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Lay Leader Visits


Greater Detroit District
Michigan UMC

View All 2019 Workshop Details

Title / Description Facilitator(s)
Welcoming Children in Worship
Audience: All

Children are an important part of the Body of Christ. Learn why welcoming children in worship is essential. Explore practical ways to implement new ideas or re-energize what you are currently doing. Topics may include: worship ministries for children, storytelling, music, technology and devotionals.

A three-member panel will share insights on preparing children for and welcoming them in worship. The workshop includes lots of time for open Q&A. You may send your challenges and learning expectations in advance to the workshop leader Evelyn Summerville.
Evelyn Summerville

Southfield Hope UMC,
Director of Christian Education

Evelyn Summerville has more than 25 years of experience leading people to achieve successful results in corporate and faith-based settings. Most notable, she rose through the ranks of a marketing career at Kelly Services becoming the Director of Marketing Research and Analysis prior to departing in 2014. Evelyn also serves as Director of Christian Education at Hope UMC overseeing its spiritual growth and leadership development programs.

Evelyn is a certified coach, trainer and speaker with the John Maxwell Team. She studied co-active coaching at The Coaches Training Institute. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Michigan State University.

Panelist Members
Beverly A. Scarbrough M.Ed.
'Miss B', as the children call her, serves as the directress of the Children's Choir at Hope UMC in Southfield, MI. Beverly retired after 37 years of teaching in the areas of Elementary, Middle, and Special Education. At the time of retirement, Beverly worked as the Special Education Teacher Consultant for Southfield Public Schools. Beverly earned her BS from Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA, and her M.Ed. from Oakland University, Rochester, MI. Currently she's a Certified Parent Educator with her own business, Parenting From The Heart LLC, where she teaches court-approved parenting education classes.

Stacey Barrett
Stacey Barrett has been a K- 12 science educator for over 22 years. She has taught chemistry, physics, biology, forensic science and general science in the public and private sectors to thousands of children in Detroit, Southfield, Ann Arbor, and Birmingham. She has also dedicated her life to biblical studies and practical application of religious teachings through classes and personal study in multiple denominations of the Christian church as well as the teachings of the Jewish, Muslim and Baha'i faiths. Through her life and faith she has come to learn that we are all God's children and that there is value in exposing our youth to the teachings of Christ. Through the melding of her science background and Biblical teachings, Stacey has developed a practical way of teaching Godly principles and Christ centered lessons through chemistry, physics and life science experiments. As leader of the Thoughts for Children Ministry at Hope United Methodist Church, where she has been an active member for 15 year s, she shares these lessons with the children and congregation monthly, and all are engaged in learning God's word through the fun and mystery of science.

Linda Webb
Linda Webb has been a member of Hope United Methodist Church since 2007. She joined theHeart of Worship Liturgical Dance Ministry in 2011 and was named Director in 2015. One of her roles in this intergenerational ministry, is to equip the youth with biblical applicati on as it relates to each dance. During the past four years , Linda has created opportunities for the dance ministry to participate in several outreach activities at nursing homes, festivals, and various churches throughout the Metro Detroit area. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business from Davenport University. Linda has always displayed a commitment to mentoring children and young adults.

Children's Ministry in the Community
Audience: Children's Ministry

The church has many wonderful opportunities to connect with their community through relationship building, events, and partnerships, including with local schools. Learn about a variety of ways to connect and practical steps to get started.
Rev. Christy M. White (Miller-Black)

-- Minister of Christian Education at Flint Court Street UMC
-- East Winds District Coordinator of Discipleship Formation.

Rev. Christy M. White (Miller-Black) has worked with children, youth, young adults, and persons with special needs for over 25 years in a variety of settings. In her journey as a professional musician, college professor, grant writer, social worker, and preschool teacher she has learned a variety of things that she has taken with her into the ministry as a Christian Education professional. Her favorite roles are as the wife to Jason (as of May 2019) and mother to Christopher (15) and Maelyn (10). She loves bringing color, music, and imagination everywhere she goes.

Mrs. Julie Bard

Public School Teacher for over 30 years. Currently teaching 1st grade in the Waverly School District in the Lansing area. Help set up a mentoring program for public school children with mentors coming from churches.

Children and Families in Mission
Audience: Children's Ministry

Many children and families love to serve, both in the church and in the community. Learn about ways that children and families can serve in mission together, ideas for mission projects at any age, and ways that children can be equipped and empowered to lead mission work.
Michelle King

Director of Children and Family Ministries, Chelsea First UMC

Michelle is a candidate for ordained ministry as a Deacon and graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity in 2018. Her home church is Farmington First UMC. Michelle is passionate about children, mental health, and social justice.

Intergenerational Ministry
Audience: All

We live in a 6-generation society and each one is unique. Learn about the different generations and why they need one another. Explore different ways that ministry can happen between generations.
Rev. Kathy Pittenger

Office of Connectional Ministry,
Children's Initiatives Coordinator
Rev. Kathy Pittenger is the Children's Initiatives Coordinator for the Michigan Conference. She has been involved in children's ministry with local churches for over 20 years. Kathy's passion is to encourage, equip, empower and engage with people in the areas of children's ministry, literacy awareness, and discipleship pathways.

Neighborly Advice
Audience: Children Ministry

This workshop will examine the theological understanding behind Fred Rogers's approach to human development as demonstrated in Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. The manual "Let's Talk about Freddish", demonstrate the rules of wordsmithing to communicate to child and adult in the same conversation. This approach to preaching/communication will maintain a welcoming and inclusive worship space for all ages in today's post-modern church 'neighborhoods'. Participants will also discuss:
  • How to apply a Mr. Roger's Neighborhood approach of communication with today's family.
  • Understanding and utilizing the development of Fred Rogers theological framework rooted in love for our neighbor, to reach diverse intergenerational faith communities while thinking of the child first.
Rev. Kevin Johnson

Director, Children's Ministries for Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship,
UMC Discipleship

Rev. Johnson holds an MDiv from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and is currently working on a DMin in Homiletical Leadership at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, OK. His doctoral work focuses on preaching/communicating to children and families in a post-modern neighborhood: reaching the child in the life of the church, through preaching, before they become so called lost or unchurched statistics.

Kevin, an ordained elder of the Kentucky Annual Conference, has over 15 years of ministry experience in which he has thought of the children first. Prior to ministry, Kevin worked with children in hospitals and group homes for emotionally and physically abused children.

Vacation Bible School
Audience: Children Ministry

Many churches offer a VBS for their church and community. In this workshop we will explore best practices, invitation, and follow-up for VBS.
Amy Heitman

Rochester St. Paul's UMC, Director of Children's Ministries
Amy has been a member of Rochester St. Paul's since 2000, and joined the staff as the Director of Children's Ministry in 2011. She completed her undergraduate studies at Albion College and is a certified elementary school teacher. Amy taught in Holly while earning her Master of Art in Education from Oakland University. Amy has a passion for children and loves hosting Vacation Bible School at St. Paul's, which reaches 200 children with the support of many volunteers.

Vacation Bible School Collaboration
Audience: Children Ministry

Many churches offer a VBS for their church and community; others would if they had adequate resources. Partnering to share resources and materials is proposed as a way to share the costs and institutional expertise across multiple locations in the district.
Eugene Paik

Troy Korean UMC
A servant and member at the Troy Korean UMC for the past 28 years.  Currently an Exhorter supporting the following positions:
  • TroyHope Ministry Council Chair
    • SPRC Member
    • Sunday School SH Youth Coordinator
    • Sunday School 11th Grade Teacher
  • Conference Level Positions
    • COAAM Treasurer
  • District Level Positions
    • Chair of the Board of Church Location & Building
    • District Visioning Team Member
    • District Leadership Team Member
    • Methodist Union Trustee
    • Lay Servant Ministries Board Member and Teacher
  • Wesley Seminary
    • Steering Committee Member for the Lewis Center for Church Leadership

How to Build or Reimagine Children's Ministry
Audience: Children's Ministry

Stuck in a rut? Building from scratch? Learn foundational principles for starting or re-imagining children's ministry in your church. The workshop may include areas like equipping children's ministry leaders, evaluating space, choosing curriculum, creating vision and goals, and more.
Nichea VerVeer Guy

- Director of Discipleship Ministries, Grand Rapids Trinity United Methodist Church

- Chair, Michigan Area Commission on Annual Conference (Program Committee)


Cultural Vibrancy: Resources for Children's Ministry
Audience: All

Culture shapes our values, actions, and organizations. We are all impacted by societal 'norms' and expectations in different ways. In order to provide equitable education in our ministry settings, children's ministers must assess their own cultural awareness and gain proficiency in understanding and appreciating the dynamics of difference. Come learn more about cultural vibrancy and ways to engage children and their families to foster communities of learning.
Rev. Brittney Stephan

Associate Director for Multi-Cultural Vibrancy, Michigan Conference

Rev. Brittney Stephan is an Elder from the Indiana Conference and currently serves in extension ministry as the Associate Director for Multi-Cultural Vibrancy for the Michigan Conference. She has received a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary under the advisement of Rev. Drs. Cynthia A. Wilson and Ruth C. Duck. A third-generation Methodist, Brittney grew up outside of Huntington, Indiana, but has spent the last decade living in major cities such as Indianapolis, Chicago, and currently Metro Detroit. She has a deep passion to equip, engage, and empower individuals and teams to foster equitable communities of learning. Much of her role consists of engaging clergy and laity to identify particular growth points through the use of self-assessment tools, coaching, and workshops to build cultural proficiency in a way that moves us toward an anti-biased/anti-racist identity that seeks to diversify worship experiences and leadership as a collective whole.

Urban Youth Ministry
Audience: Youth Workers

This workshop will acquaint participants with resources available in the Greater Detroit District for urban youth ministries. It will include descriptions and opportunities for building youth group calendars for 2019-2020, Youth Leader training, and collaborative events.
Audrey Mangum

- GDD Director, Justice & Mission Engagement

- GDD Coordinator of Children & Youth Ministries
Audrey Mangum received an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Adrian College. She has 24 hours completed in Wayne State's Masters in Instructional Technology program and is currently working towards a Masters of Divinity at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Her passion is urban ministry. She is working towards ordination as a Deacon in the Michigan Annual Conference. Audrey is the Director of Justice and Mission Engagement for the Greater Detroit District and Children & Youth Ministries Coordinator. She is a member of Second Grace UMC and a constituent member of Brightmoor Aldersgate UMC.

Young Adult Conspiracies of Goodness
Audience: Young Adult Leaders

Hear from our district's first campus ministry re-launch in decades. Discuss opportunities to mobilize young adults on campus and in local churches for 'conspiracies of goodness.' Receive your 'launch kit' from Motor City Wesley to help your church design engaging discipleship and mission with 18-30 year old's. Scheme together to integrate your church young adult ministry into the expansion of new Motor City Wesley chapters at campuses across Metro Detroit. Help us reach more young adults so they can help your church reach the whole world!
Rev. Carl Thomas Gladstone

Lead Conspiritor with Motor City Wesley

Rev. Carl Gladstone is a Deacon serving as the Director of Motor City Wesley, a Metro Detroit United Methodist campus ministry. Carl enjoys engaging young people in their Christian faith on campus and in local churches through creative practices, community formation and 'conspiracies of goodness.' Carl and his wife Anna live in southwest Detroit and enjoy making music, going to parks with their two boys and spending time at the Lake Louise Christian Community in northern Michigan. Catch more of Carl's work at motorcitywesley.org and carlthomasgladstone.com .

Active Shooter Awareness &
Participation (runs through second workshop)

Audience: All

The workshop will provide information designed to raise the awareness - and enhance the safety and survivability - of anyone confronted with an active shooter situation. The information is applicable anywhere active shooters have historically sought their targets - in large and small cities; in business or manufacturing settings; at community events or houses of worship; at educational and medical facilities. (This workshop continues through the second workshop period)
John C. Harris, JCH Security Consulting, LLC

John C. Harris, JCH Security Consulting, LLC

Over 30 years' experience, in both the public and private sector. Have worked with and been trained by federal, state and local law enforcement across the country. Most recently with the Detroit Police Department's Crime Intelligence Unit, specifically assigned to the Counter Terrorism and Threat Analysis Team.

Current Topics in Church Finance
Audience: Finance Committee

This course will cover the following topics that all church finance committee should be aware of:
  • Key issues in financial reporting:
    • Monthly financial statement review
    • YTD Financial statement review
    • Cash basis versus Accrual
    • Full GAAP non-for profit  reporting vs. management use
  • Key issues in budgeting:
    • Annual operating budget
    • Multi-year operating budget
    • Budgeting for cash flow
  • Key issues an internal control and fraud
    • The fraud triangle
    • Internal controls and separation of duties
    • Oversight and review
    • Statements to members
  • How to deal with tax law changes affecting contributions
    • Bunching contributions for new itemized limitations
    • Contributions from IRA's
    • Donating appreciated stock
    • Charitable donor advised funds
Mike Lorenz

Grosse Pointe UMC,
Finance Committee Chair

Mike enjoys serving as a financial problem solver for clients - bringing the technical skills of a CPA, the problem-solving acumen of an attorney and the work ethic of an entrepreneur - so clients can focus on running their businesses.

Mike works primarily in real estate and construction, healthcare, transportation and professional services industries. A frank, upfront advisor, Mike helps clients strategize on solutions to grow their business and steer clear of pitfalls. For those looking to invest in new ventures, Mike assists them through structuring, financing, negotiating contracts, and controlling internal and external costs, as well as tax planning. An entrepreneur at heart, Mike also shares a special affinity with individuals who strike out on their own. He helps them analyze the best option to sell, buy or expand; identify the best structure to transfer the business to the next generation; negotiate with lenders to get the best refinancing loan; and identify retirement plans that will allow high-income principals to maximize their savings. In addition, Mike understands the intersection of tax planning and wealth management, and works closely with clients and their financial advisors to help coordinate their financial plans.

Staff Parish Relations Best Practices
Audience: SPRC

For current members of the SPRC, local church lay leaders and lay members to annual conference, appointed clergy.
  • Do we really need training?
  • How often do we need to meet?
  • Do we really need to walk through the parsonage each year?
  • Is our job to evaluate or support the pastor?
  • What is our role in carrying out the church's vision and mission?
  • When and how do we talk with our D.S.?
These and other questions will be answered during this interactive workshop.
Rev. Melanie Lee Carey

Senior Pastor,
Nardin Park UMC,
Farmington Hills
Rev. Melanie Lee Carey is the lead pastor of Nardin Park UMC in Farmington Hills. She has previously served as The Clergy Assistant to the Bishop for the Michigan Area, as District Superintendent of The Detroit Renaissance District, and as pastor of Ypsilanti First, Hudson First and Associate Pastor of Livonia Newburg churches. Fluent in Spanish, Rev. Carey has served as a facilitator and consultant with The National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries and was elected as one of the clergy delegate from The Detroit Annual Conference to the 2012 and 2016 General Conferences. In her spare time, Rev. Carey enjoys spending time with her husband, Jon and visiting her young adult children in Chicago, IL and Charlotte, NC.

Andy Wayne

SPRC Chair, Nardin Park UMC, Farmington Hills
Andy Wayne is the SPRC chair at Nardin Park UMC. His leadership experience includes running the acolyte program and serving on the Finance Committee and Church Council at Nardin Park; teaching lay servant classes at the district level; and serving on the Council on Finance and Administration, the executive committee of the Conference Leadership Team, and the Committee on Standing Rules at the annual conference level. Wayne also chaired the structure task force of the new conference design team. His mission experience includes 15 ASP trips and two VIM trips to Central America. An attorney by vocation, he is married to Tami, a child of the parsonage. They enjoy traveling and hiking with their two young daughters.

United Methodist Trustee Orientation
Audience: Trustees

The role of the Local Church Trustee encompasses all of the inner and outer workings of the church. Duties and responsibilities range from contract negotiation to boiler repair.

As an officer of an ecclesiastical corporation, truly understanding the role and responsibilities of the Local Church Trustee is critical for both the local church and the trustee themselves.

In this session we will cover the role of the trustee as it relates to the local church organizational structure as well as best practices in regard to managing key aspects of both the Church facility and operational components.
Dr. Phares Noel, II

Southfield Hope UMC,
Trustees Member

Dr. Phares A. Noel II is a seasoned engineering executive with over 30 years of both practical and theoretical experience in the field of electrical and computer engineering across various areas ranging from electrical power generation to automotive manufacturing.

His church affiliation includes being a current member of the Hope UMC Board of Trustees, Past President of the Board of Directors for the United Methodist Union of Greater Detroit, and a former Member of the Board of Ordained Ministry.

Dr. Noel holds both a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, from Oakland University, and an MBA from the University Of Detroit - Mercy. Dr. Noel is also a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the State of Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Florida