New District #4 Organizing Conference

New District #4 will not be an official entity until July 1, 2018, but much work needs to be done in order to facilitate this change!  District #4 is one of the new nine Districts in the Michigan Conference. New District #4 includes 91 churches, 80 charges in the middle to west, central part of our state.

An organizing conference for New District #4 will be held on Sunday, April 22 from 4-5:30pm at Greenville UMC (204 West Cass Street, Greenville, MI  48838). Please plan to attend if you are clergy or laity in a local church that will become part of New District #4.  No RSVP’s are necessary! New District #4 DS Rev. Dr. Margie Crawford and current GR DS Rev. Bill Haggard will lead this important organizing conference. Please bring a small container of water from your area, preferably from a lake, river, or steam. It will be used for a remembrance of baptism during this conference. 

View District #4 churches → HERE

At the organizing conference leaders will be elected for the following Discipline required areas:

  1. Superintendency Committee (5-9 persons)
  2. District Committee on Ministry (7-12 persons)
  3. District Board of Church Location & Building (7-10 people)

And this initial team along with these positions:

  1. Vision Team (8-12) persons who will serve as the leadership body as we determine what we need going forward)
  2. Co-Lay Leaders (2)
  3. Treasurer (hopefully a volunteer who can care for the administration of the District budget as all Districts become incorporated)

Also on the agenda will be the selection of a name for District #4. District #4 is comprised of parts of 3 prior Districts (Grand Rapids, Grand Traverse, Heartland).

The names under consideration for New District #4 are below:

  • Grand West District
  • West Grand District
  • Midwest Grand District
  • Grand Midwest District
  • Great Rivers District

Questions? Please contact Liz in the GR District Office at or 616.459.4503.

180 Turnaround Church Conference

180 Turnaround Church Conference

MARCH 23, 2017

Join Redeemer United Methodist Church, 13980 Shavey Road, DeWitt, Michigan on March 23, 2017 for our 9th annual ­180 Turnaround Church Conference!

This all-day, reasonably priced teaching conference is designed to help pastors and church leaders get started and continue transitioning their congregation through change.

This conference offers a variety of workshops on a multitude of topics from strategic planning, volunteers, communications, leadership, hospitality, administrative structure, outreach and much more.

For more information

Grand Traverse Lay Servant Training: East Jordan

Feb. 18, 25 and March 4 starting at 8:30 a.m. and running until 12:30. All three days must be attended to earn certification.

Basic Class: Participants are encouraged to discover and employ personal spiritual gifts as God intended and to consider the importance of exercising servant leadership, developing future leaders, remaining rooted in consistent spiritual practices and being part of a group that holds members accountable in their discipleship. Your book will be provided to you at the first session.

Advanced Class: “Discover Your Spiritual Gifts” This course helps participants understand spiritual gifts and how the church can use them to fulfill its mission and ministry. Participants will also learn what it means to be a spiritual leader and will be equipped to lead others in exploring and using their spiritual gifts. Please order your book at

Each One a Minister by William J. Carter  DR375-978-0-88177-375-0  $14

Register Now

Grand Traverse Lay Servant Training: Grawn

To be held on 4 consecutive Thursday evenings (Jan 19, 26, Feb. 2,9). Please come early for dinner at 5:00.

Both basic and advanced classes are offered running at the same time. The basic class participants will be provided a book at the first meeting on January 19.

Advanced Classes offered:

“Go Preach” by John P. Gilbert. You can order your book at DR384 for $14.00

“Living Our Beliefs: The United Methodist Way” by Kenneth L. Carder. You can order your book at DR571 for $13.00.

There will be some preparation work for the Advanced Class. You will receive an email with instructions.

Register today to reserve your spot!

Gr. Traverse Basic Lay Servant Training: Traverse Bay

An Introduction to Lay Ministry: This course is foundational for all courses in Lay Servant Ministries. Participants are encouraged to discover and employ personal spiritual gifts as God intended and to consider the importance of exercising servant leadership, developing future leaders, remaining rooted in consistent spiritual practices, and being part of a group that holds members accountable in their discipleship.

A two day event: August 20 (first 1/2) and 27 (second 1/2), 2016. Starting at 9:00 and ending at 4:00 p.m. Lunch is included in your registration fee.

Click to register.

Gr. Traverse Advanced Lay Servant Training: Traverse Bay

Let the Whole Church Say Amen!

“For many people, prayer remains a mystery, and praying in public is a test of faith left to the “professionals” of the church.  This course on praying in public will help the participant grow in confidence and skill in prayer, both public and personal.”

Classes are held August 20 (first 1/2) and 27 (second 1/2), 9:00 – 4:00 at Traverse Bay UMC. Lunch is included with your registration fee. Attendance on both Saturdays is mandatory for certification.

Click here to register.

Saginaw Bay & Grand Traverse Districts – Holy Conferencing Event

Holy Conferencing – A Time for Consideration, A Time for Reflection

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord[a] has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ[b] dwell in you richly; ….And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.– Colossians 3:12-16a, 17

You are invited to join your brothers and sisters in Christ for a gathering to share our thoughts and feelings as we gather around a common table. We will begin to consider what was presented at General Conference as we live out what it means to be United Methodists in the coming days. Our founder described Christian conferencing in his 1763 “Large Minutes” as: one of five channels through which God makes grace available to humanity — practices grounded in commandments from Christ. Wesley listed it alongside such disciplines as prayer, the study of Scripture, fasting and Holy Communion. ( website).

Let us be in prayerful consideration for how we speak with and listen to each other about this very important time for our global, national, conference and district faith communities.

Discussion will be directed by Rev. Dr. Margie Crawford.

Grand Traverse District Annual/Jurisdictional/General Conference Q & A

GENERAL CONFERENCE—What is it all about and what how will decisions made effect ME?

Keynote:  Benton Heisler, Director of Connectional Ministries, West MI Annual Conference

Come and join us as Benton Heisler shares with us what General Conference, Jurisdictional Conference and Annual Conference is all about.  And more importantly, we’ll take a moment to look at legislation and issues that each of these bodies will address and talk about and how the decisions will affect the local church.  This year, ANNUAL CONFERENCE (June 8-13) is at Michigan State University—this is our first year in this space—if you are a pastor or lay delegate, come and hear the things you need to know to be prepared!  This year, JURISDICTIONAL CONFERENCE (Peoria, IL, July 13-16) will be electing new bishops.  With our Bishop retiring, what does that mean for us?  And with GENERAL CONFERENCE (Oregon, May 10-20), just around the corner, come and find out how you can keep updated on the latest decisions made?

Gr. Traverse Advance Lay Servant Training: Cadillac

ADVANCED CLASS – Sandy Mallory

Living Our Beliefs Revised Edition – by Kenneth Carder  #9780881775716 – $13.00 Cokesbury

April 23 and April 30 at Cadillac UMC starting at 9:00 a.m. Attendance on both Saturdays is required for credit.

Click on this post for more details.

Register Now