Training Session Planned for Prayer Ministry to Support General Conference


GBOD — A national Prayer Ministry Training session for all who are helping to make prayer the foundation of the 2012 General Conference will be offered by The Upper Room Ministries on Aug. 27 in Orlando.

Rev. Tom Albin, dean of The Upper Room Ministries, a division of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), said the training session comes in response to the call from Bishop Larry Goodpaster, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, to pray for the General Conference, which will convene next year in Tampa.

 “We want to engage the entire United Methodist Church around the world in pray for God’s will, to be done God’s way, and in God’s time,” said Albin, who is co-chair of the Prayer Support Team.

 The six-hour training session for prayer leaders from Annual Conferences, Districts and local churches from around the nation will be hosted by St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 4851 S. Apopka Vineland Road in Orlando, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 27.

“This day of training will equip participants to organize and lead prayer events in their Annual Conferences, Districts and local churches,” said Frances Jennings, chair of the Florida Annual Conference Spiritual Formation Task Team and co-chair of the Prayer Support Team. “They will also learn about the variety of ways they can engage in prayer for their own delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences.”

Cost of the training session is $25 per person and advanced registration is required via the online site at the Florida Annual Conference: To reserve a hotel room near the host church at a special rate, contact the Hampton Inn at (407) 345-1112.

“There is the potential for significant change to take place at this General Conference, more than any time in my life, and there is no consensus about what the changes should be,” Albin said. “I am convinced that earnest, honest prayer and intercession are needed in order for the elected delegates to hear God’s voice and discern God’s direction for the UMC.”

During the training event, participants will learn about:

  • A Prayer Website maintained by GBOD contains information, guidance and suggestions to help church leaders and others pray together in new and meaningful ways. The site is available at:
  • A Prayer Guide called “50-Days of Prayer for the General Conference” for the 40 days before the event and the 10 days the Conference will be in session. This guide will be available at for every United Methodist to download in one of the official languages of the Conference beginning March 1, 2012.
  • A Prayer Room at the Tampa Convention Center site that will be a sacred place of beauty, peace and prayer for delegates, visitors and guests during the General Conference. Within the prayer room, sacred spaces will provide settings for multi-sensory prayer experiences. 
  • A Prayer Ministry where trained volunteers will serve as “prayer delegates” to pray with and for the needs of elected delegates, visitors and guests.
  • Spiritual Guides, who are trained spiritual directors, will be present in Tampa to provide an experience of holy listening and to help those desiring assistance in discernment and holy conferencing.

For more information about the Prayer Ministry Training session, contact Albin by phone toll free at (877) 899-2780 or by email at

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 Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.

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