Hands-on School of Mission
Learning to be in mission “with” others rather than “to” others was one of insights shared at the Lakeview Cooperative School of Christian Mission, as attendees examined what it is like to be a sojourner and extend hospitality to those who are not part of a faith community.
TAC Partners in Mission Director Kathie Mann was among an impressive list of guest speakers including Rev. Ouida Lee, Rev. Patricia Wells, Dr. B.J. Lee, Rev. Sandy Burley, Rev. Winerva Hankamer, Rev. Rhenell Johnson, and Rev. Jennene Laurinec.
Several mothers and daughters from St. Luke’s UMC Gethsemane campus were excited to receive scholarships to attend for three days and hear topics ranging from grant writing tips to the power of compassion and creative hands for mission work. “Having a youth track was exciting for the children that attended with us,” says Gethsemane Local Pastor Mireya Ottaviano, “because they often volunteer with their parents and now have a better understanding about poverty and immigration and how arts and music can be used in ministry.”
She is thankful for the contributors who made this trip possible. “Our superintendent paid for our ladies to attend and the Conference Center for Missional Excellence helped with the children’s expenses. Gethsemane families paid for our English/Spanish books, uniforms, and gasoline.”
“This was Phase I of our special training,” adds Mireya. “Phase 2 will happen in November when we practice lessons we have been learning by serving in various community outreach events. We will serve lunch in three apartment complexes as a part of Bless Friday, a program designed to replace the emphasis on shopping the day after Thanksgiving, to one more centered on Advent.”
She says the Gethsemane conference students really enjoyed singing in Spanish, participating in each activity and “learning how to use our talents to serve God’s people in a better way. I am thankful for the conference investing in our lady leaders in this way, and providing tools to empower them to embrace our community here and as far away as Haiti.”