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Detroit Renaissance District


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Title / Description Facilitator(s)
New Benefits and Financial Policies
Audience: Finance

Local churches are supported by the Conference for pastoral pensions and health benefits. This is your opportunity to learn more about current processes and cost trends. In additional you will get a preview of expected changes associated with the creation of the new Michigan Area Conference. The presenters are the ones that 'make things happen' in all aspects of conference church finances.
Rev Don Emmert

DAC Benefits Officer
Rev Emmert served local churches prior to joining the Conference Finance Office in 2001 as benefits administrator and associate treasurer; he has been the Conference Benefits Officer since 2006.

David Dobbs

Conference Treasurer
Mr Dobbs has been Conference Treasurer since October 2011. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resources as well as major concentrations in accounting and management. He had eight years experience as a ledger accountant and credit analyst with a large Michigan bank before taking the position he has held for sixteen years as finance director for a national nonprofit organization where he has had responsibility for managing all accounting and business functions, which includes working with financial institutions, investment managers and auditors as well as budget preparation, procurement, data processing, computer support, employee benefits, public and internal presentations, and supervision of a department. In 2000, Dobbs passed the CPA exam.

Finance Committee Best Practices
Audience: Finance

What does it mean to be a member of the Finance Committee? What are your responsibilities? This session will take a look at some of these responsibilities. In addition we will discuss helpful ways to get your finances organized; therefore creating a simple budget to track income and expenses can be painless. Information for helpful tips and website references will be presented.

The presenter would like to accommodate all your concerns and interests so please email Victor at vraybaud@comcast.net.
Victor Raybaud

Treasurer, Detroit Renaissance District
Victor Raybaud is the current District Treasurer. Victor was elected to this position at the 1999 fall district meeting and officially started in this position on January 2000. Victor is a graduate of Central Michigan University where he earned a degree in Computer Science. In addition to managing the district finances, Victor is the Finance Chair for Eastpointe Immanuel UMC since January 1994, only taking off three years in 2011-2013 for a break to be a part of the Trustees and then returning in 2014. Victor was instrumental in getting the finances for Immanuel UMC organized, computerized to make reporting an easy task.

Staff Parish Relations Best Practices
Audience: SPRC

For current members of the SPRC, local church lay leaders and lay members to annual conference, appointed clergy.
  • Do we really need training?
  • How often do we need to meet?
  • Do we really need to walk through the parsonage each year?
  • Is our job to evaluate or support the pastor?
  • What is our role in carrying out the church's vision and mission?
  • When and how do we talk with our D.S.?
These and other questions will be answered during this interactive workshop.
Rev Melanie Lee Carey

Pastor, Nardin Park UMC, Farmington Hills
Rev. Melanie Lee Carey is the lead pastor of Nardin Park UMC in Farmington Hills. She has previously served as The Clergy Assistant to the Bishop for the Michigan Area, as District Superintendent of The Detroit Renaissance District, and as pastor of Ypsilanti First, Hudson First and Associate Pastor of Livonia Newburg churches. Fluent in Spanish, Rev. Carey has served as a facilitator and consultant with The National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries and was elected as one of the clergy delegate from The Detroit Annual Conference to the 2012 and 2016 General Conferences. In her spare time, Rev. Carey enjoys spending time with her husband, Jon and visiting her young adult children in Chicago, IL and Charlotte, NC.

Church Trustees Best Practices
Audience: Trustees

During this workshop we will focus on the following: Disciplinary requirements for the Board of Trustees, care of the parsonage and the church, parsonage guidelines and the flexible housing allowance. Rev. Webster will be sharing some of his experiences living in parsonages and working in local churches as well as suggestions learned from the Conference Board of Trustee's annual risk management review with a major insurance company.
Rev Brent L Webster

President, Conference Board of Trustees
Rev. Webster is a retired clergy member of the Detroit Conference having served churches in the conference for 36 years. He is currently serving as the president of the conference board of trustees, of which he has been a member for 8 years. He also serves on the board of trustees for the Michigan Area Ministry Center located in Lansing, Michigan.

Church Business Admin I: Clergy View
Audience: Clergy

Church Business Administration is an essential ongoing part of the management and stewardship of the church. In addition to the standard documents that are required by the conference and the district annually, there are other documents and factors that each pastor and congregation must consider in the administration of the church. Policies and procedures, church assessment, and risk assessment/management are key to the ongoing operations and programs of the church. Clergy are invited to register for this workshop where the focus will be a theological and shepherd administrative approach to Church Business Administration.


Church Business Admin II: Laity View
Audience: Laity

Church Business Administration is an essential ongoing part of the management and stewardship of the church. In addition to the standard documents that are required by the conference and the district annually, there are other documents and factors that each pastor and congregation must consider in the administration of the church. Policies and procedures, church assessment, and risk assessment/management are key to the ongoing operations and programs of the church. This workshop will reflect on the core supportive roles laity will utilize in Church Business Administration.
Rev Jan J Brown

Pastor, Trinity Faith UMC, Detroit, MI
Rev. Jan J. Brown is the pastor of Trinity Faith UMC in Detroit, MI. She is a administrator, instructional designer, writer, and curriculum developer. She serves on the Detroit Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry as the Treasurer and the Chair of the Support Ministry; is a member of the Board of Discipleship; and is the Chair of T.E.A.M. (Training and Equipping African Americans for Ministry). In addition, she is a United Methodist Communications online course facilitator, Vital Church Initiative faculty, Congregational Resiliency facilitator, Local Church Assessment facilitator. Rev. Brown has a Bachelor degree in Legal Administration, a Master in Education, Master of Divinity, and is currently a Doctor of Ministry Candidate at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Rev. Brown has a passion for education and loves to teach others, especially about being Disciples of Christ. As a Christian educator for the past 23 years, she has developed and presented various courses for United Methodist local churches, the district lay servant ministry, and various conference and district events.

Dwanda L Ashford

Detroit Renaissance District Administrative Assistant
Dwanda L. Ashford - Dwanda is the Detroit Renaissance District Administrative Assistant. She is a member of PAUMCS, (Professional Administrators of The United Methodist Connectional Structure), the national chapter for the United Methodist Administrators. Dwanda is the District Representative for MI AIM, (Michigan Assistants in Ministry), the local chapter for PAUMCS. She is also a member of The Detroit Annual Conference, Congregational Resilience Ministry and Peacemaker Church Reconciler. She is a graduate of Wayne State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Dwanda attained her Masters of Public Policy and Public Administration at Walden University. In her spare time Dwanda enjoys spending time with her (3) children, reading and gardening.

Lay Leaders: Connecting the Vision
Audience: Lay Leaders

Lay Leaders will work on intentional and specific planning to support the Vision and Mission of the District and the church. John Wesley wrote "Let him who is zealous for God and the souls of men begin now." Lay Leaders will engage in ways to build awareness of the needs of the congregation, community, pastors, and children and youth laity, the church's greatest asset. Lay Leaders will leave with a plan of action to help make disciples of Christ.
Ruby Anderson

Lay Leader, Detroit Renaissance District
Member of Scott Memorial UMC, is a Director of National United Methodist Women; she also holds numerous District, Conference positions.

Freedom in Worship: A Workshop for Children
Audience: Children/Youth

Part I (Children & Youth)

Children ages 5-18 are invited to a morning of worship exploration and expression. A variety of worship arts will be represented, such as music, movement, rhythm, bells, scripture reading, and drama. This workshop is hands-on, and children should come dressed in clothes that are easy to move around in. (This is structured for children. We encourage parents to attend another workshop that interests them. However, should a parent choose to stay, please be ready to participate!)


Worship Snapshots: Children as Worship Leaders
Audience: All

Part II (All)

Children of all ages will offer examples of multiple worship expressions in this afternoon workshop. You will be inspired and encouraged to participate by their leading and reminded of your own sacred worth as children of God. This workshop is designed as a collection of worship snapshots to offer practical examples for you to take with you to your home church. If you have been wanting to engage children in your church, to strengthen your ministry with children, or to find new ideas that bolster the work you're already doing -- this is a workshop for you!
Katy Stokes

Director of Worship and Family Ministries, Redford Aldersgate UMC
Katy Stokes is the Director of Worship and Family Ministries at Redford Aldersgate UMC. She is especially proud of growing a vibrant intergenerational church choir and directing an annual community Creative Kids Week summer program.

She continues to be inspired by the creativity and resiliency of children. She firmly believes young people are a joyful and necessary component of healthy and thriving Christian worship. She knows that dance is not just for girls, preaching is not just for boys, and worship is not just for quiet grown-ups.

Katy is the professional Vocal Coach for the Community Chorus of Detroit Young Artists' Program. She is the former Director of Music and Contemporary Worship at Midland First UMC. She has a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Michigan State University and is currently a student in the Master of Social Work program at Wayne State University.

Pastor Lindsey Hall

Associate Pastor, Birmingham First UMC
Lindsay has served as Associate Pastor at Birmingham First UMC since 2013.

The New Michigan Conference Vision
Audience: All

In June of 2015, it was announced that the Detroit and West Michigan Annual Conferences voted overwhelmingly to create one single conference for the Michigan Area by 2019. This decision followed more than 2 years of listening sessions and area conversations on how the Michigan Area felt called by God to create disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The vote also included a request that the bishop create a Design Team to continue the work of listening and creating this 'new thing' in Michigan. This team meets regularly to move the process of creating a new annual conference in Michigan. Rev Dr Jerome Devine, a Design Team member from the beginning, will share his experiences and observations on the evolution of the new conference.
Rev Dr Jerome Devine

DAC Director of Connectional Ministries
Rev Dr Devine is the Detroit Annual Conference Director of Connectional Ministries and member of the Michigan Area Design Team.

Vital Worship Planning
Audience: All

A little less then a year ago we were launching our first preview service. Now, we're worshiping every week. This workshop will explore the steps we took to launch a brand new worship service at St Paul's. We will take you through our success and failures, what we have learned, and from whom. If your church is looking to launch a new community of faith this is the workshop for you.
Rev Jon Reynolds

Associate Pastor, Rochester St Paul UMC
Jon joined the St. Paul's staff in 2012 and completed his Masters of Divinity at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, in May 2013. He serves as an Associate Pastor leading the Open Door Service at St. Paul's and is staff representative to the Missions and FISH Committees. He also leads our Sound and Light Ministry.

Prior to Garrett, Jon attended Albion College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Philosophy, and a minor in Religious Studies. While in Chicago attending Garrett, Jon served as Student Pastor for Young Adults at Urban Village Church and as the visual media coordinator at the Garrett-Evangelical Seminary Chapel.

He lives in Birmingham with his wife Lindsey Hall, son Joshua Reynolds and their dog Sam.

Overcoming Resistance to Change
Audience: All

If you are like most churches there are internal barriers keeping your congregation from experiencing full health and vitality. This workshop will explore how core values and culture are the 'hidden grip' that clutches at 'we have always done it this way' in an unhealthy and fear driven manner. We will explore how to identify and remove these key barriers that are hindering you from reaching new people for Christ. Come and be unleashed for ministry!
Rev Gary Step

Michigan Area Director of Congregational Excellence
Gary's major responsibility is to promote and create a culture of church growth, health and vitality within the Conference, including providing leadership, coaching and coordination of the Vital Church Initiative (VCI). Gary is a dynamic and engaging presenter addressing church renewal and evangelism. Gary can be contacted at: garys@wmcumc.org

The Many Layers of Diversity
Audience: All

The tools of intercultural competency allow local church members and leaders to become more relevant to more people, younger people, and more diverse people. In this workshop you will develop the skills and awareness to build relationships across the various cultures in and around your neighborhood. The tools presented are applicable to new or existing cross racial and cross cultural church settings but also for most any other setting where age, income, gender, physical ability, and all the other external and organizational dimensions of 'culture' are present.
Tina Campbell

Chair, Detroit Annual Conference Commission on Religion and Race
Member of Second Grace UMC, Detroit.

Micki Phelps

President, Detroit Conference United Methodist Women
Member of Conant Avenue UMC, Detroit. Currently serves as President, Detroit Conference United Methodist Women.

Ken Dowell

Associate Lay Leader, Detroit Renaissance District
Member of Beverly Hills UMC, vice chair of Detroit Annual Conference Commisssion on Religion and Race , member of the Detroit Annual Conference Board of Trustees.

Methodist Children's Home Society
Audience: All

Come and learn more about the ministry and work of Methodist Children's Home Society. Since 1917, MCHS has been providing treatment and care to some of Michigan's most fragile population through its residential and educational programs, foster care and adoption services, and its independent living services for youth aging out of the foster care system. Learn about how the child welfare system evolved and the role we have in protecting and treating our children and families. Learn how to get more involved and engaged in supporting this population or even becoming foster parents or adoptive parents yourself!
Kevin Roach

President and CEO of Methodist Children's Home Society
Kevin Roach is the CEO of Methodist Children's Home Society (MCHS), having served since the summer of 2015. He brings 15 years of leadership in the child welfare and nonprofit world, having served in a variety of settings and with diverse populations and organizations across the country. At MCHS, he has embarked on an ambition strategic plan, while leading the efforts in the capital improvement project, doubling contributions, and increasing the number of children and families served by 35% last year. Since his college days, Kevin has worked tirelessly on behalf of children and families and has been the recipient of several national awards. Prior to coming to MCHS, Kevin was CEO of Whaley Children's Center in Flint Michigan for five years, where he doubled the capacity of the organization, secured national accreditation, and integrated evidence based programs. Before Whaley, he was CEO of a homeless shelter in the Metropolitan Detroit, where he tripled the capacity of the organization in the year.

Recognized for his commitment for children and families in need, Kevin remains active in the community, participating on several boards and committees throughout the State of Michigan and around the country. Kevin and his wife have two children and live in Northville, Michigan.