Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“The heart of Christian mission,” says World Communion Scholar Akiko Miyake-Stoner,” is to show God’s love to the world.”

The Master of Divinity student at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Calif., believes strongly in empowering “people to actualize and realize their gifts. Because The United Methodist Church’s mission is ‘to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,’ it is important to cultivate and use our gifts to change systems of oppression while addressing direct needs.

“Christian mission,” she contends, “is tied definitely, inextricably with the world. The church should not be a cloistered institution. It should be engaged with the issues that affect God’s creation and advocate for justice and mercy in the world. When I share my faith and the challenges I face, I hope to empower others to pursue lives that strive for justice through educational programs and compassionate pastoral care.”

The future “pastor of a Japanese-American church or an elders’ chaplain” says seminary has provided “opportunities to think deeply about systems of oppression and how we, as future faith leaders, can address these within our congregations. I have learned about the history of Christian worship and how to make worship applicable to people today. I am doing my field education at a historically, predominately Japanese-American church, which is teaching me to apply what I learn in class.”

Because of generous sharing on World Communion Sunday, committed Christians like Akiko Miyake-Stoner grow spiritually and educationally. “I want people of different cultures to see the beauty and resources within their own worldviews and to find pride and confidence in them,” she says. “I want people to feel comfortable in their own social locations. This enables more authentic dialogue between people of various cultures. Each culture can use its strengths for the betterment of the world.”

Your World Communion Sunday gifts are essential to the academic and spiritual growth of scholars like Akiko Miyake-Stoner.

Please give to World Communion Sunday and all the Special Sundays with offerings. Don't forget World Communion Sunday is October 4, 2009 but you can collect the offering anytime during the year.
--Barbara Dunlap-Berg

Lladale Carey
Web Coordinator
United Methodsit Communications

No comments: