Re-Ignite! Classes generate enthusiasm to grow disciples

1/6/2012 (Registration, District schedules and class information online)

The song declares, "It only takes a spark." That also describes the Re-Ignite! workshops this winter, at 11 locations across the state.

They begin Jan. 14 in Altus, at First UMC.

Planners want to spark spiritual growth in United Methodist disciples of all ages and stages, laity and clergy. Purposefully, they are offering worship and workshops that help people "re-ignite, reconnect, and re-engage"--which Bishop Hayes also will emphasize in his talks.

"We want people to be spiritually fed," said Coordinator Aly Shahan, "not just come for training." Thus Re-Ignite! gets top billing over the subtitle: Local Church Leaders Workshops.

The intentional planning for all ages is evident in classes specifically for children (kindergarten through grade 5) and youths (grades 6-12), in addition to the adult classes, at most of the 11 locations. Shahan noted youths also may attend any of the adult classes.

For example, at St. Luke’s UMC in Oklahoma City, youth topics are: "Drum Talk: Using drum circles for ministry," "Teens in the Bible," and "The Real World: Middle School."

In one of the children’s classes there, they will make "Compassion Kits." Kits will contain socks, granola bars, toothpaste, a City Rescue Mission Card, and more. Each child will be invited to take a kit to carry in the family car and give away to someone they see who is in need.

At Tulsa, a class for youngsters age 3 and up is "The 5 Practices for Children."

A youth rally again is set in Bartlesville District, at Claremore-First UMC. Last year, the rally drew 200 young people, Shahan noted.

Among the many adult classes offered at all locations, these titles may spark your interest:

  • "Should Faith Mix With Politics?"

  • "Leading Through Conflict: Cooling the Hotspots"

  • "On to Perfection: Effective Manuscript and Non-Manuscript Preaching"

  • "It Worked for Us: Successful Children’s Programming"

  • "Congregations Working With Veterans"

  • "Social Media: Getting Our Message Out in a TGIF World" (TGIF--Texting, Google, iPhone, Facebook)

  • "It Worked for Us Ideas/Models," presented by the Board of Laity

Other classes address "Precious Memories" (church oral histories and records) offered by the Commission on Archives & History; "Credo," a new curriculum for confirmation classes; church communications; and ministry with older adults, the "go-goes, slow-goes, and no-goes."

At McAlester-First UMC, Bonnie Cates will lead a class for clergy spouses. In addition to preaching at some locations, Bishop Hayes will lead a clergy family class.

Elaine Robinson also will be a featured preacher. She is dean of the Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University.

Shahan urged people to pre-register. "It’s really important," she said, "to plan the food and make enough copies."

She added that people may attend any district’s workshop. — Holly McCray

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