Preparing for Annual Conference #2

Preparing for Annual Conference #2


This message is the second in a series from Matt Curry, director of Connectional Ministries, detailing what happens at annual conference. Today’s focus is on a new feature – workshops led by leaders from the UMC general agencies that focus on practical ministry topics with the goal of giving participants something to take home to their own ministries as we “Go . . . in Jesus’ name!”

Each participant chooses from one of the seven workshops below. For more detail about the workshop or the presenter, go to


Health Care Ministry as Local Church Missions

Presenter: Dr. Olusimbo Ige, executive director of Global Health, Global Ministries

Promoting healthy living is not just the task of doctors or faith community nurses. It’s not just for multimillion-dollar institutions. Dr. Ige calls on the church to “create environments supportive of children’s health” and to open their facilities to their communities, especially to children, as healthy habits have the best chance of success when they are learned young.


Asset-Based Community Development in the Local Church

Presenter: George Howard, deputy general secretary for Mission & Evangelism, Global Ministries

Develop mission strategies for your congregation and community using an asset-based approach. UM Church for All People in Columbus, Ohio, provides a case study for building relationships with people on the margins, developing a diverse worshiping community, and transforming both individual lives and the neighborhood. For more information on this ministry go to


H.O.P.E. Model

Presenter: David Abarca, assistant director of Annual Conference Relationships, Discipleship Ministries

§  Hospitality: Proclaim the gospel, seek, welcome and gather persons into the body of Christ.

§  Offer Christ: Lead persons to commit their lives to God through baptism by water and the spirit and profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

§  Purpose: Nurture persons in Christian living through worship, the sacraments, spiritual disciplines and other means of grace, such as Wesley’s Christian conferencing.

§  Engagement: Send persons into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, caring for the stranger, freeing the oppressed, being and becoming a compassionate, caring presence and working to develop social structures that are consistent with the gospel.

Building H.O.P.E. is a process of discovery and mobilization for the local church that identifies key issues to address for transformational success.


Being Vital: Small Membership Congregations Pressing Forward!

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Jacqui Thomas King, director, Leadership for Congregational Vitality, Discipleship Ministries

How does celebrating vitality happen in your congregation?  What does moving forward look like now?  Where do you go for encouragement when embracing God on the journey gets challenging? Understanding goal setting, adapting the best leadership structure, measuring progress, implementing new ministries, and evaluating “next step” processes at various stages to help mark change in small membership congregations.


The Relevance of the Black Church

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Fred A. Allen, executive director, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, Discipleship Ministries

This workshop will encourage participants to stretch their vision and imagination, and energize them to use what they have, where they are, to collaborate, partner and share resources to accelerate the growth of their congregation in settings where demographics are quickly changing. Introduction to tailor-made support mechanisms such as technical and training support, coaching and practical learning that will engage both clergy and lay leaders.


Small Groups: The Method of Our Mission

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Steve Manskar, director of Wesleyan Leadership, Leadership Ministries Discipleship Ministries

Small groups are where disciples of Jesus Christ are formed. The workshop will look at the various kinds of groups that work together to equip Christians to care for one another and join Christ in his mission in the world. We will draw upon the rich resources of the Wesleyan/United Methodist tradition to develop a system of small groups that work for life and mission in today’s world.


Stewardship: Creating A Culture of Generosity

Presenter: Donald W. Joiner, director of operations and stewardship, Leadership Ministries, Discipleship Ministries

How effective is financial giving in your congregation? Are you continuing to do what you have always done, but you are getting less and less effective? Are you frustrated by the lack of “Commitment” by your members? In this time together we will open up new practical ways to change the giving culture in your church and increase the generosity of those that call your church home.