Must register one person at a time.
Cost: $10.00 cash or check payable to "South West District" at the door.
Lunch, nursery care and children's activities provided.
This year's Thrive conference will provide information, inspiration and training. Learn adaptive, relational, and technical skills to move your church into uncharted territory. Begin the day with worship and hear from Rev. Alex Shanks, assistant to Bishop Ken Carter, and outgoing District Superintendent Rini Hernandez, both of whom attended the recent General Conference as delegates. Each participant will choose an afternoon workshop session; selections include creating healthy teams, hospitality and connection systems, digital communications and social media, finance, and disaster recovery.
9:00 - 9:30 am: Registration and Hospitality
9:30 am: Opening Session
General Conference 2019 information session with Rev. Alex Shanks, assistant to Bishop Ken Carter and project manager for the Commission on the Way Forward
Worship and communion with District Superintendent Rini Hernandez
12:00 - 1:00 pm: Lunch (provided on-site)
1:00 - 2:30 pm: Workshop Sessions
2:30 pm: Sending Forth Prayer
WORKSHOP SESSION DESCRIPTIONS:
Creation Care - Elan Brown, Florida Conference Creation Care Ministry Chair
In this session, we will examine our roots, our call as children of God and as United Methodists to shepherd God’s creation for the good of God's earthly kingdom. What can Creation Care look like in your local church? Learn how to start a Creation Care team, develop a team plan that will bear light and make a lasting difference in your community and beyond. Hear more about our annual Creation Care church recognition program, the task force's Plastic and Foam Free Florida UMC Campaign, and how your church can be recognized for your Creation Care reconciling work.
Designing Ministries that Work- Lynn Ball, South West District Congregational Vitality Specialist
“If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again!” Building ministries that connect well with a changing culture can be hard! It involves trying new things that sometimes work and sometimes don’t, and it can leave us feeling discouraged and unsure of how to move forward. In this workshop you will learn how to experiment effectively with new ideas using a proven strategy that will help you design ministries that work! Bring your craziest ideas and worst failures and turn them into possibilities and plans.
Digital Communications, Social Media and Outreach - Bronwyn Bedient, Director of Communications at Cypress Lake UMC
Chances are that most people who are considering visiting your church are going to check out your online presence before setting foot on your campus. You don't need to be a tech guru, but you do need a strategy for your website and your social media! Come for practical tips and discussion on communicating with people inside and outside your congregation.
Disaster Recovery - Steve Potter, SW Regional Volunteer Coordinator for Irma Disaster Recovery
The purpose of this session is to engage potential individual volunteers or churches to form local volunteer teams to do recovery repairs to homes in the SW District areas affected by Hurricane Irma. Yes, we are still in the rebuild phase, and will be for several years. An overview of what’s been done, and yet to do, will be provided. The efforts of current local teams and ideas about how to become a local volunteer team will be included as part of a process of considering next steps to become a volunteer team.
Finance - Tony Prestipino, Conference Treasurer
New and experienced finance team members will receive an overview of basic church finances. Learn the requirements for separation of duties to safeguard both the dollars donated and the people involved in finance. Understand the basics of budgeting, from estimates of income to building a budget that supports your missions. Learn how stewardship is more than a sermon a year at the end of a pledge drive, and find out what's new in finance for 2019.
Healthy Teams - Nancy Metz, SW District Lay Leader, and Rev. Dan Prine, Edgewater UMC, Port Charlotte
Teams are important! Even Jesus was part of a team. How can we develop healthy teams that work? Is a team different from a committee in more than just name? In this breakout, Nancy Metz and Dan Prine will share some of their experiences of being part of teams that work (and those that don't!). We will talk about key elements and best practices that will help your leadership teams fully live out the mission, vision, and values of your church.
How to Share Your Faith
Does the idea of evangelism sound scary? This workshop will help you prepare to have a conversation about your faith with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Learn practical tips for sharing your story and connecting with others, even outside the church.
Just For Kids - Sheli Thompson-Gauthier, Coordinator of Children and Youth Ministries at Pine Island UMC and Dawn Martin, Certified Godly Play Instructor
All kids ages 5-16 are welcome to join this session of fun and learning. Miss Dawn will present a Godly Play lesson about the love of Jesus, and we will explore ways in which we can go out and share that love to make a difference in the world. Together, we will learn a song, play some games, do some arts and crafts, and participate faith-building discussions led by Miss Sheli. Child care also offered for younger children.
Launching Small Groups - Rev. Arlene Jackson, Recovery, Connect, & Form Ministries, Grace Church
We all want people to connect to small groups! This conversational workshop will help us to hear fresh ideas for launching new small groups, and overcoming the frustrations we all have about the obstacles we encounter. Come and share your best practices, and hear some new takes on gathering people for spiritual growth and community.