Convocation 2023: Onward to Perfection

Celebrating 40 years of the Reconciling movement

October 13-15 at First UMC in Charlotte, NC

John Wesley encouraged Methodists toward perfection in the lifelong pursuit of love. Love looks like affirmation in the face of persecution, like kinship in the face of isolation, and like courage in the face of despair. It is in that spirit that we’re gathering on October 13-15 at First United Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC. Pre-Convocation workshops will be offered on October 12th, and post-Convo workshops will be offered on October 16th.

This year, we kick off the celebration of 40 years as a movement and a people purposed for justice. We invite you to join us in Charlotte to reflect on our history and boldly claim the future of the Church for all God’s children. There’s work to do, and there’s joy to share. And we want to do it all with you.

(The cost of registration includes worship, plenary, workshops, 3 meals on Friday and Saturday, and lunch on Sunday)

Register for Free Pre- and Post-Convocation Gatherings

Preachers & Speakers

Workshop Leaders

Workshops include:

  • Pathway to Community: Building a Reconciling Community in Your Hometown
    • What to do and what not to do when building a Reconciling Ministry and addressing myths that hold us back
  • Activism at the Jurisdictional Level for Intersectional Justice
    • The story of the Western Methodist Justice Movement; using legislation to plant seeds, transitioning from intention to action, and amplifying voice of conference level groups
  • A Vile Past Toward a Vital Future
    • Centering John Wesley’s imperative “to be more vile,” we’ll demonstrate how bending the rules to challenge the status quo is Wesleyan
  • A Family Story: Coming Out and Finding a Way
    • How storytelling creates space for difficult conversations
  • Global Social Principles Overview
    • Importance of passing new Social Principles language and tools for discussing the Social Principles in local congregation and with General Conference delegates
  • Introduction to Queer Theology
    • Going beyond affirmation to allow LGBTQ+ experience to inform our theology, spiritual practice and mission; ID 4 theological approaches to sex, gender, sexuality: non-affirming, affirming/apologetic, liberative, and queer
  • Increasing Solidarity with LGBTQ+ Candidates and Clergy
    • First hand stories from queer clergy about what is and isn’t effective in supporting their journey; how to be effective and compassionate as you offer support
  • How and Why to Talk about Sex: Creating a Positive Vision for Loving Each Other Well
    • Embracing the gift of sexuality as part of a Christ-centered, holistic, healthy life
  • Public Policy Advocacy: Building Partnerships and Maintaining Momentum for the Long Haul
    • Learn about various ecumenical and interfaith advocacy groups that your church or campus ministry can join at the local state, and federal levels
  • So You Want to be a LYNC Volunteer at General Conference
    • An overview of work areas at General Conference with breakout groups
  • Black, Queer, and Blessed: Toward a Black, Queer Theology
    • An exposition and exploration of a queer, subjugated biblical text
  • Effective Communications at General Conference
    • Join the Love Your Neighbor Coalition to learn about how to be effective in the fast-paced environment of General Conference
  • Using Your Voice for Advocacy
    • Using stories to connect for defining issues, expressing points and bringing understanding to community leaders
  • Pathways to Congregational Support for Same Gender Weddings
    • Congregational discernment process toward supporting same gender weddings
  • Incompatible No More
    • Explore the history of the 1972 General Conference and “incompatible”; placement of that moment within broader history of Christian teaching and Western psychological beliefs; a Wesleyan theology exploring the necessity of full queer inclusion
  • Understanding Transgender: What Parents and Allies Should Know
    • Basics to be more knowledgeable about the trans experience, and actions that show support or do harm
  • Though We Are Many, We Can Be One
    • Equipping churches with a new approach to conflict in your congregation; decision making techniques; turning divisive issues into growth opportunities
  • Organizing in Your Annual Conference for LGBTQ Inclusion and Justice
    • The BWARM Story: how your Annual Conference can organize to provide support for congregations and LGBTQ people
  • Understanding Regionalization
    • Explaining the process and need for regionalization in the UMC
  • Difficult Subjects in Worship: Why We Should Include Them and Best Practices for Implementation
    • How to address difficult topics, including the political, utilizing Scripture, United Methodist tradition, the person of Christ, and our calling as Christians
  • Daring Adventures
    • Helping gender diverse kids (a book discussion)
  • The Bible in One Hand and The Newspaper in the Other: Advocacy for Justice and Dialogue with Elected Officials
    • A panel combining theological reflection, practical advocacy skills, and insights from elected officials to equip for effective, and LGBTQIA+ inclusive advocacy
  • Talking to Relatives: How to Promote Justice Across The Political Spectrum
    • Utilizing theory and practice to address issues of sexuality, gender, race and social justice across the political spectrum
  • My Faith Journey: The Story of Laci Basel
    • Sharing the faith journey of a transgender woman
  • Spiritual Self-Care Practices through Writing our Stories
    • Come away with tools to connect with others, know safe space boundaries, and celebrate one’s story with scriptural and theological grounding
  • National Plans
    • A panel that considers what agencies, caucuses, and plans are helping the Church decenter and center black and brown voices to lead and give us strategic direction for a new Church
  • The Importance of Pastoral Transitions in Reconciling Congregations
  • “Torn”: a Book Discussion with Author Justin Lee
  • Can we Change the Book of Discipline? RMN and the Upcoming General Conference
  • Communicating Across the Divide
  • Delegate Workshops
  • Decolonizing the Church: Liberation for All Begins at the Margins
  • How Annual Conference Lay Leaders can Engage with the Annual Conference
  • Conflict Transformation
  • Black, Queer, and Called
  • The Revised UM Social Principles 2024: A Way to Practice Advocacy for Justice and Peace in the Worldwide UMC
  • Messaging in Local Congregations
  • …and more
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