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The Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware Conferences are offering training for youth and children’s ministry leaders, and they have offered to include leaders from the Virginia Conference.
Please note this is not a VAUMC event, but we wanted to share the opportunity with you.


Training & Retreat for Youth & Children’s Ministry Leaders

March 24-25, 2023
Wesley Freedom UMC
961 Johnsville Rd.
Sykesville, MD 21784

Youth and children’s ministry leaders need to be rooted, renewed and take time for spiritual uplift and restoration. Spend two days with other Youth and Children’s Ministry Leaders as we get back to basics and learn best practices from each other and recognized experts in this ministry. Come for retreat, relaxation, learning, and networking.  

Early Bird Registration through March 10: $ 100.00
Regular Registration March 11-March 17: $125.00




5:30- 6:30 p.m. Check-in
6:30 p.m. Welcome (Sign up for evening activities)
6:45 p.m. Dinner & Devotions
7:30 p.m. Rooted” 

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6–7

  • Rev. Tony Love, Assistant to the Bishop, Baltimore-Washington Conference 
8:45 p.m. Evening Activities – Coffee, Tea, & Hot Chocolate Bar; Paint/Art; Games
8:00 a.m. Check-in
8:30 a.m. Morning Devotions (Light refreshments, Coffee, Tea, & Hot Chocolate Bar available)
9:15 a.m. Renew”

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

  • Rev. Tony Love, Assistant to the Bishop, Baltimore-Washington Conference 
10:45 a.m. Workshop 1: “Youth Ministry Crash Course– Rebuilding Youth Ministries post Pandemic”

We are all rebuilding. This workshop will focus on what it takes to rebuild youth 

ministry with practical tips and basic wisdom that you can put into practice tomorrow. Whether you are part-time or full-time or a volunteer (amazing volunteers!) this will help you recognize how the game has changed.

  • Presenter: Chris Wilterdink, Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship, Director of Young People’s Ministries, Discipleship Ministries


Workshop 2: “Is there a New Normal? Kids Ministry Crash course- Rebuilding Children’s Ministry for a post Pandemic”

Is there a new norm?  Ministry in the post-pandemic world looks a lot different for most of us. In this breakout, we’ll consider how a shift in perspective may help us engage kids and their grown-ups in new and fun ways!

  • Presenter: Cathy Vitek, Pastor of Children & Families Ministries at Bethany UMC, Ellicott City, MD 
12:00 p.m. “Participant Round Table Discussions Over Lunch”

  • Facilitator: Chris Wilterdink
    Attendees share challenges and successes, and brainstorm ideas and actions together
1:00 p.m. Break
1:15 p.m. Workshop 1: “Welcoming the Wonder”

This workshop will offer a chance to practice play and wonder using an abridged Godly Play learning experience. We will also have time to consider together the importance of welcoming questions as a foundation to children’s ministry that helps children make meaning in their lives. 

  • Presenter: Rev. Dr. Emily Peck, Professor of Christian Formation and Young Adult Ministry and Co-Director of the Certificate in Children and Youth Ministry and Advocacy


Workshop 2: “Interactive Games That Teach with Camping and Retreat Ministry”

  • What games do we want to teach children and youth? How do we engage children and youth with our interactive games? 

Presenters: Rev. Jenna Johnson, Assistant Director, West River Center
  Meredith Petty, Program Coordinator, Manidokan Camp & Retreat Center

2:30 p.m. Break
2:45 p.m. “Restore” Sending Forth
 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12.

Keynote Info:

Rev. Antoine ‘Tony’ Love

Within the Baltimore-Washington Conference, the Rev. Antoine Love is frequently called upon to pray when leaders feel the need to turn to God for comfort, assurance, or vision. As assistant to Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling, Love is known for his deep-abiding faith that connects people with God and one another.

Entering into ministry in 1992, Love pastored several Maryland churches, including Corkran UMC in Temple Hills; Zion UMC in Lexington Park; Covenant Point – Lakeside Cooperative Parish in Waldorf; the Journey of Faith Church, a new cross-racial United Methodist congregation in southern Maryland; and Wesley Freedom UMC in Eldersburg. His innovative spirit of renewal and revival also led him to serve as the Baltimore-Washington Conference Director of Vibrant Communities for several years, before being appointed as the Assistant to the Bishop. 

He has also served on several committees throughout the denomination, including chairing the Baltimore-Washington Conference Board of Trustees and as executive director of the Northeastern Jurisdiction’s Multi-Ethnic Center for Ministry. He now chairs Black Methodists for Church Renewal.

A noted preacher and teacher, Love’s ministry centers around transcending the differences that separate people and creating Beloved Community.

He holds dear to his heart the words from Lamentations 3:22-23: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord unto me.”

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