Southwestern College campus minister Ashlee Alley recently accompanied several students to St. Louis to participate in Exploration 2011.
Exploration 2011 is an event organized by the United Methodist Church with the goal of bringing younger people to the pulpit. During two days of workshops, prayer, worship, and small-group meetings, the denomination hopes to help some of the 18- to 26-year-olds in attendance determine whether their future career path will lead to a life in the ministry.
Southwestern College students attending were Caleb Chua, Jessica Schaal, Molly Komlofske, Heida Raisa, Rachel Wong, Lucas McConnell, and Isaac Chua.
“Exploration 2011 is an opportunity to set time aside to listen to the call to ministry,” Alley says. “There are seminary representatives and students and lots of other people to help in the exploration process. For two of our students it was an opportunity to confirm the call to ministry (Komlofske and McConnell). Our other students are in the question phase so they were able to explore their options.”
Komlofske, a senior from Holcomb, said that the speakers (Rev. Adam Hamilton, Bishop Robert Hayes, and Rev. Shalom Agatarap) gave great inspiration.
“I left Exploration enjoying the fact that I got to hear so many wonderful speakers who encouraged me and had great hearts for the United Methodist church,” Komlofske says. “However, I also left with a thankful heart that I have been able to study and spend my college years at Southwestern. We are mentored here by our professors, ministers, and other faculty and staff. Southwestern College makes you consider your calling from the time you set foot on this campus. I was thankful for that. I feel like some students at other schools can get lost in the institution and they have to pick majors and move on because that is what the other 15,000 students have to do, too. It’s good to be a part of a community that realizes that each student’s calling is a part of and as important as their academic and collegiate journey.”
The Board of Ordained Ministry arranged for and provided funds for transportation students from the Kansas West Conference to attend Exploration 2011. Rev. Amy Lippoldt, pastor at Woodland United Methodist Church, represented the Board of Ordained Ministry and traveled with the students.