Annual Conference Workshops


Thursday Morning

New member orientation: 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 

There will be an orientation for first-time Annual Conference members, lay or clergy. Plan to attend if this is your first time at an Annual Conference Session or you just need to be refreshed. 

Workshop Leader: Jane Harper-Alport, North District Lay Leader

Friday Morning

The Four Areas of Focus express the vision and yearning of the people of The United Methodist Church. Find more information on the Four Areas of Focus at Narrowing our focus to these four areas allows churches to use their resources effectively as they live out God’s vision for the church.  We are offering four workshops that will represent the areas of focus. 

Creating New and Renewed Congregations, 10:30 a.m.

Workshop Leader: Rev. Alex Hershey, Rev. Lore Blinn Gibson, Pastor Sergio Reyes and others

CPR for Your Church!
Core processes, Prayer and Relationships are essential components of a vital congregation seeking to pursue God’s mission. An interactive session including testimonies, Scripture exploration and discussion will not only guide participants to a greater understanding of the characteristics of vital congregations, but will also call them to identify and take the next step toward revitalization.


•    Core processes – invite, connect, disciple, send (from Effective Staffing for Vital Congregations)

•    Prayer – Growing hearts that truly care for God’s mission and allowing God to lead

•    Relationships – Moving from an attractional to a missional mindset


Developing Principled Christian Leaders: Encouraging the Call, 10:30 a.m.

Workshop Leader: Conference Leadership Development Team
Overview: The early Methodist movement grew through the efforts of laity who led small groups, taught Bible study, provided outreach ministry and led the administrative life of the church. Developing and nurturing strong leaders is an important component of creating a church fully engaged in the work of making disciples for the transformation of the world.
Objective: Understanding that God calls everyone into ministry, as a faithful lay person or lifelong clergyperson. As it is stated, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” This workshop will cultivate conversation around the understanding of “all being called”, create conversations regarding faithfully living out of one’s call (as laity or clergy), and creating a connection between call and leadership.

Engaging in Ministry with the Poor, 10:30 a.m.

Workshop Leader:

Christ calls us to be in ministry with the poor and marginalized.  Our emphasis is on “with” – standing with those who are regarded as “the least of these,” listening to them, understanding their needs and aspirations, and working with them to achieve their goals.  This workshop will invite the participants, as well as an experienced panel of leaders, into a deeper conversation regarding how we do ministry with the poor.

Improving Global Health, 10:30 a.m.

  • Rev. Gary R. Henderson, United Methodist Communications, Chief Relationship Officer –Global Partnerships, Executive Director Imagine No Malaria
  • Ashley Gish, Assistant Campaign Manager – Imagine No Malaria

Knowing that poverty and health are intertwined, The United Methodist Church has been a key player in fighting diseases such as malaria and AIDS and promoting initiatives that improve well-being.  This workshop will consider how education, infrastructure, communication and prevention measures can be used to address global health.  Be a part of the discussion about our role in saving the lives of those facing health issues around the world.