Overview and goals of the Primetimers programIn the course of a typical United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) experience, teams often work 70% of the time and learn, sightsee, and rest from their travels the remainder. In a Primetimers experience, we anticipate perhaps as much as 60% of the time would be used in educational settings. The other portion of the time would be in Christian service.
Primetimers group at UMCOR Sager-Brown Depot in Baldwin, Louisiana
Thus, a near reversal of the education-to-work ratio from the traditional UMVIM would occur. It is believed that this emphasis will broaden the base of willing participants, welcoming persons traditionally apprehensive about UMVIM.
Primetimers experiences will offer participants: intentional educational forums, cross-cultural opportunities, faith-filled reflection on the purpose of ministry, and greater exposure to the work of the UMC and the church universal, thus preparing interpreters for the mission work of the church.
A team that goes to the Sager-Brown Depot in Louisiana might spend classroom time learning about: UMCOR, Cajun culture, Acadian migrations, marine biology, UMW, and/or the history of Sager-Brown, in addition to working in the warehouse for some of the time. Another team going to Honduras might learn about: Inca culture, Spanish language, Jubilee 2000 and external debt, and ornithology, as well as work to rebuild homes in the wake of Hurricane Mitch.
The goals of the Primetimers program are to:
- provide new service and learning experiences for older persons, offering opportunities for intentional education, faith-filled reflection, and cross-cultural appreciation in the context of Christian mission;
- serve the ministries of the UMC and its faith partners, creating informed interpreters of the mission and heritage of the UMC; and
- strengthen relationships of the local church with those with whom they are in mission, enabling interaction with grassroots efforts to address the needs of "the least of these."
* * *