Gabuyo, Sarah Mae N.

Country: Italy
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Serving At: Methodist Evangelical Churches in Italy
Home Country: Philippines

The Rev. Sarah Mae Gabuyo is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. She serves as pastor of the English-speaking congregation of the Methodist Evangelical Churches in Italy, based in Rome. 

Sarah earned a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in flute performance from the Conservatory of Music “A. Buzzolla” in Adria, Italy; a diploma in vocal performance from the Claudio Abbado Civic Music School in Milan, Italy; a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Milan – Bicocca, Italy; and a Master of Divinity degree at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C. She is an ordained elder in the Wisconsin Annual Conference.

She has served as the lead pastor at Clarno Zion and Staver St. Peter’s United Methodist churches since July 2020. Originally from Manila and raised in The United Methodist Church and the Italian Methodist Church in Milan, Italy, she brings a rich cultural background to ministry. 

In 2016, Sarah participated in the Discipleship Intensive Program of the Epworth League in Sullivan, Wisconsin. In 2017, she worked for the Italian Methodist Church, in partnership with the Methodist Church in Britain “Nationals in Mission Appointments,” to lead a young adult ministry in Rome. While in seminary, she also was a ministry intern at Capitol Hill UMC and a chaplain at Georgetown University Hospital. 

Passionate about intergenerational and cross-cultural ministries, Sarah is committed to making disciples for Jesus Christ and witnessing transformation in the world. Her favorite Scriptural passage is 1 John 4:19, “We love because God first loved us.” This verse drives her mission to spread God’s love throughout the world. She warmly welcomes others to join her on her faith journey and to experience God’s love. 

“My Christian heritage,” Sarah said, “is a result of the mission from the West to the rest. Missionaries were sent to the global South as part of the European colonialization process. Soon after the United States took control of the Philippines in 1898, Protestant mission work was established on the basis of a comity agreement among the various denominations, the biggest of which was the Methodist Church.”

Sarah is a fourth-generation Methodist in the Philippines. 

When Sarah was 10, she explained, “my family migrated to Italy, bringing with us our religion and church traditions. In Italy, I witnessed the implications of reversed migration and the other challenges facing churches of migrant workers. Also at a very young age, I understood the importance of having a pastor who speaks a language you can understand and who values your cultural heritage.”

As Sarah answered God’s call to ministry, she considered the importance of pursuing her theological education in the United States and acknowledging her spiritual heritage in The United Methodist Church. During her provisional residency as an elder in the Wisconsin Conference, she gained experience as a pastor in a cross-cultural appointment. 

“My pastoral services at Clarno and Staver UMCs,” Sarah said,” have widened my desire for missional work through my global identity. It is an honor to be a missionary for the General Board of Global Ministries and to use my God-given gifts and developed skills as an agent of mission.”

Sarah is married to the Rev. János Csomós, an ordained clergy of the Hungarian Reformed Church.