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Register Now for the Congregational Health Ministries Conference Empowering Ministries of Health: Transform, Mobilize, and Advocate

Registration is now open for the second national Congregational Health Ministries Conference to be held October 8-11, 2006 in Memphis, TN. The slate of speakers and topics promises to be informative as well as inspirational, providing information on a wide range of topics that focus on skills and techniques to transform, mobilize and advocate for health and welfare at all levels of the congregation.

Keynote Address

Dr. Gary Gunderson, Senior Vice President, Health and Welfare Ministries, Methodist Healthcare in Memphis, TN, is the keynote speaker and will lead a discussion on boundary leadership and how it can be used in health ministries. "A major challenge for religious communities today lies in harnessing the commitment and energy of religious people to address larger societal issues", says Dr. Gunderson. "Key to such efforts is people who are willing to live and learn "at the boundaries" where secular meets religious, public meets private, and subcultures meet each other."

Conference Highlights

A highlight of the conference will be a tour of the Church Health Center and a discussion with Dr. Scott Morris, an ordained minister and medical doctor, who began a health ministry for the working poor of Memphis. His is a fascinating story of commitment and faith. From its meager beginnings in 1986, this ministry has grown to serving more than 30,000 patients each year.

Bishop Felton May, in his discussion of "Bold to Proclaim: Good Health Care for All" will address the issues of discovering your gift for boldness, framing boldness as a catalyst for health, and practicing a bold and healthy lifestyle. Bishop May served as the presiding bishop of the Washington Episcopal Area, a member of the White House Presidential Mission on Children Orphaned by AIDS and served on the United Methodist Bishop's Initiative on Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Violence in Washington, DC. He is currently the vice president of the Board of Directors of Africa University and Dean and chair holder of Philander Smith College Harry R. Kendall Science and Health Mission Center in Little Rock, AR.

One of the most popular speakers from last year's conference, Bishop Sally Dyck, will return for a dialog on a balanced approach to spiritual health. She will use the food pyramid as a metaphor for developing "A Spiritual Pyramid." Bishop Dyck is resident bishop of Minnesota.

Bishop Fritz Mutti will link the United Methodist Global AIDS fund to real persons living with AIDS. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward will close out the conference with a discussion showing how wellness is holy and a way of honoring the complexity of God's creation.

These are just the plenary speakers! There will be so much more for the attendees to take back to their Annual Conferences and local congregations. More information about the workshops and mini-sessions will be available in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!