Lilly Intern Spotlight – Allie
Allie is a first year student from Frisco, Texas. She learned about UCM by attending the annual senior high retreat for Grace Presbytery, SHYC. Luke and Katie traveled there last year to share about the opportunity. This year Allie and another first year student from Grace Presbytery, Jack, returned with Luke and Katie to share about UCM. This connection helped Allie make her college choice to attend the U of A and she walked on campus ready to get connected to UCM as soon as possible. By the end of her first semester, she applied for a Lilly Leadership Initiative internship, jumping in with both feet!
Welcoming the Opportunity:
Allie was excited for this internship because she was ready to get involved with a church family in NWA! She trusted that God was at work and would send her exactly where she needed to be.
Allie’s mentor in the internship is Becky Purcell, the pastor of First Presbyterian, Prairie Grove. Becky has expressed her excitement for the opportunity to work with Allie because mentoring a college student in following Christ, especially in a small church, feels like essential ministry to Becky. She says: “In our life’s journey, we literally cannot follow Jesus unless we are in some way part of the body–in some way part of a community of faith.”
So far, Allie has enjoyed getting the opportunity to interact with a new group of people. This internship provides her with the chance to get to know the congregation of First Presbyterian, Prairie Grove, in so many different ways- from meeting with members individually, to going out to Sunday afternoon lunches, all the way to doing yard work with the Wednesday night Bible study group.
Becky shared that having Allie present in worship, fellowship and service activities have all been highlights. In these, she shared her confidence and her perseverance (finding a rural cabin despite faulty GPS directions!) and her natural curiosity to learn about others.
Moving forward, Allie looks forward to getting to know members better, and for more one-on-one pastoral care meetings with some of them.
Becky shared that for Presbyterians today the most concrete and common expression of this community is the small church. Becky said: “And small church ministry is so FUN. And like family! I hope to help students like Allie realize that ministry in a small church whether as a deacon or a mission facilitator or an educator or a pastor is joyful work.”