Laity Session and Workshops

Laity Session and Workshops



Every year we come together for the great gifts of fellowship with each other and communion with our Lord. Every year we have a new wrench or two thrown in to keep us sharp! This year we’ll have a couple changes in our Laity Workshops.

During our Laity Session on Thursday, June 11, we’ll be hearing from the Lay men and Lay women interested in being elected delegates and alternates to the General Conference in 2016. Candidates will be given 3 to 5 minutes to state their case. We’ll break for workshops at 11:00.

~ Mary Foote, Conference Lay Leader


Thursday June 11, 2015

Laity Session at Annual Conference ~ 8:45 a.m.

All laity will gather in the Willamette Ballroom for a time of worship, greeting from Bishop Hagiya, a program led by the Board of Laity. During this time, the process for voting for General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegates will be explained and candidates will have a time to share about themselves (voting will begin on Friday, June 12 in plenary session).

Laity Workshops ~ 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Workshop 1: Draw the Circle Wider: Reconciling Acts of Biblical Obedience

Workshop Presenters: Deborah Maria with Rev. Dr. Israel Alvaran, Reconciling Ministries Western Jurisdiction Organizer

“Draw the Circle Wider” will engage participants with concrete ways to learn and develop deeper, meaningful, and effective postures of welcome for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) persons. This will be a venue to discuss how we intersect our core Wesleyan values with the call for radical love and hospitality through reconciling acts of biblical obedience: prophetic witness that invites The United Methodist Church to live out its mission to make disciples of ALL people for the transformation of the world.
Download a workshop Flyer


Workshop 2: Supporting the Caregivers in Your Midst: Developing Support Groups for Caregivers Who Care for Long-Term Patients (Alzheimer’s, dementia, chronic care)

Workshop Presenters: Brooke B. Collison and Bob Lewis

Brooke Collison

Long-term care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other chronic debilitating conditions requiring part- to full-time care will be discussed with an

Bob Lewis

emphasis on churches forming small Caregiver Support Groups as an outreach to church and community members. Being a caregiver is a physically and emotionally draining activity. Caregivers benefit from small support groups where their personal concerns and issues can be discussed by an understanding group of colleagues. Alzheimer’s is the sixth most common cause of death in the United States and a church is an ideal place for support networks to form and operate. Download a detailed session description.

Workshop 3: We Will Speak Out:  How Faith Leaders Can Join the Movement to End Sexual and Gender Based Violence

Workshop Presenter: Rhonda Case, Randy Elison, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon/ IMA World Health

In 2014 IMA World Health and Sojourners Magazine together commissioned a survey of 1,000 protestant pastors concerning sexual and domestic violence and published the study results as Broken Silence: A Call for Churches to Speak Out.  This report is part of an initiative called We Will Speak Out sponsored internationally by IMA World Health and locally co-sponsored by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. We will share the study and worship materials which participants can take back to their local congregations to begin or continue the work of shining a light on domestic and gender based violence for healing and prevention.


Eva Johnson

Workshop 4: Sacred Circles

Workshop Presenter: Eva Johnson, Committee on Native American Ministry (CONAM)

Our intent is to familiarize participants with the book, “On This Spirit Walk” with the hope individuals will feel confident to lead a study on this book at their local church.

Traditionally, when Indian people gather for ceremony they will sit in a circle and give their full attention to the words being spoken.

The book shares personal stories about peoples experiences and how these experiences influenced them. We want to create a safe atmosphere where people will talk from their hearts, gain some insight into Native Culture and leave with the beginning thoughts of what their role is in this call by the conference to Heal Relationships through the Sacred Circle.

A bonus will be having the opportunity to meet Anita Philips, one of the book's authors.


Workshop 5: Marketing Your Church

Workshop Presenter: Jennifer Rodia, United Methodist Communications

Caitlin Congdon

Jennifer Rodia
UMCOM trainer

The creation of your Church Marketing Plan helps improve how you communicate with and impact the people you want to reach for the Kingdom. What is Church Marketing? Church marketing is strategic planning for outreach evangelism.  Your church wants to impact lives, helping people know Christ and engage them through Christian discipleship.  One of the ways you can accomplish this is through your Church Marketing Plan.  As you begin to learn about this process, you will begin to better understand how to create an outreach plan that takes the unique church God has created you to be and connect you to the people He has called you to reach. 


Workshop 6: Path for Renewal

Workshop Presenter: Stephan W. Ross, Oregon-Idaho Conference, Vital Church Project Director

Rev. Steve Ross

Everyone wants to see their congregations thrive, but many of you feel that you are working hard without getting there. What are the real foundations of vitality in a congregation? What can you do to help your church walk the path of vitality? It’s both simpler and harder than you think! Come learn where to put your efforts to help your church thrive.


Workshop 7: Reconciling Injustices to the Palestinian People

Workshop Presenters: Dee Poujade, Oregon/Idaho Holy Land Task Force and Ned Rosch, Jewish Voice For Peace

Members of Annual Conference are being asked to prayerfully consider a resolution that would ask conference financial officers to act in line with our moral values by divesting from companies whose work has been documented as contributing to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. Divestment has long been recognized as an effective, moral, non-violent tool in altering corporate behavior. Members of the Holy Land Task Force and Jewish Voice for Peace will give an overview of the human rights violations in the West Bank, and will discuss how the companies targeted for divestment contribute to theses human rights violations. They will also share their personal perspectives of why divestment is the right thing for the United Methodist Church.

Here are links to additional resources:

Workshop 8: (Re)Building Connections: A Strategic Discussion About Our Relationships as the Body of Christ

Workshop Presenters: Teri Watanabe and Mark Bateman, Visionary Leadership Project

Mark Bateman

“(Re)Building Connections: A Strategic Discussion” is the kick off to a year-long, laity-initiated emphasis on strategic thinking regarding our connections. Our discussion will focus on six primary types of connections: the individual and Christ, individuals with each other, the individual and the church, churches with each other, each church and the Annual Conference, and individuals and the Annual Conference. Join us for a creative exploration of the Connection and how we can strengthen our connections at all six levels.

Boldly Making Disciples of Jesus Christ - Vitalizing the Church - Transforming the World