Monday, October 30, 2006

Two Conference/National Church Leaders

Pictured here is Lyn Powell, Conference Lay Leader of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and Afonzo Rivera, a young seminary student at the Seminario de Wesleyano de Venezuela and a young adult leader in the emerging Conference of the United Methodist Church of Venezuela. This picture was taken last year in Barquisimeto when Lyn visited our United Methodist brothers and sisters in Venezuela.

Lyn is one of the most well respected and hardest working Conference Lay Leaders in the United Methodist Church. She is a very influential leader who has a passion for leading our church in at least two very important efforts: lay evangelism and genuine partnership between the laity and clergy of the UMC.

Alfonzo is the son for Mariano and Yolanda Rivera. Yolanda is the pastor of the Lugar Altissimo United Methodist Church and a leader in that emerging church. Alfonzo's grandmother, Chica, is providing the Seminary a 24 acre tract for the construction of the seminary. Alfonzo is engaged to Sandra, a beautiful young student in the seminary and a worship leader in some of the community missions established by Lugar Altissimo UMC.

Affonzo is a talented worship leader and a passionate Christian. He demonstrates the future of the UMC in Venezuela, a church primarily made up of young adults and youth.

The picture of Lyn and Alfonzo demonstrates the great potential of partnerships between churches, institutions, and even conferences in the US and emerging ministries around the world. These partnerships are transformational for both the "Giver" and the "Receiver." Many churches in the US are discovering the great benefit for their own church through the development of a long term partnership with a church in Venezuela or some other country where the UMC is beginning to make a significant impact.

Twenty years ago the US was discovering the great benefit from Short-term Mission Trips. Out of this realization came Volunteers in Mission and other like groups. Today, the church is recognizing the exponentially greater benefit of long term partnerships. In the UMC, this was pioneered by Dr. Eddie Fox and World Methodist Evangelism in the development of the Connecting Congregations ministry with churches in countries of the former Soviet Union. This has been a very successful ministry and is now being copied by the General Board of Global Ministries and others.

We have certainly seen the great benefit for the churches of Venezuela and the churches in the US where such a partnership exists. We pray for more US churches to discover the joy of partnership with brothers and sisters in Venezuela. Please contact us if you want to learn more about this opportunity for your church. Click on the "Comment" button below, leave us a message and we will get back with you.

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