As the Conference has (rightly) developed a more open and inclusive feel, there has been a growing sense that people in ministry or church leadership also need a place to talk, to share experiences, talk about their vision for the future, and attend to their own professional development.
This year, Rev. Dr Richard Cleaves and Rev. Dr Janet Wootton will facilitate a session for ministers, mission enablers, area workers and others in leadership positions in our churches. We hope to create the opportunity to discuss our joys and concerns, to learn from each other, and to look to the future together, in the wisdom of God.
Richard Cleaves has a lifetime’s experience in congregational churches, including his ministry over the last 25 years in Highbury, Cheltenham. Janet Wootton ministered in rural and city churches before taking on her current role as Director of Studies for the Congregational Federation. Both were founder members of the Training Board and have therefore worked with many of our churches, ministers and leaders throughout the lifetime of the Federation.
For the past few years Tracy O’Neill, along with her fabulous helpers, have provided great sessions for our younger attendees. We are so pleased she will join us again in 2017. Tracy will provide lots of fun activities for the children when they are not taking part in the all age sessions.
Tracy will ensure the activities fit with the theme of the conference to make sure the children are included throughout. There will be separate provision for youth aged 10-14.
Free time is included in the programme. We hope the breaks and meal times provide opportunities for socialising and fellowship. On Thursday afternoon Keith Bradley from Tapton Hill Congregational Church will provide an optional hike around the local area. It will take an hour and you are advised to bring suitable footwear! In the evening, Mark Taylor from Newark Congregational Church will lead quiz night. You may recognise him from his stint on the BBC’s Pointless programme!
BRING AN INSTRUMENT if you can play, and would like to join our music group for worship.