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US-2s serve Michigan well

Two Global Mission Fellows who serve in Michigan are now finishing their term

There have been 10 Global Mission Fellows, young adult missionaries, serving in Michigan since 2010. On August 25th three more  young people arrive to serve in Detroit and Kalamazoo.


Senior Content Editor, Michigan Conference

Creating opportunities for young adults has been a priority of the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church for the past ten years. 

Global Mission Fellows are young people who are committed to work in social justice ministries for two years. They serve outside of their home communities, either in the United States (US-2 Track) or overseas (International Track).

This fellowship allows participants to address the root causes of oppression and alleviate human suffering alongside community organizations in a variety of issues including public health (including HIV/AIDS), migration/immigration, education and poverty. These young adults play a critical role as agents of change in The United Methodist Church.

Michigan has served as a placement site for Global Mission Fellows since 2010:

  • NOAH Project Detroit: Brandon Powell (2012-2014); Chelsea Spyres (2014-2016); Chelsea Williams (2015-2017); Isaac Dunn (2016-2018); Grace Okerson (2017-2019); Jinnia Siironen (2018-2020)*
  • Northwest Detroit Flood Recovery: Kayla Flannery (2015-2016)
  • Motown Mission: Kayla Flannery (2016-2017); Lynda Sylvain (2017-2019)
  • Kalamazoo Wesley: Asti White (2018-2020)
  • Kalamazoo: Sunnyside UMC: Emily Burns (2018-2020)

As the summer of 2019 draws to a close it is time to say goodbye to Grace Okerson and Lynda Sylvain, whose two-year terms are ending. 

Lisa Batten receives Golden Yam Award
In 2018 The Michigan Conference received the “Golden Yam” from General Board of Global Ministries’ Global Mission Fellow/US2 track for having the greatest increase in the number of YAMs (Young Adult Missionaries) and site recruitment. L-r: Asti White, Lisa Batten, Emily Burns, and Matt Weiler. ~ photo courtesy Lisa Batten

Thirteen new US-2s are soon to be trained and commissioned. Michigan will welcome three of them for ministry. Arriving here on August 25 are:

  • Kathryn Sappington, from Mississippi, who will serve at Kalamazoo: First UMC
  • Nathan Whitford, from Ohio, who joins the team at NOAH Project Detroit
  • Samantha Whitford, from Ohio, who takes up ministry at Motown Mission, Motor City Wesley, and Redford Brightmoor Initiative

The General Board of Global Ministries invites you to encourage 20-30 year-olds in your congregation to consider service as a Global Mission Fellow. Click here for all the details about the program and how to apply. Applications open on September 15, 2019 for the 2020-2022 cohort of Global Mission Fellows. 

Questions? Contact Lisa Batten, Young Adult Initiatives Coordinator for The Michigan Conference.

*US-2s serving at NOAH Project prior to the Global Mission Fellowship Program:  Amy Brown, Krista Dover, Devin Hanson, April McGlothin-Eller, Beth Spencer-Anderson

Last Updated on October 31, 2023

The Michigan Conference