Nine College Students Emphasize Love and Service this Summer
by Mary Beth Coudal
New York, NY, June 2, 2009--"We as young people should be leaders in reaching out and serving others," Joe Riddle said. Mr. Riddle is one of nine Summer Interns going to work at United Methodist-related community centers and congregations. "I believe that love is the answer, love will find a way."
The young adults--a socio-economically, racially, and ethnically diverse group--shared their beliefs, stories, songs, and laughter, and played football at their orientation last week. They were selected to participate in Global Ministries' Summer Intern program based on applications received in the spring.
The young people met at Stony Point Retreat Center in Stony Point, New York, to get to know one another; learn about their work over the next two months; and hear about the wide range of Global Ministries' work. Upon completing their assignments at the end of July, the Summer Interns will return to New York City for several days to share what they've learned.
The Summer Interns will serve with children, homeless adults, and marginalized communities in centers around the United States. The names of the 2009 Summer Interns and their places of assignment follow:
This is Global Ministries' second annual Summer Intern program. Popular in the 1980s and 1990s, the Summer Intern program ceased in 2000 when the mission agency shifted its focus to longer-term mission opportunities for young adults.
"Working in new, often unfamiliar environments offers young people opportunities to experience first-hand how mission functions in a world of diversity," said Rev. Suzanne Field-Rabb, youth and young adult ministries executive at the mission agency. "Each placement involves some element of social justice, which allows interns to become engaged with the church in action in eradicating injustice."
Summer Interns are between the ages of 18 to 25 and have completed at least one year of college. They receive a $2,500 stipend, the cost of travel to and from their place of assignment, and room and board. In exchange, they agree to tell the story of their encounter with social justice and witness to their faith through The United Methodist Church.
In 2008, Meredith Faggart from North Carolina was one of 15 Summer Interns; she worked at Cookson Hills in Oklahoma with the Cherokee people. "I'm definitely considering the Mission Intern program after I graduate from college in 2011," Ms. Faggart says. The Mission Intern program is a three-year missionary commitment wherein the young person works half the time internationally and the other half, nationally.
"I believe that through this program I will learn to serve and build a closer relationship with God," said Summer Intern Ashita Elanko. "I can help the children I will work with by sharing my belief in God, and this could encourage them to develop and grow more as Christians."
For information on how you can become or support a young adult missionary through Global Ministries, click: Young Adults in Mission.
For more information on the Summer Intern Program, contact Rev. Field-Rabb at SFRabb@gbgm-umc.org.
Date posted: Jun 02, 2009