ROOTED 2022  
WORKSHOP PRESENTERS

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Kirsten Knox

Senior Director of Ministry Partnerships: Youth Ministry Institute

Kirsten served 20 years as a youth minister. She served at her last church for ten years and has been with YMI for the past ten years. She has experience working in small and large churches, including on a full-time and part-time basis. In addition, Kirsten has served students and families as a social worker. Kirsten holds a Bachelor\'s of Arts degree from Asbury University in Christian Ministries and is a graduate of YMI.

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Emily Felgenhaur

Director of Youth Ministries - FUMC Lakeland, FL

Emily currently serves at First United Methodist Church of Lakeland as the Director of Youth Ministries. She has been a full time Youth Minister for 15 years and is a graduate of Youth Ministry Institute. She has a chocolate lab 2 year old dog named Cubby after the Chicago Cubs (her home town). She loves to laugh and have fun with her ministry peers.

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Alison Van Duyne

Co-Director and Director Student Minstry from 2002-Present:

Director of Modern Worship from 2018-Present

St. Paul's UMC, Largo, FL

Happily married to Bobby Van Duyne for 20 years and a proud mother to Noah, 16, and Joshua, 13.

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Rev. Joel Pancoast

Co-Director: Gator Wesley Foundation, Gainesville, FL

Conference Director of Young People's Ministry

Joel is a Licensed Local Pastor in the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Joel married his best friend Heather in 2001. They have two daughters, Elliot and Norah. Joel grew up in Ocala, FL and graduated from UF in 1999. Joel’s call into full time ministry has taken him through Youth Ministry, Camping Ministry, and now serving alongside college students in Gainesville, FL.

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Brian Lawson

Director of Student Development: Youth Ministry Institute

Brian is a 16+ year youth ministry veteran, host of the Making Sense of Ministry Podcast, and works to see youth and children\'s ministers succeed. He holds a Master of Ministry with a focus on organizational culture, team-based leadership, change, conflict, and peace-making from Warner University. In addition to his degrees from Warner, he studied Christian Education at Asbury Theological Seminary.

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Kali Grenus

Programming Coordinator: Warren Willis United Methodist Camp and Conference Center

Kali has been working in local United Methodist churches for 10 years. She grew up attending First UMC of Kissimmee and graduated from Florida Southern College with a BA in Religion. Kali spent a couple of years as the Youth Director at First UMC of LaGrange, Georgia, before returning to Florida in 2016 to serve as the Children and Youth Director at First UMC of High Springs.
In the summer of  2021, Kali joined the Warren Willis Staff and is excited to be a part of the program team supporting church leaders by providing quality programming, retreats and summer camps for the Florida Annual Conference.
Kali and her furchild Onyx, enjoy traveling and hiking as often as they can, as well as spending time with family in Kissimmee. 

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Kelly Minter

Mental Health Counselor: St. John's County Schools

CCYM Coordinator: Florida Annual Conference of the UMC

Kelly is a 20 year veteran of youth ministry, on a local church and conference level. She is also a Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern, working in private practice for Anchored Counseling in North East Florida. Kelly\'s counseling focus is teens, families, and those who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. She publishes "Ask a Therapist" Videos, available on YouTube and Instagram.

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Rev. Michael LeBlanc

Pastor of Shepherds Community UMC since July 2021

Rev. Michael LeBlanc Pastor Michael has been the pastor of Shepherds Community UMC since July 2021. It’s the coolest church on the planet and don’t even get him started talking about it unless you’ve got an hour or two. Before starting at Shepherds, he spent 10 years in youth ministry. He also serves as the adjunct professor of Youth Ministry at Florida Southern College. He was born in Boston but was raised in Polk County. Michael is a graduate of Iliff School of Theology in Denver. He is passionate about people and helping them know Jesus. Michael believes the church is how the world will change and he can’t wait to see it happen. Michael is married to Amanda and they have a six year old named Annabelle who loves princesses and riding her bike.

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Rev. Brittany Leclair

Co-Cultivator Fresh Expressions in the North Central District

Pator Southwest UMC and Micanopy UMC

My name is Brittany Leclair and I'm a local pastor in the Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. I'm currently pastoring two rural/small churches and serving as Co- Cultivator of Fresh Expressions in the North Central District (Gainesville, Fl). Prior to becoming a local pastor, I served on staff as Minister of Children and Families at First Church Port Orange. I'm a life long Methodist who is passionate about the local church and cultivating new forms of church for those who will likely never step foot in the doors of our churches! I can't wait to chat with you about how you're forming relationships with those in your community!

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Savannah Rogers

Director of Youth Ministries FUMC Orlando

Savannah Rogers is currently the Director of Youth Ministries at First United Methodist Church of Orlando and has been in youth ministry for 8 years. Savannah graduated from Florida Southern College with a BA in Religion and a concentration in Youth Ministry, and is also a YMI alum. She enjoys traveling and trying to keep her plants alive.

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Rev. Christy Holden

Director and Founder of Gulf Coast Wesley 

Rev. Christy Allen Holden, is the founder of Gulf Coast Wesley Foundation, Spiritual Wellness Coach, and a professor of Contemplative Practices. She leads the Young Adult ministry of UMsConnected for the Florida and Western North Carolina Conferences, and has served for the last 15 years as a guide to those exploring a call to ordained ministry.

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Dr. Elizabeth Dumville

Psychology Resident

Licensed Mental Health Counselor-Supervisor

Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor

I work in private practice in Lakeland at Family Psychological Services of Lakeland. We are a child and family focused practice. I have had the pleasure of providing individual, sibling, and family therapy for toddlers, children, and adolescents. I use a collaborative approach in therapy and psychological testing to assist the child and family with copings skills and resources to build resiliency for the child and the family unit to persevere through life’s storms. I have extensive training in attachment theory, traumatic grief and loss, single incident and complex trauma, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, anxiety, depression, and children of high-conflict divorce. I also provide expert witness services with the 10th Judicial District with experience in family, criminal, and dependency court. I am certified as a Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor with the Association of Play Therapy (APT) and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Level 1 & II Training. I am affiliated with Association of Play Therapy, American Psychological Association, and American Psychology Law Society.

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Cristi Moore

Director of Children's Ministies at FUMC Lakeland

Cristi Moore has been serving in children's ministry for the last 25 years and truly feels this is her lifelong calling. She is currently the Director of Children's Ministries at First United Methodist Church of Lakeland. Mom to 4 children, Ammie to 5 grandchildren, wife to Bill and puppy mom to Baxter, their Goldendoodle, are some of the other title's she enjoys!

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Rebekah Saveland

Director of Youth Ministries - Trinity UMC Gainesville

Rebekah loves teaching the Bible to young people, sharing spiritual practices with them, and seeing students experience God in new ways.

 

Born in Western North Carolina, Rebekah moved to Brunswick, Georgia when she was two years old. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Georgia Southern University and a Master of Divinity from Emmanuel Christian Seminary. Rebekah studied in Mexico as an exchange student during college. The time in college and seminary were some of the most fun and formative years of her life as she explored God’s call on her life into full-time vocational ministry. Full-time ministry has included serving as a youth minister as well as in college ministry. 

 

Rebekah and her husband, Alex, a nurse at Shands, have a daughter, Elena. They also have two doggy fur babies, Harvest and Jovie. Their home is full of love, Disney princess toys, and dog hair. For fun, Rebekah listens to audiobooks and podcasts, watches movies, goes to Universal, and enjoys anything related to Harry Potter. She also likes to go on adventures with her family.

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Heather Lowry

Behavior Resource Teacher - Newberry Elementary School

Heather has served in public education for 17 years. She has taught third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades and currently is the Dean at Newberry Elementary School in Newberry, Florida. Heather has her Bachelor's Degree in Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University. Heather has been married to her husband Levi for almost 22 years. They have two teenagers, Addyson who is 17 and Keegan who is 15. She loves music and enjoys singing, spending time at theme parks with her family, and kayaking down the river.

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Rev. Macon Armistead

Minister of Congregational Care

Coronado Community United Methodist Church

I am a provisional deacon in the Florida Annual Conference. I currently serve as the Minister of Congregational Care at Coronado Community UMC in New Smyrna Beach. I am a certified spiritual director and I serve on the conference's Shade and Fresh Water Team. I have previously worked with high school and college age students as the Director of the Huntingdon Leadership Academy, a Lilly Endowment funded residency program for youth and young adults to discern their calling and explore areas of ministry. I hold a degree in Youth Ministry from Huntingdon College, a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School, and I am currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary where I am researching the impacts of Christian deconstruction in young people fostering adaptive spirituality.

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Theresa Reiter

Director of Youth Ministry - FUMC Auburndale, FL

Theresa has been in ministry over 40 years working with all ages and denominations. She is a writer, ministry consultant, and part time ninja. Over the past three years she worked as the director of marketing for home health company and focused her ministry on senior adults during the pandemic. She is married to the smartest man she knows, a Gator mom and serves as the Director of Youth at First United Methodist Church in Auburndale.

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Faye Umble

Director of Children's Ministry - Community UMC Fruitland Park

Faye has been working on the Community Team since 2007. She oversees all of their programs for children through the 6th grade. A few of the many programs she oversees is our Tutoring program, Wonderful Wednesdays, and our Sunday Night Connect program.

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Rev. Jad Denmark

Minister of Congregational Life - St. Lukes UMC Orlando

Jad’s undergraduate degree is in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Philosophy and Religion from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. where Jad could surf and play tennis. He was born into a family of United Methodists – his father and elder sister are Ministers in the Florida Conference of the UMC – where justice, mercy and inclusion of all, were understood as the work of Christians, and the expression of the grace and love of Jesus Christ. Jad spent 13 years in the Florida Conference as a Youth Minister, primarily in Ft. Lauderdale and Clearwater, FL., before attending seminary. While in seminary, he was a member of Candler’s Sacred Worth Community and the Evangelical Society. In both groups he worked to build bridges of acceptance and inclusion through the power of Christ’s love.

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Rev. Madeline Luzinski

Director of Pastoral Care at our

Florida United Methodist Children's Home

Madeline studied religion and psychology at Florida Southern College (Go Mocs!) before attending seminary at Duke Divinity School. She is an ordained deacon in the Florida Conference, and has been serving in her role at the Children’s Home for 6 years. Madeline is passionate about spreading trauma –informed theology throughout the land, and making space for people who need to heal from spiritual trauma. Madeline’s passions have led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work, which she plans to graduate with in May 2023 (God willing). Madeline enjoys traveling with her husband, reading, trying new foods, and making up nonsensical songs about her dog.

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Greg Rusch

Director of Youth Ministry - Grace UMC Lithia, FL