Two events: one message
Zeiders will address clergy & laity

By Annette Bender

Holston leaders are hoping to put clergy and laity on the same spiritual page this year by sharing a key speaker at Ministers Convocation in February and Transformation in April.

The Rev. Edwin Zeiders, president and chief executive officer of United Theological Seminary, will address spiritual leadership in Lake Junaluska, N.C., where clergy will gather Feb. 17-20 and laypersons will gather April 5-6.

Zeiders, who preached at Holston Annual Conference 2001, is a member of the Central Pennsylvania Annual Conference. United Theological Seminary is located in Dayton, Ohio.

"The idea is that clergy will go to Convocation, get fired up and go back to their laity. Then laity can go to Transformation and get fired up," said the Rev. Kim Goddard, director of the Wesley Institute, referring to Zeiders' appearance at two key Holston events. "We've been working on getting the same basic message out to church leaders."

This year's Ministers Convocation theme is "Where in the World is My Parish? Navigating From Our Spiritual Center."

In addition to Zeiders, leadership includes the Rev. Stephen Gunter, associate professor of evangelism at Candler School of Theology. Zeider will lecture on "21st Century Spiritual Leadership for the Church" on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Gunter will preach on Sunday and Monday evening.

About 300 Holston ministers are expected at this year's convocation, according to Goddard. In 2002, the convocation registered 50 more participants than the previous year, totaling about 300. Last year's key speaker was the Rev. William McClain, chair in preaching and worship at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Convocation brochures were mailed to Holston clergy shortly before Christmas. Participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible, since housing is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, visit or call the Wesley Institute office at (423) 928-2156.

At Transformation 2002, about 600 attended Holston's annual spiritual-growth weekend for laity. Separate programs for youth, children and adults will be offered. Brochures will be available in district offices by mid-January. For more information, contact Holston Lay Leader Bob Lockaby at (423) 756-5171 or, or Knoxville District Lay Leader Del Holley at (865) 609-9892 or


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