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Virtual Pre-Conference Workshops

Thanks to all who attended one or more of our AC2023 workshops.
A quote from one attendee:

"a huge shout out for such an incredible collection of AC preconference sessions to choose from this year. I literally wanted to attend all. HOLY WOW!!! "

Check back here after AC2023 for recordings and information on the workshops.  Thank you for attending!

Certified Lay Servants, Speakers, and Minister - No workshop recording available.
Presenter:  Elizabeth Flynn, Director, Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries

Knowledgeable laity in the local church are essential, and the LSM program trains, equips, and develops laity leadership in the UMC. In this workshop, you will learn the requirements and steps to becoming a Certified Lay Servant, Certified Lay Speaker, or Certified Lay Minister.  New topics and class titles offered by Discipleship Ministries will be introduced, as well as new certifications for CLMs.

Financial Services – 2024 Budget - No workshop recording available
Presenter:  Craig Smelser, Conference Treasurer

As we move forward into AC2023, this workshop will discuss the continuing Florida UMC’s 2024 budget and financial priorities.

The Wellness Challenge - No workshop recording available
Presenter:  Rev. Christy Holden, Gulf Coast Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry Director and Rev. Sara McKinley, Director of Clergy Excellence.

We will explore the benefits of emotional, spiritual, financial, physical and social wellness in a self-directed Wellness Challenge across the Conference, with a view to reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness and promoting overall wellness.

Start a Creation Care Ministry in Six Simple Steps - No workshop recording available
Presenter:  Florida Conference Creation Care Team

Caring for creation is a biblical call for many United Methodists in Florida.  This workshop will include tips and information from experienced leaders to equip Florida UMC members, clergy, and staff with the information they need to get started in this joyful ministry and to learn about the tools available through the Florida Conference.

You will learn how to: Form a Green Team--Calculate Your Carbon Footprint--Make A Plan--Take Action-- Report Your Progress--Celebrate in Worship. The first 60 registrants will receive a free Kindle copy of '7 Simple Steps to Green Your Church' by Rebekah Simon-Peter. 

Intro into Trauma-Informed Ministry - No workshop recording available
Presenters:  Rev. Beth Bostrom, Social Justice Chair
Chaplain Joon Park, Hospital Chaplain

What would it mean for our ministry to be trauma-informed? How can we create space that not only welcomes all of God's children, but honors their stories and experiences as they encounter God and others? 

In this workshop, we will learn some core concepts of trauma-informed care, explore the ways our Wesleyan theology prepares us for this new framework, and name examples of how to incorporate trauma-informed care into our ministries. We may even discover new language for things we already have in place! 

This is the first in a short series of workshops, and participants will receive information about the following sessions.

Play as a Spiritual Discipline
Presenter:  Rev. C. J. Hill

Could baking, fishing, or painting be spiritual disciplines? What about playing a board game or cards with friends? What we do as recreation has the power to connect us to our Creator in ways no other disciplines do. Join us for a conversation about the laughter and life-giving reality of practicing play as a spiritual discipline. 

From Temple to Tabernacle
Presenters:  Alice Williams, FLUMC Co-Lay Leader & Ryan Bonfiglio, Assistant professor at Emory’s Candler School of Theology

This session is for all who are wondering what does it mean to be the church at such a time as this, when everything around us seems to be changing?  What should we hold on to and what should we reimagine?  Where can we find wisdom and hope?  Join us as we explore how the ancient idea of the tabernacle - God’s way of being in the world long before the temple was built - invites us to think in fresh ways about what it looks like to pursue faith, engage our communities, and imagine the mission of the church.

Identifying, Preventing and Healing from Spiritual Abuse

Presenter: Connie A. Baker, MA LPC is a licensed professional counselor, clinical supervisor, trauma recovery specialists and writer in Portland, OR. More info at

Hosts:  Host: Derrick Scott III and Allison Corwin from Studio Wesley/The Wellness Project in partnership with the Conference Board of Laity

This workshop will help us define religious abuse, how it can spiritually harm individuals, and how we can create spaces of restoration and healing.

Building a Beloved Community: Why it’s Essential for Every Church

Presenter:  Rev. Erwin Lopez, Beloved Community Co-Chair

This workshop explores practical steps, Biblical principles, and historical background for building a Beloved Community in your church. The goal is to deepen our understanding of what it means to love our neighbor.

Reclaim, Revive, Renew.  What does it mean to #BeUMC
Presenters:  Florida Conference Board of Laity


This workshop is for individuals who are looking to the future of the United Methodist Church’s witness in the Florida Conference. Facilitated by Derrick Scott III, Conference Co-Lay Leader, we’ll hear from laity and clergy in the Annual Conference who will share their excitement and vision for the FLUMC. We’ll also hear about ways you can invite your local congregations to reclaim, revive and renew their commitment to #BeUMC.

Launch into the Fresh Expressions Journey

Presenters: Piper Ramsey-Sumner and Jessica Taylor

Be equipped with the tools your team needs to reach new people, in new places and in new ways.

Justice in Every Season:  Engaging The United Methodist Social Principles
(The Book of Discipline 2016, Part V, pages 105-146 or click here to read online).
Powerpoint from the workshop as presented by Rev. Dr. Liberato C. Bautista

Thursday, June 1 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 am.
Registration extended through June 1

Presenter:  Dr. Sharon G. Austin, Director of Connectional and Justice Ministries, FL Conference of the UMC

Guest Presenter:  The Rev. Dr. Liberato (Levi) Bautista, Assistant General Secretary for United Nations and International Affairs with the General Board of Church and Society, UMC, Washington D.C.

Predecessors to our Social Principles, the current Social Principles, and an update on the Proposed Social Principles preparation for General Conference 2024.

Lessons for the Church from the Lens of Black Church Culture

Presenter:  Rev. Dr. Stephanie Hand, Vitality Strategist Western North Carolina Conference of the UMC

The Black Church has survived slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, and racial discrimination within the wider church. Nevertheless, the Black Church continues to be a witness for the liberating power of the Gospel. This workshop will highlight the history, culture, and community found in the Black church. Every participant will leave with strategies, lessons and tools from Black church culture to use in their local church's engagement in the work of antiracism as discipleship.

Preventing and Ending Gun Violence Begins With Us! - CLICK HERE TO REVIEW WORKSHOP VIDEO

Join us for a conversation with guest presenters from a broad community addressing Gun Violence Prevention.  Remember who we are as United Methodists and the work of justice (General Board of Church and Society, the spirit of our UMC Social Principles, Faith & Fact Cards, and the Book of Resolutions).  Hear advocates share the reasons for their commitments to this essential work, ask questions and explore ways in which you can become an advocate for this cause. 

Any questions, please email