Farewell Service & Reception for Bill Haggard

A farewell service and reception for retiring Grand Rapids District Superintendent, Bill Haggard is Sunday, May 6 from 3-5pm at Georgetown UMC (2766 Baldwin St., Jenison, 49428). All GR District clergy and laity are invited and encouraged to attend the special service and reception being planned by the GR District Superintendency Committee. Questions? Please contact Liz in the GR District Office at 616.459.4503 or lbode@miumcarchive.org.

GR Metro Ministry Annual Meeting & Hands-On Ministry Showcase

Hands-On Ministry Showcase and Annual Meeting

Grand Rapids Metro Ministry invites you to their annual meeting at La Nueva Esperanza on Tuesday, Oct 24. Dinner will be served at 6pm followed by a program at 7pm. The program will showcase a number of the UMC related ministries that are doing work right here in the Grand Rapids area such as:

  • Thrive: A Refugee Support Program
  • Justice For Our Neighbors
  • Circles Grand Rapids
  • Reading is Fundamental of Greater Grand Rapids
  • Native American Elders Program
  • Community Ministries at Trinity UMC

This is a GREAT opportunity to learn about the work being done locally and how you can get involved. Plus, it’s a great way to network with all the wonderful folks who are working to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the Grand Rapids area.

Advance RSVPs are requested for dinner.

RSVP HERE or via email to Holly Downer at Holly@GRMetroMinistry.org.

After the program, we will hold the business portion of the Grand Rapids Metro Ministry meeting where we will vote on our Board of Directors and budget. Per our bylaws, all United Methodist Churches in the Greater Grand Rapids area are eligible to vote at our annual meeting. Each church may designate one person to vote on behalf of their congregation.

GR District Clergy Family Picnic

Open picnic shelter B has been reserved for the Clergy Family picnic and it’s reserved from 7am until sunset! So, if you’d like to bring the family to the splash pad for the day, or hike or bike the more than 20 miles of trails, please feel free to park near shelter B and use it as your hub! Millennium Park parking is free and the splash pad is $4 for adults and $2 for kids. More info is here → Millennium Park

We will eat dinner around 6pm with folks gathering anytime during the afternoon. Meat for grilling, buns, condiments along with napkins, utensils, cups and beverages are provided by the district.

Please sign up to bring a dish to pass, if you’d like to bring something other than what’s listed, use the “other” slot!

Thanks and see you soon! 🙂



CANCELED – Leadership Matters – Series of 5 Sessions

This event has been CANCELED.

The Professional Learning Experience for Pastors – Winter / Spring 2016 will not take place.

The purpose of this leadership institute is to strengthen pastors’ knowledge and capacity for skillful leadership, based on research of exemplary leadership practices and the integration of those practices with biblical material and theological reflection.

Leadership Matters meets the criteria for a Vital Church Initiative continuous learning community.

Session 1 – January 7, 2016
Leadership Practice: ‘Model the Way’
How do skillful leaders ‘walk the talk,’ proving themselves trustworthy by living out their values and beliefs in an authentic way?
Key concepts: Transparency, accountability, balance, nurturing and sustaining trust on teams and the importance of shared values in a faith community.

Session 2 – February 4, 2016
Leadership Practice: ‘Inspire a Shared Vision’
How do skillful leaders clearly articulate and use multiple ways to communicate the focus and mission of their church? What strategies engage others, resulting in ownership and commitment to the mission?
Key concepts: Structuring your church for mission, aligning your resources and talents and the importance of forging unity in mission-building.

Session 3 – March 2, 2016
Leadership Practice: ‘Challenge the Process’
How do skillful leaders give effective feedback and question the status quo?
Key Concepts: Structuring your church in an age of mission, balancing tradition and innovation, providing effective feedback.

Session 4 – March 31, 2016
Leadership Practice: ‘Enable Others to Act’
How do skillful leaders give clear direction, delegate tasks, hold difficult conversations and employ appropriate decision-making processes in various situations?
Key Concepts: Clergy and laity in partnership, growing the capacity of church members to share leadership, ‘Multiplier’ leadership and the changing pastoral role.

Session 5 – April 28, 2016
Leadership Practice: ‘Encourage the Heart’
How do skillful leaders intentionally cultivate encouragement and hope during these challenging times? What are the seven essential strategies for encouragement?
Key concepts: Promoting the positive, love as the soul of leadership and creating a church culture of celebrating values and victories.

Based on Kouzes and Posner’s book, The Truth About Leadership, participants will commit to attend a series of five sessions, each on based on an Exemplary Leadership Practice. Participants will engage in interactive conversation and learning activities with other cohort members. Pastors will leave with a deeper understanding of skillful leadership practices that will enhance their work with their congregations.

Institute Facilitators

Rev. Bill Johnson
BillBill has served United Methodist churches in New England and West Michigan during his 40 year career, retiring in July 2012 from Wyoming Park UMC in West Michigan. Conference leadership has included Conference Youth Coordinator, Chair of the Conference Board of Christian Camping, Conference Secretary, Chair of the Annual Conference Program Committee, and member of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. For 25 years he shared in leading Christian Athletic Camp, cultivating relationships with hundreds of young people who attended this transformational experience. A devotee of Dr. Kennon Callahan’s 12 Keys to an Effective Church, he has led numerous church strategic planning events using the 12 Keys approach. Bill introduced the Kids Hope USA mentoring program at Wyoming Park, and is a lifelong musician and writer. He holds a Th.M. in Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Counseling from Boston University School of Theology.

Debbie Johnson McFalone, Ph.D.
DebbieDebbie has been a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, currently serving Wyoming Park UMC as director of their contemporary vocal music group, David’s Harp. She has led three successful building fund raising campaigns at Wyoming Park, taught children and adult church school classes, provided music leadership and chaired the Council on Ministries at Grand Rapids Trinity United Methodist Church. Debbie holds a doctorate in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. A former principal and assistant superintendent of schools, Debbie now draws on her experience as a leader to empower and equip others. She is an educational consultant specializing in adult learning, working with school leaders and organizations in Wisconsin and Michigan.

Each learning session will include two components: examination of a leadership practice as set forth by Kouzes and Posner, and the application of that learning within the context of ministry. A variety of learning experiences will be incorporated to maximize participation, ensure learning and apply that learning. Lecture bursts, Modeling, Jigsaw Reading Protocol, Reflection and Journaling, Practice with Feedback, Table Talk, Large Group Discussions, Processing Pairs, DVDs

Learning Materials
Most of the learning materials are gathered and designed by the facilitators. The text for the course is Kouzes and Posner’s The Truth About Leadership (2010). Other materials will include group development protocols, Self-assessment tools, video clips, and articles on the topic of leadership from educational and church leadership resources. The five practices of exemplary leadership will be examined in the light of biblical material and theological reflection to draw parallels with the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Click here to register!


School for Pastoral Ministry

The School For Pastoral Ministry (SPM) is a two day continuing education event put on by clergy volunteers of the Detroit and West Michigan Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church. Clergy from other denominations are welcome to attend. Each year, the SPM selects a particular area of study or focus. Each annual theme is selected based on clergy feedback and aims to provided practical and relevant topics that you can use in your ministry. Our main speaker(s) are some of the most gifted teachers, speakers, authors and experts in the country.

Our conference is held at the Kellogg Center on the campus of Michigan State University. Two Plenary sessions are held each day. We also offer breakout sessions in the areas of worship, administration, personal care and spiritual practices. We also offer a time of worship. Our schedule provides an opportunity for off campus meal times and free time to allow for a relaxed and enjoyable conference.

Pastor’s Workshop: What if you’re asked to officiate at a same gender wedding?

Led by Rev. Steve Charnley and Rev. Mike Tupper
Topics include:
  • Options for all UMC pastors (Including those whowill officiate and those who choose never to officiate)
  • Possible Consequences for a UMC pastor
  • Pre-marital Counseling
  • Preparing Your Local Church
  • The Wedding Ceremony

Sponsored by the Kalamazoo Institute for Social Justice and the Kalamazoo District Church and Society.