Monday, November 12, 2018 at 1:00 PM to Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 2:30 PM

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November 12-14, 2018
Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front Hotel
Pensacola Beach, Florida

Get energized!

Put yourself at the top of your list!

Plan to attend revitup!...For a Lifetime of Ministry!


  • Strengthen personal, financial and leadership skills that can improve your life and sustain your ministry
  • Network with other young clergy from across the denomination
  • Participate in one-on-one consultations with class instructors/field experts (benefits consultants, pastoral counselors, financial planners, tax consultants, wills and estate planning experts, and more!)
  • Go home with new ideas, resources and knowledge
  • And…Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Event and Registration Information

Register now!

Early-Bird Registration Fee: $129.00 ($239.00 with spouse)
(Register early—by Friday, October 5)
Registration Fee: $159.00 ($269.00 with spouse)
(After Friday, October 5)

The registration fee includes:

  • Breakfast and lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Opening rception and refreshment breaks
  • Event materials

revitup! begins on Monday, November 12 at 1:00 p.m. with inspiring worship and an opening plenary session.

revitup! concludes on Wednesday, November 14 at 2:30 p.m. after two action-packed days of learning, networking and fellowship.

This event features six core classes that everyone attends, and five classes from which you will choose three to attend. From United Methodist benefits to how to go about finding money for ministry initiatives—you will go home with new insight, direction and lots of information to help balance life and ministry.

Scholarships Available!

The UMC Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders is once again offering a limited number of scholarships for first-time attendees of revitup! These scholarships are provided through a Lilly Endowment grant which seeks to strengthen personal and congregational financial stewardship leadership.

The scholarship opportunity includes:

  • Refunded registration, and
  • Two complimentary nights at the host hotel

For hotel arrangements, please make your own reservation through the methods given upon completion of the event registration process. When you check out of the hotel in November, two nights lodging will be removed from your folio.

The scholarship covers room and tax only for two nights at the Hilton in Pensacola Beach. Incidental charges will be the responsibility of the attendee.

To receive the scholarship, please complete these two steps:

  1. Complete an online survey from the UMC Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. When completed, print a copy of the final page and send via e-mail or mail to Margaret Sanders. Her information is provided below.
  2. Complete the EY financial assessment survey. When completed, print a copy of your Financial Wellness Score and send via e-mail or mail to Margaret Sanders.

Send printed copies of the final page of the UMC Initiative Survey and your Financial Wellness results via e-mail to Margaret Sanders at

Or mail print-outs of the two final pages to:

Margaret Sanders
Wespath Benefits and Investments
Meetings and Events
1901 Chestnut Avenue
Glenview, Illinois 60025

For questions, contact Renee Smith-Edmondson, Manager of Meetings and Events at

Other Financial Assistance
Scholarship opportunities may exist through your annual conference and/or local United Methodist Foundation. Please contact them directly for more information.

Opening Worship

Lazetta Rainey Braxton, Founder and CEO, Financial Fountains. As a past presenter at revitup!, Lazetta is now our opening keynote. As a spouse of a clergyperson, Lazetta understands that round-the-clock demands can make it difficult for you to find the time and energy to be a good steward of your finances. Indeed, financial well-being and peace enable you to more effectively fulfill your call to provide holistic spiritual leadership.

Lazetta will help “rev us up” with an opening message that will inspire and motivate you to think about how to run your church and household as God’s owned-business. Her message will encourage you to open the door to financial stability, economic freedom and wealth for the common good of all.

Lazetta is often sought as a financial expert for national media and regularly speaks on financial planning topics for national audiences. She has appeared on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Nightly Business Report, and CNBC Closing Bell. Lazetta was named one of Investment News’ 2015 Women to Watch, distinguished leaders who have “advanced the business of providing advice through their leadership, passion, creativity, and willingness to help other women along the way.” She is also the 2015 recipient of the Association of African American Financial Advisors’ Leadership Legacy Award.

Inspiring Music

Enjoy musical direction from Chuck Bell.

An avid musician since the age of five when he began studying piano, Chuck holds a degree in Commercial Music from Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri) and has played hundreds of events throughout his 35-year career. While working summer stock, he came to realize how important music is when transitioning from one scene to the next. Knowledge he put to work with The United Methodist Church in 1996, planning and producing traditional and contemporary corporate worship experiences. After serving 18 years with the Church, Chuck is now a full-time worship consultant assisting churches with their Music and Arts Ministry as well as visioning for all worship styles.

The “revitup!” band brings together gifted musicians from across the states to help uplift the spirit and infuse the soul with praise and worship. The music, along with our guest worship leaders’ message provides a motivating and invigorating start to each day.

Hotel and Travel Information

The host hotel is the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front Hotel, Pensacola Beach, Florida. Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) has negotiated special room rates:

  • $119.00 plus tax per night (non-Gulf view)
  • $129.00 plus tax per night (Gulf view)

Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front Hotel
12 Via De Luna Drive
Pensacola Beach, Florida 32561
Phone: 1-850-916-2999

Note: Attendees are responsible for making and paying for their hotel accommodations. Be sure to mention our group code of “REV” to obtain the negotiated rates of $119.00 and/or $129.00 a night. (Special room rates will be offered until Wednesday, October 12 based on availability.)

Day Care Information

Onsite childcare will be provided by Kid Care Anywhere so you can get away to learn and be inspired and your child(ren) will have a great time, too. Kid Care Anywhere is a licensed, fully-insured, background-checked, uniformed and CPR & First Aid certified team. Hours of service will be during the day while classes are in session. Age-appropriate activities, games, toys and snacks will be provided. The cost for childcare at revitup! is complimentary.

If you wish to bring your family along to revitup!, register your child(ren) to attend the Caring for Kids program during the registration process.


Class Descriptions

revitup! classes were created based on input from focus groups with your young clergy peers. We were called to be good stewards of our five personal resources. This event provides opportunities to consider each area for your overall well-being.

Core Classes

For these sessions, you will be assigned to a track so you will attend each core class:

Choice (Elective) Classes

Then, choose three classes from the following:

Special Opportunities

Participate in one-on-one sessions:

Non-stop Networking

  • Meet attendees at Monday night’s opening reception
  • Join new and old friends for dinner on Tuesday evening—within walking distance to many area restaurants


Read biographies for the course instructors.

Core Classes

Revving Toward the Future: Clergy Benefits Review

As a clergy person in The United Methodist Church, you’ve got benefits! Pension, death, disability, and a wonderful savings and investment plan. This class will touch on the benefits available if and when you need them the most. As you work toward fulfilling the mission of our church, you can work hard with fewer worries knowing you are cared for while you serve.
Instructor: Bob Christophel, Benefits Educator, Wespath Benefits and Investments

Surviving Clergy Taxes

The complexity of the Internal Revenue Code is a well-known fact. While large businesses have a staff of accountants and lawyers to help them with complex tax issues—you do not, even though the taxes imposed on clergy can be nearly as complex. Many clergy just aren't prepared for tax filing and the payment season, and feel just how cruel April can be. We begin to clarify some of the confusion you may be experiencing and answer questions like "Who's my employer?" "Do I really have to pay taxes on my parsonage?" "Why isn't my church withholding enough Federal Income tax?" and "What in the devil is the Self-Employment Tax and why is it costing me so much money?" We’ll also go over Clergy Housing Allowance rules. You’ll learn some things that may help prevent an audit and some things that may allow you to save money that the IRS would otherwise get. You will definitely learn enough to talk to a tax professional, and begin preparing yourself and your family for the filing of your tax returns and the payment of the taxes you will owe.
Instructor: The Reverend Nate Berneking, Director of Finance & Administrative Ministry for the Missouri Annual Conference

When There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Life throws us many curves—some expected and some unexpected. What can you expect if something happens? Do you have a durable power of attorney or an advanced directive? Do you know where your important documents are located? Have you considered estate planning and your long-term financial legacy? Are you familiar with trusts and estate tax laws? This class is essential as you consider ways to care and provide for your family’s future.
Instructor: The Reverend David Bell, President and Executive Director, United Methodist Foundation of Michigan and a Senior Design Partner, Design Group International

Achieving Financial Wellness

Do you have financial goals? If excessive debt eating away at you? Are you monitoring your spending? This class will help you evaluate your spending plan, deal with shortfalls and debt, create a spending plan and take practical steps to manage your cash.
Instructor: A representative from EY

Understanding and Overseeing Church Finances

Do you know the difference between a balanced budget and positive cash flow? Participants will learn about the composition and charge of the Finance Committee. This session will offer practical insights on how pastors can effectively oversee church finances. Participants will learn how to read and understand church budgets and financial reports. Participants will explore the differences between a Zero Based Budget, Line Item Budget, Program Budget and Narrative Budget? Participants will learn the best practices for statements of giving, EFT, E-Giving, stock gifts and offering envelopes. Participants should bring a copy of his or her church budget to enhance his or her experiential learning.
Instructor: The Reverend Cary James, Sharp Street Memorial Church, Baltimore, Maryland

Chill and Refill—Creating Life Balance and Avoiding Compassion Fatigue

You will learn about the impact of unmanaged stress and boundaries that upset work/life balance and contribute to poor self-care, compassion fatigue and burnout. You will learn how to create healthy boundaries between work and home, as well as tools and strategies to avoid and/or recover from compassion fatigue.
Instructor: Jane Pernotto Ehrman, M. Ed.

Choice (Elective) Classes

Direct Donor Dollars—“The Big Ask”

The difference between a great idea and a great idea that gets approved is a couple of strong donors. Raising money for special projects gains a lot of momentum after successful one-on-one conversations with possible donors. This workshop will offer practical, successful steps on how to prepare for and then successfully raise support through direct-donor giving. We'll also spend time talking about ways to identify new groups of donors that most pastors overlook.
Instructor: The Reverend Mike Baughman, Community Curator for Union, a new kind of non-profit coffee shop in Dallas, Texas; North Texas Conference

Conflict Transformation: A Skill and an Art

Participants will engage reality-based conflict scenarios and discover multiple ways to address, include, and affirm those involved in disputes and heated conversations. Participants will also develop a clear understanding of the pastor's role as facilitator, mediator, coach, and lightning rod in the midst of conflict.
Instructor: The Reverend Dr. Craig Gilliam, Louisiana Conference

New! Break... or Brick? Claiming Sabbath as a Clergy Spouse

Do Sundays sometimes feel like just another workday? Are you looking for ways to claim Sabbath time for yourself? You are not alone! In confidential small groups, re-examine the definition of Sabbath and how you, in your unique role, can carve out restoration in God’s presence. A highly interactive Sabbath learning game, with common real-life clergy spouse situations, allows you to discover Sabbath options without having to reveal your own personal circumstances. Connect with other clergy spouses who are in the early stages of adjusting to clergy family life, just like you!
Instructor: Julie Anderman, Executive Director, Artos Retreats

Establishing Cultures of Generosity

This seminar could transform the way you and your congregation approach giving and generosity. Most people believe that fundraising is about money. In fact, fundraising is primarily about relationships, discipleship, and establishing a culture of generosity. This interactive seminar will explore sacred theological texts, your own experiences giving and receiving, the latest empirical findings about charitable practices, and practical tools that will help you create culture change in your ministry setting.
Instructor: Rev. Thad Austin, Graduate Assistant, Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, The Indiana University, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

New! Understanding the World of Health Care

Description coming soon.
Instructor: TBD

New! Creation Care 101

Political or biblical? Creation care is a biblical issue. Taking care of God’s creation is not just a topic in Genesis. You can find creation care throughout the scriptures. We’ll spend time in scripture and discussion. At this class, you will receive tips and guidance on how you can better care for God’s creation in your home and at your church.
Instructor: Heather Bennett, Southeast Director, Blessed Earth

New! Creative Ministry Sharing Opportunity

This class provides an opportunity for you to share and others to go home with new ministry ideas. If you are attending this event and you have a creative ministry at your church that you would like to share with your clergy peers, contact Renee ( at Wespath. The 5-6 ministry ideas will send you home “revved up” for making disciples of Jesus Christ!

Special Opportunities

Financial/Benefits Consulting

Schedule a private session with a benefits consultant to review your retirement account balance and other benefits, discuss your financial dreams, goals and concerns—and see if you are on the right track.

Spiritual Guide/Pastoral Counselor

Schedule a session with a Spiritual Guide/Pastoral Counselor to lend a listening ear and help you work through any personal or church issues/concerns. This private session is your opportunity to gain an outside perspective on situations you may face.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

CEU’s are optional. If you would like to receive Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) for attending this event, please indicate on the registration site.

Attend 10 classes (includes the opening keynote address) and get a certificate for 1.25 CEU’s. Attend 8 classes and receive a certificate for 1.0 CEU’s. Certificates will be awarded to those who register for CEU’s during the registration process.


View the 2018 revitup! schedule (subject to change) 


For questions about registration, travel, hotel accommodations or the day care opportunity, contact: Anne Green at 1-800-269-2244, ext. 4560.

For questions about the class schedule, contact: Renee Smith-Edmondson at 1-800-269-2244, ext. 4273 or Dale Jones at 1-800-269-2244, ext 2715.