The world is our parish … and Michigan is our Mission.
We’ll spend Saturday at annual conference rediscovering what it means for God to SEND us out in world-transforming mission to local communities here in Michigan and around the world.
From opening worship with Bishop Ott to closing worship with Bishop Palmer, we’ll have a day full of inspiring stories, transformational learning and hands-on work.
Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer was assigned as Episcopal Leader of the Ohio West Area of The United Methodist Church on September 1, 2012.
Born and reared in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bishop Palmer is a “child of the church,” the son of the Rev. and Mrs. Herbert E. and Charlotte Sue Hewitt Palmer. Bishop Palmer’s father is a retired United Methodist pastor; his mother (now deceased) was a school teacher in the Philadelphia Public School system. Rev. Herbert Palmer and his wife Peggy reside in Philadelphia.
Bishop Palmer received his undergraduate degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and the Master’s of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina. Baldwin-Wallace College, Iowa Wesleyan College, Simpson College, Hood Theological Seminary and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary have all awarded him honorary degrees.
Ordained a deacon and probationary member in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference in 1977, Palmer was ordained an elder in full connection in the East Ohio Conference in 1981.
His pastoral career includes student pastorates in North Carolina and post-seminary appointments in the East Ohio Conference in Cleveland, Canton and Berea. Palmer also served as district superintendent of the Youngstown District of the East Ohio Conference.
In 2000, Palmer was elected to the episcopacy by the North Central Jurisdictional Conference. He was assigned to the Iowa Area where he served until assuming responsibilities in the Illinois Area in 2008. Bishop Palmer served as president of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry from 2004 to 2008 and president of the Council of Bishops from April 2008 to May 2010.
Bishop Palmer has been married to Cynthia for 39 years. They are the parents of two adult children — Monica, who is a Middle School Administrator in Charlotte, North Carolina and Aaron, who is a manager at a technology company in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Mrs. Palmer is an honors graduate in religion of Duke University. She is a Senior Sales Director with Mary Kay Cosmetics. She has served as a Director of Christian Education and as staff of several Community Action Agencies focused on Welfare to Work projects. She is an outstanding student and teacher of the scriptures and has a strong interest in women’s leadership development.
You’ve heard of TED Talks? Well, this year’s annual conference will offer TOM Talks … that’s Transformational Outreach and Mission! Hear from leaders across Michigan who are making a difference for people in need and be inspired to take their lessons home to your community. Some of the exciting stories we’ll hear include Cass Community Center’s Faith Fowler; Valerie Mossman-Celestine, Director of the Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI); State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood; Brandon Smith, director of Spirit Journey and Marci Oliver.
Panel Discussions & Workshops
Saturday afternoon will be your chance to delve deeper into specific mission topics of interest to you and learn directly from experts in the field. Some of the learning sessions will include these topics:
- Engaging in Mutual Ministry with the Poor
- The Liberia Task Force
- From Mercy to Justice: Congregational Community Organizing
- Act of Repentance: Next Steps Toward New Relationships and Healing
- Radical Hospitality: Welcoming Immigrants
- Disaster Response: Embracing Opportunities
- The Michigan Area Haiti Task Force
- Walking in Faith with Hispanics/Latinos
- Prison Ministries
Check back often for updates and be sure to select the workshop of your choice when you register!
Learn more about missions happening here and around the world from nearly 100 vendors and organizations who will share information and display their work at the 2016 Annual Conference Mission Fair.
Hands on mission
We’ll head out in groups on Saturday afternoon to partner with organizations throughout the East Lansing area in supporting on-going mission. Read more about some of the possibilities … and be ready to select your mission project when you register.
Remember to register early to ensure you’ll get a spot on the mission project of your choice.