Imagine What’s NEXT: Nov. 9-11, 2012 St. Louis, MO

Imagine What’s NEXT is a new collegiate student event that will challenge and inspire United Methodist college students to consider and plan the next faithful steps for their vocations, their communities, the church, and the world.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE EVENT ON FACEBOOK!

Scheduled for Nov. 9-11, 2012, in St. Louis, Mo., the new event is organized by a launch team of college students, collegiate ministers, and young adult clergy and laity from across the United Methodist connection, and sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry.

NEXT will be held every two years.

“This event is an exciting opportunity for college and university students to experience a leadership development and spiritual formation event unlike any previously offered by the church,” said the Rev. Bridgette Young Ross, assistant general secretary for collegiate ministry at GBHEM. “The new format, speaker topics, and activities have been inspired by feedback from students. The anticipation for what’s next is growing!”

All United Methodist college students and collegiate ministers are encouraged to participate in NEXT for a weekend of fellowship, worship, and inspiration. Through a series of short talks, speakers and leaders will discuss innovative discipleship and will challenge students to consider their own next steps in their communities and through future vocations. Students and leaders will be engaged together in dynamic worship, imaginative play, and affinity-group discussions.

The Rev. Rudy Rasmus and Bishop Sally Dyck will open and close the event with worship and preaching.

Students, campus ministers, and religious, nonprofit, and business leaders who are engaged in creative discipleship are encouraged to apply to be speakers. For more information, contact Beth Ludlum at bludlum@gbhem.org.

NEXT is rooted in the tradition of Student Forum, the young adult leadership event that had occurred every year since the early 1990s. Scheduling – particularly holding the event on a campus on Memorial Day weekend – had created difficulties as it limited participation by college seniors who had graduated earlier in May, while many others were still in school until June. Other challenges around attendance and participant satisfaction inspired the United Methodist Student Movement’s leaders to re-imagine the future of the event, resulting in the change of time, location, and name.

The launch team includes members of the United Methodist Student Movement. One of the goals of the event is to re-imagine the role and goals of the UMSM, which for many years had been focused almost solely on organizing Student Forum.

NEXT will be held on alternate years from Exploration, the United Methodist event for young adults exploring a call to ordained ministry.

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