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Your call is worth exploring

Paul Reissmann being ordained

Young adults looking at ministry options through the UMC should attend the February Exploration event in Florida. Conference grants to assist with paying for registration and travel are available.

All Christians are called to ministry as disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s not just for a few. We share good news through our witness, prayers, gifts, and service. However, some are called to professional ministry, and there are many different paths to choose from. God’s call is as diverse as God’s people.

Do you . . .

    • enjoy camping and helping others connect with God’s creation?
    • have a heart for children and love their curious questions about faith and life?
    • find yourself listening deeply to others as they talk about their doubts and questions?
    • want to stand up for those who feel mistreated, misunderstood, or forgotten about?
    • seek to understand other cultures in different parts of the world?
    • value the beauty of worship and find yourself drawn to music, theater, or the arts?
    • desire a career that gets you, that connects with the things you’re passionate about?
    • love God and want to follow God’s will for your life but aren’t sure what to do next?

If you are a young adult between 18 and 26 asking similar questions, spend a weekend in Florida, February 16-18, 2024, at Exploration 2024. You’ll find a welcoming place to discuss ministry options with other United Methodists. There will be workshops, worship, connections with other young adults in a similar decision-making process, and time to talk to seminaries and other ministry resources.

Grants to assist with registration and travel to Orlando are available from the Michigan Conference Board of Young People’s Ministries. Click the button below and complete the form to request financial support. The deadline for financial assistance is February 1, 2024.

Exploration 2024 is put together by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. It’s geared toward people at the beginning stages of discerning a call to professional ministry. There will be a variety of workshop sessions from various leaders within The United Methodist Church. Such topics include what it means to be called into ministry, ways of being an elder or a deacon, the path of chaplaincy, ministry with young adults or children, and methods of paying for theological education. Click here to read more about the workshops.

Over the years, Exploration has been a life-changing experience for some Michigan United Methodists as they prayed about God’s call on their lives. Here are three testimonies:

“As a college student exploring a call into ministry, Exploration was an opportunity to connect with peers of a similar age, question together how God was moving in our lives, and provide mentors from seminary who were in our shoes only a few years before. Having intentional quiet space, worship, and sessions that covered a multitude of topics allowed me to individualize my experience and discover what it might look like to pursue a career in ministry.” — Lauren Canary, first-year seminary student

“I attended this event a million years ago, and it was a life-changer. I had been feeling called but so uncertain that it was really legitimate. This time with others who were in the same place affirmed that 1) yes, this was real, and God does call, and 2) there were lots of ways to live out this call.” — Rev. Dr. Devon Herrell, Corporate Chaplain at Tyson Foods in Zeeland

“Exploration connected me with the seminary I eventually went to that equipped and refined my call. It engendered a hope for the future and a belief that I was called into that hope and became part of something larger in that hope. I’d never regret it and highly encourage people to explore together.” — Rev. Paul Reissmann, 2023 ordained elder serving Lake Odessa UMC

Exploration 2024 will be held in Orlando, FL, from February 16-18, 2024, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, located at the entrance to Universal Studios.

For questions about financial assistance available through the Michigan Conference, email Rev. Elizabeth Hurd, Chair of the Board of Young People’s Ministries, at [email protected] or Lisa Batten, Connectional Ministry Staff member, at [email protected].

For more information about Exploration 2024, email Amie Stewart, Director of Conference Relations, at [email protected].

Last Updated on January 30, 2024

The Michigan Conference