Learning, Worship, Networking Planned for Children’s Ministry Forum

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Aug. 25, 2015 /Discipleship Ministries/ – Leaders of children’s ministries will find opportunities for worship, spiritual renewal, continuing education, fellowship, networking and support in November at the Children’s Ministry Forum.

The forum, Rock On! Renew, Discover, Respond, is cosponsored by Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church and will be hosted Nov. 17-19 by First United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is designed for children’s ministry leaders in large membership congregations with at least 300 in worship, although leaders from congregations of all sizes are welcome to attend.

“Leaders of children’s ministries often feel that they lack the knowledge or experience to be successful. This forum will give them the information and tools they need,” said Tanya Marie Eustace, Director of Children and Intergenerational Ministries at Discipleship Ministries. “And the experiences they will have during these three days will not only be good for their ministries, but also will be good for their souls.”

The forum will be guided each day by these words:

Renew! – Looking at our own faith journey, offering space/time for renewal and soul care

Discover! – Practical ideas of how to build, sustain and grow faithful ministry with children

Respond! – Insight into how we take what we learned back to our congregations – how we Rock On in difficult situations

Regular registration for the forum is $335 per person, but a $60 early bird discount is available for anyone who registers by Sept. 17. A preconference seminar is available for an additional $50. For more information and to register, go to http://bit.ly/1JPqMoz.

Rev. Telley Lynnette GadsonThe Rev. Telley Lynnette Gadson, president of the National Black Clergy Women of the United Methodist Church, will preach at opening and closing worship sessions and also will lead a workshop. An ordained elder in the South Carolina Annual Conference, Telley is recognized as a ministry mentor, a church leadership coach and a national leader.

Claire McKeever-BurgettClaire McKeever-Burgett, who serves on the staff of The Upper Room in Nashville, will be keynote speaker for Renew! on Day 1 and lead a workshop. An ordained Alliance of Baptists pastor, she writes often at pastorpoet.com and considers herself to be both a pastor and a poet who dances, sings and tries to love the world.

Leanne HadleyRev. Dr. Leanne Hadley, an expert on the spiritual lives of children, who writes, consults and teaches groups and organizations how they can meet the needs of the children, will deliver the keynote address for Discover! on Day 2 and lead a workshop. She is an ordained UMC elder and is the founder of the non-profit First Steps Spirituality Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Emanuel Cleaver IIIRev. Dr. Emanuel Cleaver III, who is senior pastor of St. James UMC in Kansas City, Missouri, will be keynote speaker for Respond! on Day 3 and lead a workshop. Cleaver is known for his dynamic sermon delivery at his 2,600-member church, whose motto is, “Connecting people with God in practical ways.”

Eighty workshops will be available where participants can strengthen their ministries with tools, ideas and content. The workshops will follow each day’s theme.

The pre-conference seminar, on the morning of Nov. 17, will explore children’s spirituality, covenant discipleship, ministries for exceptional children, family faith formation and intergenerational faith formation.

In addition to Discipleship Ministries, the forum is sponsored by The United Methodist Publishing House and the Large Church Initiative.

For more information, email [email protected] or follow the forum via social media on Twitter at @umccmforum and Facebook at www.facebook.com/umccmforum.