2017 O&F Meeting

Clergy from across the Great Plains Conference gathered Jan. 18-19, 2017, in Salina, Kansas to talk about renewed focus on the mission field, engaging young adults and making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Workshops focused on best practices for use of social media as an evangelism tool, livestreaming, mentoring and worship music, among other topics. And our keynote speakers - the Rev. Dr. Kanda Creasy Dean and the Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady - shared thoughts about launching innovative ministries and how to relate better to adults born between 1977 and 2006 (Generation Y, echo boomers or millennials).

If you missed our clergy gathering or simply want to review what was discussed, check out the links below and read our stories about the event:


Keynote Speakers

Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean

Rev. Dr. Dean is completing publication of a new book. Videos of her talks will be available soon. Pastors who attended Orders & Fellowship may watch her videos now, however. Just send an email to Dana Reinhardt in the conference office at dreinhardt@greatplainsumc.org for a website and password.


Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady

PART 1: The Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady shares research he conducted with youth and young adults. He offers some tips for how to include these age groups in our worship planning so we can better ensure they have an encounter with the Holy Spirit as they take part in worship and church activities.


PART II: The Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady continues his talk about engaging young adults by looking at two examples of where they find meaning and a sense of community: Burning Man in Nevada and the Improv Everywhere team.



Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.

CONVERSATION WITH BISHOP SAENZ: Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. makes a presentation to the clergy in attendance at Orders & Fellowship to share his observations, findings and musings from his first few months of travels across the Great Plains Conference.


CLOSING WORSHIP: Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. used his closing worship sermon at Orders & Fellowship to encourage the clergy present to focus squarely on their mission fields as a means of making disciples of Jesus.




The conference communications team recorded some of the workshops offered during Orders & Fellowship 2017. When possible, links to supplemental materials have been provided.


Livestreaming Worship Services

The Rev. Bill Gepford and the Rev. Melissa Gepford share some of tips they've learned while livestreaming their services at Tonganoxie United Methodist Church in Kansas.

Download a packet of information given to pastors in attendance.
Download the Gepfords' PowerPoint presentation.


Social Media Best Practices

The Rev. Bill Gepford and the Rev. Melissa Gepford share some of tips from their use of social media as a means to evangelize in the communities they have served.

Download the packet of information given to pastors in attendance.
Download the Gepfords' PowerPoint presentation.


Turning a Hare-Brained Idea into a Sustainable Ministry

This workshop featuring the Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean will be available for everyone once her upcoming book is published. Until then, pastors in attendance at Orders & Fellowship may view it by receiving the website address and password from Dana Reinhardt in the conference office by sending an email to dreinhardt@greatplainsumc.org.


The Church’s Song: Transforming. Entrepreneurial. Discipling

Brian Hehn, director of The Center for Congregational Song, a new resource and education center by The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, explores the current landscape of congregational song in the 21st century. How is it transforming? And what new things are happening?


Mentor Training for the Great Plains

This workshop, led by the Rev. Ashlee Alley, conference clergy recruitment and development coordinator, featured information about changes on the horizon for Great Plains mentoring where the objectives are to shepherd candidates from call discernment, through fitness, readiness and effectiveness in ministry, to sustaining long-term ministry through covenant accountability groups. 


Generational IQ

Never before have there been five generations living at the same time. The Rev. Nicole Conard, conference coordinator of young leadership development, explores this fact and discusses who God’s people are today and how we can be in relationship to each generation.


See a photo gallery from the 2017 Orders & Fellowship clergy gathering.