagement – How will you connect your faith to the wider world? We will visit the UMC Publishing House and the UMCOM (United Methodist Communications) to learn how we faithfully network and engage our new digitial/technological world, and we will find practical ways to engage social needs in an urban context.
Service – We will visit local churches and community organizations to provide youth with hands-on opportunities to serve and develop their gifts.