SAN FRAN, What?

Come along on my journey from New Jersey to San Fran and beyond!!!

Leaving San Fran… September 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bethanyamey @ 7:44 pm

So today is my official last day in San Francisco…

This change has not come easy and will be needed to be wrapped in prayer. I will be moving home with my final flight back to PHL on the 15th…

I am anxiously anticipating the next chapter in my life and where that will take me…

Even though there have been times of struggle while I have been here in San Fran, I am happy and blessed to have been given this opportunity. I will treasure all of the AWRC and AFSC staff and TA’s…

Advertisements
 

Global Church…Global Connection…Close Friendships filled with love… August 9, 2010

Filed under: GYPC-LA — bethanyamey @ 10:41 pm

Bishop Kammerer said at the latest GBOD meeting, “At a time when the rest of the church is having a difficult time figuring out how to be a global church, the young people are living into it and showing us the way.”

One Lord, One Church, One World.

After returning home from Berlin and Woltersdorf, Germany I have a renewed sense of United Methodist connectionalism and enthusiasm for young people in our Church worldwide.

From the 21st of July until 26th of July (I stayed until the 30th of July for the Division on Ministries with Young People’s Annual Meeting), I had the unique and amazing opportunity to be a part of a global event that gave voice to young people around the globe. Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly was a time where young people from around our global connection came together for worship, ministry, fellowship, leadership development, and time for legislation.

We all came together for an amazing time of worship on the first night where we all needed to use translators to understand the service. People spoke in their native languages and it was amazing. English was not the only language used…we had translation into English, русский, Deutsch, Français, and Português. It was a different experience, as an English speaker, to wait for the translation. But my favorite part about it were the jokes. Depending on which language the speaker was speaking there would be waves of laughter, because the jokes were being translated and everyone got them at slightly different times, SO GREAT!!!!

While at Convo, we went on cultural excursions to places in Berlin.
We first were able to worship in the historic Berliner Dom. The entire GYPC-LA body went and had an ecumenical service that was opened up to the community of Berlin. We had a youth worker from Berlin (I forget what denomination she was from) speak. Then we continued our worship experience with a Thomas Mass. There were a ew different stations set up around the Dom and we were able to move freely between them During registration time people were able to create a “wall” and this was transported to the Church. We were able to lay our laments on that wall. Write prayer requests, whatever we needed to say. There was another place where we were able to light candles, write little notes of praise, have a special blessing by one of the Bishops, and look at pictures of both pain and happiness and reflect on them. In addition to that, there was an area where we sang Taize chants. Now, to give you the setting of the Berliner Dom, it is a huge, high ceilinged Cathedral-like building…thus the acoustics-AMAZING!!!! When the Taize chants began they brought my right back to my Taize community from last summer. I really felt like we were truly the Body of Christ. We all might have found worship in a different sense while there, but yet we were all together as one body, worshipping together.

After worship time at the Dom, we all departed and went on cultural excursions to better identify with the history of Berlin. I went to a GDR remand prison called Hohenschönhausen. This prison was used until 1990. “The list of those arrested ranged from the leaders of the 17 June uprising in 1953 to Jehovah’s Witnesses. But many others also spent months in the tomb-like cells, from reform communists such as Walter Janka, head of the Aufbau publishing house, to politicians fallen in disgrace, such as former GDR Foreign Minister Georg Dertinger, a CDU party member, and even one disgraced ex-SED Politbüro member, Paul Merker. Moreover, this period – long before the Berlin Wall – saw the Ministry of State Security (MfS) actually kidnapping critics of the SED Party who were in the West and bringing them to the Hohenschönhausen prison – the most famous case, perhaps, being Walter Linse, a West Berlin lawyer, kidnapped near his home in 1952 and executed a year later in Moscow.” (http://en.stiftung-hsh.de/document.php?subcat_id=CAT_253&recentcat=CAT_233&back=1).

The second day of touring, I went to Sachsenhausen – Oranienburg. This was an old concentration camp that was used by Nazi Germany. It was built by concentration camp prisoners and then was used until liberated in 1945. Some of the odd things that we learned about the camp was that certain buildings are still being utilized today. German police train their forces there and use some of refurbished buildings. It was odd and somber experience to visit the camp. We all had been at the Estrel earlier in the day and were joking around/having fun with one another on the bus ride to Oranienburg. Once we arrived the entire mood of our group changed. We were no longer laughing and joking around with one another. I think it began to sink in that people, many people, had died in this very place not that long ago. We saw the barracks were the prisoners slept, the work they were required to do, and also the places where the prisoners were killed. All that I could do to reconcile this to my mind was think that this needed to be remembered as not to repeat this in the future.

After our excursions each night we went to a local congregation and shared in a meal with them as well as a “vespers” style service. Each group, regardless of the UMC, had the same liturgy used. So it only demonstrated more the idea of “unity” in the body of Christ. We might have been in different congregations, but we were all still united.

In all, I feel like GYPC-LA was encouraging to young leaders around our connection. It is a rare occurrence when you get together over 300 young leaders from over 20 different countries to discuss how ministry is occurring within their own cultural context. We were able to bring voice to issues that were concerning to young people worldwide!!! While we did not always agree with one another on every issue (i.e. legislative assembly time) we respected one another and still loved on one another. To say that to be “One body” we need to think the exact same way is false logic, I believe. To me, there is unity in our diversity. “Red, and yellow, black and white…all are precious in Jesus’ sight.” This was only made more clear at GYPC. Different languages…different cultures…different styles of worship…but all for the same thing…to Glorify God. The last night’s cultural celebration allowed for this to truly be felt. Whether we were swimming and skiing with the NEJ, 2-steppin and ‘Single ladiesing” it with the Texans, doing a dance with the FIlipinos, rappin’ our names with the Africans, finding a partner with the Russians, doing squats with the Germans…it didn’t matter, it was amazing sharing our cultures with one another…

I feel honored and privileged to not only have been a participant in this event but to have also been on the planning team. There were many nights that I only got 3 hours of sleep, but it was more than worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat. To all my fellow GYPC’ers…it was really my honor and pleasure to have met you all. I am changed for the better because i had the opportunity to meet you. I hope and pray that each one of us is able to bring home to our conferences, jurisdictions, central conferences, etc. the love that was shared with one another in Berlin. Let’s keep modeling what a truly global Church could look and act like. I know that I’ve made close friendships with people from around the world that will last a lifetime. For this I am grateful.

Please add any quotes that you can vividly remember from the weekend…
“I’m a tosa, tosa, tosa…TOSA!!!”
“Now, let’s remember what the covenant says about that…”
“I am Bethany Amey, delegate number 238, Northeast Jurisdicition, DMYP member.”
“Swim, swim, swim, swim, swim swim….SHARK!!!”

 

Global Convocation July 22, 2010

Filed under: GYPC-LA — bethanyamey @ 1:27 pm

Hello from Berlin…so even though I did onlly et about 3 1/2 hours of sleep last night I am happy to be here again today!

We had a great morning devotion from one of our Russian friends Rev. Pavel. We as plenary session have all had the experience of having to have things translated for us. I think that this is great for US folks that are used to conversations being predominantly held in English.

We are starting legislation today. Thank goodness we are only going to be dealing with legislation that has already been written. Our poor translators would definitely have not gotten ANY sleep at all if we had opened the floor to new legislation.

So tonight is the Ministry Fair. It will be great to get to see how others around the world are doing ministry and hopefully be able to bring some new and fresh ideas back to the States!!!

Anyways…I am excited to read facebooks posts about legislation breakout sessions that people are feeling encouraged and respected. Hopefully this spirit of togetherness will continue throughout the rest of Convo. I am hopeful for fruitful conversations and a community of trust.

Pictures from communion and worship this morning will be posted soon!

Much.Love.

 

BERLIN!!! GYPC-LA July 20, 2010

Filed under: GYPC-LA — bethanyamey @ 7:31 am

So here I am in Berlin, Germany preparing for the Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly.

Hopefully, if all VISAS actually work out that 27 countries will be represented.

I will post more information soon.

Please be in prayer for us!!!

Traveling mercies to all participants!

So today has been filled with preparations for Convo that will start tomorrow. We are all hurrying to finalize what’s going on and setting up of the conference rooms. The team is excited to get this Convo started! I can’t wait to see how everything comes together. It has been a year in planning and I know that this will be great.

Here is the scripture for our conference!

Ephesians 4:1-6
In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

One Lord. One Church. One World.

 

You know you’re in San Fran when… June 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bethanyamey @ 8:08 pm

You know you’re in San Fran when…

you no longer realize you’re being squished like a sardine on MUNI…

Fisherman’s Wharf is no longer appealing…instead you see it as solely a Tourist Trap…

you no longer hear the people shouting at you in Chinese on the street…

people push you on Stockton Street and it no longer phases you…you simply push back…

when organic produce is cheaper than non-organic produce…

 

The Philippines…a beautiful people full of warmth, hospitality, and love… April 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bethanyamey @ 6:42 am

So since Saturday night (Friday morning east coast time) I have been in Manila, Philippines…

My journey to Manila began in San Francisco at 5:20 AM when I boarded Supershuttle and headed to the airport.

All my travels went smoothly and I was greeted at the Manila airport by a special guide to help me get through customs and get to my transportation to the hotel. I was so relieved to have a friendly face meet me at the airport. I was also glad because I was so sleep deprived that I had not filled out my customs sheet correctly. I had forgotten to write my name and sign the papers. OOPS!!!!

So after getting through customs without any problems I proceeded to baggage and got my luggage and changed some money! The exchange rate was definitely in my favor. It is 44 Filipino paesos to every American dollar.

I was absolutely amazed when I arrived at the hotel. I stepped out of the van and into a beautiful lavish hotel lobby. I was greeted by some of the hotel staff with a warm hello and “Welcome ma’m.” I was ushered to the check-in desk and was then swiftly escorted to my room. This was wonderful considering that I had been in transit for about 33 hours.

The next morning all the CT (Connectional Table) and the SCWWNC were all headed out to local congregations to worship with them. Stef Schutz (the youth DMYP member on the CT), Karen Greenwaldt (General Secretary of General Board of Discipleship), Stef’s mom Nancy, Mike Ratliff (Assoc. General Sec. in charge of DMYP), and I all went to Solid Rock Ministries. This is a New Church Start that is hoping to be chartered by next year.

Worship here was amazing. 3/4 of the congregation were all children, youth, and young adults. The fire and the passion that these people had was absolutely amazing. The service is a contemporary worship service with a praise band. They rocked it out!!! The rest of the congregation worshiped with such intentionality and praise. They felt the praise music through their entire body! Pastor Joubert was great and you could feel his commitment to this congregation flowing through him and the members of his church. During the service the children of the congregation came forward and performed a song. There were 2 children playing the keyboard, 4 boys singing, and another boy on the drums. The girls were all doing a choreographed dance in the front. They did such a great job! They were just so excited to perform and all of them sang from their hearts. Pastor Joubert preached in both English and Tagalog. Even if he hadn’t been translating for us, his passion seeped through his preaching and we were able to feel the emotion of the sermon. After church was over, they invited us to stay for lunch and have some time of fellowship.

From the time that we arrived at their church from the time that we departed they demonstrated to us such radical hospitality that I felt privileged to even have met them. At all times they kept thanking us for coming to visit their church and seeing their ministry. When in all reality, it was my (our) benefit, our pleasure to have been able to be there.

The warmth of the people.
The smile in their hearts.
The joy in their worship.
The radical hospitality.
The love of Christ that comes transcends through all.

This is just the beginning of the stories of my trip. I have only been here for 4/5 days and I have been changed.

 

Worldwide Nature of our Church?

Filed under: Uncategorized — bethanyamey @ 5:25 am

What does it mean to be a worldwide church?

“The 2008 General Conference created the Worldwide Nature of the Church study committee after the denomination made a step toward reorganizing so it does not appear to be a U.S. church, with satellite locations in Africa, Asia and Europe. ”

I am contemplating that exact sentiment as I sit here in our joint meeting with the Study Committee and the Connectional Table. We are here in Manila, Philippines contemplating this idea…

What would you say to the Church if you could? What are the words, thoughts, and insights that you have for leaders of our denomination? These are tough and heave questions. Are we moving towards regional conferences rather than central conferences and jurisdictions? What happens if the constitutional amendments fail? What happens if they pass?

Is the Church ready to let young people in our denomination step up to the plate and serve in roles of leadership? Are we as a denomination ready to have a shift in our thinking? What will our Church look like in 20 years if we maintain the status quo?

More thoughts to come soon…