The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) as part of their strategy to enable and resource leadership within the church has selected the 2017 Young Clergy Initiative (YCI) grant recipients. This year, applications were received from every United Methodist jurisdictional conference, and of those applications, 34 grants were awarded. Award amounts vary based on project scope, and some grants are awarded funds over the period of several years for ongoing projects.
YCI encourages opportunities that leverage denominational change on systemic and cultural levels through various conversations, events, experiments, resources, research, and training. YCI invites grant requests that assist young people to listen for, discern, and respond to God’s call to ordained ministry. The grants are awarded to programs geared toward increasing the number of young clergy in The United Methodist Church. YCI was established at the 2012 General Conference as a $7 million fund designed to “increase the number of young clergy among the jurisdictional conferences.”
One of these generous grants was awarded to Rev. Shea James, Director of Youth and Outdoor Ministries, for the start-up of a new program – DiscoverU.
DiscoverU, launching July 8-14, 2018, will be a week-long shadowing experience for young people ages 15-25. They will have the opportunity to follow someone in a different type of ministry each day – elders, deacons, those who are ordained serving in various areas, laity, and more!
They will report back to their age group of peers to debrief what they’ve learned that day, and pray together.
“By exposing young people to various forms of ministry, they can better discern what God is calling them to do,” said Rev. Shea James.
The DiscoverU program is an idea that was born from a conversation of a passionate group of young people who have the desire to see their peers find their path of ministry in the West Virginia Conference.
If you, or someone you know is interested in DiscoverU, please contact Rev. Shea James (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rev. Bonnie MacDonald (email@example.com). And be on the lookout for more information and an application early Fall!