Missionary Katherine Parker, from the California-Nevada Annual Conference, has been appointed by the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) to serve in Nepal, starting this summer. Parker expects to work out of the offices in Kathmandu of the United Mission to Nepal, as a technical advisor in water, sanitation, and hygiene. Before she departs, she will be on itineration visiting churches in California and Nevada from mid-May to mid-June. Sunday mornings are already committed to visits with churches in which she is in a covenant relationship. Other churches interested in a visit between May 20 and June 18 that have not yet been in communication with the Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, Howard Parker, can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A principal way in which missionaries are supported in the United Methodist tradition is through covenant relationships with local churches. Parker welcomes additional covenants to be fully supported. The yearly cost for a missionary is an average of $55,000 with only a fraction of this amount going towards salary. The program contemplates an annual pledge of $2500, or for smaller churches $5 per member. Further information is available at http://www.umcmission.org/Get-Involved/Partnerships/Covenant-Relationships.
Parker has served for the past five years in Cambodia in Community Health and Agricultural Development with the Methodist Mission in Cambodia. The Rev. Judy Chung, Associate General Secretary, GBGM, said, "We are grateful to the California-Nevada Annual Conference for your partnership in mission and for your support of Katherine Parker throughout the duration of her service in Cambodia. As Katherine Parker continues on the next stage of her journey in missionary service, we pray that the churches and individuals in your conference will continue to partner with Katherine by supporting her through The Advance and provide financial, spiritual, and emotional support."
Parker's home church is Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church in Mill Valley in the Bridges District. She is a 2000 graduate in biology from Harvey Mudd College and earned a master's degree from Sacramento State, where her thesis addressed the efficacy of a portable microbial laboratory for testing drinking water quality in West Africa. In connection with her thesis research, she spent a year abroad at the University of Ghana in Accra.
Her calling to career missionary service and her ultimate sending by her church, district, and the annual conference grew out of her Sunday school, church youth group, and local church mission commitment. It also grew out of her service on the Golden Gate District Council on Ministries, the Conference Board of Church and Society, as a Conference delegate to Jurisdictional Conference, and as an assistant in communications in the California-Nevada Conference Office.
Before her initial appointment to Cambodia, she served as a mission intern at the Asian Rural Institute in Nishinasuno, Japan, in campus ministry at Iowa State University in Des Moines, and as an intern in sustainable agriculture at the Practical Farmers of Iowa.
Methodism in Cambodia is on a path to autonomy with a goal of electing its own Bishop and decreasing its dependency on missionary support from abroad. During Katherine's tenure in Cambodia, there were as many as ten United Methodist missionaries serving there as part of a Global Ministries mission initiative. Missionaries Joseph and Marilyn Chan from the California Nevada Annual Conference continue in service in Cambodia and missionary Kennedy Cruz, who has visited churches in California-Nevada, will continue with work in the Cambodia mission's program of Community Health and Agricultural Development (CHAD).