Workshop Leaders

Joel Arvizu

Joel Arvizu is the Senior Pastor of Maryvale Bridge UMC in Phoenix, AZ.  He is happily married to his beautiful wife Elizabeth for 26 years and together they have four children. He has been a Christian for 33 years and a worship leader for 20 years, with two recordings. He has planted one church in Peoria, AZ, and a ministry training school in Nogales Mexico. Joel became a local pastor in 2020 and was appointed to Epworth UMC and Nuevo Pacto UMF in 2021, now one multi-cultural congregation with a bilingual service. This is the first bilingual church established in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference. He loves to be with his family, and likes music, movies, and amusement parks! 

Abigail Browka

Pastor Abigail Browka is the Creator and Curator of the Everyday Sanctuary mobile app and Podcast, a satisfying spiritual practice in 5 minutes or less, everywhere you are. After 15 years in local church ministry, Abigail was Lead Pastor as an Elder in the United Methodist Church when she felt God calling her to plant Everyday Sanctuary, a digital sanctuary of simple and clear satisfying spiritual practice that prioritizes seekers. “As the creator of Everyday Sanctuary, every day I write for people who are tired of religion but are deeply spiritual.”

Ryan Canaday
Rev. Ryan Canaday serves as Lead Pastor and Executive Director of FREE Spiritual Community in Denver, Colorado. FREE is a recovery community for Addicts, Loved Ones of Addicts, and Spiritual Refugees. Ryan and his wife, Tami, founded FREE in 2018 to break the silence of addiction and create space for healing, recovery, and spiritual connection. Ryan is active in recovery and has been sober since January 7, 2013. 

Luke Edwards
Luke Edwards is the Associate Director of Church Development for the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. He was the founding pastor of King Street Church, a network of fresh expressions in Boone, NC.  He grew up in an area of Western Massachusetts that was recently named the most post-Christian metropolitan area in the United States. Between his upbringing and his work in local, regional, and national levels of the Fresh Expressions movement Luke has a unique perspective into the future of the church in a post-Christian society.  He lives in Denver, North Carolina, where he enjoys listening to jazz vinyl and going for walks in the woods with his wife and daughters.

Tim Catlett
Tim Catlett currently serves as the Executive Director for the Office of New Faith Communities in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Prior to his current role, Tim served as a church planter, Executive Pastor, and then Lead Pastor for a multi-site church with four congregations including an Hispanic/Latinx worshiping community. Tim is committed to supporting the co-creation of more diverse and inclusive faith communities to help a new generation gather in communion with Jesus Christ.   

Flor Granillo

Rev. Flor Granillo is a planter, entrepreneur, and a visionary. After resigning her teaching career of 30+ years, she gave herself fully to the ministry in 2015. The year that marked a before and after in her life due to a great loss since then, she has dedicated herself to learning her new career, equipping and arming herself to serve others in a deeper way. Her call is to reach the most vulnerable and help them break cycles of poverty and marginalization. In the Dallas area she focused on helping immigrants, creating a faith based non/profit to help parents develop the vision of sending their children to college to break those cycles. Now, in the Phoenix area, as a Missional consultant, she continues to work hard with the same vision, but her focus is to help immigrants from various countries walk until they can stand for themselves.

Jerry Herships

Jerry was born and raised in Detroit Michigan. Following college, he moved to LA to seek his fame and fortune. He was lucky enough to work in Television, Film and Radio. Jerry was a standup comic for more than 30 years. He had spoken in front of more than a million people before he was 25. In 1989 he landed a writing contact with Jay Leno and was the house emcee at the Improv in Hollywood. He also learned comedy writing and performance at UCLA where he studied under Budd Friedman.

After successfully founding Afterhours Denver, Jerry was asked to be the Keynote speakers at the New Church Leadership Institute in Portland and was the Lead presenter at the National Church Developer Conference in Seattle. Following these events, he was a keynote speaker and presenter at conferences and conventions all over the country. 

Jerry received his B.S. in Broadcast Communications from Western Michigan University and his Masters of Divinity at Iliff School of Theology. In 2007, Jerry was given the Preaching award from Iliff School of Theology. In 2009, Jerry revived the first ever Innovation in Ministry Award from Iliff.  

In the past few years, Jerry was invited to lead the bi-yearly preaching workshops at the Fred Craddock Center. It was their largest attended seminar since Dr. Craddock’s passing. As a result of this, Jerry was invited by multiple Bishops to lead preaching seminars all over the country. Jerry has been the preaching professor for License Local Pastor school for the past seven years and trained more than 100 pastors from across the country. Jerry has been profiled for his work in both Denver Post and 5280 Magazines and has appeared on both Colorado Public Radio as well as NPR. Most recently, Jerry was asked to appear on Colorado Public Television to discuss his work with the homeless and to promote his most recent book, Rogue Saints. 

After Hours Denver, the faith community Jerry founded in 2008, teams with community partners to feed 700 people 365 days a week. To date they have fed more than 250,000 people. 

Jerry has written two books: LAST CALL, from serving drinks to serving God and ROGUE SAINTS: Spirituality for Good Hearted Heathens. Both books were published by Westminster John Knox. Rogue Saints rose to number one on the Denver Post bestsellers list for paperback non-fiction beating out Trevor Noah’s and (that notorious publicity hog) Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Probably for only about 48 hours but hey…) :) Jerry has been married for 30 years to his amazing wife Laura and his son Hudson recently graduated from Central Michigan University.

Kay Kotan

Kay defines her purpose as this: To Equip & Empower Leaders of Faith Communities How to Engage in More Effective Ministry. Kotan is the founder of You Unlimited, Marketplace Multipliers, The Greatest Expedition, and co-founder of Creation Incubator, – all entities that support and collaborate with ministry leaders for greater Kingdom impact. Kay is an accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation, a Certified Path 1 Coach, and once served on the faculty at Coaching4Clergy. As a passionate lay person, she has a banking background and has been a business owner for more than 25 years. Kotan has served as a church developer for conferences and worked with hundreds of churches, thousands of church leaders, multiple conferences, and dozens of judicatory leaders from across the country for more than a decade. Kay spends her time investing in leaders to help them discover and live into their fullest missional potential and effectiveness to reach people for Jesus Christ through facilitating workshops, keynoting, coaching, and creating resources (author of more than 20 books). She is most proud to be the wife of Bob for 30 years and the mother of their adult son, Cameron.

Jason Moore

Creativity, storytelling and visual communication are evidenced passions of Jason Moore throughout his more than two decades of designing dynamic resources, training, coaching, and consulting for churches of all sizes, styles, and means.  A childhood dream of becoming a Hollywood filmmaker shifted as Jason experienced a call to bring his gifted artistry to the church, joining the Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church staff in the 1990s. In 2020, as the global pandemic took root, Jason instinctively shifted his work, crafting a series of groundbreaking webinars on hybrid worship design. These trainings, which combine his specialties of church communications, guest readiness and creative worship, provide practical, results-oriented application, and are being utilized across the country in The United Methodist Church, seminaries, and ecumenical groups. In the secular world, Jason has collaborated with several Hollywood producers in film and television and has produced numerous book trailers for New York Times bestselling authors such as Ariana Huffington, Seth Godin, Robert Greene, Ryan Holiday and Mark Ecko. 

Jason, a graduate of The Modern College of Design, is author of 12 books, a frequent keynote speaker, and a sought-after trainer. His latest book BOTH/AND: Maximizing Hybrid Worship Experiences for In-Person and Online Engagement, a book on how to craft truly hybrid worship experience is an Amazon Best Seller. 


Patricia Peña

Rev. Peña was born in the Dominican Republic, spending most of her time between Florida, NY, and Massachusetts. She is an Ordained Elder of The United Methodist Church. Rev. Peña currently serves as Director of Diversity and Innovative community Engagement for Path1 at Discipleship Ministries.  She did her undergraduate studies in Nyack, NY, where she studied Pastoral Ministry and ESL teaching. After graduating from Nyack, Rev. Peña attended Boston University School of Theology and received an MDiv in 2009. Patricia has served UMC churches for 15 years, focused on revitalization, church restart, innovation, small groups, leadership development, and intergenerational, multicultural ministry. She has received many awards for her work. Her awards include Exemplary Dominican of the Year by the Dominican Festival in Boston, given by the Boston City Mayor. She also has received the National Harry Denman Evangelism Award and the One Matters Discipleship Award. 

She has served on the Board of Discipleship Ministries and the National Hispanic Plan.

Patricia loves learning about new cultures, traveling, and teaching. 

Jasper Peters

Rev. Jasper Peters is a United Methodist pastor and church planter serving Belong church in downtown Denver, Colorado. Before ministry, background is in technology & community and small development. Currently, he writes and speaks about issues of race, faith, justice, and pop culture. His work focuses on increasing the capacity of the church to explore, doubt, and serve-- creating safe and effective Christian community in a post-Christian world.


Michael J Scott

Pastor Michael Scott, Co-Founder, Creation Incubator, Inc., is a church planter having re-started one church and parachute started another church. He currently serves as senior pastor of The Table Blue Springs who also has a Children’s Table ministry with more than a hundred children and recently launched a second Children’s Table site. With a background in commercial construction and business management and a current residential and commercial real estate investor and developer, Michael brings his unique skills and experience blend to his ministry context making the launch and proof of concept of TheTable and the Children’sTable possible. Michael is not only an author and entrepreneur, but is the poster child for being the community networker having served as the past President of the Rotary, President-elect of the Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the Partnership for Student Success for the school district. Michael also serves on the Board of Directors for 1in6, a national nonprofit to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences live healthier, happier lives. Along with other community leaders, Michael launched the non-profit, RelaTable, to make farmhouse kitchen tables for children aging out of the foster system and setting up their first homes. Michael is married to Stacy and they have four children. 

Tyler Sit

Rev. Tyler Sit has had the immense pleasure of being the church planter of New City Church, a church led mostly by queer people of color. He is a lover of Minnesota, a United Methodist pastor, and the son of a Chinese immigrant. Tyler earned a BS in Communication Studies from Boston University and a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, and he has lived in four continents. He has formal training as a prison chaplain, community organizer, and social entrepreneur. When he is not at New City, you’ll find Tyler wandering around the Mississippi River. 

Kris Sledge

Kristopher Sledge loves being a husband, father, pastor, and friend! Kris was born and raised in central Pennsylvania and grew up attending a local United Methodist Church. Even though his biological family did not have a faith orientation, this church nurtured and cared for him as a young child, forming in him a deep love of God and people, and propelled Kris to be the person he is today. Kris is married to Hannah Pratt, and they welcomed their first child, Lydia Lou into the world in April 2021. 

Kris serves as lead pastor of The Journey Church, a three-year-old church plant in urban Harrisburg, PA. He remains humbled and grateful to be leading this diverse, inclusive, and Jesus-centered faith community that is intentional about creating space for all people to experience Jesus’ liberative spirit. Outside of ministry, Kris loves to travel and explore new places in the United States and around the world. Thus far, he has visited 6 out of the 7 continents, and has a goal of traveling to 50 countries before the age 50! If he's not traveling, Kris enjoys laughing with friends, reading at local coffee shops, enjoying craft beer, and playing with his daughter! 

Bio of The Journey: 
The Journey Church is a fun and life-giving three-year old multi-ethnic church plant in urban Harrisburg, PA, where our desire is to help people find belonging, experience the liberative spirit of Jesus, seek justice in the world, and radically love our neighbors. We believe that through the empowerment and love of the Holy Spirit, we are able to make a space where all are welcome, address difficult topics in love, acknowledge our differences and find deep belonging regardless of our differences. We celebrate the diverse nature of our community that spans generations, ethnicities, socio-economic status, sexual orientations, gender identities, and spiritual backgrounds. We remain intentional about spiritual formation in and outside the church walls, including inspiring multi-ethnic worship, community groups that foster deep belonging, and a shared commitment to seeking the welfare of our city.


Nathan Webb

Nathan Webb is the nerd pastor and church planter of Checkpoint Church in North Carolina. He is a passionate advocate for the nerd, geek, and gaming communities, and works to create a welcoming and inclusive space for them in his church. Nathan is married to Logan, and together they have two daughters, Norah and Quinn. Nathan is dedicated to his faith, his family, and his community, and is committed to helping others connect with God in meaningful and authentic ways. 


Laura Wittman 

Laura Wittman is the planting pastor of The Mills Church, a reconciling and affirming United Methodist New Faith Community in Rocky Mount, NC. She is an ordained elder in the UMC with 16 years of ministry experience. She is married to Nathan Wittman, who is also a United Methodist Pastor. Together they have three children, Cameron, Allen and Ezra. As a family they love watching Star Wars, going to comic-cons and playing video games. Laura has a passion for collaborative work with community members and churches and believes that our best work can be done when we are willing to share ideas and grow together.


Sam Yun

Also known as P. Sam, Rev. Samuel Yun is currently the planting pastor for EMBRACECHURCH, a new faith community in Northern California that is reaching mostly unchurched and dis-churched individuals with "the hunch that life with God is better than life without God". His duties include preaching, vision casting, raising up leaders, counseling and setting the primary spiritual heartbeat of the community. He is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary (M. Div. 1995), has been in the ordained ministry for 28 years, and is also serving as the Chairperson of the Core Team for the California-Nevada Annual Conference. P. Sam is father of two, lover of all sports with a net, follower of Jesus, and immensely broken but constantly healed and strengthened by the love and grace of God. When not engaged in his all-time favorite activity (preaching!), he loves to spend extended times with his two amazing sons, Philip and Evan, watching marathon episodes of The Office, engaging in a little Yun family jam session or pretending to be a baller in the gym.

And many more!