Young, Gifted and Diverse: Summer Interns Make a Splash
By: Sherri Gragg
The College Pastoral Internship Program (CPIP), established in 2007, assists young United Methodists in discerning God’s call to ministry and Christian service. According to the Rev. Elizabeth Duffin, Associate Director of the Center for Clergy Excellence, the program has been a vital tool in the recruitment of young, gifted, diverse clergy. Of the 81 interns who have taken part in the program since its founding, 14 are currently serving as either commissioned or ordained clergy within the Texas Conference. “This year’s group of interns are incredibly gifted,” Duffin said, “and I’ve heard from all of the host pastors about the great work the interns have done.”
This issue highlights three of the 2018 interns:
Emily Wintermute is an Agricultural Communications and Journalism major from Texas A&M University. This summer she has served alongside the ministry staff of Bellaire UMC. Wintermute has experienced a wide range of ministries at the church including participation in community outreach programs, working in children’s ministry, and preaching in morning worship.
Wintermute credits the experience with helping her better understand her ministry strengths. “I just loved VBS. It was so fun,” she said. “The internship really opened my eyes to where I am a good fit. I learned so much about myself. It was a pleasant surprise.”
Emmanuel Echols is a Middle Grades Education major from Wiley College.
As an intern at FUMC Marshall, Echols has had the opportunity to participate in hands-on ministry that has not only shaped his future plans but strengthened his personal faith. “I learned to never give up. God is always there to help us if we keep trusting him,” Echols said.
After graduation, Echols plans to attend seminary to study Christian Education and Church Leadership in preparation for a future in ministry. As the first intern to speak at the Texas Annual Conference office chapel service, Echols discovered his nervousness faded away as he shared God’s word. “When I walked in the room I was a bit nervous, especially since the Bishop was there,” Echols said, “but once I started speaking and connected with my audience, I wasn’t nervous at all.”
Trevor Guidry is a Biology major from Lamar University in Beaumont. His CPIP internship host church is WordServe UMC Fulshear. He applied for the internship program at the urging of a Pastor Tim Turner who recognized his giftedness for ministry. Guidry has had a busy summer at WordServe as he has shadowed pastors, worked extensively with the youth, led Bible studies and more. Guidry preached his first sermon this summer, and said it was a lot harder than it looks.
“I had a small incident,” Guidry said, “The service is pretty contemporary so there is no pulpit. I had my notes on a music stand. During the middle of the sermon, I tried to raise it up and the whole top popped off. I thought I broke it.”
Despite the inevitable mishaps of taking his first steps into ministry, Guidry credits his internship with assuring him of his call. As he returns home to at the end of July to continue to pursue God’s plans for his life, he hopes other young people pondering God’s call into ministry will give the internship a try. “It has been a truly awesome experience,” he said. “I would highly encourage it.”
2018 Summer Interns
Rev. Seann Duffin
Rev. Romonica Malone-Wardley
|Cypress Trails UMC,
Rev. Luis Ramirez
Rev. Rodger Garbs
Rev. Amanda Davis
Rev. Jon Sims
|Holy Family Church,
Rev. Jacob Breeze