2020 has been, well, interesting. We have all been adapting and finding new ways to be in ministry. And while there is good news of a vaccine coming, ministry has forever been changed.
In partnership with the James River District, the 2021 District Training Day will focus on equipping clergy and laity for ministry during and beyond the pandemic.
Six (6) workshops will be offered live on Saturday, February 6, 2021, via Zoom. These workshops will be recorded and made available with other prerecorded webinars on Saturday, February 13, 2021.
The cost will be $10 for clergy and laity in the Elizabeth River and James River Districts and $20 for those outside of the two districts. The cost includes access to 6 live, zoom workshops, and a collection of “on-demand” webinars. Registration is online. You may pay by credit card or by check. Make checks out to “Elizabeth River District” with “Training Day” in the memo. Scholarships are available by contacting your District office.
When you register, your confirmation email will include a Zoom link for February 6. Log onto Zoom 15 minutes prior to the start time of the workshop you plan to attend. All live workshops will be recorded. On February 13, you will receive an email with a link and password to the on-demand webinars, which will include the recordings of the live workshops. You can register by clicking here.
9 – 10 am: Connecting to the Community with Rev. Rachel Gilmore the Director of Recruiting, Assessing, Training for Church Planting at Discipleship Ministries.
How do we connect to our community during this time of covid-19 and beyond? Stories of effective community engagement from around the connection will be shared as well as tips and tools that can help you reach out to those in your context!
10:15 – 11:15 am: Called to Witness, Care, and Act: Serving as Lay Leader in Extraordinary Times with Martha Stokes the Virginia Conference Lay Leader
The Lay Leader is to function as the “primary lay representative of the laity of the local church.” What does that mean and how do you live it out in this extraordinary time in the history of our church and world? The call is for steadfast leadership, acts of compassion and justice, and taking the risk to think differently.
11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Stewardship & Finance: Get it Right at the Starting Line with Ken Sloane the Director of Stewardship & Generosity at Discipleship Ministries.
We will start the new year with this webinar that is focused on the new (and returning) member of the stewardship team, finance committee, or church council – those who are looking to get started right from the first week! We will explore areas like keeping a Spiritual foundation for our work, the importance of integrity, transparency and accountability; focusing on connecting money to mission, and what we’ve all learned about adaptability to new situations – thanks to the pandemic. Bathe your work in prayer. Remember, you are not alone; there are places to find help.
1 – 2 pm: The Basics of SPRC with DS Wayne Snead
The Staff-Parish Relations Committee is the administrative unit in the local church where staff and congregational interests are integrated to focus on the mission of the church. This workshop will explain who the committee is and is not, the four duties of the committee, five areas of focus, a calendar flow for meetings, and much more. Ideal for new and returning members of S/PPRC.
2:15 – 3:15 pm: Addressing SPRC Challenges with DS Wayne Snead
Being in ministry has its challenging times, but ministry during a pandemic has been demanding on many clergy and church staff. This workshop will help SPRC members consider how to support clergy and staff during unpredicted times.
3:30 – 4:30 pm: What is Simplified, Accountable Structure with Rev. Andrew Book (James River District) and Rev. Brian Boettcher (The Garden UMC)
Are you tired of being in meetings? Are you longing to leave the meeting room to be ministry? Shifting your current structure to a Simplified, Accountable Structure may be the answer. This workshop will offer an introduction to this Book of Discipline allowed structure and explain the implications of simplified and accountable leadership.
Resources to talk about Racism: The ongoing pandemic of racism leaves church leaders wondering how to talk about racism and how to respond to it. The Rev. Dr. Giovanni Arroyo of the General Commission on Race & Religion will share what resources are available to the local church to talk about racism.
The Intersection of Race and Discipleship: Audrey Smith, one of the co-authors of the recently released Virginia Conference curriculum, “Race, Roots, and Discipleship,” shares about why race is a discipleship issue for all of us, how our roots impact our ability to see issues of racial justice, and what role the local church has to play both among our members and in our communities as instruments of racial reconciliation. If you are wondering about whether this curriculum is worth using in your church or asking “why are racial issues such a big deal today?,” this session is for you!
Guest Follow Up: Studies show that when a church follows up with first time guests, guests are more likely to return. Rev. Brandon Robbins from Lynnhaven UMC in Virginia Beach will share some of the basics of guest follow up. In light of the current pandemic where worship has shifted to online, Brandon will also share some how-to’s for following up with online guests.
Tracking Online Worship: One of the challenges of ministry during a pandemic is how to track online worship attendance. Rev. Tim Ward from Restoration UMC in Reston, Virginia will share how his church has been tracking online attendance and some helpful tips.
COVID Lessons Learned Roundtable: Join Revs. Sherry Daniels (Norfolk UMC), Tammy Estep (Haygood UMC), Tim Craig (Great Bridge UMC), and Randy Duncan (New Creation UMC) share some lessons learned from the COVID pandemic.
Youth Ministry During COVID: Rev. Jason C. Stanley interviews Shawn Kiger, Youth Director at Wright’s Chapel UMC in Ladysmith, Virginia, and Mark “Marko” Oestreicher from The Youth Cartel about being in ministry with youth during a pandemic. They will share observations and experiments. Marko will share insights from his upcoming book, “Youth Ministry in This Season of Disruption.”
How to Be a Disability Friendly Church: This panel discussion with ministry leaders from across Virginia, including Rev. Heather Wray from Leesburg UMC in Leesburg, Brooke Varma from Christ Church in Fairfax Station, and Shawn Kiger from Wright’s Chapel UMC in Ladysmith will inspire you to find ways to be in ministry to and with people with disabilities. They will share their unique experiences and recommended resources.
The Leadership Gap: One of the challenges of ministry each year is filling out the Nominations and Lay Leadership Development report. Who will serve in which leadership positions or committees? The pandemic has added an extra layer of difficulty to fulfilling this task, but our role as the church is not just to tap the leaders we can find, but actually to develop leaders in our churches and deploy them in ways that line up with their gifts and passions. Rev. Andrew Book, Director of Congregational Excellence for the James River District, has a conversation with Rev. Jacob Sahms from Bethia UMC in Chesterfield about best practices for the Lay Leadership and Nominations Committee to empower your church to grow leaders and effectively nominate and deploy them to help your church thrive.
Virtual Small Groups: The pandemic moved everything online, including small group ministries. Rev. Lisa McGehee from Good Shepherd UMC in Richmond will share how her church made the shift to online small groups. Lisa will also share some practical tips on how to lead a virtual small group.
Children’s Ministry During COVID: Rev. Jason Stanley, the Coordinator for Church Revitalization on the Elizabeth River District, has a conversation with children’s ministry staff from around the Virginia Conference to discover best practices and lessons learned about being in ministry with children during a pandemic.
More may be added.