Focus 2009 Promises to be a Family Affair - King's Way Classical Academy

Focus 2009 Promises to be a Family Affair

Nashville, Tenn. (Vocus) May 6, 2009

When Focus 2009 ( meets in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 21-24, 2009, it will be the destination event for church leaders who work with children.

Sponsored by the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), the premiere event for people engaged in ministries with young children, Focus 2009 has something for everyone.

Focus 2009, held every four years, is the training event for local church staff and laity involved with children’s ministries, including Sunday school teachers and weekday ministry staff, district and conference staff, coordinators of children’s ministries and clergy.

Begun 30 years ago in response to the International Year of the Child, the theme for Focus 2009 is “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” based on Psalm 139.

The event is designed to help early childhood educators stay current by bringing together the people who are doing the research, in a variety of areas, with people who are working with children.

Pre-conference workshops slated for July 20, are also suitable for early childhood educators in public, parochial and home school settings, and for preschool educators, center directors and child care providers.

Learn to Play and Tame the Tube

Prior to the start of the conference, Focus 2009 includes a day of deeper learning that gives participants extended time with presenters in specific areas of child development, weekday preschool and current research. CEU’s are available.

Among the key presenters for the pre-conference workshops are:

Dr. David Elkind, noted lecturer and author of “The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon,” “All Grown Up and No Place to Go,” “Miseducation,” and most recently the “Power of Play.”
Christy Prulhiere, PBS Ready to Learn, will present a full-day seminar for preschool directors, which includes “Tips for Taming the Tube,” and “Hardwired for Success: A look at the brain’s circuitry and the adult role in connecting and creating those circuits.”
Gretchen Combs and Quenetta Cox of the Developmental Learning Center, First UMC, Dallas, Texas, will lead a half-day seminar “Weekday Preschool Ministry for New Preschool Directors.”
Lynne Paredes, United Methodist Association of Preschools, will lead a half-day seminar “Weekday Preschool Ministry for Seasoned Preschool Directors.”
It’s a family affair! (

While participants engage in best practices for ministry with children, their own children may participate in developmentally appropriate, faith forming and fun activities in a safe, loving environment.

Activities will include “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” a Vacation Bible School-like program,” for all children; visits to the Children’s Museum for children and youth; and a pilgrimage in Indianapolis for youth.

In addition to time for music, art and play, all children and youth are welcome to attend worship services, Family Fun Night and the evening event a t the Children’s Museum.

Inspiring Preachers

The preachers for the conference include:

Bishop Minerva G. Carcano, Desert Southwest Conference;
The Rev. Dr. Leanne Ciampa Hadley an ordained United Methodist elder and president and founder of First Steps Spirituality Center;
The Rev. Dr. Renita J. Weems, a Bible scholar and elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will also be present as a preacher and workshop leader; and
The Rev. Dr. James H. Ritchie Jr. from the Western Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference.

Past events have brought together 600-1200 persons from around the country. Past events have brought together 600-1200 persons from around the country to attend innovative workshops, unique worship experiences, inspiring preachers and speakers, relevant resources, and networking opportunities to support their work in creating, renewing and revitalizing ministries locally and globally.

For more information or registration details, please visit the Focus 2009 Web site at or contact Melanie Gordon.

GBOD’s mission is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, GBOD is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. Visit for more information or call the Media Relations Office toll free at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 7017.


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