This summer 16 college and seminary students will work at 16 locations around the Kentucky Annual Conference. Their ten-week paid internships are part of the Isaiah Project, an initiative of the Kentucky Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church to identify, encourage, and support young people who are feeling a possible call to the ordained ministry. During the summer, the interns will have the opportunity to teach, preach, and participate in a variety of pastoral and ministerial responsibilities. Each will be mentored by either an Elder or a Deacon who is a full member of the Kentucky Conference.
Two of the 2010 interns are students at Kentucky State University. Both have been involved at St Paul United Methodist Church in Frankfort and with the KSU Wesley Foundation.
Monique Scroggins is a sophomore from Dayton, OH, majoring in Business Administration. She senses that she needs to be doing more for God and made application to the Isaiah Project because she senses a call to ministry. Monique feels that this will give her an opportunity to discover and refine what this call looks like for her life. After Monique graduates from KSU, she would like to dedicate her entire life to ministry. Monique has been placed at Wesley United Methodist Church in Lexington under the supervision of Rev. Edgar Goins.
Michael Thompson is a sophomore from Atlanta, GA, majoring in Business Administration. Michael also sees his future in the ministry, but would like to incorporate his passion for ministry and business. Michael feels that the Isaiah Project will give him an opportunity to gain wisdom and experience that he needs to prepare for ministry. Michael says his heart is right and he wants to help people. He has been placed at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Frankfort under the supervision of Rev. Elvyn Hamilton.
Travis Barrix, a junior studying music education at the University of Kentucky, will work for Kevin Burney in the Covington District. He feels called to all types of ministry and especially loves people and music. He hopes the internship will help him know if he is called to pursue full-time ministry. Travis says, “This summer will help give my ministry more perspective and experience in serving God and people.”
Scott Woodburn will work with Tom Smith in Ministerial Services at the Kentucky Conference Office. He is a junior at Kentucky Wesleyan College, majoring in religion, and feels called to pastoral ministry or ministry with fatherless children. Scott looks forward to interacting with other Isaiah Project interns. Through the internship, he hopes to more clearly sense God’s calling for his life and how God wants to use him.
Jeannie Fulkerson is also a student at Kentucky Wesleyan. A sophomore religion major, Jeannie feels called to mission work in other countries, especially Russia. She hopes to gain experience and knowledge working in ministry during her internship. She thinks the experience will affect her ministry “because it will help me to get used to dealing with people that I don't know and are possibly very different than I am.” Jeannie will be working at Island United Methodist Church (Owensboro District). Her mentor is Island pastor Jeff Graham.
Summer Papajeski will serve at Lexington Centenary United Methodist Church with senior pastor Tom Grieb as her mentor. A senior psychology major at the University of Louisville, Summer feels called to pastoral care ministry and ministry with youth and children. She hopes the experience will help her gain a better understanding of where God is calling her. Summer says, “I see this internship affecting my ministry by radically transforming my life just by answering God's call to be a light to the world and to live out love.”
Angel Gustavison is enrolled in the MDIV program at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary but plans to switch to Marriage and Family Therapy. She feels called to be in urban ministry and hopes the internship will give her a new appreciation for ministerial services. Angel will work at the Portland Promise Center in Louisville, and Larry Stoess will be her mentor.
Ron Beaton, a Master of Divinity student at Duke Divinity School at Duke University, will work with Wayne Bishop at Middletown United Methodist Church in Louisville. He feels called to be an Elder in the United Methodist Church, primarily working in the local parish, and says he has “a particularly strong call to the sacraments.” Ron thinks the internship will give him a better sense of what it means to be a United Methodist pastor in Kentucky. He says, “I hope this internship will give me the tools to adequately work with several staff members, learn more about pastoral counseling, preaching, teaching and nurturing, and how to lead a congregation to be active participants in ushering in God’s Kingdom.”
The other eight interns for 2010 are Matthew Tolliver, serving at Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center; Evan Vickers, Chapel Hill UMC; Shea James, Columbia District, Joshua Dillon, Covenant UMC (Middlesboro); Kenya Cummings, Immanuel UMC (Covington); Lindsay Million, Loucon Training & Retreat Center; Terry Cunningham, NCCD African American Ministries; and Molly Jack, Red Bird Mission Summer Youth Program.
The interns and their mentors will meet for orientation and training on May 17 before the summer Isaiah Project internships begin. To learn more about the Isaiah Project, visit www.isaiahprojectumc.com.