"What are you looking for?"
Inspiration? Ideas? Hope? A new direction? Whatever you're searching for in your ministry, others are too. Let's be curious together.
"Why are you looking for the living amongst the dead?"
Drained? Need new life in your programs or yourself? Life-giving opportunities for answers await you.
"Who is my neighbor?"
Got something to share? What can you offer others? Share your experience and ideas to shine a light on how we can meet the needs around us.
"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"
Are you ready to be bold and energize your ministry? Leave for home renewed and ready to tackle the big questions.
Best-selling author, speaker, activist and public theologian
Intergenerational faith formation expert, writer, speaker & trainer
Worship and leadership author, speaker, teacher & coach
Bishop Laurie Haller
Bishop, Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church; author
Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
Bishop, Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church
Bishop Tracy Smith Malone
Bishop, East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church
Also Featuring Sessions by...
Rosanna Anderson ● B.J. Beu ● Barbara Bruce ● Sherry Bryant-Johnson ● Mark Burrows ● EvaMarie Campbell ● Paula Gradney-Garner ● Jane Cheema ● Linda Duback ● Christine Hides ● Karen Covey Moore ● Brenda Buckwell ● Emily Delikat ● Eric Drew ● Beth Fender ● Angelina Goldwell ● Mary Alice Gran ● Lyle Griener ● Scott Hughes ● Angela Johnson ● Kristin Johnson ● Carol Krau ● Randy Litchfield ● R. Ben Marshall ● Robert Martin ● Sharon McCart ● Patty Meyers and Pfeiffer University students (Andy Asbury ● Emily James ● Tony Kindred) ● Melissa Miller ● Kathryn Pittenger ● Jack Radcliffe ● Lee Roorda Schott ● Jack Seymour ● Hanna Schock ● Joellyn Tuttle ● Erin Patrick ● Lynne Westfield ● Chris Wilterdink ● And…well, stay curious!
Schedule (Tues., Oct. 9 - Fri., Oct. 12, 2018)
With times for learning, prayer, reflection, worship and self-care (and of course food!) you'll have plenty of opportunities for making connections and renewing friendships.
Breakouts ("Curiosity Classes")
Over 50 sessions to choose from in ministry specializations such as children's ministry, social media and technology, older adult ministry, and many others.
No preregistration for these sessions is required, so that you can feel free to go to the ones you're most interested. We do recommend that you come with a plan for those that interest you most, as some rooms do have limited seating space.
Featuring creative and engaging services, led by strong national ministry leaders and planned by Mary Scifres and an outstanding team. If your usual Sunday responsibilities make it hard to enjoy worship, you'll have several opportunities to refresh your spirit and connect with God.
Daily activities will offer you chances to experience Des Moines, engage in deeper learning, take a break from everything, and awaken your curiosity. In addition, we'll celebrate the 50th anniversary of CEF (Christians Engaged in Faith Formation) at a special banquet.
Accommodations & Event
Marriott Des Moines Downtown Hotel
5 Great Reasons to Stay at the Conference Hotel
That red building? We'll be there.
Transportation & Getting Around
The Des Moines International Airport is easy to get to, with non-stop flights from many of the nation's largest cities. Fly Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, or United airlines. The airport is a short drive, free shuttle ride, or taxi cab/Uber/Lyft ride to downtown.
Thinking of driving? You might be surprised at how much of the U.S. is only a day's drive away. Iowa is beautiful in the fall, with many wonderful places to go! Valet and offsite parking is available at or very near the hotel for an additional cost (approx. $15/day offsite; $24/day come & go at hotel).
Downtown Des Moines is filled with skywalks that connect the hotel to dozens of restaurants, shopping, entertainment venues and more, allowing you to walk to these locations in comfort.
The Marriott is fully accessible. Click for full details (PDF).
The Curiosity Shop
What would a conference be without vendors? We promise to have a terrific spot for you to see and purchase some of the latest resources available for your ministries - curriculum, books, worship arts, church websites, and more.
No, our Curiousity Shop won't be outside. But the Des Moines Farmer's Market was recently ranked #2 in the nation for 2 years in a row! If you're thinking of sticking around thru Saturday to enjoy Des Moines' or Iowa's many treasures, the market is about 1.4 miles away.
Save $100 off the full rate!
Please log in for your CEF member discount, then click the register button.
Save $100 off the full rate!
Add a membership to your registration to get member pricing + CEF benefits!
Full Registrations Include...
2.6 CEUs are available for a small fee during registration. If you are not United Methodist, please check with your denomination for appropriate CEU conversions.
Register now for the best price!
Student rate (current college/seminary students): $239
Special Trips & Experiences
Taste of Iowa Trip
Tuesday, Oct. 9th, 10:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Join us as we travel to the nearby town of Winterset. First, you'll go back in time as you tour the John Wayne Birthplace Museum. After lunch, enjoy a bus tour of the beautiful "Bridges of Madison County," (made famous in a well-known book and movie). You'll arrive back to the hotel by 4:15 PM.
The cost is $50, which includes transportation, museum and tour fees, and lunch. The deadline to register is Oct. 1st.
(Pre-conference Service Opportunity)
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Bidwell-Riverside Center is a private non-profit committed to helping families become self-sufficient through two primary programs: a food pantry and childcare center. It is located about 15 minutes from our hotel. Participants will receive a brief tour, then serve in the thrift shop and food pantry. There is no cost to participate, but registration is required by Oct. 1. Sign up here, or for more info, contact Diane Eberhart
Women at the Well Prison Congregation Visit
Thursday, Oct. 11, 6:00 - 9:30 PM
Visit Women at the Well, a United Methodist congregation within the Iowa Women’s Correctional Facility. Participants will take part in their weekly worship service and will have an opportunity to talk with some of the leaders of the program. This is an amazing and unforgettable experience, but you'll have to act very quickly to go.
The cost is free, but the deadline to sign-up is August 15th, as background checks have to be completed by all participants. Space is limited.
I'm curious...but is this event really for me?
Curious.Church is truly for ANYONE engaged in a faith formation or Christian education ministry in a full-time, part-time, or volunteer capacity! Here are some of the people who will be there...
I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
My favourite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities. (Mario Testino)
Without transformation, you can assume you're at a high moral, spiritual level just because you call yourself Lutheran or Methodist or Catholic. I think my great disappointment as a priest has been to see how little actual spiritual curiosity there is in so many people. (Richard Rohr)
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. (Walt Disney)
Never lose a holy curiosity. (Albert Einstein)
Photo credits: "Shattering Silence Downtown Des Moines", "Downtown Des Moines Skywalk", "Downtown Des Moines Skyline" - Courtesy of Catch Des Moines. "Farmers Market" by Phil Roeder, distributed under CC0 2.0.