The General Board of Discipleship's 2009 United Methodist Large Church Initiative will be hosted by First United Methodist Church in Peoria, Illinois, April 21-24.
The theme, "Partnerships Play in Peoria," will focus on Urban Ministries: partnerships with inner-city schools, and homeless and HIV/AIDS ministries.
The $325 registration includes a Ken Medema concert and a trip to Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois, in addition to all lunches and dinners.
Speakers will include Debbie Wallace-Padgett, Ron Crandell, Michael Slaughter, Joy Moore, Joshua Smith, Sam Dixon, and Ken Medema in concert. More speakers will be announced later.
Among the workshops to be offered are several FUMC workshops that will describe how to start, grow, and sustain partnerships that will "play" in your community:
· FUMC started an Irving School mentoring (buddies) program, a Saturday feeding program, a Liberia hospital construction program, and an AIDS Ministry—the "who, how, and why" of those programs
· How the school mentoring program grew from 55 to 250 mentors, the feeding program from 100 guests to more than 300 every week, the Habitat program to building homes for Irving School families, and the "Parable of the Talents" to raising more than $100,000 in six weeks for the Liberia Hospital
· What was needed to sustain the feeding program that has kept going every Saturday since 1994, the Irving School Buddies program that has been in operation for 16 years, a city-wide prayer program of “40 Days of Prayer,” and a Police Prayer Ministry that covers every officer in Peoria
GBOD's Large Church Initiative website is under construction but a link to the official site will be available soon. All workshops will be described in detail on the official LCI website. In the meantime, information about LCI is being hosted on the leadership Nexus website as a courtesy to GBOD.
No pre-registration is required for workshops; sessions will be repeated to help with workshop schedule conflicts.
Accommodations are being offered at Holiday Inn City Centre, 500 Hamilton Boulevard (one block from the church) for $99 per night, which includes breakfast, parking, Internet access, and shuttle service to and from the airport, located 15 minutes from the hotel. (Church shuttles also will be available to provide transportation to and from the airport.) Make housing reservations by calling 309-674-2500.
FUMC Peoria is located at 116 NE Perry Avenue, Peoria, IL 61603. You may contact the church at 309-673-3641.