Every congregation thinks they are friendly and they are — to the people who are already there.
But radical hospitality requires looking inward and outward, beyond the comfortable group of people you visit with each Sunday morning, according to a United Methodist bishop from Missouri.
"Radical hospitality is about taking the second mile, going the extra step, not being pleased to just get along but offering our very best and our very highest," said Bishop Robert Schnase.
"Our greatest strength is that we love one another, and our lives are so interweaved that we don't know that this keeps people out and is not hospitably bringing people in." (UMNS/11.20.07)
Schanse, resident bishop of the Missouri Annual Conference, is author of a book and movement, "Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. Schanse will present his recommendations to yearning church leaders at Ministers Convocation, Feb. 2-5 at Lake Junaluska, N.C.
Ministers Convocation, an annual continuing education event for Holston clergy, is organized by the Wesley Leadership Institute.
The remaining four "fruitful practices" are passionate worship, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission and service, and extravagant generosity. This year's convocation builds its plenary session and workshops on these themes.
Registration begins Tuesday, Feb. 2. Bishop Schnase will give keynote addresses on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.
This year's worship leader and preacher is the Rev. Tom Long, Bandy professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University in Atlanta. Long will lead a plenary session on Passionate Worship, as well as daily worship services. Long is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and author of books on homiletics, worship, and community life.
Workshop offerings include:
- Through the Eyes of a Stranger, led by the Rev. Carolyn Gass, artist in residence at Wesley Theological Seminary
- What's a Narthex and Where's the Bathroom? How to Unchurch Your Church, led by the Rev. Jeremy LaDuke, associate pastor at Fairview UMC, Maryville District (UMNS/9.23.09)
Intentional Faith Development
- CityFaith: Growing Gardens, Disciples, and Community at the St. Andrews Center, led by the Rev. Mike Feely, pastor at East Lake/St. Andrews Center, Chattanooga District
- What Do Lambs Eat? Providing Spiritual Nourishment for the Young in Our Flock, led by the Rev. Audrey Wilder, minister of spiritual formation for children and youth at Sunrise UMC, Holly Springs, N.C.
Risk-Taking Mission and Service
- Not My Pizza! led by the Rev. Jim Goddard, pastor at Gray UMC, Johnson City District
- Starting a Self-Sustaining Hispanic Church, led by the Rev. Arturo Reyna, Morristown Hispanic Ministries
- Just Lead, led by the Rev. Michelle Buckles, pastor at Cherokee UMC, Johnson City District; the Rev. David Graybeal, pastor at St. Mark UMC, Knoxville District; and the Rev. Nathan Malone, pastor at Burks UMC, Chattanooga District
- Prodigal Giving, led by the Rev. Charles Maynard, development director for Holston Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries, and the Rev. Randy Frye, Johnson City District superintendent
On Thursday evening, pianist Wendell Warner and vocalist Alan Eleazer will offer a concert with classical, jazz, and gospel music. Worship music will be led by the Concord UMC praise band.
Clergy should register online immediately. The registration fee increases from $50 to $75 after Jan. 11. After Jan. 26, a late registration fee of $100 is required. Cancellations must be received by Jan. 29 to receive a refund.
For accommodations, call Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center at (800) 222-4930. Choose choice #3 to make reservations for room and board for Feb. 2-5, 2010. The LJCRC convocation rate is $60 single, $36 double, $29 triple, or $24 quad.
For more information, call Sue Weber toll-free at (866) 690-4080 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.