Lakeview Methodist Conference Center, Palestine, Texas
EARLY REGISTRATION DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 7, 2019, Late Fee of $15 will be applied on or after February 8, 2019. (Payment by Credit Card only after Feb. 7th)
REMINDER: Registration is not complete without payment.
Conference Officers, Focus Group Leaders, Music Leaders don’t Register online! Contact Lue to give her your information!
Rev. Alisha L. Gordon, M.Div. is a well sought-after writer, teacher, scholar, activist, and public theologian utilizing the many intersections of her life as an entry point to engage in ministry around the world. A native of Decatur, Georgia, Alisha attended Spelman College where she earned a Bachelor of English and Candler School of Theology at Emory University where she earned her Master of Divinity with a concentration in Religious Education.
Her work is deeply rooted in the holistic development of women; as the Executive for Spiritual Growth for one of the world’s largest Christian women’s organizations, United Methodist Women, she marries social justice work and spiritual growth to the prophetic call for justice to help women see their full potential as mothers, daughters, and sisters in an ever-changing social and political landscape. As a teacher and scholar activist, she’s learned alongside communities in Palestine, Uganda, and Brazil; her unique blend of social commentary, religious engagement, and popular culture allows her to use her faith and social interests to engage in deeply meaningful conversations and teachings about scripture, practical theology, women’s issues, and social justice. Alisha currently lives in New York City with her 13-year-old daughter.
Follow Rev. Alisha L. Gordon on Twitter @dstarwriter59
FOCUS GROUPS & LEADERS
FOCUS GROUP 1: REFLECTION- Rev. Pamela Jackson
Martin Luther, in his writing on the Magnificat (Mary’s song in Luke), has Mary say, “I am only the workshop in which God operates.” Surely, Elizabeth’s story might mirror a similar declaration. Mary and Elizabeth were two remarkable women whose bonds of kinship were much stronger than mere flesh and blood. And they were two women whose struggles to live faith and courage are not unlike our own. Our time of Reflection is intended to enliven love and praise of God, enable you to recognize His hand and grace at work in your life, and encourage others through your witness of faith. Peering through the lens of Scripture, may we faithfully respond to reflect the light of His glory into every aspect of our lives, for the glory of His name (2 Corin 3:18 NLT).
Pamela Jackson is an ordained elder in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology and for over twenty years pastored small, mid, and large-sized churches in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Pam’s ministry outreach included mission to the people of Haiti and Africa, with a focus on children and families. She also served in outreach to incarcerated women and their loved ones through Kairos and Kairos Outside programs. Prior to leading churches, Pam taught in the public school system. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Tennessee. Pam and husband Bob live in Montgomery. Recently retired, she is enjoying more time with family (including five grandchildren) and preparing to serve as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children and youth in Montgomery county.
FOCUS GROUP 2: WHO'S IN CONTROL?- Pastor Stephen Goldsmith
In The Gospel of Luke (24:45-49, NIV), Jesus opens the minds of the disciples so that they could understand Scripture. He does so as a means of preparing them with an understanding of the power that they would soon receive through the Holy Spirit to do the miraculous works that Jesus performed. In this lesson we will discover the importance of knowing who's in control of our lives as believers.
Stephen Goldsmith is a husband, father, preacher, teacher, worship leader, songwriter, and producer (formerly of Chicago, IL) who resides in Houston, TX. Celebrating 13 years of marriage, Stephen Goldsmith and Deneen V.R. Goldsmith, his most beautiful wife and cohort in ministry, are the parents of two children, Seth Paul and Disney Victoria-Elle Goldsmith. Stephen received his Bachelors of Arts degree in Audio Acoustics from Columbia College Chicago, and credits his parents, Pastor Robert Goldsmith and Lady Phyllis Goldsmith (Greater New Jerusalem, COGIC, Rockford, IL.) for establishing the foundation that ultimately nurtured his passion and gifts for ministry. With over two decades of ministry experience, Stephen has worked for various Grammy, Dove, and Stellar Award winning Gospel Music Artists. Most recently, Stephen acquired his Masters of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX), class of 2017. As a candidate for ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church, Stephen was recently Commissioned by Bishop Scott J. Jones of the Texas Annual Conference, and appointed as Lead Pastor to Journey of Faith UMC – Humble. Previously, Stephen served as one of the band and worship leads at Windsor Village UMC (Houston, TX), under the leadership of Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, Senior Pastor. Committed to the Total well being of every Kingdom citizen, Pastor Stephen’s ministry innovatively commands a bridge to the generations through Prayer, the Word of God, and Worship & Praise!!
FOCUS GROUP 3: WHERE IS MY COMMUNITY?- Linda Elms
We will begin by exploring the story of Mary’s encounter with Elizabeth. Using our imagination, we will try to answer questions such as: Why did Mary make this trip? What were the circumstances around each woman at the time? What would have happened during her visit? How would Mary and Elizabeth have supported each other?
With this as a beginning, we will then explore stories provided by Response Magazine articles to understand ways United Methodist Women continue to be supportive community to women and children in many places and in many ways.
Linda first joined United Methodist Women in the early 70’s. Since then she has held almost every office at both the district and conference levels of UMW. She also served on two Jurisdiction teams and served for two years as a Program Advisory Group member at the national level of UMW. She was elected 1st alternate delegate to General Conference in 2008 and 2012 as well as a Jurisdictional delegate both of those years. Linda started her career as an elementary teacher and then moved to teach at the junior high level. After 21 years in the classroom, Linda retired to become a Diaconal Minister serving as Christian educator for the next 15 years. Linda has a true passion for mission and taught in the Northwest Texas Conference and North Texas Conference Mission u. She has attended Schools of Christian Mission for many years. She and Deryl, her husband of 49 years, have a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Jeffery, who is married to Leslie, and is the father of the two grandchildren. In all the years Linda has been involved in UMW her husband and her children have helped her and supported UMW in various and sundry ways.
FOCUS GROUP 4: FAITH- Janis Billups Meitzen
In this study we will search scriptures for answers: What is faith? Who are we as Christians? Who are we asking? We will leave with a clear understanding how to respond when there is no immediate answer.
Please bring your bibles.
Janis Billups Meitzen was born in Sainaw, MI. She began her career as a nurse’s aide in 1964, with a strong interest in nursing, she went on to graduate from Mercy School of Nursing in Detroit, Michigan. Her first major position was in the intensive care unit at Ford Hospital although her first love was always labor and delivery and women’s health. This passion led her to complete graduate work at the University of Detroit and further studies at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where she received the Selma Pasha award from her class. Educating her students, peers and the public has always been a part of her goals concerning women’s health. Lieutenant Colonel Billups is a graduate of Command and General Staff College. She served a total of 24 years Active and Reserve duty in the Army nurse corps and received numerous awards while in the military service including the Distinguished Service Medal and The Meritorious Service Medal. Recently retired from the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston Texas, her work continues as a volunteer for the Pregnancy Resource Center, Medical Bridges and with the United Methodist Women at Mt.Vernon United Methodist Church where she is currently serving as local president. Also, served on Southwest District UMW team. In addition, served on various women's mission boards and Christian education and has lead bible study groups. Janis is married to William has two living children, two stepchildren, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. She has a passion for serving others is active in presenting programs on Human Trafficking and would love to share her stories with your unit.
FOCUS GROUP 5: THE STORY OF 2 WOMEN DESTINED TO BE MOTHERS OF THE WORLD'S THREE GREAT RELIGIONS- Gwendolyn Young Mason
Have you felt that you have no control over your life? Have you been mistreated? Have you been emotionally worn? Have you ran away? Do you want to run away? Then you and Hegar are sisters. There is more to the story of two women destined to be mothers of the world's three great religions. Discover what God has for you, just as He had for Hegar, in the Sisterhood of Grace study of Sarai and Hegar. We will discover the answer within the complicated relationship between Sarai and Hegar.
Gwendolyn Young Mason has been active in the United Methodist Women for over about twenty years. She held various posts in her local unit, was previously President of the Central South District and recently concluded her tenure as Chairperson of Nominations on the conference level. She is currently a member of Westbury United Methodist. Gwen has either been a team member or team leader on mission trips, locally, nationally and internationally, including an Ubuntu trip to Cambodia. She has also traveled to Israel, Rome, Kenya, France and has her sights on South Korea. Gwen has been a Certified Lay Servant for over 10 years, first as a Certified Lay Speaker and currently as a Certified Lay Minister. Gwen was a paralegal for 28 years for an industrial gas company and upon retiring, worked as a chaplain for a hospice company until a vehicle accident in 2017. She married Langston Mason in January 2018 resulting in a blended family of 11 adult children, 15 grandchildren and one great-grandson. You will find her and Lang sharing their culinary experiences on Facebook, enjoying their family and marveling at God's goodness.