¶125 “United Methodists throughout the world are bound together in a connectional covenant in which we support and hold each other accountable for faithful discipleship and mission…we seek to proclaim and embody the gospel in ways responsible to our specific cultural and social context while maintaining ‘a vital web of interactive relationships’” ¶132 (Book of Discipline, 2012).

It’s a great time to relax, chill out, read a good book, play a fun game and to plan for the 2017 Church Conference Season. Here is some basic information that you will need as we prepare to build the connection on the Grand Traverse District and to celebrate the ministries of each local church!


*Central HUB Saturday, September 23 @ LeRoy UMC

*West Bay HUB Sunday, October 1 @ Frankfort UMC

*Tip of the Mitt HUB Sunday, October 22 @ Indian River UMC

*East Bay HUB Saturday, October 28 @ Traverse City New Church Start

*Southern HUB Sunday, October 29 @ Manistee UMC

Bishop Bard will be joining us in Manistee with his Famous Chili Recipe!

The business part of your Church Conference will begin either at 4:15 or 6:30 p.m. at your HUB (your pastor has this information) 

 Then the Lord answered me and said:  write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.                                                                                          Habakkuk 2:2 NRSV

Each one of us has tasted a bowl of Chili that we loved and a bowl that we did not like.  As a kid, I’ll confess, Chili was not one of my favorite foods.  As an adult, I have tasted “White Chili,” “Venison Chili,” “Chili with Beans,” mild Chili (even tasteless Chili) and Chili that was very spicy!  What image do you have when you think of chili?  Depending on your VISION, it will guide what you purchase at the grocery store, how long you want to cook it and what items you will need to go with it.  With White Chili or Mexican Chili, salsa and chips go nicely.  With some Chilies, you want crackers and cheese.  Still others prefer that nothing disturb the taste of the chili made. If you don’t have a vision, you will end up with something, but it may not even resemble chili.  With your vision in place, if someone asks you to add an ingredient you will know if it belongs or not.  With a vision in place you are more likely to eat what you hoped for.

A VISION for your local church allows you to see where you are going and to name the leadership, programs and finances you need to make it happen.  This year we want you to share how “making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” is being lived out in your context.

During dinner, each church will be asked to present a VISUAL of their church’s VISION, CORE VALUES and key decisions made in order to intentionally live into the VISION.  Your VISUAL can be a skit, pictures on a board, a painting, a mobile, a collage, or another kind of image that allows us to SEE where your congregation is going.  Each Congregation will have 5-7 minutes to share!  Encourage us and challenge us as you share what has worked and what has failed—so that we can engage in new ways of, “transforming the world,” too.

For the Chili Cook-off we would like your church to bring 2 to 3 pots of chili to be tasted and shared.  Everyone who attends will be invited to vote on their favorite pot of chili with their dollars.  After the meal, the money will be counted and the winner announced.  The winning church will be asked to share ALL of the donations collected with their favorite Mission-Outreach or New Ministry!  Thanks for coming and engaging in the fun!

 MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  THE MAIN EVENT, CONNECT & ENCOURAGE & THRIVE, will be Saturday, November 11, at Traverse Bay UMC. Sharing our Stories-will be our focus.  Dr. Rev. Charles Boayou, Detroit Renaissance District Superintendent, will be among our speakers.    


Anita K. Hahn