Northeast District clergy and laity attending the annual Leadership Institute

Leadership and learning at the Church of the Resurrection’s Leadership Institute

Over 50 persons from the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference attended the Leadership Institute at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. General sessions led by the Rev. Adam Hamilton are interspersed with workshop sessions. Over 80 different workshops were offered on a wide range of topics including worship, discipleship, leadership, website design and social media, children’s and student ministries, issues of governance, and many more.

Rev. Bronwyn Yocum, DS of the NE District, led a group of 21 laity and clergy from the district. Rev. Bob Shank and laity from the Stroudsburg UMC drove out to Kansas, leaving at 8:30 am, and arriving in Kansas at 3:30 am the night before the conference began. Was it worth the trip? Everyone said, “Yes!”

The general sessions included a presentation by Bob Johansen, a professional futurist who has worked with the Episcopal Church. A graduate of Crozier Seminary before earning a PhD, Johansen forecasts trends out ten years to help businesses and organizations consider how to prepare for the future. Johansen pointed out that the future will be digital in ways we cannot yet imagine. Steve Hawn, Sr. VP of Hallmark Cards, headquartered in Kansas City, then demonstrated how mission and vision based on future trends helps an organization continue its mission despite changing circumsyances in the world.

For those who were unable to make the trip to Kansas, the annual conference will bring a team of leaders from Church of the Resurrection to EPA in the late winter and spring to lead workshops on the district. Watch for more information soon.

Rev. Rob Stippich, after being inspired by Adam Hamilton’s presentations at Annual Conference, registered a team from his congregation, Wiest UMC, for the Church of the Resurrection’s Leadership Institute in Leawood, KS.  Over 2,000 church leaders attended the annual event.

Rob reported from Facebook, “I’m at the first day of the Leadership Institute 2010 in Leawood, Kansas (at Church of the Resurrection).  I’ve got a second row seat for my first workshop of the day – it’s on “Catch: Attracting and Connecting Visitors”.

Rob StippichRob Stippich (left) attended the Leadership Institute.

I’m relaying some of my notes on the session I’m in on the Wiest UM Church Facebook page –!/group.php?gid=99345969487 if you would like to read some of the teaching.  Just click on that link or copy and paste it into your browser if you have trouble doing that.”

Rob attended “Catch: Attracting and Connecting Visitors” with Debi Nixon, who will also make this presentation at Planting Seeds for Ministry Growth on Saturday, November 6, at Hopewell UMC in Downingtown, PA.  Don’t miss this great opportunity!  Register now:


Saturday, November 6, 2010

2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Hopewell United Methodist Church

Downingtown, PA 19335

Featuring Special Guest, Debi Nixon: Debi is the Executive Director of Adult Discipleship and Catalyst Ministry for the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, where she has been a part of Adam Hamilton’s staff for 16 years. She is passionate about church renewal and has written a new curriculum for local churches called CATCH: Connecting and Attracting Visitors and the companion book, Catch a New Life. She will be our keynote speaker and lead a workshop around this new curriculum.

CATCH: Connecting and Attracting Visitors.  As a church, we are called to be outwardly focused. In this CATCH program you will get a grand-scope view of the strategies and tools used at Church of the Resurrection to attract and connect with the un-churched in their community, plus get ideas.

Other Workshops Include:

Help! I Teach at Church, But I Don’t Know Anything About the Bible

Many of our local church teachers are answering the call to lead various classes and groups such as Sunday School, ALPHA, Disciple, youth groups and more, but they don’t necessarily have the exegetical skills to teach others what the Bible really means. Come and learn how to get the most out of your Bible so you can teach others to do the same.

Led by Rev. Dr. Deborah Appler, Associate Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Moravian Theological Seminary, and an elder in the EPA Conference.  There will be an extended opportunity with Deborah Appler for all Christ Servant Ministers. Check the CSM website for information.

Transitioning Into Alternative Styles of Worship

Change is hard for local churches today, especially when it comes to worship style. And yet some are doing it remarkably well, and growing! You will see Ricky’s passion for various forms and styles of worship and he will share his learning around preaching, music, laity/clergy involvement, accomplishments, pitfalls and expectations from his transition experience.  Led by Jose “Ricky” Ayala, a licensed local pastor in the EPA Conference, currently serving at Conshohocken UMC.

Creation: Do We Care?

“Creation care” is more than a trendy cliché in this 21st century; there is also a biblical imperative for us to protect the earth. As disciples of Jesus Christ, are we being the best stewards we can be of God’s good earth? Come and learn what we are called to do and how to develop a creation care effort within your congregation. Led by Beth Norcross, adjunct faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary where she teaches, guest-lectures and develops curriculum in eco-theology.

Developing a Culture of Personal Spirituality

In the midst of the clamor, the noise, the distractions of our culture and this world, so many are longing to find ways to ‘go deeper’ with God; to be in intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. It is essential that local churches develop meaningful opportunities to increase followers’ personal spirituality as they strive to satisfy this innate hunger.  Led by Vicki Pry, Pastor of Caring Ministries at Hopewell UMC, and a licensed local pastor in the EPA Conference.

More information and online registration: