For more than half a century, the Western NC Conference has shared ministry with United Methodists in Scandinavia, and, in recent years, the Caravan has expanded into Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The Caravan ministry has enabled young adults from the WNCC to travel during the summer to northern Europe and young adults from northern Europe to travel during alternate summers to North Carolina. These young adults are able to share their faith stories, their lives, their gifts, and the love of Christ with United Methodist congregations across the miles.
In the summer of 2016 between late June and late July, congregations in the WNCC will have the opportunity to host approximately ten young adults from northern Europe. Please consider being a part of this formative and long-standing ministry of the WNCC.
Local congregations may submit the provided application to, and all questions can be addressed to:
Rev. Rebekah Ralph
PO Box 548 Lawndale, NC 28090
Application for becoming a host - DEADLINE IS MARCH 1, 2016
What is the Scandinavian Caravan?
- Connectionalism in Action: the Scandinavian Caravan provides American young adults the opportunity to experience the religious and cultural life of several European and Baltic countries, including Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. As an exchange program, the Caravan acts as a living example of the global United Methodist Church in which all congregations are tied together in one body by the same doctrines, creeds, and practices. The Caravan fosters a feeling of being a part of a worldwide United Methodist family as well as the far-reaching body of Christ. It also teaches young adults the difficulties of being a Christian within a secular culture and a Methodist in a country with a Lutheran state church, a foreign concept to American Christians.
- A Relational Mission Trip: the Scandinavian Caravan is not your average mission trip centered on building projects. Instead, the Caravan in a relational mission trip focused on building relationships. In each country and congregation, Americans help lead worship services, give personal testimonies, do skits for youth, sing for nursing home residents, and any other programing asked of the group. American young adults spend time simply getting to know the Scandinavians, talking to them during car rides and while exploring cities, drinking coffee and sharing pastries each day, experiencing cultural traditions like May Day, and sitting around the dinner table at a host family’s house. Each day the Americans are also given “Caravan Time” so they can talk with each other, process their experience, and grow closer as a group.
- A Deepened Exploration of Faith and Ministry: the Scandinavian Caravan takes young adults out of their comfort zone, stretching and growing them in Christian discipleship. Without an itinerary or the ability to speak the language, the young adults learn to let go of control and trust God daily. They also learn to rely on the Holy Spirit’s sustaining presence to continually minister and build relationships with people over many weeks. The Caravan gives young adults a glimpse of what the heart of ministry is about – loving people, being in relationship with them, and serving them in the name of Jesus Christ. It allows them to lead and engage in ministry over a prolonged period of time, giving them an opportunity to discern their gifts and how they can use these gifts in the church, whether through ordained or lay ministry. The Caravan gives young adults a life-changing experience and deep understanding of being God’s servant and ministering to and with God’s people. Printable Document
Why Host the Scandinavian Caravan? (Word Doc)