A recent graduate of Kansas State University, Ty Schissel remembers being "blindsided" – but in a good way – when he heard about internship opportunities in the Great Plains Conference.
"I didn't even know it was available," said Schissel, an Olathe, Kansas, native who plans to enter seminary in the Kansas City area this fall. "They told me they had this awesome, cool internship available, and I got excited and immediately applied."
Active in the K-State Wesley program, Schissel will be one of three pastoral leadership interns this summer.
"I'd really like to have some experience to apply what I'm learning in the classroom while I'm actually at seminary," Schissel said.
He is one of more than 30 interns this summer for the Great Plains who gathered at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina the week of May 22 for an internship retreat.
The interns will be spreading through the region this summer as part of Micah Corps, teaching Vacation Bible School, serving as pastoral leadership and youth ministry interns, as well as young adult leadership and new church development. The Micah Corps is supported by the Peace with Justice Sunday offering.
"We decided to focus on the opening retreat being the biggest kickoff yet," said Conard, the conference's coordinator of young adult leadership.
The first day of the retreat focuses on the individual. The second is on groups, the third is on purpose of mission, and the final day is the sending forth.
"On the third year, we have kind of streamlined this to say this is what we want any student to know," Conard said. "This will give them life skills for their whole life, not just the summer. We really honed in on that."
Instead of a closing retreat, which has been conducted in the past few years, interns will receiving what leaders are calling a "Who Cares Package" at various points throughout the summer.
"It's a way of kind of processing and encouraging and fun," said the Rev. Ashlee Alley, clergy recruitment and development coordinator. "We're providing support throughout the summer in a different way."
David Burke, communications coordinator, Great Plains Ann Conference
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, Peace with Justice Sunday enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs. The special offering benefits peace with justice ministries in the annual conference and through the General Board of Church and Society.
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