Chattanooga, Cleveland Districts offer 'discipleship days' for church leaders

Chattanooga, Cleveland Districts offer 'discipleship days' for church leaders

Rev. Larry Dial (left), pastor at Jones Memorial UMC, and Rev. Mark Kilbourne, pastor at New Salem UMC, prepare to pack deydrated meals during a Chattanooga District training event.

Several Holston districts followed an unofficial tradition by offering weekend training sessions for church leaders within the first two months of the new year.

The Chattanooga District held a “Day of Discipleship” at Brainerd United Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 13. Workshops were led by the Rev. David Graves, Kingsport District superintendent (“Leading Vital Congregations”); Rev. Michael Hubble, Chattanooga District superintendent (“Staff Parish Relations Committee”); Caroline Merrell, worship director at Long’s Chapel UMC in Waynesville, N.C. (“Inviting and Inspiring Worship”); and Devry Coghlan, groups coordinator at Cove UMC, Huntsville, Ala. (“Nurture Through Small Groups”).

About 240 attended, including those participating in a “Stop Hunger Now” food-packing activity. Participants packaged about 10,200 dehydrated meals and gave an offering of $1,288, to be divided between Ligoto United Methodist Church in South Sudan and Imagine No Malaria.

See photos from both district events on Facebook.    

The Cleveland District also held a discipleship training event at Walker Valley High School on Jan. 13. About 180 attended. “Our theme was ‘Called Out to be the Church,' focusing on Matthew 16:18,” said organizer Debbie Stokes. “We tried to live out that theme by having the event at a location other than a church building.”

Seminar leaders included Rev. Jerry Jones, First Rogersville UMC (“Called to be Visionary”); Rev. Micah Nicolaus, Central-Lenoir City UMC (“Called to be Creative”); Rev. Richard Richter, Hillcrest UMC (“Called to be Hospitable”); Rev. Joe Green, Cleveland District superintendent (“Staff-Parish Relations Committee”); and Mike Goodman, Cleveland District treasurer (“Church Finances and Stewardship”).

The plenary gathering for worship included worship centers interpreting the “Called Out” theme; the praise team from Keith Memorial UMC; and the Rev. Will Shewey from Salem UMC as guest preacher.