WASHINGTON, D.C. — Youth group and young adult leaders are invited to attend a three-day “In Focus” familiarization event, July 23-25, about United Methodist Seminars on National & International Affairs. The program will introduce the seminars, which are custom-designed to meet attendee requests, and will explain how to organize and lead a group for these tailored study experiences in the nation’s capital.

All seminars are conducted at the United Methodist Building, which is across the street from the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court.

Nearly 2,000 people have attended more than 100 UM Seminars during the past five years. Many groups from across the United States have returned repeatedly to take part in the decades-old program. In 2013 alone attendees came from 15 states and the District of Columbia.

Engage issues

The UM Seminars program is about learning, experiencing and engaging around issues affecting communities. Seminar activities include experiential exercises, small group discussions and opportunities to express what you’ve learned in various art forms. Authorities on subjects that participants select are invited to share information. Often, seminar participants also visit with members of Congress.

At the In Focus event, attendees will learn about the Seminar Program by experiencing a seminar firsthand.

The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS), which manages UM Seminars, will provide lodging, food and seminar materials at no charge for the first 15 persons to register. A $75 registration fee will be charged for all others. Travel costs to and from Washington, D.C., are the attendees’ responsibility.

Experiential education

Attendees at this “In Focus” familiarization event will:

  • Engage in experiential education focused on the intersection of faith and social justice;
  • Participate in sample simulations and exercises designed specifically for youths and young adults to connect social issues, public policy, and faith;
  • Meet and interact with GBCS staff, community advocates and leaders in the nation’s capital.
  • Understand the importance of engaging with your elected officials on issues of justice informed by faith;
  • Network with other church leaders and educators from around the country;
  • Learn how to plan a seminar experience.

This familiarization opportunity is for persons who have not previously led a group for a seminar. To be eligible to participate, registrants must agree to lead a group to participate in a seminar within the next 14 months.

The seminar will begin in the morning on Wednesday, July 23. Programming will conclude by 5 p.m. Friday, July 25.


Registration is limited. Deadline to register is July 3.

To register or for more information, contact Aimee Hong, director for Seminar Design, via email atahong@umc-gbcs.org or phone (202) 488-5649, or Dave Johnson, Seminar designer, djohnson@umc-gbcs.org or (202) 488-5644.

The General Board of Church & Society is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. Prime responsibility of the board is to seek implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements on Christian social concerns of the General Conference, the denomination’s highest policy-making body. The board’s primary areas of ministry are Advocacy, Education & Leadership Formation, and United Nations & International Affairs. It has offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City.

Contact: Wayne Rhodes, Director of Communications
General Board of Church & Society of The United Methodist Church
(202) 488-5630 / wrhodes@umc-gbcs.org

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