Pre-conference Workshops

United Methodists (beyond members of the annual conference) may participate in workshops Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at the Jackson Convention Complex. Leaders of all 1,000 United Methodist congregations in Mississippi are encouraged to participate in these holy conferencing opportunities!

This year we are offering two workshop opportunities on Wednesday, June 7, 2017:

  • 2:30 p.m. - "Young Faith in a World of Nones and Dones: The Future of Children's Spiritual Lives and the Ministry That Will Sustain Them" with Kenda Creasy Dean

 Young people’s faith is changing fast—and youth ministry is struggling to keep up. The National Study of Youth and Religion’s longitudinal research has continued since 2004, returning to the same group of young people every five years to see how their faith evolves as they grow up. As a result (and because we now have other studies to consider as well) we have gathered a few clues about how adolescence sets the stage for durable faith—or not— in young adulthood. This workshop is for parents, youth pastors and church leaders who want to explore some of those longitudinal findings, and ask: What does this research suggest for the shape of young people’s faith today? What does it mean for parents and congregations who want their children’s faith to outlast high school?  And how is youth ministry changing as a result of all this? 

  • 4:00 p.m. - "A New Mission Age" with Thomas Kemper 

The New Testament repeatedly calls disciples of Jesus Christ into God’s mission for their time, going into “all the world,” says Matthew 28, and “to the ends of the earth” in Acts 1. “The Spirit is always moving to sweep the Church into a new mission age,” is the way the mission theology statement of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries puts it.” This workshop with Thomas Kemper, the layman who leads Global Ministries, looks at today—2017 and forward— as a new worldwide mission age—an age in which the church is called to exemplify God’s mission of love and compassion, grace and justice “from everywhere to everywhere.” It is an age not always open to the Good News of faith. The workshop will explore global mission opportunities for United Methodists in Mississippi and the church as a global community of Jesus’ followers.