LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. – Do you long for your church to “rethink” its mission? Do you want change and growth to be evident in your part of God’s Kingdom? This April, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center will host the Rethink Church workshop which poses the question, “What if Church was a verb?” Rethink Church will be held in combination with Charting the Course, another workshop designed to give attendees specific tools and ideas to reshape the way their church invites, welcomes, and reaches out. Rethink Church and Charting the Course will be held from April 25-29, and those interested have the option of attending either workshop or both.
“I hope participants will take away practical information and practices to put into use in their local churches to make them more welcoming and to learn how to become more inviting,” said Rethink Church leader Reverend Mark Barden, Western North Carolina Conference Director of Communications. Workshop training will cover the areas of welcoming, connecting, and identifying. Barden sees the workshop as “a catalyst that moves the denomination…into dialogue – and ultimately, into transformative, collaborative action.” In addition to answering the question “What if Church was a verb?”, the workshop will “[prod] us to consider church as more about what we do than simply a place to go on Sunday mornings. Grounded in Wesleyan theology, Rethink Church encourages us to move beyond the walls of the church and engage those outside the walls in the action of Christ in the world.” Similarly, Charting the Course will offer practical ways these ideals can be put into play in the Church.
Rethink Church and Charting the Course will feature several leaders, each of whom have experience in discipleship and facilitating personal and church growth. Leading Rethink Church in addition to Reverend Mark Barden of Western North Carolina staff will be Reverend Ms. Dawn Hand, Associate Pastor of Matthews United Methodist Church; and Reverend Mr. Gregg Plott, Pastor of Warrensville Charge and Chair of WNCC Commission on Communications. Leading Charting the Course will be the Reverend Ms. Donna Gaither, who has served as Christian educator and currently serves on the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. Gaither also helped develop the Charting the Course materials with the Little Rivers Conference in Illinois.
Registration fees vary from $70-$85 for early registration, depending on workshop or workshops being attended. After April 1, late registration fees apply and prices vary from $85-$100. More information about the retreats, leaders, and registration can be found at www.lakejunaluska.com/charting, where a printable brochure and lodging information can also be found, or by contacting Pam Naplen at 828-454-6656.
Written by: Andie Robbins, Communications Intern