Church and Society Summer 2016 Interns

My name is Jimmy McKinnell and I am from Tallahassee, Florida. I grew up as a member of Trinity United Methodist Church as a part of the Florida Conference.I just finished my first year at Duke Divinity School where I am pursuing a Master of Divinity degree. This summer at the General Board of Church and Society, I will be working with the Ethnic Young Adult Interns supporting them as they live in intentional community do socal justice and advocacy. 

How I understand my love of God and neighbor

Many of my interests are located around the intersection of faith and the environment. As an undergraduate at Florida State University studying environmental science, I often felt my faith being engaged equally with my intellect during my classes. It was in those science classes that I saw the connections between the ways in which we use the world and their impacts on creation both human and non-human. These realizations have become crucial in my understanding of how I love God and my neighbor.

These connections are ones that I hope to explore further in divinity school as well as this summer here at the General Board of Church and Society.


My name is Anna Gill. I am from Canal Winchester, OH.  I currently live in Washington, DC as a student working towards a Masters of Theological Studies at Wesley Theological Seminary and a Masters of Arts in International Development at American University. 

My work this summer

This summer, I have worked with Dr. Pauline Muchina on the Healthy Families, Healthy Planet program, which focuses on advocacy and education for international family planning and maternal health. We are located at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill, giving Dr. Muchina and others an opportunity to engage with those on the Hill to advocate for family planning funding and policies. Working at the General Board of Church and Society has been an excellent opportunity to learn about advocacy work, as well as to see the public witness of the United Methodist Church. 

God made visable in partnerships

Much of my work with Healthy Families, Healthy Planet has been creating a database of other faith-based organizations working on reproductive health, maternal health, and family planning. It’s been eye-opening to see how many other communities of faith value empowerment of women and girls, and are working to attain that in many ways, including through family planning. Many of the contacts we have made are very excited to learn more about the UMC’s work and to potentially partner with us. These partners are both interdenominational and interreligious. In a world so divided by politics and religion, it is encouraging to find support and unity across lines so that women and girls can be seen as children of God with sacred worth. I see God at work in ecumenical partnerships, in people of all faiths motivated to live more justly, and United Methodists working to preserve the health and wellness of families.  

My name is Bethany Printup-Davis. My hometown is Tuscarora Nation, Sanborn, NY. I am a member of Asbury First United Methodist Church, Rochester which is a part of the Upper New York Annual Conference. I am currently a second year Masters of Divinity student at Wesley Theological Seminary.

As a part of the Education and Leadership Formation team

The past two months have allowed me witness to a lot of the inner-workings that happen within this particular agency of the United Methodist Church.  As an intern with the General Board of Church and Society, I have worked on several projects within the Education and Formation Leadership department this summer. My primary focus has allowed me to reach out to all of our conferences in the United States. As a season of transition in the UMC, post-General and Jurisdictional Conferences, conferences are experiencing shifts and continuations of church leadership. Each of our conferences, should have an organized body that is responsible for connecting their annual conference with the work of GBCS. I have been responsible for making sure that the names and contact information of each conference’s chair persons were up-to-date. The GBCS was also interested in noting if any of these conferences had petitions and resolutions go before annual conferences on matters specifically related to Church and Society.

Another area of my work this summer had me working a short-time alongside our Ethnic Young Adult (EYA) Interns as they traveled to New York City to the United Nations Headquarters to learn about Global Migration and the UMC’s representation at the Church Center of the United Nations. I also led the EYA Interns through one of their Friday seminars in a moment of reflection and dialogue as they prepared to enter an interactive workshop on history and relations with Indigenous peoples.

Identity sparks passion  

A lot of my experience as a person of faith has been a journey of discovery and it has involved a lot of re-learning and then teaching and sharing that information with others. In this journey I’ve come to discover passions that include bringing to light Native American and Indigenous perspectives to our churches but also in our society.