A View Ahead

As we begin a new year rather than being philosophical, theological, or particularly inspirational, I want to invite you to some of the upcoming events that are occurring on our District.  This information is and has been in our “Connection” for months, but I want to share it here in hopes that I make certain these events get on your calendars!

The first event I want to highlight is our upcoming District Conference and Local Church Leadership event.  This will take place on Saturday, January 21st from 9:00 A.M. until noon at Rockford UMC (late registration opens at 8:30 A.M.).  I have had requests from churches throughout the GR District asking that we provide basic leadership training for church leaders and this event is in response to that request! Specific information regarding workshops as well as the schedule for the day is located in the link below.  Please note that while there is no cost for this event, we are asking everyone to register and sign up for their workshop.  Please also note that all pastors and leaders are expected to attend the GR District Conference.

The next event I want to point out to you to is the “Redesigning Worship & Redesigning Church Workshops” with Kim Miller.  This event is Saturday, March 25th from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. (late registration opens at 8:30 A.M.).  Our District leadership team has been, for the past several years, focusing our work around helping local congregations engage and grow in their experience of the “Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations.”  Two years ago we brought Bob Farr (now Bishop Bob Farr!) to our District to give an overview.  Last year we brought Jim Ozier to call us to next steps in Radical Hospitality.  And this year Kim Miller from Ginghamsburg UMC, author of Redesigning Worship and Redesigning Churches is with us to help us grow in our commitment to and implementation of Passionate Worship.

For our clergy we have several upcoming forums and gatherings.  On Tuesday, January 24th Alex Fernandez, pastor at Cornerstone’s Heritage Hill Campus will be leading us in looking at the work they have done at Campus Elementary School one of the poorest elementary schools in Grand Rapids.  We will have opportunity to learn and share with one another about the opportunities for ministry in schools.  This forum will take place at the Heritage Hill Campus building on Lafayette.

On Tuesday, April 18th Chris Mckenna is leading us in a much requested forum on Stewardship.  Chris is an engaging and wise presenter and has shared this topic in several settings.  This forum will take place at Rockford UMC.

In addition to these “forums” we are having two clergy gatherings one on Tuesday, February 28th at Lake Harbor UMC in Muskegon and Tuesday, May 23rd at Byron Center UMC.  These gatherings will provide an opportunity for us to fellowship, worship and share together as District Clergy.  The agenda will be “light” and there will be opportunity to talk together about what’s on your minds. All Clergy Forum and Clergy Gathering events are from 10:00 A.M. – Noon and I look forward to seeing you at these events.  Please RSVP through the link below.


Register for Jan. 21 Lay Leadership Workshops HERE

RSVP for Clergy Forums & Gatherings HERE

Register for Mar. 25 REdesigning Worship & REdesigning Church workshops with Kim Miller HERE