Each member and guest of the NY Conference is invited to participate in a workshop on Thursday afternoon. These workshops are being led by thought leaders from the UMC general agencies and will focus on practical ministry topics with the goal of giving participants something creative and valuable to take home to their own ministries. Please choose from one of the workshops below during your registration.

Use the links below to jump to the workshop description (descriptions will be updated as we receive additional information):

Christian Discipleship and the Black Lives Matter Movement - Ben McBride
Creating New Spaces for New Faces - David Gilmore
Developing Meaningful Men’s Ministries in Your Local Church - Gil Hanke
Preaching Good News in Contentious and Uncertain Times - Gennifer Brooks
Small Groups in the Wesleyan Way - Scott Hughes
21st Century Disciple Making - Jeff Campbell
Unmasking Ableism: Opening Our Churches and Our Ministries to All - Evy McDonald and Michael Barry

Creating New Spaces for New Faces

Presented by Rev. David Gilmore, Director of Congregational
Development and Revitalization, New York Conference

This workshop offers a synopsis of some of the issues preventing the UM Church from living into our mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world;” along with some strategies to overcome these issues.

Suggested book titles:

  • “Transforming Communities: The Wesleyan Way to Missional Congregations” (Powe & Knight)
  • “Not Safe for Church: Ten Commandments for Reaching New Generations” (Powe & Smothers)
  • “God Dreams: 12 Vision Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church's Future” (Mancini)
  • Holy Habits” (Roberts)

About the workshop presenter:

Rev. David GilmoreReverend David Anthony Gilmore is an ordained elder of The United Methodist Church. Rev. Gilmore answered the call to ministry in 1998 where he began serving as Ministries Assistant at Bethany UMC, New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2000, Rev. Gilmore was appointed to Swope Park UMC, Kansas City, MO. At the time of his appointment, the church reported a membership of 47. Under Rev. Gilmore’s spiritual guidance and able leadership, the church’s membership increased to 270 and included a music ministry that expanded to include five choirs and three praise groups.  In his next appointment at The ‘Historic’ Centennial UMC (2008 – 2016) the church received more than 300 new members, nurtured 5 candidates into the ministry; and, planted the True Vine Missional Ministry at an offsite campus in order to engage the community beyond the community.

Currently Reverend Gilmore is appointed to the cabinet of the New York Conference as the Director of Church Development and Revitalization.  In this role he is responsible for planting new churches; identifying, equipping and empowering emerging leaders (clergy and laity); supporting and nurturing the creation of new ministries; offering one-on-one consultations with churches; and, providing consultations and recommendations for churches seeking to become vital.

This dynamic clergyman is a Lewis Center Community Leadership Fellow and the recipient of the recipient of the 2009 Harry Denman Evangelism Award for the Missouri Conference, Reverend Gilmore is willing to try ANY missional or outreach effort to spread the “Good News”!  In his own words: “Taking Jesus to the streets and positively impacting lives should cause us to believe there is no missional idea that is too farfetched and if we do not feel God “stretching” us something is wrong!”

Developing Meaningful Men’s Ministries in Your Local Church

Presented by Gil Hanke, General Secretary/CEO, General Commission on United Methodist Men

This workshop will provide multiple examples of best practices in men’s ministry which have been successfully used in local churches of any size.  Men’s ministry is now much more than a monthly meeting; men’s ministry is developing an on-growing relationship with Christ within a joy-filled community of service. Participants will be invited to participate in a follow-up webinar designed specifically for this annual conference, to answer those questions that come up in the implementation of these new models of men’s ministry. The schedule of that webinar will set during our workshop.

Suggested book title:

“The Class Meeting” by Dr. Kevin Watson
About the workshop presenter:

Gil HankeGil Hanke has served the last seven years as the General Secretary of the General Commission on United Methodist Men.  A life-long Methodist, Gil has held volunteer positions in men’s ministry at the local, district, conference and national levels. Gil holds degrees from Lynchburg College of Virginia and Texas State University. Gil works with churches across our UMC connection, and also has close relationships with men’s ministry leaders in other denominations. He is lay delegate to the Texas Annual Conference, and has been a delegate to each General Conference since 1996.

Preaching Good News in Contentious and Uncertain Times

Presented by Rev. Dr. Gennifer Brooks, Ernest and Bernice Styberg Professor of Preaching and Director of the Styberg Preaching Institute at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

The call of the preacher is to offer the good news of the gospel to the people of God that is contextual and relevant to their time and place. What is the good news that the preacher is called to offer and how does that good news reach into the hearts and lives of the people of God, individually and communally? This workshop explores briefly, and provides insight for the proclamation of transformative good news to individuals, the congregation, the wider community, and even the society at a time of disruption, dis-ease and doubt.

Suggested book titles:

"Good News Preaching" by Rev. Dr. Gennifer Brooks
"Preaching in An Age of Distraction" by J. Ellsworth Kalas

About the workshop presenter:

Rev. Dr. Gennifer BrooksRev. Dr. Gennifer Benjamin Brooks is the Ernest and Bernice Styberg Professor of Preaching and Director of the Styberg Preaching Institute at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.  She is also the dean of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) Doctor of Ministry in Preaching program. She was also the Assistant Dean of New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey.

Dr. Brooks is an ordained elder and full clergy member of the New York Conference of The United Methodist Church, and pastored rural, suburban, and urban churches in New York in cross-cultural and the Black Church contexts.

Before being called to full time pastoral ministry, she had a successful career in corporate America as a designer and development manager of business computer systems. She holds a Bachelor of Business, cum laude and a Master of Business Administration from Pace University, a Master of Divinity, summa cum laude, and a Doctor of Ministry from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and a Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy in Liturgical Studies from Drew University. 

She is the author several books and articles. The most recent, published by Abingdon Press, is Bible Sisters, 365 daily devotions on the women of the Bible. She has also contributed a week of devotional material in the 2017 Upper Room Dicipline. Other publications include Good News Preaching: Offering the Gospel in Every Sermon (Pilgrim Press, 2009), Unexpected Grace: Preaching Good News from Difficult Texts (Pilgrim Press, 2012), Black United Methodists Preach! (Abingdon Press, 2012).
She has also contributed to several commentaries and has lectured extensively on preaching and church administration. She has led workshops and delivered presentations to congregations and groups across the country. She is a retreat leader and a trained clergy coach.

Above all Dr. Brooks is a Christian who loves Christ and his church.

Small Groups in the Wesleyan Way

Presented by Rev. M. Scott Hughes, Director, Adult Discipleship,Leadership Ministries, Discipleship Ministries

In the history of Methodism, the use small groups have proven to be the best strategy for disciple making. But not all small groups are the same and small groups present churches with many logistic issues. This workshop will cover the purpose of small groups, the importance of leadership development, and how to have an ongoing process for disciple formation in a local church. Bring you insights and questions as we explore ways to further your church’s small group ministry.

Suggested book titles:

"Disciples Making Disciples" by Steven Manskar
"Leading Small Groups in the Wesleyan Way" by M. Scott Boren
"Making Small Groups Work" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
"The Christian Small-Group Leader" by Thomas R. Hawkins

Rev. Scott HughesAbout the workshop presenter:

Rev. Hughes is the director of Adult Discipleship at Discipleship Ministries and an elder in the North Georgia Conference. He holds a master's of divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and doctor of divinity degree from Southern Methodist University. He also co-hosts the podcast, " Small Groups in the Wesleyan Way."

21st Century Disciple Making

Presented by Rev. Jeff Campbell

How to make the mission of the UMC your church’s mission through intentional discipleship. In this workshop you will rediscover and connect with the ‘Why’ of disciple-making, and gain clarity on the ‘What’ and ‘How’ of making disciples.  You will be given the tools to bring the ‘Why’, ‘What’, and ‘How’ back to your church, and be equipped to create an intentional discipleship system unique to your church’s context with solutions & strategies to meet the challenges of making disciples in the 21st century.

Suggested book titles:

"Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek. Portfolio, 2011.

"Membership to Discipleship: Growing Mature Disciples Who Make Disciples" by Phil Maynard. Excellence in Ministry Coaching, 2016.

About the workshop presenter:

Rev. Jeff CampbellJeff Campbell serves as the Executive Director of Conference Relationships at Discipleship Ministries. In this role, he connects with conference leadership to strengthen intentional disciple-making across the connection. Jeff is an ordained elder of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference where he served for 13 years as a senior pastor prior to coming to Discipleship Ministries. He received his undergraduate degree in English, Linguistics, and Speech from the University of Mary Washington and his Master of Divinity degree from Drew Theological School.  Prior to his call to ministry, he worked for the Limited Inc. managing Communications and Store Operations.

Unmasking Ableism: Opening Our Churches and Our Ministries to All

Presented by Rev. Evy McDonald and Pastor Michael Barry

Approximately 20 percent of us, within the United States, live with disability. According to the Census Bureau this is considered the largest minority group in our country. Yet, less than 50%of this population attend a worship service at least once a month. Even fewer attend any event in the church. This workshop will explore some of the tough questions around why this may be true and how it can be changed.

About the workshop presenters:

Rev. Evy McDonald

Rev. Evy McDonaldEvy was born in the heartland in Ogallala, Nebraska. At the age of 18 months she contracted polio and thus grew up with a physical disability in a culture that valued able-bodyness. Throughout her life she has encountered much prejudice but some of the most surprising came directly from the church. She left the church for many years but God drew her back. After obtaining a Master in Nursing degree and directing Intensive Care and Coronary Care, Evy experienced a profound call to be ordained. She entered Union Theological Seminary and graduated with a Master in Divinity. She has served both inner city and village churches in the New York Annual Conference. With each appointment, her eye has been on having the church become a covenantal community that is accessible, welcoming, and inclusive of all who are seeking Christ. She earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew Seminary in order to gain more insight into how our churches become community oriented vibrant centers of worship. In 2012 Evy developed post-polio syndrome and needed to leave full-time ministry.

She continued, though, to do what she could for all seeking Christ. Recently, she wrote the book for this year’s spiritual formation component of Mission u, a summer program of United Methodist Women.

Sometimes we underestimate what a person living with a disability can do. Photo above: Evy tandem skydiving in 2012. She jumped out of a perfectly good plane at 13,500 feet.

Pastor Michael Barry

Pastor Michael BarryMichael H. Barry, Jr. was born in Warwick NY in 1971, where he lived until he and his family moved to Newburgh, NY in 2011. They relocated once again in 2013 to South Salem, NY. Michael is a life-long United Methodist, baptized and confirmed in the New Milford-Edenville United Methodist Church in New Milford, NY. Michael served 21 years in the United States Air Force, having retired as Master Sergeant in 2011.

A cancer survivor, Michael felt his call to ministry in October 2002, on his way into surgery to remove part of his affected kidney. He gave himself completely to God right there in that moment. For the past nine years, Michael has followed his calling to servant leadership at Grace UMC in Newburgh, NY, Jesse Lee Memorial and now full-time at Stevens Memorial UMC in South Salem, NY. Michael graduated from SUNY-Empire State in 2010, with a BS in Cultural Studies, majoring in Religious studies with a minor in Technology. In May of 2014, he completed the Master of Divinity program, graduating with Honors in Preaching and Homiletics, from Drew Theological Seminary.

Michael and his wife, Kelley, married for 23 years, have two children, Matthew, 20 and Jennifer, 18. Kelley works from home, provides full-time care for their son Matthew who has a very rare neurological disease, and requires a wheelchair among his special needs.