Outreach Leaders Share Best Practices

One hundred Adventist Community Services (ACS) leaders from Washington, Oregon, Upper Columbia and Northern California conferences came together in early March for an outreach leadership conference in Federal Way, Wash.

These leaders had opportunities to worship God, network with fellow leaders, learn best practices, dialogue with experts and dream about new ideas.

"The conferences in the North Pacific Union are seeking to work more together," says Byron Dulan, Washington Conference outreach ministries director and event coordinator. "We need to intentionally work together to help each other and the community."

The three-day conference featured five keynote sessions and 30 breakout sessions with presenters such as Joe Watts, North American Division (NAD) and Southwest Union disaster response director; Lilya Wagner, Philanthropic Services for Institutions director; Marilyn Renk, NAD elder care ministry coordinator; Jason Worf, Northwest Mission Institute director; and local ministry leaders.

The breakout sessions covered topics such as elder care, greeter ministry, literature evangelism, health ministries, disaster response, food and clothing banks, prison ministry, financial empowerment, community surveys, fundraising, board development, community gardens, and more.

This outreach leadership conference provided opportunities not only to learn, but to network and to give feedback. Attendees challenged each other, for example, to connect more with community organizations to form better partnerships and develop good rapport.

During a question-and-answer panel session, the audience raised the topic of the "graying" of Adventist Community Services and Dorcas Ministry. The panel of outreach ministry experts suggested finding ways to involve youth in service days and promoting intergenerational interaction.

"You can come up with programs and plans," says Sung Kwon, NAD ACS national executive director, "but they won't change the world. People change the world. Engage people. Cultivate people. Equip and develop people."

May 01, 2012 / Washington Conference
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Heidi Martella, Washington Conference communication director