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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Bishop’s Retreat

    Join us for the 2018 Bishop’s Retreat: October 23-25, 2018!
    Location: Genesee Grande Hotel, Syracuse, NY
    Deadline to register: September 28, 2018

    The theme: “Living, Leading and Equipping for Biblical Stewardship”

    Keynote Speaker: Dr. Clif Christopher, M. Div., CFRE

    Dr. Clif Christopher founded the Horizons Stewardship Company in 1992 following a challenging career in pastoral ministry.  He serves as the company’s CEO to this day.  In his twenty years as a pastor, he led numerous major building and capital campaigns.  Since founding Horizons, he and his strategists have led consultations in over 2,000 churches, conferences, synods and diocese in all phases of building, finance, and church growth.

    Dr. Christopher is a certified church growth consultant and has earned the coveted title CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive).  In 1995, he was given the National Circuit Rider Award by the United Methodist Church for outstanding leadership in developing vital congregations.


    Click here to register for the 2018 Bishop's Retreat, held October 23-25, 2018 in Syracuse.


    2018 Bishop’s Retreat Schedule
    Genesee Grande Hotel, Syracuse, New York (* indicates when childcare is available)

    Tuesday, Oct. 23
    12 PM: Registration begins (hotel lobby)
    12 – 9 PM: Prayer Room
    Lunch on your own
    3 PM: Check-in begins
    3 – 4 PM: Opening Worship* (ballroom)
    4 – 5 PM: Keynote Speaker * (ballroom): God vs. Money... Money is Winning
    5 – 6 PM: Free Time/Time to check-in, unpack, unwind
    6 – 7 PM: Prayer/Dinner Buffet (ballroom)
    7 – 8 PM: Meeting of the Orders (breakout rooms)
    8 – 9 PM: Q&A Bishop Webb around Commission on A Way Forward (ballroom)

    Wednesday, Oct. 24
    7 – 8 AM:  Morning stretches with Shawn Blakeslee                                     
    8 – 9 PM: Prayer room open all day                                                          
    8 – 9 AM: Breakfast (ballroom)                                                                  
    9 – 9:30 AM: Worship*
    9:30 – 11 AM: Keynote Speaker*: How Can We Win?
    11:15 – 12:30 PM: Morning Workshops* (breakout rooms)

    1. "Blended Discipleship: Koinonia Goal Groups in the Connected Age” by Rev. Dr. Phil Phaneuf

      Do you have discipleship goals you’d like to reach but you haven’t found the key to achieving them? Have you ever been a part of a small group that meets weekly but fizzles out over time from its beginning fervor? Is your church in need of a revived sense of "moving on toward Christian perfection?” This workshop will not only explain the concept of blended discipleship but also outline practical steps to starting blended discipleship meetings within your local ministry.

    2. “Developing an Intentional Discipleship System” led by Rev. Dr. Aaron Bouwens

      We are given the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. For years it has been thought that people need to attend church and perhaps a Bible study now and then we are accomplishing the mission. What we have developed however, are people who attend a church service and are not necessarily growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Why is this? One possible reason is we, the church, have not been as intentional about helping people grow as disciples. There has not been an offer to walk alongside someone as they move through the journey of faith. In this workshop participants will discuss a definition of a disciple of Jesus Christ, learn key aspects of an intentional discipleship system, hear about places that are putting into practice an intentional system, and explore how to apply the concepts to a particular context.

    3. “Mandala Rock Painting” led by Jacqui Hauser

      "Mandala rock painting is a relaxing blend of creativity and functionality.  Our group leader will show you how to create your own masterpiece and different techniques you can use to create a design that reflects you."

    4. “The ministry of reconciliation” / “El Ministerio de la reconciliacion” by Pastor Jose L. Rodriguez

      Scripture: 2 Corinthians :5:18-19 / 2 Corintios 5:18-19
      (Bilingual) Theme: The administration focused on the mission.  Tema: La administracion enfocada en la misión

      Somos una iglesia con el potencial para transformar el mundo e impactar esta generación. Tenemos pastores y líderes apasionados siempre ocupados en la obra de Dios. Recursos disponibles y una clara visión y misión. ¿Como encausar todo esto de tal forma que al final de cada año celebremos el cumplimiento de nuestra misión?

      We are a potential church to transform the world and impact this generation. We have passionate pastors and leaders always engaged in the work of God, available resources with a clear vision. We are a church with the potential to transform the world an impact this generation!!! We have passionate pastors and leaders who are always engaged in the work of God. We have the resources that we need. We have a clear vision and mission." How do we channel this in such a way that at the end of each year we celebrate the fulfillment of our mission?

    12:30 – 2 PM: Lunch Buffet (ballroom)
    Lunch – 7 PM: Free time
    Dinner on your own
    6:45 PM: Time to gather before evening event (ballroom)
    7 PM: Keynote Speaker* (ballroom): Battle Plan for the Year
    8 PM: Fun night (ballroom)

    Thursday, Oct. 25
    7 – 8 AM: Morning stretches with Shawn Blakeslee                                   
    8 – 9 PM: Prayer room                                                                                     
    8 – 9 AM: Breakfast (ballroom)                                                                       
    9 – 9:30 AM: Worship*                                                                                  
    9:30 – 11AM: Keynote Speaker* (ballroom): The Big Guns of the Battle -  Capital Campaigns
    11 AM: Closing worship* (ballroom)
    11:30 AM: Pack, load vehicles, head home

    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."