Music & Arts Convocation set for July 24-27, 2017


awaken2017NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As the city of Little Rock, AR, commemorates the historic 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine and the journey toward desegregation, The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts will gather together to explore what it means to engage in transformative worship in communities that are full of complexities, conflicts, and politics during its biennial convocation. Titled “Awaken 2017: Wake up! Worship. What’s next?,” the convocation is a unique event for musicians, dancers, visual artists, preachers, and all who seek to serve God's people by designing and leading participatory worship experiences. It will be held July 24-27, 2017, at the Little Rock Marriott and other nearby venues. During the event, attendees will gather together for daily worship in addition to learning through a wide variety of seminars and hands-on experiences, as well as numerous choral reading sessions. A highlight of the event will be a panel discussion on the Little Rock Nine held at Philander Smith College. “Convocation is all about our name – The Fellowship,” said Brad and Jane Kisner, Awaken 2017 design team chairs. “We fellowship through worship, singing new music, sharing meals, meeting new colleagues, renewing longtime friendships and renewing our souls. We get our spiritual batteries charged as we return to our local congregations to lead worship.” Featured leaders at Awaken 2017 include:
  • Lisa Yebuah, Campus Pastor at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina;
  • Cynthia Wilson, Assistant Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Students, and Director for the Garrett-Evangelical Center for Music and Worship in the Black Church Experience;
  • Michael Hawn, Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program and University Distinguished Professor of Church Music at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University;
  • Tom Trenney, Minister of Music to First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, and widely-recognized choral composer.
Early bird registration for Awaken 2017 will open on October 17, 2016. For more information or to register for the event, visit About The Fellowship: Founded in 1956 to support musicians in The United Methodist Church, The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts has grown to include worship artists, clergy, and laity involved in all aspects of worship from a variety of denominations and experiences. The Fellowship exists to assist worship leaders in creating meaningful worship experiences that bring people into deeper relationships with God and each other. The mission of its members is to embrace God’s artistic gifts to create world-transforming worship. To learn more about The Fellowship, visit  

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.