Covenanters Praise Midwinter Lineup of Speakers

CHICAGO, IL (November 9, 2011) – More than 1,000 Covenant ministers are expected to attend the 2012 Midwinter Conference at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, which will run January 30 to February 3.

In response to feedback offered by past attendees, the conference has been largely revamped to enable more peer learning experiences, roundtable discussions, and more interaction during morning worship services.

The conference will continue a six-year focus on the Covenant Affirmations. This year it is “Living Our Affirmations: The Church as a Fellowship of Believers.”

Some of the scheduled speakers may be unfamiliar to attendees, but Covenanters who have heard them say they are thrilled with the selections.

Mark Labberton is associate professor of preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary and director of the Lloyd John Ogilvie Institute of Preaching.

“Mark Labberton is one of the most gifted preachers I’ve encountered in years,” says Jodi Fondell, co-pastor of Immanuel Church, an international congregation in Stockholm, Sweden.

“I have rarely found myself as challenged as I was by Mark’s teaching when I was privileged to hear him at an International Pastors Conference in Paris, France, last spring,” Fondell adds. “His engaging and highly developed oratory skills keep you on the edge of your seat, hungering for more of what he is saying. I was thrilled to see that he would be sharing with us at Midwinter and feel we are very privileged to have him with us at the conference.”

L. Gregory Jones is senior strategist for leadership education at Duke Divinity School and vice president and vice provost for global strategy and programs at Duke University.

“I think ‘the church as a fellowship of believers’ is the perfect topic for Greg,” says Rebekah Eklund, a Covenant minister who is enrolled in the ThD program at Duke. “Anyone who knows Greg knows that he loves the church of Jesus Christ. He is passionate about its possibilities and about how it can extend the beautiful work of God into the world.”

Bishop Vashti McKenzie is the first woman to be elected bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

“Bishop Vashti McKenzie is an innovative, inspiring, trend-setting pastoral leader who brings a holistic message not only to her constituency but to the body of Christ at large,” says Robert Owens, superintendent of the Southeast Conference.

Also speaking will be Covenant leaders President Gary Walter and John Teter, founding pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church in Long Beach, California. Teter also is evangelism team leader with the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism.

The application deadline for scholarships is December 1. Scholarships are available for credentialed, active Covenant pastors and chaplains (military and institutional), as well as retired Covenant pastors who are not currently serving in a paid ministry position.

Primary registration runs through December 15. The deadline for making hotel reservations is January 4, 2012. Discounted rates will be available until then, or until the reserved block of rooms are filled, whichever comes first.

For more information, visit the Midwinter website.

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