Five selected for 2018 global convocation in South Africa


At least five youth from the Great Plains Conference will represent the South Central Jurisdiction at the Global Young People’s Convocation next year in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Shane Hinderliter, local church youth ministry coordinator for the conference, said the Great Plains will be represented by five of the 20 young people selected for the convocation, which meets every four years in a different location worldwide.

Among those who were voted in as delegates at a youth gathering in Texas was Emily Robinson, a senior at Andover High School in Kansas.

“I didn’t think it would be a possibility, but I was encouraged by my pastor and a few of my family members to apply for it,” said Robinson, who is considering attending Southwestern to major in religion and philosophy, with the goal of becoming an ordained elder.

“I was super excited” to hear that she was elected, Robinson said. “It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s very exciting at the same time.”

Also selected from the Great Plains were Kailie Hamilton, Hesston, Kansas; Arianna Jacobson, Fremont, Nebraska; Roy Koech, Russell, Kansas; and Te Gatobu, Lincoln. Alternate delegates chosen from the Great Plains were Muthomi Gatobu, North Platte, Nebraska; and Adam Fischer, Manhattan.

The convocation is scheduled for July 18-22.

Each of the youth selected will have to raise about $4,000 for the trip to Johannesburg, Hinderliter said.

The Global Young People’s Convocation is designed to:

  • Celebrate the mission and vitality of young people in the United Methodist Church.
  • Raise the joys and concerns of young people from the global community.
  • Develop young people as leaders for effective ministry in local churches and communities of faith.
  • Highlight emerging trends in youth and young adult ministry.
  • Provide a common forum the embraces the global reality of the church.
The convocation also has a legislative forum, which is the venue for proposing and discussing legislation related to issues of concern to young people. The 2016 General Conference changed the wording to provide more flexibility about how the legislative work is cared for during the convocation and more of those attending the convocation to share with others.

This will be the fourth Global Young People’s Convocation. Previous gatherings were in Johannesburg, 2006; Berlin, 2010; and Tagaytay City, Philippines, 2014.
Contact David Burke, communications coordinator, at

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