Crossroads Retreat
Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 5:30pm to Saturday, March 21, 2020 - 1:00pm
Sponsored by the West Ohio Conference


2019 Crossroads Retreat
March 19-21, 2020 at Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, Lewis Center, OH

The Crossroads Retreat is a multi-faceted workshop for ministry leaders serving in cross-racial and/or cross-cultural settings. Working across difference is the key to vitality in our current and future churches. In West Ohio, we affirm that diversity takes many forms, including racial, political, theological, and generational. Come and gather alongside colleagues in diverse ministry settings to learn about:


  • Multiplication models for church growth by leveraging racial and political diversity
  • Pastoral leadership in polarized contexts
  • Pastoring a multi-ethnic church – and helping your church become more diverse
  • Cultural competency amid theological diversity
  • Contextualization within denominational contexts
  • Engaging church communities around race and generation

This event is for lay and clergy ministry leaders within and beyond West Ohio. In addition, conference and agency staff from across the connection are welcome to attend. 


Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is the event? March 19-21, 2020
  • When do we meet? We begin with dinner on Thursday, March 19 at 5:30 p.m. and end on Saturday, March 21 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Where is the event? Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • What meals are included? Thursday dinner through Saturday lunch
  • Are CEUs available? Yes, 1.5 CEUs will be offered to all participants
  • Can spouses attend? Yes. Spouses can attend for free, as long as you register for a single room at the single room rate
  • I am white and I serve or worship in an all or mostly white congregation, but we want to be more diverse. Can I attend? Yes! Come to learn and share about your own experiences and how to move into more diverse ministry. 
  • I'm not from West Ohio Conference. Can I attend? Yes! Please register for the non-West Ohio rate. 
  • Is there a commuter rate available? Not for this event. 
  • What is the closest airport?  John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) is 20 minutes away from the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center


Registration will close February 11, 2020. You can register and pay now, or register and pay by check or credit card by February 11, 2020.


Guest Speakers 


Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer
Ohio West Area, The United Methodist Church


Grace Pak

Rev. Dr. Grace Pak is a pastor, trainer and professional certified coach passionate about helping the church to reflect God’s Kin-Dom in all aspects of ministry where ALL are valued and loved.  She serves as the Director of Cross Racial and Cross-Cultural Leadership at General Commission on Religion and Race. She is an Elder in the Greater New Jersey Conference where she served in Cross Racial and Cross-Cultural appointments for 22 years prior to serving at General Commission on Religion and Race.  She and her husband Dan enjoy traveling, golfing, gardening and spending time with their grown children.


Richard Westley Johnson

Richard Westley Johnson is the pastor of Sanctuary Columbus Church, started in 2011. Sanctuary is a multiethnic church focused on making disciples who cherish diversity and commit to service. Seeing others thrive is a core motivation for Rich. He currently serves on the board of Mission Columbus whose purpose is to serve those that serve.

Rich uses his skills of speaking, facilitating and networking to bring people together across cultural, religious and political differences in order to Make Columbus Better. On the side, he loves to sing, practice yoga, watch movies, or read a good book. Rich is married to Shalla (18 years) and they have four children. Shalla expresses her creativity through upscaling furniture, creating a hospitable environment at Sanctuary, and by discipling women in small groups. Their children, Carter (14), Campbell (13), Caden (11) and Cora (9), keep them very active. It is Pastor Johnson’s commitment to God and family that motivates him to live a life worth following with integrity and humility. Micah 6:8 explains his passion well: Do Justice, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly with God.


Aleze Fulbright

Rev. Dr. Aleze M. Fulbright is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church who is a person of conviction in living a personal mission to encourage, equip, and empower all people to live on purpose and live out their God-giveness. Dr. Aleze’s greatest joy in life is her son, Myron Fisher Jr., who is a Middle School Math Educator and Basketball Coach in Wichita, Kansas. Additionally, she enjoys fellowshipping with family and friends while also connecting with community through her civic and sorority involvement.

Dr. Fulbright is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and went on to Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She received her Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. She also earned a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership from Houston Graduate School of Theology.

Dr. Fulbright currently serves as a Conference Superintendent in the East District of the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. Before entering full time ministry in 2008, she was the Assistant Controller for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Inc. Prior to her current appointment of Conference (District) Superintendent, Aleze served as the Director of Leadership Development for the Indiana Conference, and in the North Texas Conference in a host of ministry settings, including the Associate Director of Leadership Development, the Associate Pastor at First United Methodist-Commerce and Campus Minister for Wesleyan Campus Ministry atTexas A&M University-Commerce.

Location Name
Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center
Location Address
Alma Resendiz
$275/double; $325/single; $550/Non-West Ohio single