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Laity Convocation 2022

Location: Virtual

Laity Convocation 2022 Color Banner No Date

Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022

9 am - 12 noon

Via Zoom

"Hold Fast To The Mast"
Strengthening Our Spiritual Lives

ONLINE REGISTRATION closes Feb. 11 @ noon.

The focus of Laity Convocation 2022 is spiritual formation. In Romans 12, Paul tells us “Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.”  We can do that by forming and growing our spiritual self, so join us on February 12 to learn how and what you can do to grow your spiritual life.


  • Kara Lassen Oliver - Associate Publisher with The Upper Room
  • Rev. Dr. Regina Bridges Davis - Spiritual Clinical Counselor & Ordained UMC Deacon
  • George Groves - NIC United Methodist Men President
  • Members of 4 local congregations of the NIC sharing new and exciting ministries
    (Greenstone UMC:Chicago, Disciples UMC:Mount Morris, River Forest UMC and Roselle UMC)
  • Break out session to provide discussion and discernment

Questions? Contact Mark Manzi email

Help promote this event to your congregation!

  • Click here for the event flyer
  • Click here for a graphic formatted for slide decks (right-click to save as image)
  • Click here for a graphic sized for Facebook  (right-click to save as image)


Download the Flyer

Download the Program

Thumbnail Kara Oliver

Karen Lassen Oliver serves as the Associate Publisher of The Upper Room. After graduating with a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School (2000), Kara began working with the United Methodist Youth Organization. She then served two years as youth pastor at Belmont United Methodist Church (2003-2005), where she continues to be an active member. 

In 2009, Kara and her family moved to Malawi as volunteers in mission where she functioned as an educator, pastor, and grant writer. While in Malawi, Kara also began to work part-time with Discipleship Resources International (an initiative of Discipleship Ministries) as Publishing Coordinator. She continued that work after returning with her family to Tennessee and, in 2014, became DRI’s Director of Publishing Initiatives for the Central Conferences, managing 14 publishing teams and 40 DRI team leaders in twelve countries. In 2018, Kara began working for The Upper Room as Director of Spiritual Formation and Discipleship with responsibility to facilitate alignment and foster synergy among our ministries situated in the Center, transitioning to Executive Director of the Center for Christian Spiritual Formation. In January of 2022, Kara steps into the role of Associate Publisher supervising magazine, book, and multiplatform publishing.

Kara is an editor and published author in the area of spiritual practice. She is also gifted as a preacher and teacher, spiritual guide, and retreat leader.

Regin David Bridges

Rev. Dr. Regina Davis-Bridges has been fortunate to have a wide variety of professional experiences.
Currently she is in private practice ministry at Light for the Path Spiritual Clinical Counseling Services.   Her private practice ministry focuses on:
· Traditional and spiritual counseling for individuals, couples, and groups.
· Spiritual Guidance and spiritual direction.
· Energy Work/Healing/Reiki
· Dream Work
· Women's issues.
· Leadership coaching.
· Counseling and restorative work for persons in compassionate and helping professions.

In her professional life, Rev. Dr. Davis-Bridges worked in public schools for almost 30 years. During these years she served as Principal, Coordinator of Special Education, Coordinator of District Diversity Training Initiative, and  School Social Worker. She has been an Adjunct Faculty member at a local Community College. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Diversity Trainer. She has been an Ordained United Methodist Deacon since 2001.

Rev. Dr. Davis-Bridges is a presenter and speaker on a variety of topics spanning her experience in educational, faith, administration, counseling, academic, and social work settings.

Dr. Davis-Bridges has degrees from University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign  (B.A Psychology),  a Masters Degree in Social Work from University of Illinois-Chicago, a M.A. from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, and an M.A. in Educational Administration from Governors State University. She earned a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from National-Louis University.

Thumbnail George Groves

George Groves has been involved with the UMM for over 25 years and is currently president of the Northern Illinois Conference United Methodist Men, plus is a member of numerous conference committees and boards including the Board of Laity, Annual Conference Planning Committee, Nominations, Annual Conference and the UMFoundation of the NIC. George is a Certified Lay Servant and a Men’s Ministry Specialist.

George and his wife Chris live in Naperville and have been members of Community UMC, since 1987. At CUMC, George serves on multiple committees and is very involved in the life of the church.

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