Three Students Selected to Speak at General Conference 2020
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Sept. 26, 2019 /Discipleship Ministries/ – Three college students who feel they have something to say to the entire United Methodist Church will represent young people from throughout the connection when they address the General Conference 2020 next May in Minneapolis.
The three – Senesie Timothy Arounah Rogers, a law student at Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone; Alejandra Salemi, a graduate student at the University of Florida, and Brennan Hurley, a divinity student at Duke – were selected from applications submitted by young people between the ages of 12-35 by an international group of representatives from the Division on Ministries with Young People at Discipleship Ministries.
The United Methodist Young People’s Address, which is organized by Discipleship Ministries, is an opportunity for the three to witness about the church’s impact on their own lives and the lives of others. As they speak directly to thousands of people at General Conference, including over 800 voting delegates from around the world, it is also a chance to cast a vision for future work together as Christ’s hands and feet in the world.
“I consider it a great honor to be chosen to take part in the Young People's Address at the General Conference 2020,” Rogers said. “I'm truly happy that service in the young people's ministry has availed me the opportunity of being the voice for the many that we so gratefully represent in our glorious church.”
A native of Sierra Leone, Rogers is a young adult of the United Methodist Sierra Leone Annual Conference within the West Africa Central Conference. He currently serves as the chairman for the West Africa Central Conference Youth and Young Adults’ Organization.
Salemi emigrated from Colombia as a young child and grew up attending Community of Faith UMC in Davenport, Florida. She has served on the staff of Gator Wesley, the United Methodist campus ministry at Florida, for four years and has started a social justice ministry called Act Justly. Salemi was elected to be a lay delegate at the UMC’s Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 2020.
“This is my first opportunity to share on a stage this large,” she said about her address to GC 2020. “I am thrilled to help share a boldness on behalf of the future of our church.”
Hurley, a third-year master of divinity student at Duke Divinity School, is currently serving on loan from the Illinois Great Rivers Conference as pastor of Pine Level First UMC and Sanders Chapel UMC in the North Carolina Conference. He believes that the best way for Christians to share the love of God, to build bridges and to find commonality among differences is ”to share in the Lord’s Supper together, which binds us together at one table with one loaf and reminds us of the infinite worth of each person in the eyes of Jesus.”
“As a young clergy person serving two churches, I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to sharing,” Hurley said.
General Conference 2020 will take place May 5-15. 2020, in Minneapolis.
The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org, the Press Center at www.UMCdiscipleship.org/about/... or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.