Bishop’s Road Shows ‘well received,’ leaders say

Five more dates remain

By Jessica Brodie

Healthy churches require healthy lay leadership teams, at least when it comes to South Carolina. That’s the message S.C. Resident Bishop Jonathan Holston is bringing on his 12-district tour of the state, joined by district superintendents and other conference leaders as he visits with local church lay leaders and lay servants.

Holston has been touring the districts since Sept. 6, offering insights, ideas and best practices for church health.

The first seven road shows are now complete, and Conference Lay Leader Barbara Ware said so far the project has been a resounding success and that those attending the road shows are pleasantly surprised at how much they are enjoying them.

“Nothing like this has ever been done, so people at first are not sure about it. But by mid-morning, Bishop Holston has captivated the audience,” Ware said.

Conference Connectional Ministries Director the Rev. Kathy James and other conference staff have been on hand during the events, which are held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each time and include lunch and Holy Communion.

Ware said the gatherings have been “very engaging” and a time for people to get to know one another and many of the conference office staff.

“Someone came up to me one Saturday and said, ‘Thanks for bringing this to us here in the district. Makes me feel like the conference cares about all sizes of churches,’ which was indicative of Bishop Holston’s plan: to get every local church to believe that mission and ministry can be accomplished anywhere we follow our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” Ware said.

She said her team has been very pleased with the positive feedback and energy they are seeing from the laity about the road shows.

So far, Holston has visited the Marion (Sept. 6), Florence (Sept. 13), Greenville (Oct. 11), Rock Hill (Oct. 18), Walterboro (Oct. 25), Orangeburg (Nov. 15) and Greenwood districts (Nov. 22). The remaining five shows (to Charleston, Hartsville, Columbia, Anderson and Spartanburg districts) are slated to run through February; see below for details.

For more information, contact your district office or call the conference center at 803-786-9486.

Bishop’s Road Show Dates and Locations

Here are upcoming road shows, held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the five remaining districts. Morning refreshments and lunch will be served, and dress and setting are casual. United Methodist lay leaders and lay servants are invited. If your district’s date doesn’t fit your schedule, feel free to attend a road show in a neighboring district:

Dec. 6—Charleston District, Hibben UMC, 690 Coleman Blvd., Mount Pleasant

Jan. 17, 2015—Hartsville District, Trinity UMC, 226 W. Liberty St., Sumter

Jan. 24, 2015—Columbia District, Shandon UMC, 3407 Devine St. Columbia

Feb. 7, 2015—Anderson District, Zion UMC, 5708 Hwy. 187 N., Anderson

Feb. 28, 2015—Spartanburg District, Bethel UMC, 245 S. Church St., Spartanburg

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