LaGrange College, a private, four-year liberal arts and sciences college affiliated with The United Methodist Church and located in the North Georgia Conference, and Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, partnered to host a Global Engagement event for North Georgia United Methodists, the LaGrange community, and college students on the LaGrange campus.
“It’s just this sort of partnership that is powerful with strong impact for congregations and communities,” explained Rev. Scott Parrish, who serves as a mission specialist for both Global Ministries and the North Georgia Conference.
The two-day event began with a campus tour.
In his keynote address, General Secretary of Global Ministries Thomas Kemper spoke to students on the importance of embracing those who are different, who come from different places and struggles.
“If we don’t learn to live in diversity,” he explained, “if we don’t learn in college how to live with these differences, then we will not be able to change this world and we will not be able to live together in a peaceful world in the 21st century.”
Anja Williams and Leigh Delashaw of Global Ministries shared testimonies that afternoon and relived the discovery of their callings, along with a husband and wife team, Andrew and Caitlin Kastner, who were sent as missionaries to Miami, Fla.
Thursday evening, Global Ministries and LaGrange College invited the students and community to a special service at LaGrange First United Methodist Church. They were joined, via simulcast, by services also being held in Honduras and Russia.
Several of Global Ministries’ team members shared their stories with LaGrange College classes, including Dr. Simbo Ige and Katherine Parker.
Spending time with experienced missionaries provided the students with the opportunity to share their callings and what their current concerns are as young adults.
“[The students] were excited because they could see a chance to develop a model on how to reach college students in other regions of the country,” said Dr. David Ahearn, Professor of Religion and event organizer.
He looks forward to strengthening the college’s partnership with Global Ministries now that the organization is moving to Atlanta.
“This is about being connected globally,” added Kemper. “It’s about helping each other discover that our call is more than one to just ourselves. It is also to our communities and to service. I hope this is just the beginning of an exciting relationship between LaGrange College and the General Board of Global Ministries. I am looking forward to many great things.”