The 2018 Rio Texas Annual Conference will be held June 6-9 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. This year's theme is "From Come & See to Go & Do: Rethinking the Five Practices." It has been ten years since the release of Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Robert Schnase, Bishop of the Rio Texas Conference. Much has changed in those ten years.
The conference will focus on the shift from attractional assumptions toward missional strategies. In the past, churches assumed that people would go to church if it provided excellent, welcoming worship services. Church pastors, delegates, and lay leaders will learn the importance of taking the Christian faith out into their networks and neighborhoods.
Special guests for this year's conference include West Ohio Conference’s Director of Missional Church Initiatives Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey. She also served for ten years as the Executive Pastor of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, OH. She partnered with lead pastor Mike Slaughter to engage and expand the congregation’s missional involvement to include deep discipleship and global impact. Her latest book is Flood Gates, Holy Momentum for a Fearless Church. Kibbey will lead the teaching portions of the plenary sessions.
Another special guest is someone known by many within the conference: Bishop Ruben Saenz, Jr. He was elected to the episcopacy in 2016 and assigned to serve the Great Plains Annual Conference. Prior to his election and assignment, Bishop Saenz served as Director of Connectional Ministries and Executive Director of the Mission Vitality Center in the Rio Texas Conference. Bishop Saenz will be the preacher for the Ordination and Commissioning Service.
This year's annual conference will offer two sessions of workshops. These workshops will be led by experts from within the Rio Texas Conference and throughout the country. They will feature a variety of topics to help churches respond to the cultural shifts that will impact the mission of the church in the years ahead.
More information about this year's conference will be shared in the weeks ahead. Registration for delegates and hotels will begin on March 15.