I am pleased to announce that I intend to appoint the Rev. Allison Mark as the first coordinator of the Young Clergy Initiative, a collaborative project of the California-Pacific Conference and Claremont School of Theology.
The 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church created a $7 million Young Clergy Initiative fund for the purpose of “increasing the number of young clergy,” in its U.S. conferences. This initiative was placed under the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for its promotion and administration.
In 2014, a $70,000 YCI grant, prepared in dialogue with our Cabinet and other conference leaders, was awarded to Claremont School of Theology. Through the hard work of our District Superintendents and our District Unions, our conference was able to bring another $45,000 to the table.
Our hope is that we might reawaken a culture of call among our United Methodist congregations. In this joint effort we are counting on the participation and leadership of our local church Staff Parish Relations Committees, our Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, Camp and Retreat Ministries, Campus Ministries, and Young Peoples Ministries. Our Claremont School of Theology Sunday (February 22, 2015), is a fitting kick-off for this new collaborative and connectional church effort.
Rev. Mark earned a Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion (Berkeley, CA) and has served as Associate Pastor at Pasadena First United Methodist Church since 2007. She is currently active in our Conference Committee on Youth Ministry as well as the Center for Pacific Asian-American Ministries at Claremont School of Theology.
Effective February 1, 2015 Rev. Mark will serve half-time as the YCI Coordinator and half-time as Associate Pastor at Pasadena First UMC. On July 1, 2015 she will transition into a full-time appointment to the YCI.
Let us pray for Rev. Mark as she assumes this new leadership position, for the YCI that God may raise up young persons for the vocation of ordained ministry, and for our local churches that each may see the work of God among them as God calls forth servant leaders for the church and the world.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church