The United Methodist Church

‘Mitto’ offers new mission experience to Arkansas youth

11-04-2011

‘Mitto’ offers new mission experience to Arkansas youth

By Rod Hocott
Special Contributor

The Arkansas Conference Council on Youth Ministries (ACCYM) has a long history of creating and implementing events for the youth of our Conference that are both spirit-filled and disciple-making. It has been more than 11 years since a new event appeared on the ACCYM roster, and we think it is time to add a missing piece of the program: missions.

Mitto (pronounced “me-toe” and meaning “missions” in Latin) has been in the planning stages for about three years now. It will finally have its inauguration this year. Here’s the mission statement the task force developed:

“Mitto is a mission experience for young people, especially those from smaller membership churches. The opportunities will include multi-mission options, relational evangelism, and making stronger disciples while keeping it close to home. Mission is not what we do, but who we are.”

Mitto is for senior high youth (grades 9 through 12) who have a heart and mind for missions, especially being of service to those in their very own community. Open to youth from around the Arkansas Conference, Mitto will be held in a different district each year, beginning in the Central District.

So how does it work? Mitto takes place the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, and will be limited to 60 youth and 10 adults. Each day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., youth will be divided into groups and have the opportunity to do mission work.

This year’s mission opportunities include work with Methodist Family Health, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, UALR Wesley Foundation, Arkansas Food Bank, Arkansas Rice Depot, Parkview Nursing Home, feeding the homeless under the Broadway Bridge and more.

The theme for Mitto 2011 is “Taking It Home,” and the text is Job 38:19-21. Each day after lunch, participants will attend workshops led by persons in local missions, who will share with students strategies for implementing mission ideas in their local churches and communities.

As a way of sharing in this event, various local churches in the district will provide each day’s evening meal.

A hallmark of every ACCYM event, including Mitto, is the opportunity for building relationships through small group gatherings and free time. In addition, worship will be held each evening; this year’s speaker is the Rev. Jamey Bentley of canvascommunity UMC Little Rock, and the worship band is the Hot Springs-based group Visitor’s Parking.

This event has been a long time coming. Churches, encourage your senior high youth to attend Mitto. And pray that they will come home with a renewed spirit and hope for what can take place in their communities as we become God’s hands and feet on earth.

Cost for Mitto 2011 is $50 if registered by Nov. 15, and $75 thereafter. A flyer and registration form are available on the Conference website, www.arumc.org.

If you have questions or need further information, contact Rod Hocott, 501-324-8008 or rhocott@arumc.org.

Hocott serves as Arkansas Conference minister of youth and young adults.