About 1,500 people are expected to attend the Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church at University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center that begins Friday and runs through June 11. The conference will focus on youth and college-age ministry.

Workshop options include Ministry as Careers, Using Social Media for Youth Communications, Healthy College-Age ministries, Call Connectors, Youth and Mission, the Conference Budget, Insurance, Equipping and Empowering Congregations for a New Generation of African-American Leadership, Safe Sanctuaries, etc.

In keeping with the youth and college-age focus of the conference, attendees also will be treated to a Friday night street party with nine live bands at various locations inside and out. Wii competitions, line dancing, races and float building will add to the fun.

A 5K run is scheduled for Sunday morning and a Springfield Cardinals game Sunday night.

Keynote speakers include Kenda Creasy Dean, an ordained elder in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference and a professor of youth, church and culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. The graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, she served as pastor in suburban Washington, D.C., and as Wesley Foundation director at the University of Maryland-College Park.

Also featured is Chuck Bomar, who served almost nine years at Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Calif., before planting Colossae Church in Portland, Ore., in 2008. He is founder of two other organizations, author of five books, has written many resources and is a contributing author of “The Slow Fade.”

For more information, visit www.moumethodist.org.

To learn more about this and other conventions and events brought to Springfield by the Convention & Visitors Bureau, call 417-881-5300 or 800-678-8767 or visit www.SelectSpringfield.com. The CVB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to boosting the local economy by promoting travel and tourism to Springfield.