New YMCAs Connecting with the Network
It’s exciting to see how God is growing the impact of the US Mission Network across the country as new YMCA’s learn about this collaborative effort.
While connection with our movement is purely voluntary, we’re grateful for those associations that have welcomed our message and begun to implement a stronger Christian mission emphasis in their own local associations. Here are a couple of encouraging stories about YMCAs that have recently connected with the US Mission Network.
CEO Kelly Kay and COO Mike Roark were anxious to have Larry Whittlesey come to their association to present the work of the USMN. The connection with the Oklahoma City YMCA was initiated by Johnathan Teal, one of their Regional VPs, who had asked for USMN representation at last fall’s AYP conference. Joe Pfeiffer, our Alpha Partnership Director, attended that event.
Larry had the privilege of meeting privately with Kelly and Mike, then presented the work of the USMN to various leaders at three separate meetings. The message resonated with the staff as they seek to make a greater impact in their community. Since Larry’s visit in December, the association has hired a chaplain, Jerry Parrish, who starts Mar. 1. The association has agreed to become a financial supporter of the USMN.
To say the excitement level is high at the OKC YMCA would be an understatement. We’ll be anxious to see how they begin to implement a renewed emphasis on their Christian mission in the months to come. They are already talking about helping to spread the connection with the USMN to all the YMCAs in Oklahoma. We love their enthusiasm and know that God will bless their efforts.
PENINSULA METROPOLITAN YMCA
Another new connection for the USMN is the Peninsula YMCA in Newport News, Virginia. CEO Danny Carroll first learned of the USMN at the Virginia State Alliance late last fall when he heard Larry’s closing address. He asked Larry to come to Newport News to present the exact same message to his annual meeting in February. Danny is closing a 40 year career with the YMCA, 28 years of it at the Peninsula YMCA as the CEO.
Larry was privileged to serve as the keynote speaker to the crowd of about 350 just last month. The message was very well received. Earlier in the day he had the opportunity to meet the entire staff at the ASO and have lunch with a number of key leaders. As one of the YNAN YMCAs, the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA is one of the largest Y’s in the country. Their passion to implement a stronger Christian message into what they are doing is evident. We trust the USMN can become a valuable resource in that effort.
The most recent addition to our growing USMN family is the Yakima YMCA in Washington. They first learned of our existence through our website. After phone conversations with Larry, arrangements were made for him to visit them this week. They have just created a new Christian mission committee. The staff and board are anxious to hear how these principles can be implemented into their programs. Larry will be meeting with all three groups this week to help them launch this new effort.