UMM National Gathering
United Methodist leaders expect 2,000 men to attend the 11th national gathering of United Methodist Men, this summer. The event is being held on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, TN from July 12-14, 2013.
The theme of the event will be “From the Inside Out,” words from a song performed on Phil Stacey’s CD “Into the Light.” Stacey was one of the five finalists on the sixth season of the American Idol television show. The song is a prayer for Christ to bring forth change from the inside out. Stacey will participating in the event and his Saturday evening concert will be open to the general public.
“We have always had great quality speakers and workshop leaders, but these are exceptional.” said said Gil Hanke, General Secretary of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. “From the 4 major speakers to the pre-conference training events in men’s ministry and scouting ministry to the 17 workshops presented by key United Methodist clergy and laity. If you have nothing going on in men’s ministry, sending four to six men to this event will give them an “on-growing” relationship that will make your church into a vital congregation.”
Speakers for the gathering include Don Davis, former member of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots now serving as regional director of the NFL Players’ Association; Mississippi Area Bishop James Swanson, president of the General Commission on United Methodist Men; the Rev. Shane Bishop, pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Fairview Heights, Ill, a church that increased membership from 200 in 2009 to 1,000 in 2012; and David Delk, president of Man in the Mirror Ministries in Orlando, Fla.
During the course of the event, event participants will be gathering to sack 40,000 pounds of produce provided through the Society of Saint Andrew, package 100,000 Stop Hunger Now dehydrated food packets for emergency situations around the world and build hand-carts for people in Africa who have lost the use of their legs.
“Each year I seek out and attend many men’s conferences and events,” said Mark Lubbock a United Methodist pastor who serves as a part-time deployed staff member of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. “I can say without qualification that the line-up of the 11th National Gathering is absolutely world class. The caliber of the speakers, the quality of the break-out sessions and the music is head & shoulders above what you can find elsewhere!”
Building on a Tradition
This is the second quadrennial conference to be held in at Belmont University in Nashville, site of the 2008 U.S. presidential debate. Earlier gatherings were held at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. While this is the 11th national conference since the conclusion of World War II, earlier meetings of Methodist Men were held in Indianapolis after World War I.
“The event itself is great fellowship, but the content and the intent is to change lives,” said Hanke. ”This event is clearly focused on the local church. The mission projects, the workshops, the pre-training events are all focused on making the local church a growing body of Christ. Growing in more than just numbers, but also in the depth of their relationship with Christ, with their families, and with their community.”
Registration and additional information about the 11th national gathering of United Methodist Men may be found at http://ummgathering.org/NG/ or by calling Martha Davis or Joshua Eldson at 615-340-7145 or 866-297-4313.