We have eight breakout sessions at Annual Conference this year. Learn more about the sessions below and make sure you register your attendance by May 18.
“A Generous Creation – Why Should Christians Care About the Earth?”
Rev. Pat Watkins
Relationships with God and each other are at the very core of who we are as Christians. This workshop will examine a third relationship; relationship with God’s creation. We’ll look at the biblical evidence of such a relationship, a Wesleyan understanding of it, and United Methodist principles that speak to a relationship with creation. Then we’ll ask ourselves the “So What?” question. How does a relationship with creation inform my Christian discipleship?
“Worship as God’s Generous Revelation of Sabbath Living”
Rev. Dr. Guy Brewer, Sabbath Living/NC Conference Worship Committee
If the generous Christ and his gospel are the heart of the church, then worship is its heartbeat. Just as our hearts faithfully beat and help to sustain our lives, regular worship helps sustain our life in Christ. We are drawn in, restored and refreshed, and sent back out into the world to work and serve. You are invited to listen and learn how we can faithfully pursue, plan, and lead worship as an opportunity for Sabbath Living.
“How Generosity Transformed Our Lives – Congregations for Children (C4C)”
Dr. Meghan Doyle
Dr. Doyle will share experiences from Craven County Schools of the tremendous impact that the generous engagement of Centenary United Methodist Church has had on Oaks Road Elementary School in particular, as well as the impact that C4C has had on the broader Craven County school system. Dr. Doyle will engage participants in creative activities designed to have attendees consider new ways to engage with public school students in their respective communities across the state.
“Generous, Adaptive, and Effective leadership in a Multi-Cultural World”
Bishop Jonathan Holston
Fulfilling the mission of the church in the world in today’s rapidly changing context requires meaningful partnerships among clergy and laity, a commitment to develop oneself as one develops the team and a willingness to do the necessary work to adapt to current and future challenges, all from a foundation of trust. This workshop will offer an opportunity to reflect on how to cultivate generosity, create an adaptive mindset and increase effectiveness in your context.
“A Dialogue of Generosity – The Work of the Commission on A Way Forward”
Rev. Julie Love
Rev. Julie Love, a member of The Commission on a Way Forward, presents an overview of the Commission’s work done to date. She will provide context and process of the church-wide discussion, speaking to challenges and possibilities in moving into the future, where we might “reignite the energy and imagination needed for providing churches creative freedom for mission.”
“Our sister’s keeper – Justice in a Generous Spirit: #metoo–sexual harassment, sexual violence, and what the church needs to know”
Rev. Christi Dye
As United Methodists, we are committed to having all people in our churches and communities be safe from harassment or harm; yet the harm goes on all around us, and victims now, more than ever, are speaking up. Come to learn more from state-wide and UMC resource persons about what exactly IS sexual harassment and abuse, what are the signs, how to prevent it, and how to help.
“A Generous Resurrection in the Rural Church”
Rev. Brad Thie, Duke Divinity School – Thriving Rural Communities
Rural and small-town churches have experienced renewal and revitalization, with clergy and laity working together in prayerful partnership to discern God’s vision and mission for the church. We will discuss the characteristics of thriving rural churches.
“Generosity For Our Immigrant Neighbors”
Refugee and Immigrant Care – Emergency Family Task Force/Refugee & Immigration Committee
Based on Scripture and United Methodist Church Resolution #3281, the session will explore the Biblical mandate to welcome the sojourners among us. We will define Sanctuary, and address the history of providing sanctuary to those facing deportation or arrest. An experienced attorney will explain the legal aspects of providing a home for our neighbors seeking asylum. We will meet individuals who are receiving the radical hospitality of sanctuary and explore reasons why sanctuary is necessary.