Author Archives: "Stretch Out Your Hand"

About "Stretch Out Your Hand"

The next two years, I'll be serving as a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults between the ages of 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for two years of mission service. It grew out of the faith and justice emphases of the historic United Methodist US-2 and Mission Intern programs. Global Mission Fellows become parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world. I'm from West Virginia where I'm a member of Lewisburg United Methodist Church in the West Virginia Annual Conference. Last May, I graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History. I worked for the Yale College Dean’s Office and the Mayhew Program for “at risk” boys. While in school, I attended First & Summerfield United Methodist Church. My father is a United Methodist district superintendent and his mother is involved on the church’s general level. Connor S. Kenaston is a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, serving a two year term of service. The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults between the ages of 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for two years of mission service. It grew out of the faith and justice emphases of the historic United Methodist US-2 and Mission Intern programs. Global Mission Fellows become parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world. Connor is from West Virginia where he is a member of Lewisburg United Methodist Church in the West Virginia Annual Conference. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University. He has worked for the Yale College Dean’s Office and the Mayhew Program for “at risk” boys. While in school, Connor attended First & Summerfield United Methodist Church. His father is a United Methodist district superintendent and his mother is involved on the church’s general level. As a pastor’s kid, the church served as a “second home” for most of my life. A Mission of Peace trip to Cuba in 2008 made a particularly strong impact on my faith journey. On this trip we saw Christ already at work in the world, and I felt a calling on my life to work for justice. My college experience also significantly affected my faith, partially because, for the first time in my life, I lived in a diverse community where most people did not identify as Christians. Consequently, this experience helped me to define who I am, what I believe, and why that’s important to me. I'm interested in serving as a Mission Fellow because I have a strong call to share of God’s love and help the church be a prophetic voice for justice. It is my responsibility to make sure the church is in service—especially with the poor and marginalized in the world.

Hope for the Church

Originally posted on Taking the Call:
The end of May brought a final family reunion for the Global Mission Fellow class of 2014-2016. Upon the end of General Conference in downtown Portland, we bused out to the serene haven that…

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A Model for the Global Church

Check out the most recent blogs by Connor about the Global Church: https://thebookoffellows.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/a-model-for-the-global-church/ and here: https://ckenaston.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/what-is-the-global-church/  

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What is the “Global Church”?

Originally posted on "Stretch Out Your Hand":
While numbers of United Methodists have gradually decreased over the last few decades, the denomination outside the US (what the UMC calls “Central Conferences”) has grown rapidly. These statistics lead many…

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A Conversation with US2’s about Poverty and Race

On Saturday morning, Chelsea Spyres (one of my Global Mission Fellow prayer partners and one of my closest friends) co-delivered the Young People’s Address to General Conference. Chelsea is one of the most genuine and compassionate individuals I know, and … Continue reading

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A Chance to Vote

Serving as a reserve delegate comes with both joys and challenges. Joys: There’s less pressure! If I need to take an hour for my health (read: sanity), I can do that and not feel guilty about missing a vote or … Continue reading

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Day One

Written by Connor Kenaston, Lay Reserve Delegate from WV And so it begins… After a long flight, time changes, and not enough sleep, I have finally arrived in Portland! Honestly, much of the first day of General Conference was wonderful. … Continue reading

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Digging into the Archives

by Connor Kenaston, Yale College ’14 Although this post was written yesterday before the Judicial Council (see the two posts written last night) ruled that the Plan UMC was unconstitutional, we feel that this analysis still applies.  Connor writes that … Continue reading

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