Workshops and Learning Opportunities
Six different learning sessions were held throughout the 2023 Dakotas Annual Conference.
Youth Ministry—What do teens need and how does the church provide for them? Presenters Vicky Vetter, Legacy UMC in Bismarck, and Andrea Pluedemann, First UMC in Fargo, will discuss the basic needs of adolescent development and how the church can partner with families to disciple teens. They will also share an opportunity to join a youth ministry coaching experience for your youth ministry to identify areas for growth and guide you towards your goals and solutions. “Teens are not a problem to be solved but a wonder to behold”—Marko
Scripture Circles—A Rabbinical study. Experience studying scripture in a rabbinical—communal, discussion-based, fashion with Julie Stoll. Look into original language and context, discover new insights, and deepen relationships with fellow pastors and church leaders. You will take away techniques for increasing engagement, encouraging enjoyment of the sacred text, and trusting the Spirit at work in the room.
Administrative Practices that Work for Churches—Leading administrative practices and processes in your church can be a challenge...but also an opportunity for impactful stewardship of human, financial and facility resources of your congregation. Join panelists, Jim Ducker, Dakotas Conference Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Al Roll, Dakotas Conference Missional Impact Coach, Dustin Strande, American Church Insurance Group, Diane Owen, Area Director of Clergy Wellbeing, Annie Carlson, Pastor for Washburn UMC and Center UMC and JoAnn Early, Legacy UMC in Bismarck, as they share some best practices and answer your practical questions related to church administration. View a video of the presentation.
A New Norm—A New Norm, by South Dakota author and storyteller, Tom Roberts, is a poetic tale and workshop presentation that is intended to reflect the feelings of those who struggle with anxiety, depression, grief, anger, doubt, shame, fear and more, yet provide encouragement that difficulties such as these can be overcome. Created in partnership between Children’s Home Society of South Dakota and Avera Behavioral Health, A New Norm was developed to serve as a springboard to help youth start a conversation about mental wellness. “The message of ‘A New Norm’ is important . . . anyone can be a spark of hope for someone else. Sometimes that spark is a spiritual spark, sometimes it’s a peer, sometimes it’s a teacher, sometimes it’s a counselor. But really, every single one of us has an opportunity to be a spark to a kid by speaking life.”—Thomas Otten, Assistant Vice President of Avera Behavioral Health Services.
Fresh Expressions – Dinner Church — In the Emmaus story, Jesus was revealed in the breaking of bread. We know this experience continues as people encounter the living Christ around the table. In this lunch-n-learn session, presenter Rev. Michael Beck—our Conference speaker— will dive deeper into the Dinner Church model of Fresh Expressions. Fresh Expressions seeks to transform communities and individuals through championing, resourcing, and multiplying new ways of being church. Fresh expressions are your opportunity to invite new people to Jesus in new places working alongside your current church setting.
Fresh Expressions in Rural Places—Presenter Rev. Michael Beck—our Conference speaker— will use this workshop time to dive deeper into fresh expressions of ministry in rural communities. What are some of the unique ways that United Methodists in rural communities can reach people for Jesus and invite them into a life of discipleship. Fresh Expressions seeks to transform communities and individuals through championing, resourcing, and multiplying new ways of being church. Fresh expressions are your opportunity to invite new people to Jesus in new places working alongside your current church setting.