Casowasco’s Director’s Invitational is a four-day program designed to help young leaders better understand and grow their leadership skills. Over 13 years and 200 young leaders later, Director’s Invitational has been a turning point for many young people within The United Methodist Church in upstate New York. Youth have left Director’s Invitational with a clearer understanding of the kind of leader that they are, how they can continue to use their leadership skills in their local church, and how to better hear God’s call for the next step in their life and their vocation.
Participants must be nominated from someone within their congregation (typically a pastor), and the sponsoring church is responsible to pay the registration fee for the event. Ideal nominees 1) have showed leadership skills within their local congregation and/or community, and 2) would appreciate and benefit from further education and encouragement. Eligible alumni of the program may register, but are responsible for the fee themselves. Once we receive a nomination form, it will be reviewed and – if approved – the participant will receive a registration form in order to register themselves for the program.
Throughout the four-day program, sessions on leadership skills and their applicability to the local church setting will be balanced with small group discussions, teambuilding and communication exercises, and an off-site trip. Participants will be exposed to broad theological concepts and different faith traditions in this increasingly-diverse world. The off-site trip in particular is geared toward helping expose participants to a different socio-economic environment than they may be familiar with.
Each day, participants will begin with a Bible Study time developed around a particular leadership theme for the year. After this, there typically are sessions led by engaging speakers on different aspects of leadership. The day is rounded out with some free time on one of the Finger Lakes of New York, teambuilding and communication activities, and finishing with a worship experience. Small group times are spaced throughout each day. Meals are taken together at 8 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. The field trip to the Rescue Mission in Syracuse gives a glimpse into an environment with which few are familiar, with a collaborative ministry that’s operated in a different way than most local churches.
The underlying ethos of the program is to study traditional Biblical interpretations and cultural practices, examine spiritual gifts and talents, and reflect on how those gifts and talents can be used to extend justice to the world through leadership as part of the global Church. The program will culminate in a commissioning service wherein participants will be given a stole (symbolic of the yolk of Christ), and encouraged to return to their communities as a new leader. For some, this may mean teaching Sunday School to younger children or joining a committee or team at their church. For others, this may mean starting a letter-writing campaign to affect change within their church or community; the possibilities of this exploration are limitless!
Nominate a Young Person(Accepting nominations for youth ages 14-18)
Dates for 2016: August 7-11, 2016
Participants will have the opportunity to discover, explore, and develop their leadership abilities while discerning ways to lead.
Common goals for all participants:
For additional information about Director’s Invitational, please contact us.