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Wednesday, January 20



Reception: “A Taste of Portland”
avatar for Heifer International

Heifer International

Sponsor/Exhibitor, Heifer International
Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.  We empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but our approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Our animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as... Read More →

Wednesday January 20, 2016 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Doubletree Hotel 1000 NE Multnomah Street Portland, OR. 97232
Thursday, January 21



Greetings and Welcoming Video
avatar for Grant Hagiya

Grant Hagiya

Bishop, Greater Northwest Episcopal Area
Grant Hagiya is the resident bishop of the Greater Northwest Area, encompassing the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and Pacific Northwest Conferences. He is the current chair of the Council of Bishops' Task Force that plans the learning retreats for all active bishops. He also chairs the Ministry Study Commission for the 2013-2016 quadrennium. A board member of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, he chairs the Endorsing Committee for United... Read More →
avatar for Dan Krause

Dan Krause

General Secretary, Communications
As chief executive of United Methodist Communications, Dan Krause leads the global communications agency of The United Methodist Church in telling the story of God’s love through research, technology and strategic communication.   Named to the position in June 2015, he is responsible for overseeing the denomination’s marketing, advertising, media and public relations, Web and social media, news, production and more. The... Read More →


Opening Worship with Communion
Presented by Portland Episcopan Area General Conference Host Committee




"Our Vital Connection: The United Methodist church Moving Forward”
avatar for Bishop Bruce R. Ough

Bishop Bruce R. Ough

Bishop - Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area, The United Methodist Church
Bishop Bruce Ough is the resident bishop of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church, where he has served since Sept. 1, 2012. He is the current president of the Council of Bishops. Prior to his assignment to the Dakotas-Minnesota Area, he served for twelve years as the resident bishop of the West Ohio Area.

Amy Valdez-Barker

Speaker, Connectional Table
Amy Valdez Barker serves as the top executive of the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church. An ordained deacon from the North Georgia Annual Conference, Amy has served as a leader throughout the UMC for more than 20 years. Most recently, she coordinated the Vital Congregations Initiative and recently graduated with a doctoral degree in Christian Education and Congregational Studies from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in... Read More →



"Our Global Connection: The Worldwide Nature of the Church"
avatar for Benedita Penicela

Benedita Penicela

Speaker, Africa Central
A lay person from Mozambique South Annual Conference , Benedita is a member of the Connectional Table and Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters. | Director of Communications in her Annual Conference she has served as Secretary for Africa Central Conference for two quandrennia and as Annual Conference Secretary for twelve years. | She has a degree in Chemistry and Industrial Engineering and is a mother of two children, Carlos... Read More →
avatar for Patrick Streiff

Patrick Streiff

Bishop, Central and Southern Europe Episcopal Area, Chair, Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters
Bishop Patrick Streiff leads the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe. He had been pastor of various United Methodist congregations in Switzerland, Director of Studies at the French-speaking Methodist Center of Theological Education in Lausanne, and Lecturer in Modern Church History at the University of Lausanne before he was elected bishop in 2005. He currently serves as Chair of the Methodist e-Academy, Chair of the Standing... Read More →


"Our Global Connection II: Proposals for a U.S. Central Conference"
avatar for Maidstone Mulenga

Maidstone Mulenga

Director of Connectional Ministries, Baltimore-Washington Conference
The Rev. Maidstone Mulenga serves in the dual role as the Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Communication in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. An avid believer in the power of the global church, Rev. Mulenga also fosters the conference’s partnerships in Zimbabwe, Eurasia, South Korea and Puerto Rico. As an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, he has previously served as pastor in several churches and as director of... Read More →

avatar for Tim Crouch

Tim Crouch

General Conference Delegate, North Texas Conference
Tim Crouch is chair of the North Texas Conference Delegation to the 2016 General Conference. He has been a lay delegate to every General Conference since 1996. A 1980 graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, he owns The Crouch Group Inc., an advertising and public relations firm based in Denton, Texas. Crouch is one of 33 people selected nationally as a trainer for The United Methodist Church’s “Igniting Ministry... Read More →
avatar for Tom Harkrider

Tom Harkrider

General Conference Delegate, Central Texas Conference
Associate Conference Lay Leader. | Delegate to General Conference from Central Texas Conference since 2004. | Served on Conferences Legislative Committee since GC2008. | A sponsor of A Place of Reason UMC - Seeking Common Ground in the UMC. | Check out the website: APlaceOfReasonUMC.org
avatar for Tracey Merrick

Tracey Merrick

Speaker, NEJ Global Structure Task Force
Tracy Merrick has been a lifelong United Methodist and over the last 30 years has served in a wide variety of leadership roles. He and his wife are active members of First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh. Merrick currently serves as chair of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Global Structure Task Force and co-convener of the Western Pennsylvania Conference Reconciling Ministries and First UMC Pittsburgh Wrestling with Racism Team. He is also... Read More →



"How We Serve: Proposed Changes for Clergy and Bishops"
avatar for LONNIE D BROOKS


Lonnie D. Brooks is lay leader for the Alaska Conference and chairs the legislative committee for the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders. A retired oil exploration geophysicist, Brooks also teaches an adult Sunday school class at East Anchorage United Methodist Church. He is a former member of General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
avatar for Grant Hagiya

Grant Hagiya

Bishop, Greater Northwest Episcopal Area
Grant Hagiya is the resident bishop of the Greater Northwest Area, encompassing the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and Pacific Northwest Conferences. He is the current chair of the Council of Bishops' Task Force that plans the learning retreats for all active bishops. He also chairs the Ministry Study Commission for the 2013-2016 quadrennium. A board member of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, he chairs the Endorsing Committee for United... Read More →


"The Four Areas of Focus and the Church Budget”
avatar for Moses Kumar

Moses Kumar

General Secretary, Finance and Administration
A. Moses Rathan Kumar is the General Secretary and Treasurer for The General Council on Finance and Administration. Prior to being elected general secretary in 2008, he served for eight years as the Treasurer and Executive Director of Administrative Ministries for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. Prior to this service, Kumar worked at Palmer Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, culminating in four years of service as the Vice... Read More →


“Therefore, Go! What to Expect at General Conference”
Special observances, logistics overview, process changes

avatar for Greg Nelson

Greg Nelson

Communicator, Oregon-Idaho Conference
Greg Nelson is the Director of Communications for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. He has held that staff position for seven years, but Nelson has been a leader in the church longer than that. He served several years on the conference leadership team, as a district lay leader, and on many other local and regional committees. He is currently a member of the Ministry Leadership Team for the conference. He has attended several Jurisdictional... Read More →

avatar for Susan Brumbaugh

Susan Brumbaugh

Coordinator of the Calendar, General Conference
Susan Brumbaugh is a lay person who has been active in the church most of her life. She has volunteered as staff with the Secretary of the General Conference since 1996, when she managed the first General Conference website. Since 2008, she has served as the Coordinator of the Calendar, working with the Committee on Agenda and Calendar to manage the General Conference schedule and calendaring of plenary items. She was elected as a... Read More →
avatar for Gary Graves

Gary Graves

Petitions Secretary, General Conference
The Rev. Gary Graves has served as a member of the staff of the Secretary of the General Conference for seven sessions, having served as Petitions Secretary since 2004. In addition, he is a former Conference Secretary of the Kentucky Annual Conference. Graves currently serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry and is chair of the Committee on Standing Rules. He and his wife, Jennifer, are co-chairs of the Registration and Credentials Committee for... Read More →
avatar for Sara Hotchkisss

Sara Hotchkisss

Speaker, General Conference
avatar for Gere Reist

Gere Reist

Secretary, General Conference
avatar for Elaine Stanovsky

Elaine Stanovsky

Bishop, Mountain Sky Episcopal Area



“Discerning Together: The Spirit of Christian Conferencing”
avatar for Christian Alsted

Christian Alsted

Bishop, Northern Europe
avatar for Judi Kenaston

Judi Kenaston

Speaker, Commission on General Conference
avatar for Ken Sloane

Ken Sloane

Interim Associate General Secretary, Discipleship Ministries
The Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane is the UMC's Director of Stewardship & Connectional Ministries, housed at Discipleship Ministries (GBOD) in Nashville, TN. He is a clergy member of the Greater New Jersey Conference, where he served 20+ years in local church ministry (including a successful new church start) and 5 years as the Director of Connectional Ministries. In 2006 he was appointed to serve as Director of Communications Ministry at United... Read More →



Friday, January 22


Morning Worship
Presented by the United Methodist Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns and the Portland Episcopal Area General Conference Host Committee.


“What We Believe: Revising the Social Principles”

Neal Christie

Assistant General Secretary, Church & Society
avatar for Susan Henry-Crowe

Susan Henry-Crowe

General Secretary, Church & Society
The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe is General Secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society, with offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City. Prior to her current role, Henry-Crowe served for 22 years as dean of the Chapel & Religious Life at Emory University in Atlanta. For 16 years, she served as a member of the United Methodist Judicial Council, the... Read More →

Randall Miller

Speaker, California-Nevada + Gen Bd. Church & Society


“A Conversation about Topics Related to Human Sexuality”
avatar for Stephanie Hixon

Stephanie Hixon

Speaker, JustPeace
Stephanie Anna Hixon serves as Executive Director of the JustPeace Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation in The United Methodist Church. She seeks to integrate best practices in alternative dispute resolution with principles of faith and spirituality, communication theory and group process. Hixon earned degrees in Music Therapy and Music Education from Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music (Shenandoah University) and later... Read More →

avatar for Bill Arnold

Bill Arnold

General Conference Delegate, Kentucky Annual Conference
Clergy member of the Kentucky Annual Conference delegation. I was honored to attend my first GC in 2008 (first clergy alternate), again in 2012, and now Portland. My day-job is professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary. I volunteer my time and energy to the UMC for a variety of reasons, mostly because it was the institution God used in my youth, it is the church that guided me to discern and answer my call to... Read More →
avatar for Dorothee Benz

Dorothee Benz

General Conference Delegate, Methodists in New Directions
Dr. Dorothee E. Benz has been a Methodist since immigrating to the U.S. with her family in 1968. She is a member of Memorial UMC in White Plains, NY, and a delegate to the 2016 General Conference. Benz is a founding member of Methodists in New Directions (MIND) and served as MIND’s chair from 2006 to 2014. A lifelong activist and organizer, her scholarly expertise is also in social movements, and she has been active in the labor movement, the... Read More →
avatar for Kennetha Bigham-Tsai

Kennetha Bigham-Tsai

Member, West Michigan

Stanislas Kassongo

Speaker, Democratic Republic of Congo
Stanislas Kassongo Kasuedi is the head of the delegation of the Central Congo Episcopal Area to the 2016 General Conference. He was a delegate to the 2012 General Conference held in Tampa and has held key positions in his Annual Conference, including Secretary of the Health board, member of the Board of Radio Lokole. He is currently the United Methodist Men’s coordinator. He holds a postgraduate diploma in health care law from the... Read More →



“Social Responsibility: Resolutions and Issues”
avatar for Linda Bloom

Linda Bloom

Reporter, United Methodist News Service
I am president of the New York Chapter, Religion Communicators Council, and co-chair, with Ryan Koch, of the steering committee for RCC2016.

avatar for Tyler Amundson

Tyler Amundson

General Conference Delegate - Yellowstone Conference, Member of Division on Ministries with Young People
Currently Tyler serves as a Pastor in a new style of shared ministry between two churches in Helena United Methodist Ministries(stpaulshelena.org and covenanthelena.org). For 5 years he has been developing ways to connect new young people to the gospel in an age when people need good news and support for their daily lives. Tyler believe deeply that the United Methodist Connection is a powerful way to share God's grace across a global landscape... Read More →
avatar for Cedrick Bridgeforth

Cedrick Bridgeforth

General Conference Delegate, Black Methodists for Church Renewal
avatar for Dan Dick

Dan Dick

General Conference Delegate, Wisconsin Annual Conference
Dan R. Dick currently serves as Assistant to the Bishop with the Wisconsin Annual Conference. He served as the Director of Connectional Ministries from 2009 to 2015.  Dan worked for Discipleship Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee, for 15 years – providing resources in stewardship, leadership development, spiritual formation, congregational and conference planning, spiritual direction, spiritual gifts discovery and conflict transformation... Read More →
avatar for Christine Flick

Christine Flick

General Conference Delegate, Germany Central Conference
Christine Flick serves as conference lay leader in the Germany South Conference. Prior to that, she was district lay leader for 12 years. A delegate to General Conference 2016, she is a member of the Commission on General Conference and the Standing Committee of Central Conference Matters. She also serves in the local church as a lay preacher and lay delegate. 

Kirsty Jenkinson

Managing Director, Pension and Health Benefits



"Praying for General Conference"
avatar for Tom Albin

Tom Albin

Dean of Chapel, Upper Room
The Rev. Tom Albin is the Dean of The Upper Room Chapel in Nashville, Tennessee, since 1999.  The Upper Room, a global ministry of prayer and spiritual formation, is a part of Discipleship Ministries. An ordained elder in the Oklahoma Conference, Albin provides spiritual leadership, teaching and guidance for clergy and laity in various settings across the church. He was previously a faculty member at Boston University School of Theology and... Read More →



"Our Connectional Ministries: Restructuring Proposals"
avatar for Arthur McClanahan

Arthur McClanahan

President, United Methodist Association of Communicators
Art McClanahan is Director of Communications for the Iowa Conference, a position he has held since 2005.  He has been part of the United Methodist Communications team at every General Conference since 1984 – video from 1984-1996 and audio beginning in 2000-2012. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, McClanahan served churches in New York and Connecticut (NY Conference) for 30 years before moving to Iowa. In 2013 he was... Read More →

avatar for Frederick Brewington

Frederick Brewington

General Conference Delegate, New York Annual conference
avatar for Erin Hawkins

Erin Hawkins

General Secretary, Religion and Race
Erin M. Hawkins is General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race. A noted leader, Hawkins is a transformative voice for change and innovation within the church, initiating direct and authentic conversations about its future. Her leadership at GCORR has focused on developing the capacity of the church to be contextually relevant and to reach more people, younger people and more diverse people. A person of deep faith, Hawkins... Read More →

Clayton Oliphint

Speaker, North Texas



“Congratulations! You’re Going to General Conference. Now What? Telling the Story”
avatar for Danette Clifton

Danette Clifton

Communicator, North Alabama Conference
Danette Clifton is the Director of Communication for the North Alabama Conference. She has served on the conference staff since 1998. Over the past 17+ years she has guided the conference’s communication efforts as they have evolved from a monthly printed magazine to a coordinated combination of web, email, video and social media. Clifton earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Auburn University and a Masters of Religious... Read More →
avatar for Diane Degnan

Diane Degnan

Director of Public Information, Communications
As Director of Public Relations for United Methodist Communications, Diane Degnan oversees the development and execution of public relations initiatives to enhance a positive image of The United Methodist Church.  Named to the position in 2006, she is also responsible for media relations, social media and crisis communications.   Diane has nearly 25 years of experience working with the news media, and has trained and coached... Read More →
avatar for Mark Doyal

Mark Doyal

Communicator, Michigan Area Episcopal Office
Convener of the 2016 AC Area Program Committee
avatar for Dr. Larry R. Hygh, Jr.

Dr. Larry R. Hygh, Jr.

Director of Communication, California-Nevada Conference
Larry R. Hygh Jr. is the Director of Communications for the California-Nevada Conference. Prior to this post, Hygh has been a communicator for the General Board of Global Ministries. A fifth-generation Methodist, Hygh is a member of The Table United Methodist Church in Sacramento. He has served on the denomination’s Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century initiative, the General Commission on Communications, and the boards of... Read More →
avatar for Patrick Scriven

Patrick Scriven

Communicator, PNW Office of Connectional Ministries
Patrick Scriven serves as Director of Communications and Young People’s Ministry for the Pacific Northwest Conference, where he has worked since 2007. A seminary educated lay person, he is passionate about helping churches to reach new people, particularly when those churches are purposeful in calling forth disciples to transform their communities and the world. 


“Sing Praise to the Lord! The New United Methodist Hymnal”
avatar for Taylor Burton-Edwards

Taylor Burton-Edwards

Speaker, Discipleship Ministries
The Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards, an elder in the Indiana Conference, has served as Director of Worship Resources with Discipleship Ministries since 2005. He provides resourcing and training worldwide for lay and clergy leaders in vital United Methodist theology and practices of worship to glorify the Triune God and transform and sustain God’s people. He is also responsible for assisting in planning for and leading worship at General... Read More →
avatar for Brian K. Milford

Brian K. Milford

Book Editor, Chief Content Officer, United Methodist Publishing House
The Rev. Brian K. Milford is the Chief Content Officer and UMC Book Editor at The United Methodist Publishing House. Formerly, he was a District Superintendent, and Dean of the Appointive Cabinet in the Iowa Annual Conference.  He has served numerous churches, chaired jurisdictional and conference task groups, been a delegate to 2008 and 2012 General Conferences and the head of the Iowa Delegation in 2012.  He received his Master of Divinity... Read More →


avatar for Raggatha Rain Calentine

Raggatha Rain Calentine

Member, Native American International Caucus / Pen-Del Conference

James Kang


Cynthia Kent

Native American International Caucus



If you were unable to complete the Pre-General Conference Briefing EVALUATION during the event, please download the attached evaluation document, complete it and return to United Methodist Communications.

Email - ttanton@umcom.org

Mail - United Methodist Communications
 Attention:  Tim Tanton
P.O. Box 320
Nashville, TN 37202  

Friday January 22, 2016 5:15pm - Monday February 29, 2016 5:45pm