Katherine T. Parker is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as a Health and Community Transformation Advisor with the United Mission to Nepal (UMN). The ecumenical ministry of UMN has a vision of a “fullness of life for all in a transformed Nepali society.” United Methodists have been involved with UMN since it was founded in 1954. More information on its work is available on the UMN website.
Katherine’s work in Nepal is focused in three areas: 1) Adolescent empowerment, including sexual reproductive health and rights and menstrual hygiene; 2) Maternal and child health; and 3) Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). The United Mission to Nepal works in five areas for community transformation: education, health, hospitals, peacebuilding, and sustainable livelihoods.
Katherine is passionate about engaging community groups in participatory research about their environment and in a process of identifying and linking values to action. She believes that through telling the stories of our lives, and exploring the stories of our faith, we are better able to articulate our shared values that form a foundation for us to engage in collective action across cultural and other divisive barriers towards a world where every person can live to his or her fullest potential. She is currently engaged in a project with school- and church-based youth and mother’s groups in three remote villages in western Nepal.
In Nepal since 2013, Katherine was previously in Cambodia with the Community Health and Agricultural Development Program of the Methodist Mission there. She has been a missionary since 2007 and was a mission intern for three years beginning in 2000 with the Asian Rural Institute in Japan and Practical Farmers of Iowa in the USA.
Native to California, Katherine comes from a family with deep roots in United Methodism on the West Coast of the United States. Active in the church since childhood, from a young age Katherine saw the church as a community of faith where we are spiritually fed so that we can serve in the world. She is the part of the fifth generation in her family to serve through the Methodist Connection and is honored that the church has sent her to be part of this global ministry.
Katherine attended Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, where she graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Her Master of Science degree, also in biology, is from California State University in Sacramento. Her thesis was on bacterial contamination of drinking water in rural Ghana.
Katherine’s home church is Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church in Mill Valley, California. She has been involved in the life of the church in many capacities, including in the California-Nevada Annual Conference delegation to General Conference, service on theconference Board of Church and Society and the Golden Gate District Council on Ministries, and as a local church organizer of volunteer mission trips.