Do WHAT on Saturday of Annual Conference? Learn!


After the business of Annual Conference wraps up there is still more learning to do on Saturday, June 16.

Members and guests have the opportunity to participate in a plethora of workshops – everything from participating in the Boise Pride parade to stewardship workshops to gratitude journaling, church culture and more -- part of the Living Hearts, Mind and Spirit activities.

“The Saturday Learning Experience opportunities are a vital part of our time together at annual conference, because through them we create a learning environment as a community of faith,” said Lowell Greathouse, director of mission and ministry for the Oregon-Idaho Conference. “And when we participate in personal growth and social engagement, the heart and soul of our church grows at the same time.”

Learning sessions will take place at the Riverside Hotel from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday to help live out the theme Conference "Do this and you shall live." These experiences offer several kinds of "doing," from advocacy to personal development to building skills for use in local churches. See descriptions below and mark your preferred choice on your Annual Conference Session registration to help leaders plan for the right size group.

How Christians Can Respond to the Palestine/Israel Conflict

Presented by Rev. Alex Awad, a Palestinian Christian and retired General Board of Global Ministries missionary who served as the Dean of Bethlehem Bible College for more than 30 years.

For many, the “situation” in Palestine/Israel is too big to easily wrap one’s mind around. There are so many perspectives, so many views of “the truth” that it is difficult to discern those things that should matter most to Christians – and indeed to all faiths that hold this land as “Holy.” 

Rev. Awad will share his unique perspective on how the conflict developed, as well as how people of faith can make a difference in this troubled place. An internationally known speaker and writer, Rev. Awad is the author of two books and numerous articles on the conflict and on Christians in the Holy Land, theology of the Land, Christian Zionism and interfaith dialogue.

Making Generosity a Joy

Presented by Cesie Delve Scheuermann, stewardship consultant for the Oregon-Idaho Conference. Delve Scheuermann’s workshop is aimed at getting folks away from the fear of asking for money to the joy of increased generosity in congregations. It can be done, she says, without a lot of effort. She’ll share specific ways to tell a congregation’s story and thank faithful givers.

Delve Scheuermann has been writing her weekly blog “Inspiring Generosity” on umoi.org for five years. In addition to consulting with laity and clergy, she also works for a number of non-profits by writing grants, composing appeal letters, and thanking donors.

Grateful Living: Developing a Grateful Journaling Practice

Presented by Michael Kroth, published author and an associate professor at the University of Idaho-Boise, in the Adult Organizational Learning and Leadership program.

The objective of this workshop is to walk out with ideas and a plan for a regular gratefulness journaling practice. The hope is for participants to identify the benefits of gratefulness and begin developing a practice of grateful living; to develop a gratefulness journaling strategy; to practice gratefulness journaling; and to make commitments to themselves.

Kroth has written or co-authored five books including “Transforming Work: The Five Keys to Achieving Trust, Commitment, and Passion in the Workplace” (2001), with Patricia Boverie. “Stories of Transformative Learning” (2014), co-authored with Patricia Cranton, is his latest book. He is a member of Boise First United Methodist Church, Cathedral of the Rockies.

Boise Pride Parade

Coordinated by Rev. Brenda Sene, pastor of Hillview United Methodist Church in Boise.

With Annual Conference happening during Boise Pridefest 2018, members and guests are invited to join in the festivities by marching in the Pride Parade to show Boise that United Methodists have open hearts by wearing your UM logos, bringing your church banners (from Oregon or Idaho), and more. More details about the parade route will be available soon.

Hillview UMC is currently Idaho's only reconciling congregation, but does not stand alone in its support of LGBTQ inclusion. The congregation is in the parade annually, and Sene said they’re excited to welcome many United Methodist kindred from around the Conference to join in showing God's unconditional love for all.

The Culture Shaping Church

Presented by Dr. Leroy Barber, congregational developer for vitality in the Oregon-Idaho Conference.

This workshop will look at creative ideas on how the church can engage culture through new models to understand their communities. Using innovative approaches like co-work spaces, coffee shops, food trucks, and affordable housing as connection points to everyday life, Barber will explore ways for the church to be present seven days a week. 

Barber serves on the Greater NW Episcopal Area Innovation-Inclusion Team. He has served as a program director for and pastor of various non-profits from Georgia to Philadelphia and now Portland. For more than 25 years he’s worked with programs aimed at eradicating poverty, confronting homelessness, restoring local neighborhoods, healing racism, and living into beloved community.

Intercultural Competency Training

Presented by Pastor Kalina Malua-Katoa and Rev. June Fothergill of the Oregon-Idaho Conference.

This workshop is being put on by the Commission on Religion and Race and the Inter-Cultural Competency training team to facilitate and share tools they have developed for the church to address diverse cultural settings – including mutual invitation, cultural iceberg, meal time meditation and more.

It is designed for those interested in connecting with a changing mission field and building vital churches as our communities become more diverse, requiring new ways of doing ministry cross-culturally. Organizers see this as an opportunity to embrace diversity.

Malua-Katoa serves as the chairperson of the Annual Conference Committee on Race and Religiion and has served cross-cultural congregational settings since 2013. Fothergill has served churches across the Oregon-Idaho Conference and has been the coordinator for the Annual Conference’s Intercultural Competency Training project since 2011.