Winter workshops revamp for wider appeal
A new name arrives with the new year for the Local Church Leaders Workshops (LCLWs).
And change doesn’t stop with the title.
The wintertime workshops, held in 11 cities, collectively attract the most participants among all Oklahoma Conference events. In 2011, total attendance topped 2,500. The number surely will climb when the innovative Re-Ignite Workshops are unveiled, in January and February.
Re-Ignite coordinators purposefully are planning the events for all the United Methodist family—not only churches’ officers, and for clergy as well as laity.
Although the long-established LCLWs have been open to any interested persons, many classes sought to train laity in specific leadership posts.
For 2012, "we are being more intentional; we want people to know the workshops are open to all," said Aly Shahan, Conference coordinator of Re-Ignite.
"The training will have more of a rally feel. We are even being intentional about organized, energized worship. We understand these events are the face of the Conference to many people."
At seven of the events, Bishop Robert Hayes Jr. will attend and preach. Worship at the other four will feature live preaching by another special guest.
"A lot of the districts are adding components for children and youth. They matter, too," Shahan said.
For example, at Re-Ignite in Oklahoma City, youth classes will explore differences in religions and discuss bullying. Grouped by grade levels, children will take part in a VBS-style experience.
Shahan said youths also may attend adult classes, and nursery care will be available at each event. She said district superintendents are expecting clergy attendance, too.
Pre-registration is important for planning meals and preparing sufficient resources for handout.
More Re-Ignite information soon will go out in brochures by U.S. mail and online. To contact Shahan: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shahan noted a workshop will be rescheduled if bad weather forces its cancellation.