"Hearts Afire" surely will banish winter’s chill in January and February at 11 locations in the state.
That’s the 2014 theme for the Re-Ignite Workshops — the largest educational program offered each year by the Oklahoma Conference and Districts. Thousands of people attend.
Have you registered yet? You can count on glowing spiritually by taking part in classes, worship, missions, and more. You can attend at any location and time convenient to you.
Here are some class descriptions to light your interest: "The Tightrope of Adolescence," "Prunes and Peaches," "Keeping Everyone Safe," and "A Life Span Plan."
Programming varies. View brochures and register online at: www.okumc.org/Reignite. Sign-up deadlines apply in some cases.
The Simple Church
At every workshop, "The Simple Church" class is scheduled. The synopsis: Are the people in your church being transformed? Is your church making real disciples, the kind of disciples Jesus made? Or is everyone just busy? Churches with a simple process for reaching and maturing people are growing and making a BIG impact.
Among the presenters is Trevor Smith, pastor at Sallisaw-First UMC. He has engaged that congregation in The Simple Church model, and First UMC has experienced growth. In three years, 36 new members were received on Profession of Faith. Rev. Dr. Smith was a recipient of the 2013 Harry Denman Evangelism Award.
This model is promoted by the Conference Discipleship Ministry Team.
Spiritual Growth for the Encore Generation
Synopsis: Those who have completed some of life’s tasks are now ready for encore performances. This workshop is for middle and senior adults who want to deepen their spiritual journeys, for those involved in older adult ministry, and for adult children of senior adults.
If Just One Person Believes in Me
Synopsis: According to the National Organization on Disability, there are 54 million people in the United States with special needs. That’s one in five Americans. Are we meeting, supporting, and ministering with these neighbors and their families?
• Attend "Cool Congregations" to learn how to reduce the carbon footprint for your church facility and for individuals in your congregation. Synopsis: We’ll teach you a step-by-step process that’s fun and will lower your utility bills!
• "Transparency in the Pulpit" — Adam Shahan, associate pastor at Moore-First UMC, will present. Synopsis: This course is designed to help preachers become better storytellers and use life experience to fuel narrative preaching.
• "Creating a Paradigm for Single-Parent Ministry." Synopsis: Being a single-parent family provides different challenges than two-parent families. There are more single-parent families than we realize. Our goal will be to discuss and begin to design ways of being in ministry to these families.
• Communications technology is the focus for several classes, exploring website design, digital newsletters, and using social media.
• Numerous sessions address specific church leadership roles, from lay leaders to Staff-Pastor-Parish Relations Committees, from financial officers to United Methodist Women.
For youth and elementary
Younger disciples will find that most planning teams have designed programming especially for them. Here are snapshots of two.
• At Stillwater, the Youth Symposium (for sixth- through 12th-graders) will be a time of Holy Conferencing, including prayer, conversation, laughter, and faith-sharing with Bishop Robert Hayes Jr., District Superintendent Tish Malloy, and District Youth Coordinator Scott Spencer.
• In Tulsa, children can "Ride into Funtastic Adventures With John Wesley and the Circuit Riders!" As imaginary time-travelers, they will meet our Founding Father of Methodism, John Wesley; eat what Wesley ate; create Circuit Rider bags; and play games of yesteryear.
Dates and places
Jan. 11 — Weatherford-First UMC, Woodward-First UMC
Jan. 18 — McAlester-First UMC
Jan. 19 — St. Paul UMC, Muskogee
Jan. 25 —St. Luke’s UMC, Oklahoma City
Jan. 26 — Enid-First UMC
Feb. 8 — Duncan-First UMC
Feb. 9 — Claremore-First UMC
Feb. 15 — Ardmore-First UMC
Feb. 16 — Boston Avenue UMC, Tulsa
Feb. 23 — Stillwater-First UMC