Youth and Young Adults: Register Now for EXPLORATION 2009, Nov. 13-15 in Dallas
Cal-Nevada Pastor to Be a Keynote Speaker
EXPLORATION 2009, scheduled for Nov. 13-15 in Dallas, Texas, is a national event for high school seniors through young adults aged 24 who are considering a call to ordained ministry as a deacon or elder in The United Methodist Church. It addresses the Church's need for young clergy - by offering youth and young adults who feel God's call, a chance to explore that call.
Keynote speakers for the event will be the Rev. Tyrone Gordon, Dr. William B. Lawrence, Bishop Sally Dyck, and the Rev. Motoe Yamada of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, a pastor at Wesley UMC in San Jose.
Participants will also have the chance to talk with admissions staff from the 13 United Methodist schools of theology, attend workshops, and take part in small group discussions.
"Today more than ever, the denomination needs to sponsor events that invite, train, and support young people as they answer their call to ordained ministry," said the Rev. Meg Lassiat, director of Student Ministries, Vocation, and Enlistment at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, which sponsors EXPLORATION.
"In the past three years, we have seen a growth in the numbers and percentage of young adult clergy in the UMC. Last fall, The Lewis Center for Church Leadership released the 2008 Clergy Age Trends Report, which shows for the first time this century [that] the percentage of young elders has risen to greater than 5 percent. The report said the percentage of young adult elders was 5.21 percent and [that] the percentage of young adult deacons had risen to 7.69 percent," Lassiat said.
"These statistics show a positive trend since this data was first reported in 2005, and the increase helps to demonstrate the importance of events and ministries that encourage youth and young adults to consider ordained ministry as a profession," she added.
"By attending EXPLORATION, youth and young adults will have the opportunity to explore a variety of ways to serve in ordained ministry," Lassiat said.
She added that efforts are being made to communicate regularly with Annual Conferences so clergy and other leaders will have the opportunity to support their young people and encourage them in their discernment for ministry.