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United Methodist Church Appoints

Twenty-Two New Missionaries

General Board of Global Ministries
The United Methodist Church

475 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10115

Tel: 212/870-3921

Commissioning service during Global Ministries Board Meeting; Spring 2008. Spring2008BDMcomm

Twenty-two new United Methodist missionaries, 12 new deaconesses and two home missionaries were commissioned on March 11. On far left, Bishop Joel N. Martinez of San Antonio, president of the General Board of Global Ministries, and, far right, Bishop Felton E. May, interim general secretary of the agency.
Image by: Cassandra Heller
Source: GBGM Administration
Commissioning service during Global Ministries Board Meeting; Spring 2008. Spring2008BDMcomm

Five new Missionaries of Global Heath were commissioned on March 11; they are, back row, left to right: Tendai Paul Manyeza, Victor Taryor, Jeremias França; front row, right to left, Edwardo Reis Maia, Cláudia Peres Costa Maia. All will serve in Africa.
Image by: Cassandra Heller
Source: GBGM Administration

Stamford, CT, March 11, 2008 -- Twenty-two new United Methodist missionaries were commissioned on March 11 to serve in churches, hospitals, and community centers in ten countries and five states of the United States.

The new missionaries are lawyers, doctors, pastors, and agriculturalists. They come from places as diverse as Brazil, the Philippines, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Missouri, and Michigan. They fall into several categories of mission service and form the largest group of United Methodist missionaries commissioned at the same time in the last four years.

Bishop Joel N. Martinez of San Antonio presided over the commissioning service during the annual meeting of the directors of the General Board of Global Ministries, meeting in Stamford, CT. Bishop Martinez is the president of the international mission agency. To "commission" is to give persons special service roles on behalf of the church.

Also commissioned were 12 deaconesses and two home missioners (see separate story at Deaconesses and home missioners are lay persons who commit themselves to ministries of love, justice, and service. One deaconess was also among the 22 persons commissioned as missionaries.

Bishop Martinez described those commissioned as among the Christians who "walk the walk as well as talk the talk." Citing a hymn, he said they performed "deeds of love and mercy."

Five persons commissioned are global health missionaries assigned to sub-Saharan Africa. The number of global health missionaries now stands at 11, all assigned within the last two years.

Bishop Martinez was joined in the "laying on of hands," or sending forth to service, by Bishop Felton E. May, interim general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries; the Rev. Edith Gleaves, head of the agency’s mission personnel unit; and several directors of the board, including John Peterson, Nelida Mora Morales, Byoung Baek, Josephine Deere, Irene Kabete, and Jeremiah Thompson.

In response to their commissioning, the new missionaries and deaconesses said in unison a Covenant Prayer from John Wesley, the 18th century English founder of Methodism. The prayer commits the new missionaries to God's will, which says, among other poetic language: "Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you."

The March commissioning took place less than five months after 13 new missionaries were commissioned in the October 2007 board meeting.

Other new missionaries, in addition to the five in health, include eight persons who will serve in assignments outside the United States; two who are related to the United Methodist National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries in the US, and seven, including one deaconess, who are Church and Community Workers, serving low-income areas in the US.

The new missionaries are, by category of service:
Global Health Missionaries:

Jeremias Alfiado França from Inhambane, Mozambique, the director of health ministries at Chicuque Rural Hospital, a United Methodist health facility.

Cláudia Peres Costa Maia from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, a community health worker at the Center of Hope, Malaria & Community Health Project in Mozambique. She will be working with her husband, Dr. Eduardo Reis Maia.

Dr. Eduardo Reis Maia, a surgeon and physician from Belo Horizonte, assigned to medical care at the Chicuque Rural Hospital, in Mozambique.

Dr. Tendai Paul Manyeza, a medical doctor from Zimbabwe, will serve as the medical superintendent and physician at Old Mutare Hospital, Zimbabwe.

Victor D. Taryor, born in Lao Glyeyee, Liberia serves as a hospital administrator for Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Ganta, Liberia.

Other Missionaries in International Service:

Kennedy O. Cruz from the Evangelical Baptist Church in Laguna, Philippines will serve in Phsa Deum Thikav, Cambodia, as development and agriculture specialist.

Dieudonné Karihano, a native of Burundi, assigned as agricultural coordinator for the United Methodist Cambine Mission Center in Mozambique.

Arthur Keith, a clergyman from Wells, MN, will serve as a pastor at the International Church of Lund, Sweden.

Michael Keyse,who is from Berea, OH, assigned as Volunteers in Mission coordinator in La Paz, Bolivia.

Finda Quiwa is a regional missionarybased in Sierra Leone, her home country, and works with youth, young women, and young adults in a large area of Africa.

Guillermo Berman Ramirez, who grew up in Reynosa, Mexico, will continue as volunteer coordinators for the Mexican Methodist Border Mission.

Dong Min Seo, a pastor from Incheon, South Korea will serve as a pastor and work alongside his wife, Hyeyun Seo, in the Tsaiz United Methodist Church, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Hyeyun Seo, Incheon, South Korea will serve as program director of Tsaiz Church in Ulaanbaatar.

The National Plan for Hispanic and Latino Ministries Missionaries:

Sonya Marie Luna of Ypsilanti , MI , will coordinate Hispanic/Latino Ministries for the Detroit Annual (regional) Conference.

Lourdes Teixeira Magalhães, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, will become a pastor in the Greater New Jersey Conference.

Church and Community Workers:

Donald Edwards, born in Mt. Kisco, NY, is serving as an immigration attorney for the Justice for Our Neighbors, a program of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in New York City. He is an ordained United Methodist minister.

Joanne Finley, originally from Alabama and a US Army veteran, is executive director of the North Rampart Community Center in New Orleans, LA. She was also commissioned to the office of deaconess.

Mary Gladstone, a native of Michigan, serves as the development director for the Deaf Shalom Zone, Inc., Baltimore, MD.

Andrew Highland, born in Charleston WV, is the new executive director of Looking Glass Community Services, Laingsburgh, MI, a ministry related to both the Detroit and West Michigan Conferences.

Alexander Oatley, a social worker and a native of Michigan, is assigned as the director of community development for the Joy-Southfield Community Development Corp. in Detroit.

Susan Reed, originally from Warsaw, IN, and now a resident of Kalamazoo, MI, is an attorney with Justice for Our Neighbors in Grand Rapids, MI.

Janet Allyne Solomon, born in Festus, MO, is serving with the Lower Delta Paris Community Outreach Ministry in the Arkansas Annual Conference.

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Date posted: Mar 12, 2008