Mosaic Conference Receives $10,000 for Ambassadors Program

— Mosaic Mennonite Conference

Mosaic Mennonite Conference received a $10,000 charitable distribution from the Schowalter Foundation to help fund the summer 2024 Ambassadors Youth Leadership Development Program.  

The Ambassadors Youth Leadership Development Program provides summer ministry experience to gifted young adults (ages 18-24) impacting their local communities. This program builds on a 20-year commitment by Mosaic (previously Franconia) Conference to develop young adult leaders through ministry experience.  

The program seeks to cultivate young adults’ commitment to Christian service and foster opportunities for Anabaptist witness and spiritual growth in their local communities and inspire young adults and develop their leadership skills.

Danilo Sanchez

Danilo Sanchez, Leadership Minister for Intercultural Transformation, directs this program. Sanchez himself participated in a Franconia Conference-led summer service program as a young adult.

“These young adult Ambassadors give back to their community, work on their leadership gifts, learn more about who they are and work closely with their pastor,” Sanchez shared. “As a young adult, I greatly benefitted from leadership opportunities with the conference which led me to become the pastor I am today.” 

For 10 weeks from June to August, the Ambassadors serve in their congregations’ Vacation Bible Schools and peace camps, at Conference-Related Ministry community centers and more. They receive guidance from their pastor or another supervisor and mentor to discuss goals, receive support and reflect on their experiences. The Ambassadors receive a stipend for their impactful work.  

In addition to the service opportunities, there are monthly virtual cohort gatherings for participants to build relationships, pray and develop leadership skills. At the end of the program, there is a 2.5 day in-person retreat, designed and led by Sanchez and Hendy Matahelemual, Associate Minister for Community Engagement, which, this year, will take place in Tampa, Florida for the first time.

In 2024, 10 young adults are participating in the Ambassadors program, hosted by their congregation or conference-related ministry. Initially, there were plans to host just six Ambassadors, but due to high levels of interest from applicants and host congregations, and the possibility of additional funding, the program was able to grow.  

“J.A. Schowalter wanted his legacy to continue on beyond his lifetime, supporting the missional work of Mennonite churches and organizations with similar faith and values,” said Schowalter Foundation President Diane Yoder. “We are pleased to support the efforts of Mosaic Mennonites through his vision and generosity.” 

The Schowalter Foundation was established in 1954 from the estate of J. A. Schowalter, a Mennonite from Newton, Kansas. The Foundation supports initiatives that follow the Mennonite convictions of service and missions, peacemaking and social concerns, and other programs and projects carried out by Mennonite Church USA and the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, as well as Mennonite higher education institutions.

This article originally appeared in the June 27 issue of Mosaic News. Used with permission.

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