From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutheran Young Adults Set to Serve Around the World

Date Wed, 28 Apr 2004 15:03:15 -0500


April 28, 2004

Lutheran Young Adults Set to Serve Around the World

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- More than 40 members of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), ages 19-30, will offer their
time and talents in congregations, church schools and social
ministry settings around the world this summer as part of "Young
Adults in Global Mission."
     Established in 1999 with 10 participants, Young Adults in
Global Mission is a one-year international service opportunity
organized by the ELCA.	This year young adults will volunteer in
Argentina, Egypt, Germany, Kenya, Thailand, Ukraine and the
United Kingdom.  Service in each area is designed to build
leadership skills, spiritual growth, global awareness and
     "Especially at this time in the life of our church and in
the world, we need these kinds of leaders," said the Rev. Stephen
J. Nelson, director for international personnel, ELCA Division
for Global Mission.  "It's about relationships.  It's about
giving and receiving.  Through the giving of our gifts and the
receiving of the gifts of those among whom we serve, our church
is strengthened," he said.
     At a "discernment event" here April 16-18, about 50
prospective young adults from across the country were
interviewed.  Forty-two are set for service and will receive
orientation in August.	Service will begin immediately
     At the event Julie Quello, an alumna of the program, shared
her experience of working at a nursing home and a homeless
shelter in Argentina.  "My faith changed because I saw God
everywhere," she said.
     "I've been waiting to do this for a long time," said Alexis
Twito, who will begin service this summer.  "It was only in
college that I learned about the work of global mission in the
ELCA.  When I heard about this program, I felt it was right.
This is a time to see the world while working in areas such as
AIDS ministry, women's concerns and education."
     "Nurturing leaders in the church is an important part" of
the Young Adults in Global Mission program, said the Rev. Y.
Franklin Ishida, director for leadership development, ELCA
Division for Global Mission.
     "Serving God around the world is a gospel mandate, and
working with our companion churches in their needs is always
important.  What we are also accomplishing here is lifting up
leaders who will have a global view of life and thus will be a
resource for the ongoing ministry of our church," Ishida said.
     The ELCA Division for Global Mission employs an
"accompaniment" model for ministry overseas.  In accompaniment,
churches in the United States and around the world "walk together
in service in God's mission."
     Young people in the program serve as volunteers and work in
a supervised setting.  Travel, housing, medical insurance and
allowance are provided, and volunteers are required to raise
$3,000 for program support.
     When it met here April 17-18, the ELCA Church Council
expressed gratitude for the commitment of young people in global
mission.  The council directed the ELCA Office of the Presiding
Bishop to consider expanding the program's budget for 2005-2006.
The council is the ELCA's board of directors and serves as the
legislative authority of the church between churchwide
_ _ _
     Information about the Young Adults in Global Mission program
is available at on
the Internet.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or

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