ST. CLOUD -- About 800 members of the Methodist Church are in St. Cloud this week for their 164th annual conference.

Spokeswoman Cindy Gregorson says one of the topics they'll be discussing is how to combat racism.

How do we work at a multi-culturally welcoming society and how do we pay attention to where we have privilege and power and how do we create congregations that are about welcoming all people.  But also changing our world and how we have the conversations creating a world that we embrace the diversity of all God's children and how do we learn to live together in love and peace.

Gregorson says they'll also talk about how to have respectful conversations on divisive topics, the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements, and their disaster response for the people of Puerto Rico.

Wednesday night the United Methodist Church is hosting a free event that is open to the public including a concert by nationally-known singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer.

The festival kicks off at 6:00 p.m. at the River's Edge Convention Center in downtown St. Cloud.