FUSION Coming to Raleigh in February

July 23, 2015

fusionNASHVILLE, Tenn. July 20, 2015 /Discipleship Ministries/ – United Methodist pastors, musicians and worship leaders will meet in February to explore how to use the wide variety of worship styles and resources currently available to revitalize their worship services now and for the future. Fusion: The Future of Worship in the UMC, scheduled for Feb. 4-6 in Raleigh, N.C., will bring together practitioners from vital congregations and recognized expert professors to delve into current worlds of worship resources and leadership in the areas of music, worship planning and design, preaching and sacraments. “Fusion is designed to help students, pastors and worship leaders revitalize, update and modernize their worship services without losing sight of what identifies us as United Methodists,” said Dawn Chesser, Director of Preaching Ministries at Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church. “Participants will learn basic to advanced techniques for developing new worship services, or breathing life into already established ones. They will make connections with other worship leaders from across the denomination and engage in exciting conversation about the future of worship in the United Methodist Church,” Chesser said. Fusion, hosted by Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh, will be three days of worship, inspiration, practical instruction and networking designed for clergy and lay people from both large and small churches, in addition to seminarians and professors. The registration fee of $149 per person will be discounted to $129 for anyone who registers by Dec. 1. Student registration for seminary and course of study students is $89. For more information and to register, go to www.fusionworship2016.org. “This is for churches that are interested in growing, in deepening, in moving forward, drawing on all of the resources that are available for worship now, and that includes a lot of things that are contemporary,” said Taylor Burton-Edwards, Director of Worship Resources at Discipleship Ministries. Participants at the gathering will look at where worship should go from here – about how to draw on all the best music, media and congregational resources, along with the gifts that people bring, Burton-Edwards said. “How do we get out of the traditional/contemporary rut, because I think for a lot of us, worship has become running in one of those two paths?” he asked. “And how do we, instead, engage in vital and lively worship, drawing on as many of the gifts that are available as we possibly can? “What we already see happening in worship is great vitality in both traditional and contemporary in many places, but greater vitality in those who are already adapting to more of this fusion understanding,” he said. Each workshop and plenary will be led by scholars and practitioners working together, Burton-Edwards said. Plenary leaders include:

  • Rev. Rachel Billups, Executive Pastor of Discipleship at Ginghamsburg UMC, Ginghamsburg, Tipp City, Ohio
  • Rev. DeAndre Johnson, Pastor of Music and Worship at Westbury UMC in Houston
  • Dr. Marcia McFee, Worship Consultant at the Worship Design Studio in Truckee, Calif.
  • Kim Miller, Worship and Campus Designer at Ginghamsburg UMC
  • Rev. Matt Miofsky, Lead Pastor at The Gathering UMC in St. Louis
  • Rev. Dr. Lester Ruth, Research Professor of Christian Worship at Duke Divinity School
  • Rev. Dr. Don Saliers, William R. Cannon Professor of Theology and Worship, Emeritus, at Emory University
  • Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman, Associate Professor of Homiletics and Director of United Methodist Studies at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
In addition, 10 other professors and practitioners will join the speakers to lead workshops throughout the event. The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org, the Press Center at www.UMCdiscipleship.org/about/press-center or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.

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A Summons to Witness, Protest, and Promise

We give thanks for this Summons to Witness, Protest and Promise written by the cabinet of the North Carolina Conference.  In our ongoing collaboration, we affirm these words alongside them.  Across our state, we invite all United Methodists to be a part of building “the new world God promises as heaven in time descends to earth.” (Revelation 21)

A Summons to Witness, Protest, & Promise

We, United Methodists in The Western North Carolina Conference, join our voices with The North Carolina Conference in witness, protest and promise in these times of violence against our Black brothers and sisters.

We believe. . .

We believe that the Holy Spirit is indeed poured out upon all people.
We believe that in baptism, we are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation, and commissioned to resist evil, injustice and oppression, in whatever forms they present themselves.
We believe that God’s intent for humanity is community, compassion, and holiness, and that justice has been marred by the history of enslavement and racism.
We believe that repentance is urgent for the historic and ongoing violence against Black girls and boys, men and women.
We believe that in the wounding of Black bodies we see Christ crucified.
We believe that those who have been steeped in white privilege, through repentance, can be transformed into humble servants of the living God.
We believe we are called to work for the day when God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

We protest. . .
We protest violent murders of Black men and women, most recently Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
We protest the narratives of fear and suspicion that divide people from one another.
We protest our historic failure to ensure all our churches are places of hospitality, welcome, and belonging for our Black brothers and sisters.
We protest the historic and continuing suppression of voting and other basic rights.
We protest all incendiary public leadership in this time of crisis and turmoil.
We protest the lack of will in our communities, our state and our country to protect the lives of our Black brothers and sisters, and especially the most vulnerable, the young and the old.

We promise. . .
We promise to use our voices, resources and power to dismantle white privilege and racist systems, especially within our own United Methodist Church.
We promise to read the Scripture with ear and eye attentive to the continued call toward God’s will for all people.
We promise to exercise the right to vote and to work against voter suppression.
We promise to create around ourselves at all times hospitable space for all people.
We promise to name prejudice when we see it and to receive the correction of others who see prejudice in us.
We promise to be life-long learners, to constantly make adjustments in the way we use our power and influence, to be active participants in the building of the beloved community, and ultimately growing always in holiness toward the perfection we see in Christ.


Bishop Paul Leeland
Laura Auten
Carl Arrington
Michael Bailey
David Christy
Amy Coles
Bev Coppley
Beth Crissman
Otto Harris
David Hockett
Kim Ingram
Linda Kelly
Mark King
Melissa McGill
Samuel Moore, Jr.
Dan Pezet
Mark Ralls
David Snipes
Caroline Wood
Jane Wood

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
Tim Russell
Edie Gleaves
Ray Broadwell
Gil Wise
Gray Southern
Mike Frese
Kenneth Locklear
Randy Innes
Linda Taylor
Dena White
Tara Lain
Ismael Ruiz-Millan
Jon Strother
Beth Hood
Lisa Yebuah
Greg Moore
Steve Taylor

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