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Greater Detroit District
Michigan UMC

View All 2018 Workshop Details

Title / Description Facilitator(s)
TOM Talks - Two short talks
recorded at Annual Conference

Audience: All

During the May 31-June 3, 2018 Michigan Area Annual Conference, a series of short talks, approximately 20 minutes each, on various aspects of church growth and were presented.  Two particularly informative talks have been selected as especially meaningful to church leaders in our new district.

Matthew Witkowski worked with the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore as Director of Programming before joining Grand Rapids Trinity UMC as Director of Community Ministries Program in 2015.  By building community partnerships the church is now being used by local community groups that align with the church's goals of giving back and engaging with the community.

Naomi Garcia is the Associate Director for Congregational Vibrancy of thE Michigan Area UMC.  She describes herself as mesmerized, reminded and centered by the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and the rivers of the southwest. Her talk explores the call to be separate, equal, and open in our relationships with each other.  An observation . . . your comfort zone is a problem to be dealt with.

Worship Planning - Part A
Audience: Worship Team

coming soon
Jason Moore

Co-partner, Midnight Oil Productions

Read his bio here.

Worship Planning - Part B
Audience: Worship Team

This is a continuation of Part A.

If you did not participate in Part A, you may join this workshop in progress.

Jason Moore

Co-partner, Midnight Oil Productions

Read his bio here.

New Benefits
Audience: Finance, Clergy, SPRC

The Annual Conference, Local Churches, and Clergy all share in the ministry of clergy benefits (pension, health, and disability). This is your opportunity to learn more about current processes and cost trends. In addition, you will receive the latest information available regarding changes for 2019 associated with the creation of the new Michigan Conference. Specifically, the newly designed 2019 clergy compensation form and projected health insurance premium charts will be reviewed which include a number of variations from the current process.
Rev. Don Emmert

Director of Conference Benefits & Human Resources
Rev Emmert and spouse, Becky, have a family of 4 children and 6 grandchildren. He served local churches for 17 years prior to joining the Detroit Conference Finance Office in 2001 as Benefits Administrator and Associate Treasurer. He has been the Conference Benefits Officer since 2006. This responsibility expanded to include both conferences in 2017, and has recently evolved to Director of Conference Benefits & Human Resources.

Financial Policies
Audience: Finance, Clergy, SPRC

Local churches are supported by the Conference for pastoral pensions and health benefits. This is your opportunity to learn more about current processes and cost trends. In additional you will get a preview of expected changes associated with the creation of the new Michigan Area Conference.
David Dobbs

Conference Treasurer
Mr Dobbs has been Conference Treasurer since October 2011. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resources as well as major concentrations in accounting and management. He had eight years experience as a ledger accountant and credit analyst with a large Michigan bank before taking the position he has held for sixteen years as finance director for a national nonprofit organization where he has had responsibility for managing all accounting and business functions, which includes working with financial institutions, investment managers and auditors as well as budget preparation, procurement, data processing, computer support, employee benefits, public and internal presentations, and supervision of a department. In 2000, Dobbs passed the CPA exam.

Staff Parish Relations Best Practices
Audience: SPRC

For current members of the SPRC, local church lay leaders and lay members to annual conference, appointed clergy.
  • Do we really need training?
  • How often do we need to meet?
  • Do we really need to walk through the parsonage each year?
  • Is our job to evaluate or support the pastor?
  • What is our role in carrying out the church's vision and mission?
  • When and how do we talk with our D.S.?
These and other questions will be answered during this interactive workshop.
Rev. Melanie Lee Carey

Pastor, Nardin Park UMC, Farmington Hills
Rev. Melanie Lee Carey is the lead pastor of Nardin Park UMC in Farmington Hills. She has previously served as The Clergy Assistant to the Bishop for the Michigan Area, as District Superintendent of The Detroit Renaissance District, and as pastor of Ypsilanti First, Hudson First and Associate Pastor of Livonia Newburg churches. Fluent in Spanish, Rev. Carey has served as a facilitator and consultant with The National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries and was elected as one of the clergy delegate from The Detroit Annual Conference to the 2012 and 2016 General Conferences. In her spare time, Rev. Carey enjoys spending time with her husband, Jon and visiting her young adult children in Chicago, IL and Charlotte, NC.

Andy Wayne

SPRC Chair, Nardin Park UMC, Farmington Hills
Andy Wayne is the SPRC chair at Nardin Park UMC. His leadership experience includes running the acolyte program and serving on the Finance Committee and Church Council at Nardin Park; teaching lay servant classes at the district level; and serving on the Council on Finance and Administration, the executive committee of the Conference Leadership Team, and the Committee on Standing Rules at the annual conference level. Wayne also chaired the structure task force of the new conference design team. His mission experience includes 15 ASP trips and two VIM trips to Central America. An attorney by vocation, he is married to Tami, a child of the parsonage. They enjoy traveling and hiking with their two young daughters.

Church Trustees Best Practices
Audience: Trustees

During this workshop we will focus on the following: Disciplinary requirements for the Board of Trustees, care of the parsonage and the church, parsonage guidelines and the flexible housing allowance. Rev. Webster will be sharing some of his experiences living in parsonages and working in local churches as well as suggestions learned from the Conference Board of Trustee's annual risk management review with a major insurance company.
Rev Brent L Webster

President, Conference Board of Trustees
Rev. Webster is a retired clergy member of the Detroit Conference having served churches in the conference for 36 years. He is currently serving as the president of the conference board of trustees, of which he has been a member for 8 years. He also serves on the board of trustees for the Michigan Area Ministry Center located in Lansing, Michigan.

Care of the Parsonage
Audience: Trustees, SPRC, Pastors, Church Council

Review current guidelines for parsonage upkeep and maintenance as established in the 2016 Book of Discipline and Michigan Conference Housing Policy and Parsonage Standards adopted during the 2017 legislative session at Annual Conference. Also, discussing compliance issues when renting out a parsonage or other property. This workshop is designed for pastors, Pastor Parish Relations Committees, Trustees and Church Council members.
Rev. Jean Snyder

Pastor, Embury UMC, Birmingham
Rev. Jean Snyder, currently serving Birmingham: Embury UMC and is chairperson of the Greater Detroit District Church Location and Building Committee.   

Children's Ministry
Audience: Christian Education

The Children's Ministry workshop will focus on planning Advent and Christmas for children and families. Topics will include: children in worship, Advent resources for families at home, planning an Advent/Christmas event, and Family friendly Christmas Eve service ideas. There will be a time for Q&A at the end of the workshop.
Rev. Kathy Pittenger

Office of Connectional Ministry,
Children's Initiatives Coordinator
Rev. Kathy Pittenger is the Children's Initiatives Coordinator for the Michigan Conference. She has been involved in children's ministry with local churches for 20 years. Kathy's passion is to encourage, equip, empower and engage with people in the areas of children's ministry, literacy awareness, and discipleship pathways.

Generosity and the Call to Ministry
Audience: All

Bishop David Bard will host this special session that explores generosity and introduces a new opportunity to support our brothers and sisters around the world who have been called to ministry. Participants will explore generosity in its many forms and learn why research shows that generous people live better lives. The workshop will celebrate the impact of United Methodists' generosity, and learn about an opportunity to invest in the future of our Church: The Endowment Fund for Theological Education in the Central Conferences.
Bishop David Bard

Presiding Bishop of the Michigan Area Conference
Prior to arriving in Michigan in September 2016, Bishop Bard was serving at First United Methodist Church in Duluth, Minnesota since 2005. He was elected to the episcopacy on July 13, 2016 at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference held in Peoria, IL. He has been in ministry for more than 30 years and served in many roles within both the Minnesota Annual Conference and the General Church. Bard was a General and Jurisdictional Conference delegate in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. He was an episcopal nominee in both 2004 and 2008.

Within the Minnesota Conference, Bard was chair of the Episcopacy Committee and the Higher Education Ministry Team, and he served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Congregational Response Team. He was also the conference parliamentarian. He was a district superintendent from 1998 to 2005 and spent three years on the Commission on Religion and Race.

Within the General Church, Bard serves on the Study on Ministry Commission, the Committee on Faith and Order, and the North Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy. He has also previously served on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the Commission on General Conference, and the Commission on Theological Education.

Bishop Bard received a BA from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1981; his Master of Divinity was earned at United Theological Seminary, Twin Cities 1984; and in 1994 he received a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University with a focus on Christian ethics

Bard has a wife, Julie, and three adult children. In his free time, he enjoys music, reading, baseball, and walking outside.

Ministry With Young Adults
Audience: Young Adult Leaders

Pastor Jon Reynolds will interview a panel of young adults about reaching the 18-30 year olds in their community. Examples from Motor City Wesley, Metropolitan UMC and more will be shared as panelists share their stories of and visions for fruitful ministry with young adults
Rev. Jon Reynolds, Panel Leader (pictured)

Pastor Reynolds is an associate pastor at Detroit: Cass UMC; his previous assignment was Rochester: St. Paul UMC.

Panel Participants:  Samson Kobbah III, Sydney Olszewski, Kaitlyn Szczypka, Cameron Davis

Exploring Organizing Concepts
Through Biblical Narratives

Audience: All

This workshop is designed to introduce faith communities and congregations to organizing through the use of biblical narratives; The workshop includes exercises to link and lift up common occurrences from the historical setting to current daily events and struggles. Included are biblical responses to the challenges and to lift  up and explore todays challenges to:
  • Leadership
  • Institutional engagement
  • Communities
 The workshop includes:
  • small group engagement
  • scripture reading and discussion
  • answering the question "what am I as a person of faith called to be and to do?"
 Organizing concepts being introduced includes:
  • Power
  • Self Interest
  • Relationship building
  • Teams
Ponsella Hardaway

Executive Director, MOSES

Read her bio here.

Angela K. James

Consultant; Southern States, Gamaliel Network National N'tosake Coordinator

Read her bio here.

MOSES (Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength, an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation) is a community organizing nonprofit serving residents of Detroit, Michigan and its surrounding metropolitan region. We support the development of strong grassroots leaders, and facilitate campaigns to address social justice issues.
Energy to Income - How to reduce energy
cost and generate operating income

Audience: All

Rising operating energy costs will continue due to newly approved utility rates approved by the State of Michigan and inefficient use of energy throughout your church facility. Utility costs can be minimized and church facilities can be more energy efficient. This workshop will address ways to minimize energy costs by utilizing various proven technologies for most church operations. This incudes energy reduction in the following areas: Lighting, HVAC, Water & Wastewater, Natural Gas. Many of these energy reduction areas can be implemented with "minimal to no" capital.
  • Dr. Phares Noel, President & CEO Diversified Engineering Concepts, LLC.
  • Sherman Larkins, President, Infiniti Energy & Environmental, Inc.
  • Dwight Hawks, President, Hawks & Associates
  • Patrice Henderson, Energy Consultant, Infiniti Energy & Environmental, Inc.

Creating a Culture of Invitation
Audience: All

If you are like most churches over time natural cultural barriers are unintentionally created that inhibit new people from connecting. These barriers are woven in the culture and can be defined as; "That's the way we do things around here!" These barriers create an internal focus and congregations often cling to them with a "death grip". It's time to release your congregation for growth! This workshop will offer two distinct lenses to help evaluate your internal readiness (expecting guests) and external readiness (invitation). I will be sharing some practical ways to identify and break down these barriers. Please come with open hearts and open minds because truth telling is not often easy to hear!
Rev. Gary Step

Rev. Gary Step is the Assoc. Director of Congregational Vibrancy for the Michigan Conference.

Gary's major responsibility is to promote and create a culture of church growth, health and vitality, including providing leadership, coaching and coordination for the revitalization efforts in the local church. Gary is a dynamic and engaging presenter addressing church renewal and evangelism!

Gary is married to his wife Lori. They are blessed to have four grandchildren all under five years old! They enjoy camping and fishing in the summer and skiing in the winters.