The Gathering is the annual gathering of appointed and retired pastors in the Desert Southwest Conference. It is for ALL appointed pastors: elders, deacons, provisional elders and deacons, local pastors, laypersons assigned, retired pastors— you are ALL invited! Even if you are a member of another Conference or not even UM— if you are part of our churches, you are invited! Those ordained are expected to attend.

The Gathering will be held on January 22-24, 2019, at Picture Rocks, Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson, Arizona. We will begin Tuesday after lunch, at 2:00 PM with worship. We will end with worship and lunch on Thursday. We will worship, meet as The Orders, be challenged by our guest speaker, eat and play together. In addition, Bishop Bob will lead us on Thursday morning in conversation around the Holy Huddles and the special General Conference that will convene in February.

Registration is now live online

This year, we are reducing the price for those registering for the full three-day event. Those who register after January 1 will have a $50 late fee added to your registration. You do NOT need to pay when you register. If you want to pay for it in next year’s Continuing Education budget at your church, then select the “pay by check” option when you register and send in a check in the new year.


This year, we are excited to welcome Dr. Luther Smith as our main speaker. Dr. Smith is a retired professor of Church and Community at Emory University and Candler School of Theology. He is a member of the CME Church, and his daughter and son-in-law are UMC pastors. He is a scholar of Howard Thurman and Christian spirituality, especially incorporating dimensions of the contemplative life and social activism. He has been a professional mediator for court cases and other avenues including the Pentagon. He wrote a book on Intentional communities—how they can be instructive for the institutional church, and how the institutional church can inform those who want to live radical faith. He formed Interfaith Children’s Movement and is a leader in the Pan-Methodist group for Children and Poverty. Here’s a biography from Candler: http://candler.emory.edu/faculty/emeriti-profiles/smith-luther.html

More information about Dr. Smith’s topic and the schedule will be available in Conference publications before The Gathering. For now, register here: https://desertsouthwestconference.campbrainregistration.com

If you have questions, contact Lynn Bartlow, Chair of the Order of Elders, lbartlow@gmail.com or 928-526-1397. If you have technical difficulties getting registered, email Dina Reid, who can do magic for us! dreid@dscumc.org

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