Matthew A. Laferty is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as chaplain of the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy in the Russian Federation.
The Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy is an interdenominational Christian ministry serving the English-speaking community of Moscow. It was established in 1962 by the National Council of Churches of Christ of the USA to serve the US diplomatic community, and is today a diverse ministry that nurtures faith in Jesus Christ, confronts injustice, and welcomes all people. It includes persons from some 30 nations and as many Christian traditions in its worship, pastoral care, and social justice ministries. Matthew had previous experience in Russia as a student taking part in mission volunteer trips.
Matthew is both rooted in United Methodism and strongly committed to ecumenism. He grew up in the Crestline First United Methodist Church in Ohio, attended Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, and has served on many local church, annual conference, and general church committees and boards. He was a delegate to the 2004 and 2008 General Conferences and in the 2008-2012 quadrennium was secretary of the Study Committee on the Worldwide Nature of The United Methodist Church.
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio Wesleyan, Matthew attended the broadly ecumenical Yale University Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut, where he became familiar with a range of denominational polities, theologies, and styles of worship. In 2010 and 2011, he was a pastoral associate in a Lutheran parish in Branford, Connecticut. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Yale and is at present a licensed local pastor in the East Ohio Annual Conference.
Matthew has worked with the United Methodist General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, serves on the board of directors of the denomination’s General Commission on Archives and History, and serves as chair of that agency’s committee to eliminate institutional discrimination. He has a passion for history. Current interests include the circumstances that led to the creation of autonomous Methodist churches in Korea, Mexico, and Brazil in 1930.
A part of Matthew's calling is that of helping Christians confront systemic injustice within their communities. He recalls that he first recognized systemic injustice while working as a mission volunteer in a St. Petersburg (Russia) orphanage as a high school junior. "I knew poverty existed," he says, "but did not understand its deep impact in societies or its perpetuation. I came to see the children of the orphanage as victims of systemic injustice that was rooted in alcoholism, poverty, and stigmas. "
He enjoys experiencing new cultures and places and has traveled in North America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia.
Missionary code: 3021378
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