STAMFORD, Conn. (UMNS) - The United Methodist missions agency has commissioned more than 30 new missionaries - the first such group since a temporary moratorium was imposed due to budget restraints.
A new class of deaconesses and a small group of church and community workers were commissioned during the March 22-25 meeting of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
They join the board's 710 other commissioned personnel who, in a variety of categories, serve the United Methodist Church through the mission agency. With 102 people in "non-commissioned roles and more than 250 working through partner churches, the total number of mission personnel is 1,069, serving in 70 countries.
The 27 lay deaconesses will be assigned to a variety of community, institutional and congregational ministries in the United States. The four church and community workers, missionaries in rural and urban areas, will serve in Alabama, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
In late 2002, the Board of Global Ministries imposed a temporary moratorium on new mission personnel because of budget constraints. The Rev. Edith Gleaves, a board executive, said the agency currently is interviewing candidates for its US-2 program for young adults and will commission a new US-2 class this summer.
No new full-time mission staff in the standard support category, which numbers 291 missionaries, will be commissioned before 2005. But Gleaves said the agency is reassessing current placements, based on needs and resources, and is redeploying some missionaries, particularly in regions that are part of the board's 11 new mission initiatives.
New deaconesses and the location of their ministries are Clara K. Abrahamson, Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Carolyn Chandler, Beeville, Texas; Laura A. Curry, Crestwood, Ky.; Nancy Daleney and Olga Diaz, New City; Yvette Diaz, Lancaster, Pa.; D. Rebecca Dodson, New York City; Bernice L. Dumlao, San Bernadino, Calif.; Jayne A. Edwards, Schenectady, N.Y.; Fay C. Flanary,Boston; Margie I. Greene, Lakewood, N.J.; Octavie B. Gunnelson, Hamilton, Ohio; Susan Hunt, Oklahoma City; Esperance Kayombo, Caribbean; and Katherine O. Kim, San Jose, Calif.
Also, Kyung Sook Kim, Glen Cove, N.Y.; Penny J. Krug, South Bend, Ind.; Kumja Lim, Littleton, Colo.; Marilyn D. Nixon, Houston; Hee Cho Om, Granada Hills, Calif.; Ludid Orozco, Tularosa, N.M.; Marie S. Rivera, New York City; Juanita Rodriguez, Lakewood, N.J.; B. Ann Smith, Rising Sun, Ind.; Geraldine Snyder, New York City; Becky J. Warnock, Maumee, Ohio; and Kyung Za Yim, Lynbrook, N.Y.
The new church and community workers are Gary W. Locklear, Pembroke, N.C.; Katie Peterson, Oakland, Tenn.; Alberto Silva, Omaha, Neb.; and Curtis Daniel Upton, Hazel Green, Ala.