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Ubuntu Explorers

Ubuntu Explorers Trip to Northern Ireland

Join other United Methodist Women on an Ubuntu eXplorer Journey to Northern Ireland, September 14-23, 2012. Participants will learn about the East Belfast Mission that is both a church and a mission, enjoy a relationship-building retreat with Methodist Women of Ireland and engage in discussions on what it means to forgive and reconcile with one another. Applications Closed.


“Forgiveness and Reconciliation”

Bible Verse

The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted. --Matthew 23:11-12


  1. To build relationships that can continue after the Ubuntu Journey between United Methodist Women and Northern Ireland Methodist Women.
  2. To learn about East Belfast Mission's exemplary work through seminar sessions and participate in local missions with a day of service.
  3. To discuss and study "forgiveness and reconciliation" as it relates to particular contexts.
  4. To meet and talk with local political representatives and citizens who have been impacted by the Troubles of Northern Ireland.

Itinerary (may vary slightly)

September 14: Arrival Day

Transported to bed & breakfast lodging in Belfast.

September 15-16: All day retreat with Methodist Women of Ireland.

Lead in East Belfast Mission’s Sunday service. Afternoon tour of Belfast.

September 17-20: Introduction to East Belfast Mission’s work

Meet and dialogue with local paramilitaries, community leaders and people impacted by the Troubles. Two afternoons will tour local interface areas, Londonderry Central Mission, Bogside area and visit the Titanic site.

September 21: Day of mission service

With Methodist Women of Ireland and East Belfast Mission

September 22: Sightseeing to North Coast

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Giant’s Causeway and Mussenden Temple in County Londonderry.

September 23: Departure Day

Team Leader (Ireland): Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, Mission Superintendent

Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, is the Host/Team Leader for Ubuntu, Northern Ireland. Gary is a Methodist Minister based at East Belfast Mission, serves as the Mission Superintendent, and is responsible for all pastoral and spiritual aspects of the Mission and the life of the Church. Gary continues to lead through a series of worship and comprehensive programs. Gary’s remit also includes working closely with local community representatives to pave a way towards a peaceful future. He is a member of the Mission Executive Board and chairs the Skainos meetings. He says, “I enjoy going to the gym, playing squash, reading and travelling when I get the chance.”

Team Leader (U.S.) Ruby Anderson

Ruby Anderson is the Team Leader for Ubuntu, Northern Ireland. She is Lay Leader at Scott Memorial UMC in Detroit, Michigan and has been involved in mission through United Methodist Women for over 25 years. She served as unit president from 2004-2008, Secretary of Program Resources for the Detroit Annual Conference (DAC) United Methodist Women in 2011, Chair of Mid-West Regional Literature Sales, and is currently vice-president of her unit.

Ruby participated with a United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) trip to Liberia 2007 to help rebuild a community church destroyed by war. She was the DAC/GBGM Mission Ambassador to Sudan, Africa in 2009 accompanying a US-wide team and returned to give over 25 presentations about Sudan. Ruby traveled with an UMVIM team to Haiti in 2011, helping to support the needs of children and the Hot Lunch Program. Her latest travel experience was to Sao Paulo, Brazil in December 2011 to observe and compare urban needs.

Ruby is a retired Social Studies teacher and real estate broker, and in 2010 completed Red Cross Nursing Assistant certification. She has two sons, and one granddaughter.

Last Updated: 04/09/2014

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