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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    Join the Developing Intentional Discipleship Workshop on Saturday Oct. 1

    September 14, 2016 / By UNY Communications

    Editor’s Note: Please distribute this article to UNYUMC Sunday School Teachers, Small Group Leaders, and others interested in a day of sharing together and learning how to move forward BEING the Church.

    In the church today, we need to create discipleship systems to:

    • Connect people exploring Christ
    • Grow people who are new in Christ
    • Encourage people to go deeper in Christ

    The Developing Intentional Discipleship event can help you to develop effective discipleship.

    This event is $10.00 per person (includes two workshops and lunch). It takes place on October 1 from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Liverpool UMC in Liverpool, NY.  No registration cost more than $50.00 for a church. Click here to register.

    There are 10 workshops available for all involved ages.

    The morning workshops include:

    Creating an Intentional Discipleship Plan By Aaron Bouwens

    An intentional discipleship process needs to be clear about the foundation being built upon. The delivery systems and content will depend on the context. Still each context will need to make allowance for three baseline principles within the discipleship plan. Through this workshop participants will dig deeper into the principles of connecting with people who are exploring Christ, new to following Christ, and growing deeper in Christ.

    Aaron serves as Director of Vital Congregations for the Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

    Christian Education in this Century to Reach People of Today By Carol Duchette

    Let’s bring Sunday School into the 21st century. Why do kids love VBS? How to use the VBS model as the new Sunday School model.  It is important to get away from programming and focus on being in relationship with children, youth, and adults.

    Carol has been on staff at Immanuel UMC in Camillus for the past six years as the Christian Education Coordinator where she is responsible for the nursery, the acolytes, the Sunday School, the Youth program, Vacation Bible School and assists with Confirmation. 

    Building Better Worship Experiences, Presentations, and Bulletins By Rev. Phil Phaneuf

    The church today needs to invite and offer opportunities to provide quality worship experiences where people can connect with community and God. It’s important for us to think theologically about our use of technology in Worship; then to implement technology to live out the mission of the church in our connected culture.

    The Rev. Phil Phaneuf is Pastor at Queensbury UMC. Phil loves to preach and teach using media and technology.

    Revitalizing Religiously Ambiguous Youth By Mike Mullin

    I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious. This often denotes ambivalence many youth have towards religion. This workshop will highlight why revitalizing youth ministry means returning to a holy—a "set apart"—foundation. Anyone working with youth needs to come and experience this workshop.

    Mike Mullin is a Licensed Local Pastor and Youth Minister at Asbury First United Methodist Church. He has been working in youth ministry for 10 years.

    Designing an Older Adult Ministry By  Deacon Becky Naber

    This workshop will focus on how to catch the Boomer wave and design an older adult ministry unique to one’s ministry context.

    Come to class with the following research/data points from your ministry context (eg. church, hospital, not-for-profit):

    • Older adult demographics for your town/community  (eg. population size; income; race/ethnicity; own or rent place of residence; household size—anything you can find available)
    • Older adult programs offered in your town/community
    • A listing of ministries/programs from within your context and how they do or do not pertain to older adults
    • Demographics by age for your ministry context with a focus on the older adult population.  Statistics should reflect active participation by the following categories for age:
      • Under 21 years
      • 21 to 42 years
      • 43 to 64 years
      • 65 to 75 (young old)
      • 76 to 84 (middle old)
      • 84 and older (old old)

    ​Deacon Becky Naber, M.Div., has been involved with caring ministry for over 17 years and is a Deacon in the Upper NY Conference of the UMC. 

    The afternoon workshops include:

    Creating an Intentional Discipleship Plan By Aaron Bouwens

    See description above.

    Reviving Wesley Class Meeting in the Connected Age By Rev. Phil Paneuf

    This workshop will explore ways to create opportunities for discipleship and friendship development in the church using the computer or technology to deepen discipleship by using the foundations that started Methodism. 

    The Rev. Phil Phaneuf is Pastor at Queensbury UMC. Phil loves to preach and teach using media and technology.

    Children's Ministries, the Heartbeat of our Churches By Lynne Kimpland
    Based on the book of Ephesians; "Children's Ministries; the Heartbeat of our Churches" Workshop is designed to revitalize, equip, and implement Christian Education Opportunities with a fruitful vision and mission in Children Ministries. Topics will include:  God's Vision, My Mission, Building Unity, Creative Programming ,and Equipping the Team.

    Lynne Kimpland is the Director of Children and Youth ministries at the Endwell UMC.

    A Place to Belong – Meeting the Needs of Unchurched Youth By Shari Schuck

    Youth today are hungering for authentic relationships that make them feel that they have a place to belong, a place where they are loved for who they are. The church has a unique opportunity to become this place of belonging and real, loving relationships. Join us as we discuss ways that as the church we can provide space for youth to belong and methods for building Christ-centered relationships with young people in desperate need of community.

    Shari Schuck is Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Bergen UMC.

    Resources to Connect, Grow, and Strengthen Relationships with Christ By Diane Miner

    In this workshop you will:

    • Learn about your Conference Media Resource Center (a free lending library supported through ministry share dollars) and all that it has to offer to help you make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
    • Learn about resources that support your vision, mission, and ministry.
    • Ask questions and receive ideas on what might best work for you.
    • Put your hands on and preview resources available to borrow.

    Diane Miner is Director of the UMC Conference Resource Center in Endicott, NY.


    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."