July 30, 2008

COLUMBIA, Ky. – More than 200 guests were at Lindsey Wilson College in late July to attend the annual School of Christian Mission for the Women’s Division of The United Methodist Church.
 
The annual four-day training school, held in conjunction with the Kentucky Redbird Mission, educates women and children on spiritual, political and geographical issues through a faith-based lens. The theme of this year’s school was “Living the Sacred,” which encouraged participants to value all of creation.
 
The theme’s components included: “I Believe in Jesus,” “Native Americans” and “Israel/Palestine.”

Rhoda Peters, who taught about Israel and Palestine, said her class served a dual purpose for students.

“I am covering the situation in Israel and Palestine from both sides,” Peters said. “The goal of the lesson is to get people thinking about what we can do to work for peace in the area. However, I also feel that the class should deepen the participants’ walk to discipleship by studying Christians in other parts of the world.”
 
Dean of the Training School Charlotte Smith said she always looks forward to the annual school. The college’s A.P. White Campus offers the perfect location because of its spacious Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center, smart classrooms and striking John B. Begley Chapel.

“The graciousness of the Lindsey Wilson people helps make our event run smoothly,” Smith said. “The facilities here really work well for us. I personally think that the chapel is a wonderful place, and we enjoy getting to use it as well.”
 
Smith said the children who attended last week’s conference were enriched through education about other cultures – and they also had fun while learning.

“The children who attend always want to come back,” she said. “With the Native American component this year, the children are getting to make crafts and cook.”
 
And after they attend the school, the children’s lessons are reinforced by the parents.

“The great thing about the children’s education is that it ties in so well with the adult study,” Smith said. “The educational bond that happens is a good thing.”
 
The four-day school also included evening worship services, film viewings and afternoon musical worship.

Lindsey Wilson Chaplain Troy Elmore said the school benefits from a broad range of learning and fellowship techniques.
 
“The organizers of the School of Christian Mission do a great of job of making sure that the worship services fit with the larger emphasis of the school,” Elmore says. “You can tell that they (worship services) have been planned with an attention to detail.

“For example, the songs we sing are representative of different traditions within the church. I heard one participant mention that they wished for one of the songs sung at conference to be their church communion song.”

Elmore said the annual school is mutually beneficial for the church and Lindsey Wilson.

“The United Methodist Women are a very strong mission organization,” Elmore said. “Having them on our campus does a couple things for us and The United Methodist Church. First, it reminds us that we are connectional. This college is a part of the ministry of the Kentucky Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church; and we, like The United Methodist Church, are working to fulfill the mission of The United Methodist Church: ‘To make disciples of Jesus.’ Therefore we are partners in ministry and mission.

“Second, every year we have literally hundreds of women, men and youth attending the conference at Lindsey Wilson College. These people get to experience a small part of the college first-hand. They get to see our campus and be a part of the good things that are happening at Lindsey Wilson. God is working in Columbia, and they get to experience and be a part of what the Spirit is doing.”


Rhoda Peters stands with a display she used to teach about Israel and Palestine.

LWC Assistant Chaplain Carol Weddle and Chaplain Troy Elmore join in singing during a worship service at the School of Christian Mission.