Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, will be among the keynote speakers at the 12th National Gathering of United Methodist Men July 7-8 in Indianapolis.
One thousand men are expected to come together for worship, workshops, service projects and fellowship at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. The event will inspire attendees to embrace new possibilities for ministry and discipleship.
“This is not an event to just have a good time and learn things – it will change your life and change the lives of people around you,” said Gil Hanke, general secretary of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. “This gathering challenges men to change their behavior, encouraging them to become more Christ-like in their daily lives. Men will be transformed into a more disciplined disciple.”
The $99 early registration fee has been extended until April 30. After that, the fee increases to $129.
In addition to Bishop Holston, speakers will include:
- Bishop James Swanson, president of the General Commission on United Methodist Men and resident bishop of the Mississippi Annual Conference.
- Shan Foster, director of Men End Domestic Violence (MEND)
- Kevin Watson, assistant professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies at Candler School of Theology
The gathering’s theme, “Discipleship: The Contact Sport,” will encourage community.
“We are not a single soul in Christianity,” Hanke said. “We are connected to people we know and people we don’t know. Without contact, without reaching out and working with and interacting with other people, discipleship doesn’t happen.”
The national gathering offers 19 workshops that attendees can choose from, focusing on leadership, ministry development, personal growth and spiritual development. With subjects ranging from cyber bullying and local church visioning to stress management and small group ministries, there are workshops to support men no matter their age or their role in the local church.
During the event, three community service experiences will support people in need both in Indianapolis and around the world. Attendees will build hand-cranked mobility carts distributed internationally through Mobility Worldwide, sort and pack produce for local distribution through the Society of St. Andrew and build handicapped ramps for local homes.
In addition, an extensive ministry fair will greet attendees with a myriad of exhibits, offering ideas to enrich and support outreach and service initiatives.