Young Adults Offered the Opportunity to 'Become Grace'


“I commission you to take the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ into all the world,” Bishop John Schol said as he laid hands on 29 young adult missionaries who were being sent into service by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. The commissioning service was at the Interchurch Center Chapel in New York City on Aug. 12.


The commissioning followed three weeks of training, living in community and exploring the challenges and opportunities the young adults may face in the mission field. The missionaries come from around the world and will serve in 10 countries, including in the United States. Three of the Mission Interns graduated from Africa University. Two of the placements are through a new partnership with Restoration Generation, and three are serving in partnership with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s collegiate ministry program.


As he greeted the candidates and welcomed those witnessing the commissioning, Thomas Kemper, chief mission executive of Global Ministries, prayed, “Mighty and tender God . . . We are grateful for your call, the call to deepen and strengthen our connections both within your church and with the community at large.”


Bishop Schol, who leads the Greater New Jersey Episcopal Area, offered a message based on Ephesians 4: 11-12. Talking about God’s gifts, Bishop Schol noted that the United Methodist connection has been a gift as most of the young adults were raised in United Methodist congregations, some attended Methodist-affiliated seminaries and many have been influenced by mission experiences. “And now,” he said, “you are all stepping forward in ministry, being sent by the General Board of Global Ministries as missionaries.”  


He encouraged them to be authentic in their ministry saying, “We live out the gifts God has given us. Some are called to be a pointer of the way, a prophet making God’s way clear.”


“Use the gifts that God has given you,” Bishop Schol continued, “and you will be offered the opportunity to sacrifice grace so that you can become grace.”


The celebration was webcast live. More than 1,000 individuals and groups logged on to encourage and pray for the new US-2 and Mission Intern Fellows.


Using #yams13, viewers tweeted messages of support. Former US-2 Devin Hanson (@dev_m_hanso) tweeted, Taking a quick break from Monday work, to follow livefeed of @umcmission commissioning.  Congrats #yams13!”


In a video, mission interns and US-2s from previous classes welcomed the young adult missionaries of 2013. Former US-2 Beth Bostrom said, “As you dive into this . . .  social justice that we are called to — this way that we follow in Christ’s footsteps — I hope you know you are part of a larger community of people who believe that God’s love extends and calls us to be in all of the broken and beautiful places.”


About Generation Transformation

As part of the closing litany, new missionary Jesse Rusicka declared, “We are agents of change, open to God’s transforming power. We are Generation Transformation.”


The 2013 class represents a transition for the young adult missionary program. In 2014, Global Ministries will launch a Generation Transformation Fellows program that will build on aspects of the historic mission intern and US-2 United Methodist programs.  


Like their predecessors, the Global Mission Fellows, Mission Intern and US-2 Fellows programs will be faith- and justice-centered leadership development and mission service opportunities for adults ages 20-30.


The US-2 Fellows program began in 1951. During two years of service in each one’s home country, US-2s boldly re-examine their roles and participation in unjust social structures. They integrate faith and justice by learning, walking and working with communities in their struggles to address systemic injustice and human suffering.

The Mission Intern Fellows program, which began in 1977, is now a 25-month service opportunity. Mission Interns learn about and live out the transformative Gospel of Jesus Christ, while working with and as grassroots organizers and/or advocates in areas that include conflict resolution, peace, education, environmental justice, economic development, indigenous rights, and women’s and children’s issues.


Learn more about Generation Transformation at  or email Follow @umcmissionGT on Twitter for program updates.  Please keep these young adults in prayer along with the communities they will serve. Financial support can be made through Advance #13105Z. - See more at:

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