Stories We Need to Hear

I have loved working as a Global Mission Fellow in Ferguson and Columbia, Missouri. This experience has had some challenges, but it’s also been incredibly fulfilling. One of my favorite parts has been creating and producing the Faith and Race Podcast.

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The Faith and Race Podcast is designed to help churches of all colors host constructive dialogue about faith, race, and the church. Every episode has a specific focus to help listeners intentionally think about the intersection of history, institutions, scripture, prayer, race, and justice. For Season One, all of the interviewees are African-American Methodists from Missouri, and each has a powerful story to tell. The Podcast consists of 20-25 minute audio interviews that bring diverse insights and experiences into churches, homes, and hearts across Missouri and beyond.  In addition to the podcast, a Faith and Race small group curriculum will be available in late March to help guide groups to discuss the issues raised in each episode and what these issues might look like in their church or community. While all people of faith may find the podcast beneficial, the Faith and Race Podcast and upcoming small group curriculum will be particularly valuable to less diverse congregations by exposing listeners to different perspectives and experiences. The Faith and Race Podcast is produced by the Center for Social Empowerment and Justice in Ferguson, Missouri, and Mission, Service, and Justice Ministries of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church.

There are several ways to listen to the podcast:

Want a taste? Check out the teaser below

http://traffic.libsyn.com/faithandrace/EPISODE_ONE_TEASER.mp4


 

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Connor Kenaston

Racial Justice Advocate, Columbia/Ferguson, MO

US-2, 2014-2016

Advance # 3021973

 

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"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.

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