Register by September 30 for EXPLORATION 2009, Featuring Cal-Nev's Motoe Yamada

August 24, 2009

EXPLORATION 2009, scheduled for November 13-15 in Dallas, Texas, offers youth and young adults who feel God's call to ordained ministry, as a deacon or elder in The United Methodist Church, a chance to explore that call. The Rev. Motoe Yamada of the California-Nevada Annual Conference will be among the speakers.


The event, sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, is open to high school seniors and young adults up to age 24. The registration fee of $150 includes a two-night stay at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, meals, and program fees. To learn more, and/or to register online through September 30, visit


"Now, more than ever, the UMC needs to nurture and encourage young adult leaders," says the Rev. Meg Lassiat, director of Student Ministries, Vocation, and Enlistment at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. "Participants have a unique opportunity at EXPLORATION to talk with those from many different places and contexts who are considering ordained ministry. The encouragement and understanding they receive from those who are discerning a similar call can be a powerful reassurance for those who are considering how God wants them to serve."


Lassiat said the team which is planning the event encourages campus ministries, annual conferences, and local churches to identify young adults who exhibit the gifts and grace for ordained ministry, and to invite and support their attendance at this event. The event will include speakers, worship, workshops, and small group interaction to help students hear, discern, and respond to their call to ordained ministry.


The Rev. Tyrone D. Gordon, senior pastor of St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church in Dallas, is one of the event speakers. Since his appointment, St. Luke's membership has grown from 5,200 to 6,000.


Other speakers include: Dr. William B. Lawrence, dean and professor of American Church History at Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology; Bishop Sally Dyck, episcopal leader of the Minnesota Area; and the Rev. Motoe Yamada, pastor at Sacramento Japanese United Methodist Church in Sacramento, California.


Event workshops include presentations on how to discern God's call; learning about your gifts for ministry; and what your options are for ministry in The United Methodist Church.


Some workshops are practical, such as a financial planning and scholarships for seminary workshop, and one on the candidacy process.