Several learning opportunities are available the day prior to conference. These workshops are open to all, not just those attending conference. Register for them through the annual conference session registration process. While there is no "cover" charge for Monday, there is a $10 per session fee.
Fighting Back Against Domestic Violence (1-4 p.m.)
Is domestic violence the elephant in the room among your friends and in your church? One in four women (25 percent) will experience it during their lifetime (as compared to one in seven men). What are the signs? How can we help? How can we even start the conversation? The Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW), together with United Methodist Women (UMW) and the UMC Parish Nurses, will present a seminar on this issue, which is often ignored and swept under the rug. Speakers from women's shelters and survivors will help us understand what's going on and how we might respond. There will be time for table discussions, contemplation, and worship.
"Five Broken Cameras" (1-4 p.m.)
This documentary film, nominated for a 2011 Academy award, highlights the Palestinian/Israeli situation with a strong emphasis on the plight of the Palestinian people. Opportunity for discussion will be possible at different segments of this provocative film. This opportunity is hosted by the Palestine-Israel Justice Project.
Awesome Worship (1-4 p.m.)
Creating compelling worship is like putting the right octane gas in your car; it has to be the right gas for the right car or the car won't drive right! Many churches are in decline in America. If your church has dropped in worship attendance, or if you want to reach new people, there is a nearly 100 percent chance that your worship service needs repair. In this seminar, we'll talk about the right sequence for making worship changes. You'll gain practical tips for finding new music, increasing hospitality, creating great transitions and "Holy Spirit moments," and ending each service strong to encourage worshippers to return. Led by Cathy Townley, church planting coach, worship leader, and author of Designing Worship Teams, Missional Worship, and ACCELERATE WORSHIP!
[This seminar is for improving existing services; for guidance on starting a new service, attend the evening workshop.]
Start a New Service or Site (6-9 p.m.)
Reach a new generation…start a new congregation…launch a fresh missional effort in your community. Starting a new service is an efficient and potentially very effective way to re-energize a local church. The key is to think smart about the process and event. This workshop will introduce you to a year-long process to help you leverage best practices for best results. Subsequent workshops and leadership coaching will be scheduled through 2016-17. Led by Ben Ingebretson, director of new church development for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area, and Cathy Townley, church planting coach, worship leader, and author of Designing Worship Teams, Missional Worship, and ACCELERATE WORSHIP!
[This seminar is for starting new services; for guidance on improving an existing service, attend the afternoon workshop.]
If you are interested in being part of the worship leadership team during annual conference, please contact Chris Kliesen Wehrman (612-965-0178). With a new calendar that is outside of school calendars, we especially hope that churches with youth worship teams might be available to participate. Liturgical dance, bell choirs, children’s choirs and other groups with gifts we can’t even know to mention are encouraged to contact us! (Worship services will be Tuesday mid-day, Wednesday evening, and Friday morning and mid-afternoon.)
Sing in the massed choir at the Celebration of Life in Ministry Service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 22. Group rehearsal is at 5:45 p.m. No registration is necessary. Our 2016 anthem is "Thrive" by Mark Hall and Matthew West. The arrangement we're using is by Marty Hamby: PraiseSong #00413398 SATB, and the cost is $2.25. Singers are responsible for securing their own music, which is available online at www.halleonard.com or www.jwpepper.com or by calling JW Pepper at 952-938-0028. Know any talented teen musicians or bands? We are planning some opportunities just for youth. Interested groups/musicians, contact Kathy Webb (612-926-7645) by May 1.
Recommended for newcomers to conference session, this is an opportunity to hear what to expect, find out how legislation is handled, and learn about the budget and other proposed legislation. This gathering takes place on Tuesday, June 21, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the River's Edge Convention Center. There is no fee, but pre-registration is appreciated.
Is there a bubbling inside of you that might just be a calling to vocational ministry? Explore which options are available over lunch on Thursday in the Kelly Inn. This is an informal discussion, and no commitments are required.
On Thursday morning, there are two opportunities you may want to take part in; both take place at the Kelly Inn from 6:30 to 7:45 a.m., and breakfast is available. (Indicate participation during registration.)
Retiring Clergy Reflections is a gathering for pastors who are retiring and an opportunity for them to share their observations and plans as they enter into the next phase of their ministry.
Reconciling Ministries Conversation is a chance for interested people to gather and discuss the issues churches face as they strive to be inclusive to all, especially the LGBTQ community.
Get your blood drawn for a health screening between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday or Thursday in the Alexander Room. This is a free benefit for MAC Plan participants. Non-MAC Plan participants can receive a screening for a $125 fee. No appointment is necessary. Please fast for eight hours prior to your blood draw.
Missions, programs, seminaries, and vendors are invited to display information around the conference area. Conference attendees are encouraged to visit the tables and explore resources.
With questions or to learn more, contact Gail Johnson (612-230-6125)
The Cokesbury book sales display will be in the rear portion of Haws C and available throughout conference. All orders must be picked up by 1 p.m. Thursday, June 23. Included will be titles by learning session speaker Sara Miles and other authors of interest, plus recommended resources for your church. Discounts are offered on all conference purchases.
Anyone with kits beyond the Love Offering, or supplies for the Midwest Distribution Center (and/or UMCOR), can bring them to conference session. There will be a collection site at the convention center.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church