By the TWK Youth Transition Team

The Tennessee-Western Kentucky Annual Conference Youth Transition Team met on retreat January 6-8 at Cedar Crest. This team, having spent 18 months together to help transition and support discipleship and leadership culture for conference young people, continues to progress. Rev. Christine Penner, member of the Youth Transition Team and Conference Equip team, offered, “We have to continue moving the work forward to support and strengthen our local churches.”

With leadership and infrastructure provided by Ministry Architects, the team has created goals and plans to develop and expand the culture of youth ministry (and beyond) in the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference. Important goals include:

  • Launching the Conference Youth Leadership Team, our new youth ministry conference council (formerly CYC in legacy Memphis Conference, formerly CCYM in legacy Tennessee Conference).  Applications will be open February 1 for youth and adults;
  • Creating a 2024 budget, including monies budgeted for children and family events, and a program to certify youth ministers to become peer coaches;
  • Publishing an 18 month program calendar to send to local churches referencing all conference events for young people;
  • Creating a sub-team for children’s ministry, to offer support, connection and events;
  • Creating a model to offer support and connection for conference youth leadership through district leadership, gatherings, and events;
  • And developing a plan to transition from Ministry Architects leadership to becoming an “operations team” for discipleship and leadership with young people.

Our first Conference youth event in 2023 is coming up soon, the Youth Leadership Retreat at Lakeshore, February 3-5. All conference youth are invited, especially those discerning gifts of leadership in their church, community and our conference. You can find out more information at  Attending youth will be given the first chance to consider participation in the Youth Leadership team!

The team is dedicated to continue creating space for youth and young people to become leaders, create opportunities for discipleship, and transform their local churches. If you are interested in joining this team, please contact Rev. Amanda Hartmann Westmoreland at  or Jordan Littrell at  


Rev. Amanda Hartmann Westmoreland of Millington UMC and Jordan Litrell of Grace UMC in Mt. Juliet continue to serve as team leaders.  Other Youth Transition Team members include: Sophie Barker of UT Knoxville, Russell Casteel of TWK Camp and Retreat Ministry, Emma Collard of Bell Buckle UMC, Allison Doyle from Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center,  Hank Hilliard of Franklin FUMC, Rev. Christine Penner of Monterrey UMC, Josh Shaw- SEJ Delegate, Beth Shirley of St. Mark’s UMC/Yale School of Public Health, and Ryan Willete of Springfield UMC.