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2024-25 Elisha and Samuel interns announced

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas UMC

Two Elisha interns and two Samuel interns will explore God's call for their lives. "We are excited for these young people to explore their call," says Rev. Rebecca Trefz, who coordinates the Elisha and Samuel internships as the Executive Director of Ministries. "The interns and mentors are taking a leap of faith to do God's work."


Elisaha interns
Two Dakota Wesleyan students, Nate Meyers and Anna Mutzenberger, will serve as Elisha interns during the 2024-25 academic year.  Rev. Anthony Purcell and Rev. Taryn Ragels, campus pastors at DWU in Mitchell, South Dakota, will serve as primary mentors. Additionally, Rev. Keith Nelson at Downtown First UMC  and Amber Laffey at Alexandria UMC will offer experience in their ministry settings. 

"Being a part of the student ministry council at DWU has been very impactful for me. I have learned the importance of building deep Christ-centered relationships," said Nate. "I would like to learn more about what it takes to run a successful college ministry and learn the similarities and differences from the youth ministries I have been part of during my experiences. I want to be better about how to start conversations that can lead to deep discussions and relationships.

Mutzenberger grew up in a household where faith was a constant. Both of her parents are United Methodist pastors. 

"When I moved away to attend college, I didn't have a church expecting me and waiting to welcome me. I was churchless. Fusion UMC is where I found my new home," said Anna. "At Fusion, I have become involved with the high school youth group and children's ministry.  I am learning so much from their questions and seeing how their faith is being formed. "

As a Non-Profit Administration and Communications major heavily involved in campus ministry, she seeks to apply her major during the internship.

"I would like to lean into my degree and learn more about how ministries and the local church are structured. I would also like to use my communication skills to focus on marketing through social media to increase online and in-person engagement," said Anna.

Samuelproject Logo 1

Samuel interns
Leah Aberhold, from Castlewood, South Dakota, will spend the summer at Lake Poinsett Camp and Retreat Center and United Methodist congregations nearby, exploring her call to ministry. Rev. Nicole Anderson will be Leah's mentor. Her faith journey has been through peaks and valleys. She is considering going into pastor ministry.

"My Spiritual journey with Christ has been so many hills and valleys. I grew up in the church. As I grew into middle school, we started going to church less and less," said Leah. "Last summer, I worked as a summer staff member, and that was when I felt God call me to ministry for the first time."

Cadence Weidner has been attending First United Methodist Church in Watertown, South Dakota, for 16 years.  As a Samuel Intern at First UMC, she hopes to learn about the life of a pastor. 

"I have been a Christian my whole life, and I am always on a path to strengthen my relationship with Christ," said Cadence. "My goal for this intern position is to learn what really goes on at the church. I want to experience what life looks like as a pastor, but I also want to see how to work with youth and younger kids." 

Rev. Jen Tyler and Rev. Bryce Blank will mentor Weidner throughout the summer. 

Earlier this spring, students were invited to apply to participate in the Elisha Project and Samuel Project. A task force of the Board of Ordained Ministry members selected interns and matched them with host churches. 

Pray for these interns and mentors:

Interning: Leah Aberhold, Lake Poinsett Camp and Retreat Center, Madison UMC, Watertown First UMC, Iroquois and DeSmet UMCs
Mentor: Rev. Nicole Anderson
School: Castlewood High School
Hometown: Castlewood, South Dakota

Interning: Nate Meyer, DWU Campus Ministry
Mentors: Rev. Anthony Purcell and Rev. Taryn Ragels
School: Dakota Wesleyan University
Hometown: Brandon, South Dakota

Interning: Anna Mutzenberger, DWU Campus Ministry
Mentors: Rev. Anthony Purcell and Rev. Taryn Ragels
School: Dakota Wesleyan University
Hometown: Fargo, North Dakota

Interning: Candence Weidner, First UMC
Mentors: Rev. Jen Tyler and Rev. Bryce Blank
School: Watertown High School
Hometown: Watertown, South Dakota


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000