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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Deacon’s Retreat

    Session Topics
    About the Leaders


    The Deacon's Retreat is Nov. 7-8, 2018 at the Upper New York United Methodist Center in Liverpool featuring Drs. Margaret Ann Crain and Jack Seymour, co-authors of A Deacon’s Heart. The theme is, Be the Bridge (and Mind the Gaps).

    Session Topics

    • A Deacon is Called and Sent
    • Who Are We?
    • Compassion and Justice
    • The Identity of a Deacon
    • What is the Church? An Ecclesiology that Favors Deacons
    • Envisioning a Ministry that Fulfills Leading the Church in the In-between Times
    • Living and Serving as a Deacon in the World
    • Let Us Be Bread

    About the Leaders

    Dr. Margaret Ann Crain is professor emerita of Christian education at Garrett-Evangelical, having become a member of the faculty in 1998. Dr. Crain served churches as a Christian educator in Missouri and North Georgia for 20 years before joining the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical.

    An ordained deacon of The United Methodist Church in full connection with the Northern Illinois Conference, Margaret Ann’s contributions to the academy and the Church have made her one of the most well-known and well-respected scholar practitioners in her field. She also worked tirelessly to make Garrett-Evangelical a center for training, supporting, and nurturing Deacons within the UMC.

    Dr. Jack Seymour is professor emerita of Religious Education at Garrett-Evangelical, having joined the faculty in 1988, later serving as academic dean and vice-president for academic affairs from 1996-2006, director of the joint Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern University PhD program from 1992-1996, and director of the Garrett-Evangelical PhD program from 2009-2012. Jack has published numerous articles and is the author and co-author of a number of books, including his most recent publications, Teaching the Way of Jesus: Educating Christians for Faithful Living (Abingdon, 2014) and Teaching Biblical Faith: Leading Small Group Bible Studies (Abingdon, 2015). As dean of the seminary, he supported the deacon program creatively and constantly which helped to grow it into a favorite place for students who are called to the order of deacon.


    The cost to attend the Deacon's Retreat is $55/person, which includes lunch on both days and dinner on Nov. 7. Lodging arrangements are the responsibility of the participant. The UNY Conference has negotiated special rates at the Staybridge Suites in Liverpool; participants who choose to reserve a room at the Staybridge should indicate they are part of the Conference program.

    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 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."