Fifty-one of the California-Nevada Conference's circuit leaders gathered at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center this week (Nov. 7-9, 2011) to share with and learn from each other, to be resourced and inspired by guest speakers, to dream, and to plan.
Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. attended, as well, as did district superintendents and several Conference staff members.
The three-day retreat focused on "unpacking" how the Conference-wide strategy for revival, renewal, and reach relates to the Council of Bishops' Call to Action, the Conference's covenant with Path 1, and the proposed mission alignment structure change – toward the end of empowering United Methodists to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Along with that, a goal of the retreat was to discover how a circuit-based system of accountability contributes to the overall strategy.
Bishop Brown opened the event on Monday evening (Nov. 7) with worship and a focus on the Council of Bishops' Call to Action. Afterward, the theme of the retreat was outlined and explored in a plenary session led by Blake Busick of the Conference congregational vitality team, Bener Agtarap, the Conference's liaison with Path 1, and Conference Superintendent for Mission Collaboration Linda Caldwell.
On Tuesday, Paul Nixon – author and new church strategist on the Path 1 team – cast a vision for revitalization based on one of his four books on church leadership, I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church!
Circuit leaders shared best practices and dreams for the future at Tuesday evening district meetings, and district superintendents lifted up some of the highlights the following morning, at the closing plenary session. The retreat ended with a worship service at which Bishop Brown preached and anointed each person for the work ahead.