2023 SCJ Mission Academy

Attending the South Central Jurisdiction Mission Academy in 2023 is an excellent opportunity for mission leaders, youth leaders, and VIM team leaders to learn and share with others who share a heart for missions.

February 26-28, 2023  
Laurel Heights UMC | San Antonio, Texas

Register Today!

  • Mission Academy agendaPDF document to download and share.
  • Hotel Information: Mission Academy attendees can stay at the Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Airport (95 NE Loop 410 San Antonio, TX 78216) for $99/night. This includes free breakfast and evening snacks. To make your reservation online visit  https://www.druryhotels.com/bookandstay/newreservation/?groupno=10032103. To make your reservation by phone, call 1-800-325-0720 and use Group Number 10032103. Reservations must be made by January 25 to secure this special rate.

Workshop Descriptions

Session 1 (Monday a.m.)
  • Social Media
    • Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube… What!!!! The use of social media for connection and event promotion has become the standard method of advertising. Learn how to best leverage these online tools in your mission and disaster response work. This class is designed as an instruction on how to utilize the tools and metrics of social media to boost engagement and increase involvement.
  • District Disaster Response Coordination
    • Explore the various roles district disaster response coordinators play in disaster response ministry as well as approaches that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of district coordinators. We will look at ways of improving the ability of district disaster response coordinators to contribute to the disaster response ministry.
  •  UMVIM Overview
    • United Methodist Volunteers In Mission helps connect people with mission partners all around the globe, including right in your own backyard. Join us to hear how UMVIM started, how it is changing to meet the needs of communities and churches across the denomination, and how you can be a part of it!
  •  Fundraising for Missions
    • With so many organizations seeking donations, how do you carve out a space for your mission project and team? Raising money can be uncomfortable and awkward, even for a great cause…but it doesn’t have to be. Find out tips and tricks in fund development for your current and future missions and ministries. Learn Best Practices from an experienced fundraiser.
  • Youth Missions
    • Getting youth involved in mission service is a crucial step in their spiritual and discipleship formation. Eddie Erwin, director of the South Central Jurisdiction, will talk about how youth ministry is changing and the opportunities for your youth groups to be in service to their neighbor.
Session 2 (Monday p.m.)
  • Cultural Awareness
    • Mission teams are always willing to serve in areas of need. How do we engage with those we serve and how do we respect the culture we are immersed in various communities. We will talk about best practices for cross-cultural encounters in the mission field.
  • Connecting Creation Justice and Disaster Response
    • EarthKeepers (EK) and UMCOR’s Disaster Response ministries complement each other and provide opportunities for education, connection, and missional service. In this session, we will introduce participants to Global Ministries’ EarthKeepers program and how being an EK can expand the understanding of disaster response in a theological and creation justice framework.
  • Local Church Mission Planning
    • You’ve been asked to serve on your church’s mission committee. Now what? What exactly does the mission committee do? Find out ways your whole church can be involved in Christian service and love as you get to know your neighbor and build relationships within your community and around the world. This is for new and current mission committee members and anyone else who is interested in getting involved with mission through the local church.
  • Spiritual and Emotional Care in a Disaster
    • You have on all your safety equipment and are ready to go help some survivors. Did you forget anything? Did you pause for a moment and remember the real reason we do what we do? We are there to be a “Calming, Caring, Christian Presence in the Aftermath of a Storm”. Come join us as we discover how to pause and learn how to be a guest in the survivor’s home as we uphold the highest standards of Christian witness and the trust placed in the United Methodist Church. They will know we are Christians by our love.
  • Web Pages and Manuals
    • Tools for Effective Disaster Response Ministry. Specifically designed for Conference Disaster Response Committee Members, this workshop will help your conference improve internal communication regarding policies, plans and procedures for effective ministry. Presenters will focus on internal communication tools to assist conferences in their DR ministry and will share examples of ministry manuals, websites, and other tools that can help organize and communicate policies, plans, job descriptions and other critical information to internal constituencies. Participants are asked to share material developed in their conferences, but those without any existing systems in place are encouraged to participate in the discussion.
Session 3 (Monday, p.m.)
  • Making a difference for the unhoused
    • Join us as we identify the three major causes of our neighbors being houseless and the issues that are often associated with or created by this. We will study some real-world examples and explore resources for making a difference in our communities. Why does this happen? What can WE do?
  • Family Preparedness and Emergency Bags
    •  Disasters and emergency situations can happen to anyone anywhere at any time. How prepared are you and your family to face a disaster or emergency situation? Attend this session and learn practical ways to prepare, including what an Emergency Bag is and why you absolutely need it.
  • Transformative Mission
    • Many of us have a desire to be in service and help others through mission work. This session focuses on moving beyond transactional work towards transformational mission that embraces the fullness of what mission can be. We will talk about best practices as well as questions to help your mission leadership dive deeper in evaluating your work.
  • Local Church Disaster Response Plan
    • Want to know next steps for getting your church ready for a natural disaster event? Join UMCOR’s Angela Overstreet as she discusses how your church can develop a comprehensive plan to safeguard not only church property but how to become a part of the community’s response.
  • UMVIM Conference and District Coordinators
    • Designed especially for Conference Coordinators of UMVIM, this workshop is for newly appointed and experienced coordinators. We will look at the basic job description and hear how other Conference Coordinators in the jurisdiction help connect and prepare local churches for their mission journeys.
Session 4 (Tuesday, a.m.)
  • Global Ministries Programs
    • Learn about the variety of programs offered by the official Mission and Disaster Response organization for the United Methodist Church. Get an update on the current priorities and how your local church and conference can take advantage of the resources and opportunities through the General Board of Global Ministries.
  • Intro to Connecting Neighbors
    • UMCOR’s recently-updated curriculum gives congregations the tools and information they need to guide the development of their disaster-response ministries. Learn how the Connecting Neighbors program helps churches be better prepared for what emergencies may come, both for their own congregation and the community around them. Find out the next steps for your church to take to be ready.
  • Volunteer Recruiting and Retention
    • The church runs on volunteers! From nursery workers to volunteer mission teams, people share their gifts and passion to help where they can. Join Tammy Kuntz from the North Central Jurisdiction as she discusses ways to recruit new volunteers and hang on to the ones you already have.
  • Mission Volunteers and NOMADS
    • Most volunteer teams spend a week or so working with one of our mission partners around the world. But sometimes people find themselves wanting to dedicate more time to volunteer service. Join us to learn about the Mission Volunteers and NOMADS programs and the opportunities they offer for individuals and couples that are looking to volunteer for weeks or months at a time (or longer)!
  • Virtual Mission
    • Gather your team, plan a week of mission, learn, explore, connect, and partner with project sites around the world—while never leaving home! Virtual Missions allow more people than ever to engage in the transformative mission experience. Learn how Virtual Missions were developed during the pandemic and how they are now being used by small groups, Bible studies, Missions committee discussion, and individuals who want to make connections with other Christians all over the globe!
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