The February 2, 2019 West District Day of Learning offers a keynote by Rev. Rob Rynders titled Creating and Maintaining Communities of Faith for the 21st Century: Learnings from The Orontes Project as well as a variety of workshops. Here is more information on three of those workshops.

People today are asking how is it that we make real connections with those who no longer do church the way we have traditionally done it? If we are called to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, what do we need to change in order to fulfill that call? Rob Rynders keynote will give insight into a generation of explorers who long for a spiritual connection beyond what has been the way we have always done it. Some might even call it “subversive.”

Rob Rynders is a United Methodist pastor specializing in church consulting and nonprofit consulting. He is the co-founder and previous co-pastor of City Square Church, an innovative United Methodist faith community in downtown Phoenix. He uses his strengths in strategic planning and visioning to connect people and ideas to each other, in order to make our communities and the world a better place. In 2012 Rob was honored with Claremont School of Theology’s Distinguished Alumnus award. He lives in Tucson, AZ with his wife and two sons.



Discipling Systems – Rev. Dave McPherson
If the purpose of The UMC is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” then we first need to know what a disciple is. And once a church knows, then how does a church “make” disciples? This workshop will deal with discipling systems. It will look at “membership” and “discipleship”. The workshop will also explore the processes Jesus and John Wesley used, and how to create a process for your church today.

McPherson, Rev. Dave

Dave McPherson has been the Director of New & Vital Faith Communities for the Desert Southwest for the last four-and-a-half years. Previously, he served as the Conference’s Director of Connectional Ministries. His last local church appointment was at North Scottsdale UMC. Dave has a passion for reaching new people and, like many others, has noticed a shift in how spiritual communities are being formed. One key shift has been the focus on discipleship more than membership. If we are going to continue being faithful to our mission, then we need to be more intentional about how we disciple one another.


Not My War – Rev. Tina Marie Rees
Have you ever found yourself in an unending conflict that you swore you would do anything to end … but just couldn’t find the way? The Anatomy of Peace offers us a sure path out of the wars we find ourselves caught in, but first we must learn to see how we feed the spirit of war so that it remains alive. Learn how it can truly be ‘not your war’ anymore.

Tina Marie Rees is a Licensed Professional Counselor and clergywoman who is the director of Practical Life Counseling in Chandler, AZ. Tina first encountered Anatomy of Peace when her daughter was helped by the Anasazi Foundation, a treatment center for troubled teens.  Tina and her husband Phil have served on the Advisory Board for the Anasazi Foundation since 2013. 

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