Engaging in Mutual Ministry with the Poor

Join the discussion to explore how United Methodists in rural, suburban and urban communities are building relationships of trust and mutuality with community members struggling with the challenges of poverty.  Panelists include:

  • Randy Hilderbrandt, missionary serving Newberry, MI
  • Mary Gladstone Highland, missionary serving Clarkston, MI
  • Julie Liske, pastor, UM Metropolitan Ministry of Greater Grand Rapids

The Covenant with Liberia

Learn more about the Detroit Conference’s covenant with the Liberia Task Force from some of the men and women involved.  Hear about the birthing center and training projects underway as well as a report from a recent trip. Panelists include:

  • Kayte Aspray, Chair, Detroit Conference Liberia Task Force
  • Rev. William Haggard, District Superintendent, Grand Rapids
  • Edith Wiarda, Chair, Ann Arbor District
  • Rev. Duane Miller, retired elder and District Superintendent
Edith Wiarda in Liberia

From Mercy to Justice: Congregational Community Organizing

Congregations can organize and mobilize to provide ministries of mercy and service, but often struggle to address the systemic issues through ministries of justice and advocacy.  Hear from leaders taking that difficult journey from mercy to justice.  Panelists include:

  • Rev. Jeff Nelson, Redford Aldersgate UMC
  • Rev. Matt Weiler, Sunnyside UMC, Kalamazoo
  • Allison Colberg, Deputy Director, Michigan United
  • Rev. Jo Ann Mundy, Executive Director, Eliminating Racism & Claiming/Celebrating Equality (invited)

Radical Hospitality: Welcoming Immigrants

Unaccompanied minors, Syrian refugees, deportations and Supreme Court rulings.  We’ve seen the headlines, but what does it mean for immigrants?  Learn about these issues and about Justice for our Neighbors (JFON), a legal ministry that welcomes and embraces immigrants in need from panelists:

  • Tori Booker, JFON Southeast Michigan Site Director
  • Jeanne Franks, Director, Youth & Mission, FUMC Chelsea
  • Melanie Goldberg, JFON-SEMI Site Attorney
  • Frank Driscoll, FUMC Birmingham

Act of Repentance: Next Steps Toward New Relationships & Healing

Want to know how can you and your congregation can deepen your cross cultural awareness and get more involved in VIM partnerships with Native American ministries?  Hear from experts, including:

  • Rev. Dr. Jerry DeVine, Director of Connectional Ministries for the Detroit Conference
  • Ragghi Calentine, General Commission on Communications

Disaster Response: Embracing Opportunity

Are you ready to respond effectively when disaster strikes?  Hear from those on the ground dealing with flooding in Detroit and the Flint water crisis.  Learn about UMCOR’s role in supporting these ministries and how you can get the training you need to be prepared. Panelists include:

  • Peter Plum, Coordinator, Crossroad District Water Crisis Response
  • Rev. Robert Miller, Milan Marble Memorial UMC
  • Rev. Becky Wilson, Coordinator, Northwest Detroit Flood Recovery Project
  • Rev. Bob Freysinger, Fowlerville UMC
Haiti Hot Lunch - young girl

The Michigan Area Haiti Task Force

The covenant between the Michigan Area United Methodist Church and Eglise Methodiste d’Haiti ensures on-going support for the mission of the Methodist church in Haiti.  Learn about current projects, including the Local Pastor Training Initiative and youth mission trip opportunities.  Panelists include:

  • Karl Zeigler, Coordinator, Local Pastor Training Initiative
  • Rev. David Hills, Stevensville UMC
  • Carmen Ziegler

Walking in Faith with Hispanics/Latinos

Want to expand your outreach? Learn how you can grow a ministry with Hispanics and Latinos in your community.  Receive a ministry guide and sign-up for follow-up consultations.  This workshop is a precursor for the Pentecost Journey Workshop.  Sonya Luna, a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministry, will lead the program.

Sonya Luna
Matthew Quotation

Prison Ministries

Nearly 50,000 Michiganders are currently incarcerated.  Those who are locked up should never be locked out of a spiritual journey.  Join a panel discussion to explore opportunities to engage in local “missionary” work.  Panelists include:

  • Dale Milford, Pastor, Waterford Four Towns
  • Len Hill, Executive Director, New Directions, Inc.
  • Mary Engle, Regional Director, Prison Fellowship
  • Bill Cariano, Executive Director, Forgotten Man