The district is seeking volunteers to serve at the 2019 Southeastern Jurisdiction Clergywomen’s Conference from Nov. 18-21 in Jacksonville. The event is expected to draw UMC clergywomen from across Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
This year’s conference — Uncharted: Adventuring the Wilderness with God — will explore the challenges of pastoring people vastly different from yourself and being a woman in a male-dominated field.
“The theme “Uncharted” was chosen with great intentionality for this year’s Southeast Jurisdiction’s Clergywomen Conference,” the event’s website states. “Everyday ministry, in general, seems uncharted: moving from appointment to appointment, being a pastor to people vastly different from ourselves, being a clergywoman in a male-dominated, and the list goes on.
“There is much uncertainty ahead, but we hope to provide a safe space for the clergywomen of the SEJ to find rest, sisterhood, resources, and reassurance in the God who never leaves us, but rather adventures the wilderness with us.”
To make the event run smoothly, dozens of volunteers are necessary for the areas of hospitality, worship, teaching, and general logistics.
“We’re really looking for volunteers to have the gift of hospitality,” said Beth Potter, congregational vitality specialist for the Gulf South District.
“It’s really someone with a welcoming heart. You’ve got the bigger view in mind, and you’re willing and passionate.”
Volunteers, who must be on-site during the conference and wear red vests during their shift, are needed in four main areas:
- Greeters – Those who enjoy meeting new people and can welcome participants with a smile;
- Guides – Those who will direct attendees where they need to go throughout the hotel;
- Prayer Room – Those who can keep the prayer room sorted and welcome people inside throughout the event;
- Runners – Those who can assist a presenter, speaker or conference organizer with any last-minute needs;
“There’s just a great joy in supporting clergy and their growth,” she said. “And it’s even more special that this is women helping women!”
--Kari C. Barlow is a freelance writer in Pensacola.