Pre-Conference Workshops

Two learning opportunities are available the day before Annual Conference officially begins. These workshops are FREE and open to all, not just those attending conference. Sign up as part of your Annual Conference registration.

District Webinars

Each member of the 2023 Annual Conference Session was asked to participate in a virtual pre-conference webinar. This was an opportunity to discuss the legislation that will be acted upon during the conference. It is key that participants take this time to get their questions answered. Some important information about the sessions:

  • A recording of one session is available for those who could not participate live.
  • Sessions were hosted by district superintendents;  you were encouraged to attend the one for your district (or supervising DS) but could attend whichever session best fit your schedule.
  • The pre-conference webinars took place via Zoom from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. CT
  • Monday, May 1 – River Valley led by Michelle Hargrave
  • Tuesday, May 2 – Twin Cities led by Dan Johnson and Cynthia Williams
  • Tuesday, May 9 – For multi-lingual participants led by Cindy Gregorson
  • Monday, May 15 – North Star led by Laurie Kantonen
  • Wednesday, May 17 – Southern Prairie led by Fred Vanderwerf and Woojae Im


Tuesday Opportunities, May 30, In-person in St. Cloud

These sessions are offered at no additional charge.  Attend one or all.

Fresh Expressions: Church Growth Everyone Can Do, 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Take a deep dive into Fresh Expressions with Michael Beck. 

Rev. Michael Beck and his wife, Jill, are co-pastors of Wildwood and St Marks UMCs, in Florida, as well as a network of thirteen fresh expressions gatherings in tattoo parlors, dog parks, burrito joints, and digital spaces. His plenary session will go into depth about why and who can bring the love and word of God to those beyond our walls. This session focuses on HOW. 

How can we expand from "going to church" on Sundays to reconnecting with Jesus’ discipleship (and John Wesley's) that took place in the ordinary places and rhythms where life happened?

How can both lay people and clergy people look at the typical rhythms of their lives for opportunities to gather and talk about their faith?

How can two or more gather in His name and draw people in to relationship with each other and with God?

How can YOU make a difference in the Kindom?

The fresh expressions movement releases the whole people of God, the “priesthood of all believers,” to be in ministry with the community. Evangelism, discipleship, and church planting are not programs, departments, or the expertise of specialists. They are a singular move of the Spirit that flows through the life of every Jesus follower. When we do this in community with others, we are the fullness of the “priesthood of all believers.” 

Discipleship means as we grow in our faith, we long to share it with others. It is “missional.” It must eventually focus on cultivating community. Following Christ in this way transforms discipleship. First, it helps to love people as Jesus taught (Mark 12:28-31). Love is more than warm feelings or a happy conversation. It’s practical. And practical love has to be organized. This session will suggest a simple way that every believer can manifest God’s organized love: 
o    find a friend (or more)
o    prayerfully discover a simple way to love the people around you
o    deepen relationships with them
o    share your feelings about Christ as part of a fuller life, and
o    encourage those finding faith to form a small Christian community where they are and connect to the wider church

The session is filled with practical examples that make the principles and practices real.

Being An Ally - How can we support our Native American Communities?, 3:45-5:30 p.m.

As individuals, and as United Methodists, we look around and see injustice, see people marginalized in many different ways. We want to help. We want to do better. But how? How can we be a good ally? There is no guideline or checklist for next steps. 

In this session, using the structure of Native American healing circles and restorative practices, we will talk and share about the ways we can be present and supportive for marginalized people without taking over and doing harm.

Lead by the Commission On Native American Ministries (CONAM), and Sabrina Tapia, Director of Racial Justice and Equity for the Minnesota Conference, you will both experience and learn about being a good ally. This session is a coordinated effort of CONAM, the Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW), and United Women in Faith (UWF).

Hamline University Mixer, 8:15 p.m.

Hamline University is more than a neighbor or occasional host; it is a United Methodist university in partnership with the Minnesota Conference throughout the year. Hamline alumni, friends, and anyone else interested are welcome to drop in for a time of visiting, connecting, and nibbling on refreshments. Hamline Chaplain Kelly Figueroa-Ray and Walker Brault will host this mixer for at least an hour, or until the gathering comes to a natural end.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058