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World Communion Sunday Podcast
13 minutes | Sep 9, 2014
Rev. Linda Koelman discusses how her church celebrates World Communion Sunday!
Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS World Communion Sunday is a great chance for our church to gather together and make an impact … around the world! Listen in as Linda Koelman gives us insight to what happens at her church during World Communion Sunday! Episode Highlights 00:28 // Rich introduces Linda Koelman. 00:49 // Linda introduces herself. 01:54 // Linda talks about her involvement with OC Ministries; Operation Classroom, Church and Clinic. 02:40 // Linda talks about the mission trips for OC Ministries and what they involve. 03:52 // Linda talks about World Communion Sunday and the Crusade Scholarships. 04:38 // Linda talks about how her church celebrates World Communion Sunday with a variety of clothing. 05:28 // Linda talks about how her church uses bread to help children understand; ‘We are all people’. 07:40 // Linda highlights a student that received a scholarship through World Communion Sunday. 08:25 // Rich talks about how World Communion Sunday helps people all over the world. 10:06 // Linda talks about the connection between the United Methodist Church and World Communion Sunday. 10:43 // Linda talks about how important education is for everybody, regardless of who they are and how it is taken for granted in the United States. 12:42 // Linda gives her contact details: northumc.weebly Episode Transcript Rich – Well welcome to the World Communion Sunday podcast. My names Rich Birch the host around these parts. Super excited to have Linda Koelman with us today on the show as we count down to the first Sunday in October. This shared Sunday that we have together as a church. I’m super excited for that day and for our conversation. Linda welcome to the show today. Linda – Thank you very much I’m glad to be here. Rich – I’m so glad to have you. Linda why don’t you talk a minute and just introduce yourself, who is Linda? Linda – Well I have been a United Methodist pastor, I went to seminary as a result of a mission trip. So missions are very close to my heart. I have been serving a small inner-city congregation. It’s my 18th year now starting now and we are a very mixed congregation. It’s one that was all Anglo Saxon when we came and they are very mixed at this point. So we have a multicultural group. Rich – Very cool, it’s exciting to hear about… I know a lot of congregations haven’t been able to navigate that transition well but it sounds like they have your church which is encouraging. Linda – We’ve worked very hard on it to reflect the community around us. I’m also very involved in a program called OC Ministries, Operation Classroom, Church and Clinic and that’s where one of my big interests in World Communion Sunday comes from. Rich – Nice well why don’t we start with you telling us a little bit about OC Ministries? Linda – OC Ministries was started about 30 years ago, 25 or 30 years ago. It began with Indiana United Methodist Church and it has kind of spread around the US to several other annual conferences. Minnesota has been active for 25 years, we’re going to be having our anniversary in October. Rich – Great. Linda – We started working out with just schools in Jamaica and Sierra Leone and Liberia because of the war we could not get to Africa for much of that time so we pushed the Jamaica trips as beginners and we also went to Porto Rico and we did some in Chile. Rich – Very Cool. Linda – So my first mission trip was going to Jamaica and I went on four trips there. After that I began going to Africa and have led 8 teams to Sierra Leone and 15 to Liberia. Rich – Fantastic. What happens on these trips, what is the experience like for someone who participates? Linda – Most of our trips involve working on construction, whether it’s building a school or a clinic and with the wars in the two countries, we’ve had to do a great deal of redevelopment work. We’ve also done some teaching, I was formally an accountant so I set up an accounting system, a simple one for teachers and pastors to use and then I have taught that there along with some personnel management skills. We have done a variety of work with kids, building, painting just about anything that needs to be done. Rich – Very cool. Well why don’t we talk about World Communion Sunday? For people who are listening in who are unfamiliar with World Communion Sunday, why don’t you describe what it is and then maybe actually give us a bit of an insight into what happens in your congregation? Linda – World Communion Sunday is a program that raises fund for Crusade scholarships. Crusade scholarships benefit students around the world. I have known many of the Crusade scholars from both Sierra Leone and Liberia so that has been close to my heart and it enables them to have the opportunities that we have and we take for granted so much for education, which is not available for so many of them and has only been a dream. It enables them then to go back to their own countries and to work in further education for others. So they can spread it and pass that onto others. Rich – Very cool. Linda – Our congregation, we invite everybody to dress up in their clothing from either another country that they have visited or clothing that reflects their heritage. Rich – Oh nice. Linda – So we have a variety of dress then on that day. One of the funny things was several of my Liberians, who have become citizens in the US, one year for World Communion Sunday dressed up in American clothes because they said that is now their heritage and is what they wanted to reflect. These are people who wear Liberian clothes every other weekend. So that was kind of… Rich – That’s fun. So what did American clothes look like, was that like T-shirts and jeans or was it ties? Linda – It was, it was T-shirts and jeans. Rich – Oh very cool, that’s fun. That’s very cool. Linda – We also have a variety of bread on that day and our children’s time, all of the kids and we sometimes get adults too come up and they get to sample all of these kinds of breads. We have two huge baskets and we have bread from around the world. French bread, Italian bread, croissants, Mexican roles, English muffins, tortillas, or kinds of things. Usually 20 to 30 different kinds of bread products and all of the kids get to sample all of them and then after the service the adults come up and everybody has tastes of all of the different kinds of bread also. But for the kids we talk about how bread looks different on the outside and bread may be in different shapes, it might be in different colors, some of it might be round, some of it might be tall and skinny and that’s just like people we are all different shapes and sizes and colors but as bread is all bread, we are all people. Rich – Very cool. The thing I love about what you’re doing is you’re really embracing, even within, whether it’s the clothes or the bread, you’re trying to find ways to infuse kind of a global culture into this service which I’m sure benefits your congregations throughout the year as you try to reach out and be a multicultural congregation. Have you found that to be the case? Linda – Ii is. A lot of my preaching is based on mission trip experiences and experiences with friends of mine who move overseas and this is just another way to help tie in those who are here and the congregation with those that they hear about and also to tie in some of our newer members that come from other countries. Rich – Very cool. Earlier you had mentioned that you’ve interacted with a number of students who have received scholarships through the World Communion Sunday special offering. Is there a student or two or a story that kind of sticks out in your mind about a particular individual who’s received funds through this Sunday? Linda – There is one young man who was from Liberia and he finished his high school education, he was out of school for quite a while but he always had that idea that he wanted to go back and get further education. He finally got a scholarship, he was able to come to the United States and go to seminary, get a seminary education and become a pastor. Rich – Wow. Linda – For him that was a lifeline dream and he was absolutely in tears when he found out he was going to be able to make that dream come true, something he’d always wanted. Rich – Very cool, you know the thing I love about World Communion Sunday is it does give us an opportunity to connect really practically with people all around the world. We’re doing, not only through celebrating the sacrament of connecting ecumenically across with the broader body of Christ but then because we’re giving through this offering, we’re helping people around the world which is incredible. I think it’s just a great Sunday, a great thing for churches to be involved in. Now what would you say to a church who, there may be church leaders who are listening today who are thinking, “I don’t really want to participate in this thing, it’s another Sunday, I’ve got something else I want to do the first week of October,” what would you say to them, how would you encourage them to become involved with World Communion Sunday? Linda – To be one of the things about World Communion Sunday is it’s the most fun out of all the special Sundays we have because you get to dress up, you get to have all this bread and it just is a fun way to do something totally different from what you do in your congregation. Normally when we take special offerings, we talk about it and we say, “Yeah it’s going to go for this and it’s going to go for that,” but we don’t have any connection to it and we don’t tie people into it and this fund gives you a real opportunity to tie in and to make people be a part of it. Rich – Very cool I like that. The good news should be good right? It should generate joy and this is a fun Sunday to be a part of and it generates joy even in
14 minutes | Sep 4, 2014
Bishop Jim Dorff talks about the importance and impact of World Communion Sunday!
Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS World Communion Sunday is a great chance for our church to gather together and make an impact … around the world! Listen in as Bishop Jim talks about this important day in our church calendar! Episode Highlights 00:30 // Rich introduces Bishop Jim Dorff. 00:56 // Bishop Jim talks about the San Antonio Episcopal Area and the transition to merging the two conferences to one; The Rio Texas Annual Conference. 02:06 // Bishop Jim explains what World Communion Sunday is. 03:23 // Bishop Jim tells a story that demonstrates how Christians from all over the world come together on World Communion Sunday. 05:16 // Bishop Jim talks about the importance for United Methodists to continue to celebrate World Communion Sunday. 06:14 // Bishop Jim talks about how the offerings from World Communion Sunday will support developing church leadership around the world. 09:13 // Bishop Jim talks about the scholarship program through the United Methodist Church has assisted significant leaders in the church today. 10:54 // Bishop Jim states that World Communion Sunday offers the opportunity to understand the act of communion. 11:49 // Bishop Jim talks about the church expecting good leadership and how World Communion Sunday gives the opportunity to invest and ‘put your money where your mouth is’. 12:55 // Bishop Jim hopes congregations take World Communion Sunday seriously and offers thanks to United Methodists for their generosity. Episode Transcript Rich – Well welcome to the World Communion Sunday podcast. That podcast where we focus on this incredibly important Sunday that’s coming up in just a few weeks in our church calendar. Super excited today to have Bishop Jim Dorff with us from the San Antonio Episcopal Area. Bishop Jim thank you so much for being with us today. Bishop Jim – Thank you Rich, I’m glad to be here. Rich – Now why don’t to tell us a little bit about yourself? What is the San Antonio Episcopal Area that you are the Bishop over? I wish I was in San Antonio today. I’m on the North East today, I wish I was in your part of the world. Bishop Jim – You could enjoy yourself although it’s a bit warm as usual for this time of year. Rich – Nice. Bishop Jim – The San Antonio Episcopal Area it’s interesting that you ask, our area is in transition. I came in 2008 as the Bishop of the area and we had two conferences. The Rio Grande Annual Conference and The Southwest Texas Annual Conference and we’ve been in a discernment process all during this period and by the action of both of the annual conferences and the past few years we are in the process of unifying and becoming one annual conference. So the conferences voted in June to become one annual conference, effective January 15th of 2015 and we will become the Rio Texas Annual Conference. So it’s an exciting time to be part of the life of this area. Rich – Well that’s amazing. So lots of change happening in your part of the woods. I’m sure that’s added a lot on your schedule so I appreciate you being here today. Bishop Jim – No I’m glad to talk about World Communion Sunday. Rich – Yeah for people who are listening in who don’t know what World Communion Sunday is, it’s hard to believe but there are people out there that don’t, why don’t you tell us, what is World Communion Sunday? Bishop Jim – World Communion Sunday has been around for a long, long time. World Communion Sunday actually started, its predecessor began back in the 1940s. It has continued to evolve over the years but it is an opportunity for churches across the denominational lines to recognize our commonness and to do that through an act that Jesus has left to us, that truly does bring us together as one and that is through the act of Holy Communion. World Communion Sunday has been around for a long, long time both for United Methodists and for most of the other major denominations. It’s been a part of who we are in this first Sunday in October, it has been the time for us to recognize that we’re not in this by ourselves and we’re not in it alone. Rich – Absolutely. A part of what I love about this is people from various steams of the Christian faith, kind of working together, celebrating together. Have you, over your years, seen ways that that’s happened even within your part of the world or within your conferences? Bishop Jim – Yeah, well let me tell you quickly. World Communion Sunday, I’ve always appreciated it and I’ve always been supportive of it and observed it but one particular Sunday, this was a long time ago, I was pastor of a county seat town in North Texas and it was World Communion Sunday and after church, I noticed of course we had several visitors there from various places and for various reasons but there was a couple, actually a family that came up to me after World Communion Sunday, after church, after worship and introduced themselves and of course I welcomed them. It turns out that they were from Africa and were visiting friends and they were very pleased and felt very much a part of us because they knew that their church, in their home village, was on that very same day celebrating World Communion Sunday. Rich – That’s cool. Bishop Jim – I know, it really kind of blew me away because it truly tied in the realities of what the day is all about and that is to realize that there are Christians all over the world that celebrate the Sacrament in one way or another. It truly was a tremendous kind of eye-opening and touching experience for them to be able to feel part of their home community while they were with us in our community. Rich – Absolutely. Bishop Jim – So it was a great experience. Rich – That’s very cool. Now why does the United Methodist kind of movement, why do we continue to celebrate this, why is it important to us? Bishop Jim- You know United Methodist, back from the time of Wesley of course, ecumenism is a part of who we are. We have never understood ourselves to be the one and only and we have always understood ourselves to be in common mission and ministry with our brothers and sisters of various arms and branches of the Christian faith. So therefore having an opportunity to recognize that very specifically and to do that through a sacramental act, is very Wesleyan, it’s very Methodist, it’s just a part of who we are and it’s a very significant part of who we are. If we ever lose that then we have lost a significant part of who we are. Rich – Absolutely. Now every year we take an offering at World Communion Sunday. Bishop Jim – Oh yeah. Rich – Where does that offering go? Bishop Jim – Well actually it’s interesting that I’ve had an opportunity to visit with you a little bit about this because I also happen to be the President of the General Board of Higher Education in Ministry this quadrennial. That gives me double worries to be engaged and interested and frankly promoting World Communion Sunday, because the proceeds of the offering, the World Communion Sunday offering, go toward the development of leadership for the church. Not just the church here in the US but through General Board of Global Ministries, through their various programs that they have of leadership development around the globe. Then also here in this country, a significant portion of the offering goes towards providing assistance for the development of leaders from ethnic minority populations in the church. So it’s a way of not only recognizing our oneness with each other and with other Christians, it’s also an opportunity for us to begin the process of supporting and developing significant Christian leadership, which the church so desperately needs today. Rich – Absolutely. I wonder if you could give us kind of a sense, kind of a taste of some of that leadership development that you’re seeing taking place. Either in the States or around the world that’s being supported by the offering from World Communion Sunday. Bishop Jim – Well the ethnic minority scholar’s programs of various sorts have been around for a long, long time. They have provided outstanding leaders for the church over the years. They’re continuing to do that. The opportunities for leadership development through additional programs, globally, those are all ongoing programs and they have served us well. It’s one of those things, the only thing you wish is that you could more and that’s why the generosity of our people at World Communion Sunday is so important, is because we all know that the church and world need devoted, capable, committed Christian leaders, both for the church and for the world. The offering really is a significant portion of assistance that we can offer for specifically ethnic minority populations and our global partners. It’s very significant and very important. Rich – Absolutely, can you think of a particular recipient of some of these funds over the years that you’ve either heard of or has made an impact? Particularly is there a story about a specific person you could share? Bishop Jim – I can’t give you a name at this point but what I can tell you is that it’s been very interesting to me. Over the years, this is not just recently, but over the years, when I have encountered significant ethnic minority population leaders in the church, it’s very clear to me that what has happened many times, is that they share their story. They will talk about the ways in which the scholarship programs, through the United Methodist Church, significantly assisted them to get their education which they needed to become the leaders that they are, which we all need. So I have heard on many occasions the significance to individual people, who are significant leaders in the church today. Rich – Absolutely, you know this I think is exciting. It’s systematic, it’s a way for all of us to jump on board in a way to support populations in just a real practical way. Hey
15 minutes | Aug 31, 2014
Lisa Katzenstein reflects on World Communion Sunday at her church!
Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS World Communion Sunday is a great chance for our church to gather together and make an impact … around the world! Listen in as Lisa talks about how she’s been apart of this Special Sunday in our calendar! Episode Highlights 00:34 // Rich introduces Lisa Katzenstein. 00:48 // Lisa introduces herself. 01:26 // Lisa talks about World Communion Sunday and the World Communion Scholarship Program. 01:58 // Lisa talks about the World Communion Scholarship Program and the transformative work the students are doing in their communities of need. 02:32 // Lisa talks about the commitment of the World Communion Scholarship Program. 04:00 // Lisa talks about the forthcoming event in Zimbabwe and their plans to come up with practical responses that will have an environmental impact on youths at local church level around the world. 06:00 // Lisa talks about recent graduate Dinkin Calbeth and forming the coordinating team with Dinkin and Pat Watkins. 06:49 // Lisa mentions some of the World Communion Scholars that are also involved in the Zimbabwe event. 08:26 // Rich talks about being part of World Communion Sunday and trying to create a platform to create change around the world. 09:15 // Lisa explains the principal role of the World Communion Scholarship. 10:40 // Lisa explains that it is the partners on the ground that determines what the priorities are and how they shift. 11:19 // Lisa talks about disaster risk reduction. 11:53 // Rich talks about the strengths of the World Communion Scholarship Program. 13:08 // Lisa talks about how the World Communion Scholarship supports young people in the US and around the world, to bring the church together and make for a better world. Episode Transcript Rich – Alright, well welcome to The World Communion Sunday podcast. That podcast where we count down to the first Sunday in October. That vitally important Sunday in our Church’s history. We’re super excited today to have Lisa Katzenstein with us. I’m super excited you’re here Lisa, thanks for being with us. Lisa – Thanks so much for inviting me, I’m glad to be with you. Rich – Great, why don’t you tell us who is Lisa? Give us your story in 30 seconds, I know that’s hard to do. Lisa – Well I’ve been here as the administrator of the Scholarship and Leadership Development Program for 12 years now and I actually have a finance background but I worked for a long time in social justice issues. So the combination… very, very important to my heart is impact on transforming the world basically, so this is my commitment. Rich – Nice, that’s great. So for people who are unaware, I know you find it hard to believe that there are people that will be unaware of what World Communion Sunday is but what is World Communion Sunday? What would you say to someone who’s never heard of this before? Lisa – Well World Communion Sunday is an act that’s celebrated the first Sunday in October and it’s a celebration that bridges denominations, bringing us together. It’s about inclusivity and I think really at its most basic, is showing that we all have a place at the Lord’s table and this is, in its essence, what undercurrents what the World Communion Scholarship Program is, which brings people from communities of color and develops leadership within the Church, the United Methodist Church. Rich – Very cool. Now you mentioned that this is obviously a Sunday that’s shared by a number of movements, a number of parts of the body of Christ. Why is our Church particularly, the United Methodist Church so excited and kind of committed to World Communion Sunday? Lisa – Well let me talk about what it funds. Rich – Sure yeah let’s do that. Lisa – It supports people who are transforming the world and our commitment at its most basic is about transformation of the world and impact in communities of need. So I think in its most Westerly and most United Methodist essence, this is in our life blood and what we most want to do. So this is our direct line, a direct support to the… I get extraordinarily enthusiastic in talking about the students who we’re funding, the scholars who we’ve supported because they’re the people who are on the ground, who are actually doing this transformative work in their communities. Rich – Well could you give us an example of a student or two that would kind of represent, just some of the positive work that will come out of World Communion Sunday, just an example of someone over the years, I’m sure there’s someone who kind of sticks out? Lisa – There’s so many. Rich – I know, it’s hard to narrow it down to a few, I realize. Lisa – In speaking of transformation, I would just like to add that the way the students who we are funding have transformed us and helped us learn what it is to work in community, work done inside communities of need, has been a transformative process both for us and for them. I guess I’d like to focus right now, we have an event coming up in two weeks, which will be in Zimbabwe, in just about a week and a half actually. We’re bringing together 12 people, 10 of whom, I’m one and another is a missionary, Reverend Pat Watkins on Creation Care Ministries, so we’re bringing together 10 people, 10 students, 6 of whom are World Communion Scholars. Rich – Wow, that’s cool. Lisa – They’re in environmental or related studies and some are current students, some are graduates. So either in environmental studies, it could be environmental education, waste management, as it intersects with public health and the idea is that we’re bringing together these young people who have done incredible work in their studies and the idea is to have a conversation, sit around the table and come up with several practical, applicable actions that will have environmental impact for youths at the local church level around the world. Rich – Wow. Lisa – In many ways it’s an opportunity to… young people, especially in different cultures, don’t always have the voice or the space to be heard and this is our engagement or accompaniment process with them. I always hesitate to use the word empowerment because we are not empowering them, they are empowered, we are just facilitating the possibility for their conversation and their ability to come up with concrete action plans that can be used, as I said. I’m repeating myself but really practical responses at the local church level around the world. One of our lead people is a recent graduate, his name is Dinkin Calbeth, he’s from Nigeria and he just completed his master’s program in Environmental Studies. It all sort of began with a conversation with him saying, “Okay Dinkin, you’ve just finished your studies, what now? The world needs you, the world needs you desperately, what now? What do we do? How do we engage you in conversation? How do we bring other people into it?” So Dinkin, Pat Watkins who I mentioned before and I, formed a coordinating team to begin developing the idea, how are we going to bring other people and have these conversations and make something actual and concrete happen out of them? Some of the other World Communion Scholars I should mention, Chemise (unclear 00:06:54) is from Zimbabwe and is studying at the University of Botswana doing her master’s degree. Ben Cobway, Global Ministries supported him for his master’s in Public Health but his undergraduate degree was in Environmental Studies and Othelia (unclear 00:07:26) who’s from the Philippines is getting her masters in Environmental Education and (unclear 00:07:32) who is also from the Philippines, who’s really in world development but as his work intersects with the environmental work at the local community level, so it’s going to be a dynamic conversation. This, I think, is an example of the embodiment of the Goa Ministries Program. Important in this conversation is that what we realize and learn from our students is that the most important part of the work that we do, is actually not while the person is studying but what he or she will do when he or she has completed his or her studies. So what are they doing to impact communities? Rich – I love one thing you said there, just in passing, I love that you talked about how you’re trying to create really a platform, we’re trying to create platform for people to create change around the world and by being a part of World Communion Sunday, churches are a part of that platform creation process, which is exciting. All of these students are going to make an incredible impact in a wide variety of fields. You and I have an opportunity to be a part of that. We’ve talked a lot about… obviously I’m super excited we caught you before you got to Zimbabwe, we’d love to hear when you get back, report on that, but what other areas, besides environmental issues, which obviously are super important, are there other areas that this program supports? Lisa – Absolutely, absolutely. The principal role of the World Communion Scholarship at Global Ministries, is meant to be the premier scholarship program for the United Methodist Church. The idea is to really focus on who are the stellar people, really capable and committed people, who we can fund and the idea is, I’m sorry I’m coming around the bend to answer your question. Rich – That’s great. Lisa – The idea is to find, it’s not a scholarship for individual career advancement, it’s really to build church leadership in a variety of disciplines and finding those people who are going to have the greatest possible impact in their community. So the strategy, the hand of doing this to do this. So we’re finding targeted, strategic people who are going to have that broad impact in their community. So whether it’s theological studies in preparation for ordained ministry, it could be doctors, it could be public health specialists, teachers, accountants in the ch
6 minutes | Aug 30, 2014
Countdown to World Communion Sunday!
Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Listen in to this interview about this upcoming important Sunday in the life of our church!
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