Pas­tor trav­els to Kenya to teach

Starrsville UMC pas­tor authors the cur­ricu­lum used to teach Kenyan pas­tors

The Covington News - - Religion - NHI HO nho@cov­

Starrsville United Methodist Church Pas­tor Su­san Tay­lor, the church’s first fe­male pas­tor, re­cently packed her bags and joined a team of eight peo­ple to travel to Nairobi, Kenya, and help train a group of Kenyan pas­tors. Al­most 100 miles away from the capi­tol, Tay­lor and her team reached Nakuru where the United Methodist train­ing ac­tu­ally took place.

Tay­lor was part of a three-per­son teach­ing team and was even in­stru­men­tal in writ­ing the cur­ricu­lum that was pro­duced and used on the train­ing in Kenya.

“We trained 40 UM pas­tors to be­come lo­cal pas­tors in the United Methodist Church in Kenya,” Tay­lor said.

One of the three goals for the trip was to teach United Methodist Kenya pas­tors to be United Methodist lo­cal pas­tors. Forty pas­tors at­tended a five-day train­ing ses­sion mod­eled on the “Li­cense to Preach” course taught in the U.S. to peo­ple who have a high school diploma and have a call to be­come a UM pas­tor.

“We taught his­tory and tradition of Chris­tian­ity; doc­trine, his­tory and tradition of the UMC,” Tay­lor said. “We taught them the Chris­tian ethics at the lo­cal church level and at the broader level of the Chris­tian church.”

These par­tic­u­lar pas­tors do not have a sem­i­nary de­gree and of­ten do not have a col­lege de­gree. They can only serve Holy Com­mu­nion, bap­tize and marry peo­ple in the con­gre­ga­tion where they are ap­pointed to be the pas­tor-in-charge.

Aside from the train­ing, the mis­sions trip had two other goals for Tay­lor and her team: get­ting clean wa­ter for the peo­ple in the Kenya com­mu­ni­ties and work­ing with Kenyan women to teach them how to be in­de­pen­dent learn­ing a craft that can be made into a busi­ness.

Hav­ing clean wa­ter to drink is eas­ily taken for granted here in the U.S., but for many oth­ers abroad, clean wa­ter is not al­ways ac­ces­si­ble. Sawyer, a com­pany based in Tampa, Fla., pro­vided the fil­ters for the wa­ter fil­ter sys­tems and res­i­dents in the com­mu­ni­ties were taught how to prop­erly use the wa­ter fil­ter sys­tem so they could have clean drink­ing wa­ter. Each wa­ter fil­ter sys­tem costs just $60 U.S. dol­lars.

“I am al­ways thank­ful to God for the bless­ing of be­ing an Amer­i­can ci­ti­zen where I can drink wa­ter from a faucet that is clean and will not cause me to get sick with dis­eases,” Tay­lor said.

The fi­nal goal of the trip was to teach Kenyan women a craft that would earn them money. Tay­lor and her team worked with women who have their own craft busi­nesses and taught them ways of mak­ing jew­elry that will sell in the U.S. us­ing cur­rent fash­ion col­ors and trends along with beads brought to them from the U.S. that they can in­cor­po­rate into their work.

The UMC team also pur­chased a va­ri­ety of craft prod­ucts from the women’s busi­nesses and brought them back to At­lanta to help raise funds.

“On the sec­ond Sun­day in De­cem­ber, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church will host a Christ­mas gift bazaar where peo­ple can pur­chase these items,” Tay­lor said. “All money col­lected on the sale of these items is re­turned to the busi­ness own­ers (crafters) with no money be­ing kept in the U.S. — a 100 per­cent profit for these busi­ness women.

“These beads are made of clay by women, and the pro­ceeds from their sale go di­rectly back to the women. I love my Kazuri beads and love know­ing that my pur­chase of the beads for my­self and for gifts means that I sup­ported women in busi­ness who are mak­ing a liv­ing sell­ing these beau­ti­ful beads. I un­der­stand that Meryl Streep wears them and has been pho­tographed wear­ing them too.”

Most Kazuri beads prod­ucts range in price from $16-$26 U.S. dol­lars.

Tay­lor’s trip to Kenya was far too short and her eight days there went by too quickly.

“I hope to re­turn to Kenya in Fe­bru­ary of next year, along with as­so­ciate pas­tor at Al­pharetta First UMC Rev. Brent White, to teach this same class we pi­loted on this trip to the 50 re­main­ing UM Kenya pas­tors who have not re­ceived this train­ing,” Tay­lor said.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Kazuri beads, visit glob­al­mar­ket­­inkenya.html . For more in­for­ma­tion about Starrsville United Methodist Church, call (770) 786-4293 or email revdr­tay­lor@ bel­lsouth. net or visit starrsvilleumc. org.

Sub­mit­ted pho­tos

Pas­tor Su­san Tay­lor (front row right) stands among the group of Kenyan pas­tors whom she help teach.

Pas­tor Su­san wear­ing her clay Kazuri beads made by lo­cal Kenyan women.

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