WORKSHOP INFORMATION

Workshops

Below, you will find titles and descriptions for the workshops the being offered during the 2017 National Gathering. You must decide which workshops you would like to attend before registering as you’ll select workshops during the registration process. Click on any workshop title to learn more.

Workshops will take place at the Marriott Downtown, our primary National Gathering location, and at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral (5 minute walk from the Marriott) unless otherwise noted.

Please note: this year, for the first time, we will be featuring a Church Transformation Track (in yellow) over the three workshop blocks. This track and these workshops are now full.

Monday

Workshop Block 1

Tuesday

Workshop Block 2

Tuesday

Workshop Block 3

Acceleration for Impact
Chris Bennett
WORKSHOP & TRACK FULL
Ideation for Innovation: Tools and Techniques
Bill Habicht & Chris Bennett
WORKSHOP & TRACK FULL
Overcoming Our Immunity to Change
Michaela Daystar
WORKSHOP & TRACK FULL
Breaking the Binary
Colleen Toole
How to Navigate “That Talk”
Yena Hwang, Tara Spuhler McCabe & Bertram Johnson
How to Navigate “That Talk”
Yena Hwang, Tara Spuhler McCabe & Bertram Johnson
Does Our Future Witness Require Younger and More Colorful Churches?: Reflections from the Past and the Present
Betsy Lyles & William Yoo
Living Waters Behind Prison Walls
Hans Hallundbaek
Shalom and Shelem: Finding Wholeness Amidst Racial Distress
Alonzo Johnson & Andrew Kang Bartlett
Mission Immersion: An Answer To Toxic Charity
Katie Patterson, Rocky Supinger & Rachel Pacheco
Breaking Down Walls: Navigating Across Cultures
Paul Roberts
The Sanctuary Movement: Faith in Action to Stop Deportations
AmyBeth Willis
Sing God a New Song
Paul Vasile
Toward the Purple Church
Dan Lewis & Pen Peery
Toward the Purple Church
Dan Lewis & Pen Peery
Indecent and in Order: Church Leadership from the Boundaries
Wilson Kennedy & Larissa Kwong Abazia
Potluck Sacrament: Renewing an Ancient, Underused Form of Worship
Jeff Bryan
Designing Worship with an Expansive Evangelical Impulse
Bob Henderson & Jessica Patchett
Is There A Wall Around Louisville?
Thomas Hay
Thirsting to Create
Shelley Donaldson
WORKSHOP FULL
Thirsting to Create
Shelley Donaldson
WORKSHOP FULL
Map, Message, and Mission: Effectively Sharing the Good News
Beth Utley & Don Meeks
Creating a Culture of Generosity
Robert Hay Jr
Creating a Culture of Generosity
Robert Hay Jr
Healing Well: Leading a Church Through Conflict and Trauma to Wholeness
Stephen McKinney-Whitaker
Tools for Relational Gatherings: From Bible Study to Committee Meetings
Rachel Pacheco & Jess Fisher

Paperless Music: A Strategy for Enriching and Enlivening Worship
Paul Vasile
Radical Theology and the Experience of War and Military Service
Matt Moorman
Encountering God in Tyrannical Texts: Helping Congregations Wrestle with Biblical Authority
Frances Taylor Gench
The Art of Being
Andrew Plocher
Seasoned Allies
Jan Edmiston
WORKSHOP FULL
Loving the Jerks in Your Congregation: Getting a Better Handle on What Motivates Us
Jodi Craiglow
Conversations with Jesus and Pope Francis
Paul Rock & Bill Tammeus
Called to be Reconcilers: Church, Community, and Law Enforcement
Glenn McCray & Charlie Scoma
The Church as a Learning Institution: Practical Applications for SBNRs and Mercadante’s Work
Leslie King
Diving into the Well: Yoga Practice and Christian Praxis
Leslie Mott & Jen Hope Kottler
WORKSHOP FULL
Verse and Vision: Poetry, Liturgy, and Spiritual Formation
Nancy Arbuthnot & Gerry Hendershot
A Rule for Church Leaders
Andrew Kort
The Fruit of Spirit in a Polarized World
Roger Gench & Alice Tewell
Spacious Christianity: Church in the None and Done Zone of the Pacific Northwest
Steven Koski & Jenny Warner
How To Heal When The Church You Love Hurts You
Lakesha Bradshaw Easter
Praying for Justice by Praying the Psalms
Don Meeks
Dog Park Resurrection: Community Organizing for Social Change and New Church Development
Lindsay Armstrong
WORKSHOP FULL
The Way Forward: Continuing the Conversation After GA
Thomas Hay
Stories That Matter: Telling God’s Stories and Our Stories
Shawna Bowman & Casey FitzGerald
WORKSHOP FULL

MONDAY – Workshop Block 1

Acceleration for Impact – WORKSHOP FULL

Welcome to the practice of acceleration. Acceleration is a model that helps create forward movement in four key areas: capital (money), connections (with people who can help you), capacity (your ability to make an impact) and community (the context in which you exist). Entrepreneurs and start-ups use “acceleration” to grow their businesses. How can we apply this to ministry? This workshop will look at examples of ministry acceleration and then offer ways to apply “acceleration” in your local context.

The Church Transformation Track is now full. 

Chris Bennett is the pastor of St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church. He is an innovator with an entrepreneurial spirit who has developed a unique Ministry Accelerator program for his UMC conference.

Breaking the Binary

In a time when violence and legislation against trans and gender non-conforming people continues to rise, how can the church truly embrace and be enriched by those communities? We will look at ways the church, often unintentionally, builds walls with language and practices that shut out trans and gender non-conforming people, as well as how theology rooted in these communities can offer all of us new understanding and transformation as we seek to follow Jesus in breaking down dividing walls. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Colleen Toole (they/them/theirs) is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. Their ministry focuses on connecting LGBTQ+ youth in online Christian community & creating resources for churches seeking to welcome people of all gender identities.

Does Our Future Witness Require Younger and More Colorful Churches?: Reflections from the Past and the Present

Diversity is easy to name but hard to create. Join a mid-twenties administrator and a mid-thirties professor who will share personal and professional experiences about how we seek, cultivate, and embrace diversities of age, race, and ethnicity in Presbyterian ministries. This will be a mix of presentation – exploring past trends in our tradition – and conversation about where we go from here. Learn more about this workshop on the Columbia Seminary blog.

Betsy Lyles is Director of Admissions & Financial Aid at Columbia Seminary. She believes theological education is one of the best platforms for world-changing work. She is consistently reflecting on what it means to be a church-going millennial.

William Yoo is Asst. Prof. of American Religious & Cultural History at Columbia Seminary. He is the author of two forthcoming books: a historical monograph on the American Protestant mission in Korea & a sourcebook of American Presbyterianism.

Mission Immersion: An Answer To Toxic Charity

Across the country, in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Asheville, Charlotte, and Washington D.C., Presbyterian churches are creating mission immersion programs as a tool for service, education, and advocacy with youth and young adults. This workshop will explore a theology of mission immersion, comparing it to the traditional “mission trip.” Participants will hear from the leaders of some of these programs about their benefits and challenges.

Katie Patterson is the youth mission coordinator at the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, where she has directed the Urban Youth Mission program since its inception in 2014.

Rocky Supinger is the associate pastor for youth ministry at the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Rachel Pacheco is program manager of The Pilgrimage at Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, DC, where she facilitates mission immersion experiences. She believes everyone has a story and she is called to facilitate space for people wrestling with questions.

Sing God a New Song

Experience music that will expand and enrich your congregation’s repertoire of sung prayer and praise, including music from the Global Church, Jazz, Gospel, and newly written material with inclusive and expansive language for God. Leave with music samples, a bibliography, and practical guidance for introducing and incorporating new music into liturgy.

Paul Vasile is an interim/transitional church musician, consultant, and composer. A multitalented musician and dynamic worship leader, he is committed to building, renewing, and re-shaping faith communities through music and liturgy.

Indecent and in Order: Church Leadership from the Boundaries

In our ordination and installation questions we promise to serve God and God’s church with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. That vow extends to our service in leadership in the church and how we come alongside those who are discerning their own service in the church. How can we expand our vision to actively acknowledge those in our congregations and councils that God has called? How do we cultivate diverse leadership? Join us as we discover new ways to be leaders in the church.

Wilson Kennedy serves at Palms Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and as the Vice Moderator of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA).

Larissa Kwong Abazia serves at Princeton Theological Seminary and served as the Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Is There a Wall Around Louisville?

At the well in Sychar Jesus saw a woman with a spiritual thirst. The woman only saw a Jewish man and the institution he represented. Many of those we seek to reach, and many of those in our congregations, can only see in us the institutional walls of a denominational church. Using the denominational headquarters in Louisville as an example and a starting place, we will consider some strategies for equipping people to embrace a ministry for the church as it is becoming.

After 20 years of pastoral ministry and 10 as a presbytery exec, Thomas Hay is currently the Associate Stated Clerk and Director of Assembly Operations of the PCUSA Office of the General Assembly.

Map, Message, and Mission: Effectively Sharing the Good News

Can we talk to the woman at the well? What we know about evangelism doesn’t work; what we don’t know can hurt us. Cultural changes demand we re-learn ways to share our gospel, our good news. In our time together, we will explore our map, our message, and our mission in today’s world with information and techniques that will help our congregations become comfortable and confident sharing the good news. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Beth Utley has worked in faith formation for almost 20 years. Her work with skeptical youth and young adults and her congregation’s commitment to evangelism honed her knowledge and skill. 

Don Meeks is the senior pastor of Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Northern Virginia. His vision for ministry is to invite people to experience and express Christ-like character in all they do. He is an avid golfer, psalmic intercessor and songwriter.

Healing Well: Leading a Church Through Conflict and Trauma to Wholeness

Participants will get practical tools for leading congregations that have experienced conflict and/or trauma into a hopeful and reconciled future by discussing the levels of conflict and polarities, before looking at, and participating in, an exercise that helps a church understand its history and vision its future. We will also look at a series of retreats for church leaders that can help bring healing and wholeness to a conflicted congregation.

Stephen McKinney-Whitaker is the Head of Staff Pastor at United Presbyterian Church of Peoria. He has served as the Gap General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Great Rivers and continues to work with churches in conflict or transition.

Radical Theology and the Experience of War and Military Service

Christian soldiers regularly experience God’s absence in the traumas of war. What can that same experience of war and military service teach us about resurrection? Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s tough questions from a Nazi concentration camp give us some direction as we grope through the dark of Holy Saturday. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Matt Moorman is Educator at the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill, NC. An Air Force veteran, he works with Centurions Guild to resource church leaders for ministry with veterans and service members of faith.

Seasoned Allies – WORKSHOP FULL

This is a Top Secret Workshop for leaders at least 60 years old, who have been Christian for over 40 years, & part of the Church for at least 20 years. (It will be more fun than it sounds.) We will collude together about what we can do behind the scenes to make way for the PCUSA’s next chapter. There will be sarcasm and laughter. There might be t-shirts.

Jan is the associate executive presbyter in the Chicago Presbytery & Co-Moderator of the 222nd General Assembly. She speaks & writes about 21st Century Church, culture shifts, & exegeting neighborhoods. Her blog is A Church for Starving Artists.

Called to be Reconcilers: Church, Community, and Law Enforcement

Although God has given us the ministry of reconciliation through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-18), it can be challenging to live into that call amidst the injustices that we witness and experience on a regular basis. Come share what your church is doing and learn from other churches about what they’re doing to live into the call to be reconcilers with the community and law enforcement.

Chaplain Charlie Scoma brings many years of experience in Chaplaincy, Ministry, and Education to the Seattle Police Department. He is an experienced counselor and trained in Critical Incident Stress Management. He is an ordained pastor in the PCUSA, he has an MSW from Rutgers University, he coaches baseball, and he enjoys fly-fishing.

Glenn McCray is a multi-ethnic, first generation American and “Seattle-ite” whose mother is from the Philippines and father from Louisiana. Glenn serves as the Director of Church-based Community Development with a Christian Community Development organization called, Urban Impact. Glenn has spent more than a decade developing youth and education programs, serving as a chaplain for youth in juvenile detention, and working closely with other local organizations, schools, and local churches.

Verse and Vision: Poetry, Liturgy, and Spiritual Formation

Much scripture comes to us as poetry, for in approaching God we must, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “tell all the truth but tell it slant.” This workshop aims to introduce ways to use poetry in liturgy and spiritual formation. We will read poetry, write poems, and teach each other about poetry that links our lives to God. The workshop is part of an initiative in National Capital Presbytery to promote creative uses of poetry in congregational life. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Nancy Arbuthnot is a ruling elder at Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. She taught English literature and poetry at the United States Naval Academy from 1981 to 2010, and is the author of “Spirit Hovering: Poems,” based on scripture.

Gerry Hendershot is a Ruling Elder of the Church of the Pilgrims in Washington DC, and a poetry fan who has attended many poetry classes, workshops and festivals.  He is now assembling his first poetry “chapbook.”

Spacious Christianity: Church in the None and Done Zone of the Pacific Northwest

First Presbyterian in Bend, OR, has continued to grow through redefining the boundaries of what “church” is, risking bold experiments such as a non-profit café, a youth group collective with other mainline churches, and an evening service geared for millennials that features beer on tap. Pastors Jenny and Steven will share how a mission statement is becoming reality and the tensions, failures and struggles along the way. Join the conversation about leading in the space between what is dying and what is coming to life. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Jenny Warner is the Pastor for Justice, Spirituality and Community at First Presbyterian Church in Bend, Oregon. She provides organizational structure for a church adapting to new growth in the midst of cultural change and cultivated strategic justice partnerships.

Steven Koski is Lead Pastor at First Presbyterian in Bend, Oregon. In 10 years, the church has embarked on initiatives including opening a café, a partnership in Guatemala, forging ecumenical partnerships for youth and developing a Wellness Center.

Dog Park Resurrection: Community Organizing for Social Change and New Church Development – WORKSHOP FULL

This is the story of how community organizing in an area with a church closing unexpectedly led to a new church. Walls crumbled. The community imagined a different kind of well to drink from, and it was driven not by a particular leader, church or Presbytery – but by local community. What happened? How? While many churches are imagined by leaders outside a particular community, we share a fresh way to assess need for a new worshiping community as well as new approaches to get started. This workshop will take place at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (4 blocks away, 7 minute walk from the Marriott Downtown).

A trained community organizer and pastor, Lindsay Armstrong is now the Executive Director of the New Church Development Commission, a 31 year old nonprofit organization dedicated to starting new PCUSA churches in the Greater Atlanta area.


TUESDAY – Workshop Block 2

Ideation for Innovation: Tools and Techniques – WORKSHOP FULL

“Ideation for Innovation” provides a hands-on opportunity to engage in the process of generating, developing and communicating outside-the-box ideas for ministry. Participants will utilize new tools and techniques that move us beyond “technical solutions” (which improves on what we already know how to do) to “adaptive solutions” (which are agile, innovative and engage uncertainty).

The Church Transformation Track is full.

Bill Habicht is the Pastor for New Expressions at Davis Community Church in Davis, CA. He is former presenter at NEXT Church (2015) as well as a two-time TEDx speaker. Chris Bennett is the Pastor of St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church. He is an innovator with an entrepreneurial spirit who has developed a unique Ministry Accelerator program for his UMC conference.

How to Navigate “That Talk”

In light of the growing national conversation on race relations prompted by multiple incidences especially involving police and treatment of people of color, how do we invite our congregations to engage in the conversation? Join us for an interactive discussion of the issues and consider how we might be proactive about bringing positive change within our own groups and communities. This workshop is also offered during workshop block 3 on Tuesday.

Yena Hwang is the associate pastor at Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, VA. She is a contributing author to “Here I Am: Faith Stories of Korean American Clergywomen” and was moderator of National Capital Presbytery in 2011.

Tara Spuhler McCabe is the PC(USA) site coordinator for the Young Adult Volunteer Program in Washington, DC, and parish associate at Faith Presbyterian Church in the National Capital Presbytery.

Bertram Johnson is the Director of Justice, Advocacy & Change at Riverside Presbyterian Church in New York City. For over two decades Bertram has provided pastoral care and social service leadership in churches, non-profit, and faith-based organizations dedicated to justice and public health.

Living Waters Behind Prison Walls

The woman at the well thirsted for “living water,” as does our huge prison population. This workshop, based upon twenty years of chaplaincy; art; academic, theological and spiritual education to male and female NYS prisons, shows practical examples of behavior change, spiritual growth, and drastic recidivism reduction. Documentary film clips prove the inherent humanity of people entrapped in our vast national prison system, easily reachable for all churches through rewarding outreach efforts.

Hans Hallundbaek is the coordinator for the Hudson River Presbytery’s Prison Partnership Program. He has served as an adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and is the International Prison Chaplains Association’s NGO representative to the United Nations. Hans serves on the board of Rehabilitation Through the Arts.

Breaking Down Walls: Navigating Across Cultures

No matter how homogeneous it may may seem, every grouping of human beings is inter-cultural. Though we may not realize we’re doing it, all humans learn to live/work/play inter-culturally to some degree. Inter-Cultural Intelligence (ICI) is a field of study that looks at the combined insights, competencies, attitudes, and behaviors that enable humans to engage a variety of situations and populations effectively. This workshop will explore the basics of ICI with an eye to improving the quality of participants’ interactions and leadership.

Paul Roberts is president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA, the only PCUSA seminary that is historically African American. Prior to his career in ministry, Paul worked for eight years in advertising in New York City. Paul is also an Academic Fellow of The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey in Celigny, Switzerland.

Toward the Purple Church

We live and minister in an age of increasingly polarized viewpoints on a host of issues, and we sense that devolving into ever more narrowly defined communities of like-mindedness will not serve us, or the gospel, well. But is there an alternative? In this workshop, two ministers will reflect on projects related to moving toward a more “purple” church on the local level. In our relationships, how might the naming of our suspicions of one another make space for the renewal of trust? In our preaching, how might a return to the God-centered story of scripture upset our settled perspectives? Learn more about this workshop on our blogThis workshop is also offered during workshop block 3 on Tuesday.

Dan Lewis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Statesboro, Georgia. His DMin project, “Stories to Bridge the Gap: Postliberal Preaching in a Changing University Town,” uses the theological perspective of Hans Frei, applied to preaching, to speak to a diverse and growing congregation.

Pen Peery is Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. His DMin project, “Identifying Suspicion as a Way to Move Forward in Hope,” challenges a large and ideologically diverse congregation to find new unity in celebrating, rather than flattening, difference.

Potluck Sacrament: Renewing an Ancient, Underused Form of Worship

What we do is not what they did. This workshop looks at new scholarship in the history, theology, and practice of the Lord’s Supper. Special attention is given to Greco-Roman culture and the banquet as the origin of the Christian meal. This new scholarship raises provocative questions. It challenges our tradition, our theology, and our complacency. It challenges us to break down barriers with new—or rather, primal—forms of worship. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Jeff Bryan is pastor of Oakland Avenue Pres, Rock Hill, South Carolina. He is a graduate of Princeton Seminary and Philadelphia Lutheran. He has served churches in Ann Arbor, MI, and the Philadelphia suburbs. His D.Min studies focused on worship and sacraments.

Thirsting to Create – WORKSHOP FULL

Many are already using art and creativity in their worship spaces, but many find the idea of using art to be intimidating. Rooted in Reformed traditions, participants will seek new creative and fun ways to express their spirituality on their own or in their churches. This workshop, led by founders of Creation Lab NFP in Chicago, will introduce participants to different methods, practices, and ideas for engaging worship and spirituality in their communities and for themselves. This workshop is also offered during workshop block 3 on Tuesday.

Shelley Donaldson is a youth worker at Fourth Presbyterian in Chicago, and co-founder of Creation Lab. She has extensive experience with youth, in creative spiritual practices, working on interfaith initiatives, and working with churches in transition.

Creating a Culture of Generosity

Is your congregation’s approach to stewardship stuck in a rut? Are you living in a state of scarcity and longing for abundance? This workshop will outline a program that has moved churches from a four-week stewardship campaign to a year-round culture of generosity. Learn how to form your Generosity Team, how to create an activities calendar for your church’s funds ministry, how to prepare a narrative budget, and how to integrate all aspects of your church into the life of generosity. This workshop is also offered during workshop block 3 on Tuesday.

Robert Hay Jr. is the Ministry Relations Officer covering the southeast region (MS, AL, GA, FL, TN, and Puerto Rico) from the Presbyterian Foundation. He lives in Peachtree City, GA with his wife, Rev Morgan Hay, and their two young children.

Tools for Relational Gatherings: From Bible Study to Committee Meetings

Sometimes our congregational life seems to lack relationships, follows the status quo, or is defined by difficult meetings. What if, instead, our gatherings cultivated our relationships and honored the perspective we each bring to the room? No matter the context – Bible study, Christian Education, committee meeting, mission experience – learn and practice new tools for structuring time together that connects us and helps us listen. Inspired by Training for Change and improvisational theater.

Rachel Pacheco is program manager of The Pilgrimage at Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, DC where she facilitates mission immersion experiences. She believes everyone has a story and she is called to facilitate space for people wrestling with questions. Jess Fisher is a creative consultant and communications coordinator at Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. As a candidate for ordination, she is called to use the arts to help others find new connections with the Holy in and around them: LiturgyBeyondWords.com.

Encountering God in Tyrannical Texts: Helping Congregations Wrestle with Biblical Authority

The Bible is full of embarrassing, offensive, problematic texts that present serious interpretive challenges for contemporary Christian faith and practice. What are faithful ways of handling them? The workshop will address the importance of engaging them directly and publicly, with the expectation that we may encounter the living God in conversation with them. We will consider interpretive strategies for engaging them with integrity, and reflect on the nature and authority of Scripture. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Frances Taylor Gench is the Herbert Worth and Annie H. Jackson Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, and author of Encountering God in Tyrannical Texts: Reflections on Paul, Women, and the Authority of Scripture (WJKP, 2015).

Loving the Jerks in Your Congregation: Getting a Better Handle on What Motivates Us

Every congregation has them… those folks who seem to have the spiritual gift of Getting On Your Last Nerve. You do your best to treat them with Godly charity, but for the life of you, you cannot fathom why they act the way they do. Using Motivation Level theory, we’ll explore new ways of understanding and interacting with our siblings in Christ – in ways that serve and honor everyone involved.

Jodi Craiglow is a PhD student and adjunct professor at Trinity International University, curriculum developer for Synod of Mid America’s Theocademy, and a member of the PCUSA Committee on Theological Education.

The Church as a Learning Institution: Practical Applications for SBNRs and Mercadante’s Work

Following Linda Mercadante’s Monday night keynote, join us for a facilitated conversation making practical application of Mercadante’s work, Belief Without Borders. Together we will consider the real-life issues of membership, Christian education, and worship as it relates to organized religion’s interaction with folks who declare themselves to be spiritual but not religious. Bring your local ministry challenge and hopes to this discussion!

Leslie King (facilitator) serves as one of the pastors at First Presbyterian Church of Waco, Texas. She received her BA from Kansas University (’91) and her MDiv from McCormick Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Chicago (‘94). In 2010 she completed her DMin at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City Missouri with an emphasis in Spirituality and Organizational Change.

A Rule for Church Leaders

Ruling Elders are spiritual leaders, but many times Session meetings feel too much like board meetings with a brief prayer to open then right onto the business of building maintenance, budgets, personnel issues, and more. In this workshop we will draw on ancient spiritual practices and learn how to transform not only the Session meetings, but also the work of church leaders. Come and see what people ranging from St. Benedict to John Calvin, and others, can teach us about church leadership today. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Andy Kort is the Senior Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Indiana. He developed a rule for his Session a few years ago. He contributed a chapter about this experience in the book, “Sacred Habits: The Rise of the Creative Clergy.”

How To Heal When The Church You Love Hurts You

This workshop is a safe space designed to practice self-care and ministry strategies for when we know: that sexism, discrimination and racism still exist in the church that we love and are called to serve. How do church leaders heal and serve authentically in the midst of distress?

Lakesha Bradshaw Easter is Associate Pastor of Christian Education at Silver Spring Presbyterian Church, a congregation of National Capital Presbytery.

The Way Forward: Continuing the Conversation After GA

What is the future of the PCUSA? At the 2016 National Gathering, we talked about conversations going on throughout the denomination about change. After the 222nd General Assembly, two new groups were formed to chart this path: the 2020 Vision Team and the Way Forward Commission. Join us to learn more bout these bodies and their progress thus far.

After 20 years of pastoral ministry and 10 as a presbytery exec, Thomas Hay is currently the Associate Stated Clerk and Director of Assembly Operations of the PCUSA Office of the General Assembly.

TUESDAY – Workshop Block 3

Overcoming Our Immunity to Change – WORKSHOP FULL

In building the church of the future, we know that change is crucial. Yet many of us experience how difficult it can be to change behaviors within us and our organizations, even when the change is positive and necessary. Each of us has an “immune system” of beliefs and mindsets that create a powerful barrier to change. This workshop will explore the Immunity to Change™, introduce tools for cultivating behavior that supports change, and consider what this process could mean for congregations. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

The Church Transformation Track is now full.

Michaela Daystar is Assistant Director of Career Connections & Community Engagement at Mills College in Oakland, CA, and an accredited Values Coach. She has 10 years’ experience in social justice leadership development in colleges and organizations.

How to Navigate “That Talk”

In light of the growing national conversation on race relations prompted by multiple incidences especially involving police and treatment of people of color, how do we invite our congregations to engage in the conversation? Join us for an interactive discussion of the issues and consider how we might be proactive about bringing positive change within our own groups and communities. This workshop is also offered during workshop block 2 on Tuesday.

Yena Hwang is the associate pastor at Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, VA. She is a contributing author to “Here I Am: Faith Stories of Korean American Clergywomen” and was moderator of National Capital Presbytery in 2011.

Tara Spuhler McCabe is the PC(USA) site coordinator for the Young Adult Volunteer Program in Washington, DC, and parish associate at Faith Presbyterian Church in the National Capital Presbytery.

Bertram Johnson is the Director of Justice, Advocacy & Change at Riverside Presbyterian Church in New York City. For over two decades Bertram has provided pastoral care and social service leadership in churches, non-profit, and faith-based organizations dedicated to justice and public health.

Shalom and Shelem: Finding Wholeness Amidst Racial Distress

Racism is alive and white supremacy shapes our institutions and systems. Shelem is the modern Hebrew word related to shalom, meaning to pay for. U.S. Rep. John Conyers has called for a Commission to Study Reparations annually for the past 27 years, and the Movement for Black Lives is calling for reparations as a pillar of their policy platform. We will use the Belhar Confession, other tools and dialogue to explore how reparations may help our society transform its attitudes and relationships.

Alonzo Johnson is the coordinator for the Presbyterian Self-Development of People (SDOP). He is passionate about racial and social justice, has a rich experience in prison chaplaincy and urban ministry.

Andrew Kang Bartlett, associate for national hunger & poverty for the Presbyterian Hunger Program, will facilitate the workshop.

The Sanctuary Movement: Faith in Action to Stop Deportations

With deportation rates on the rise, U.S. congregations have taken action to stop deportations through the work of sanctuary. Sanctuary is an act of hospitality whereby a church opens its doors to an individual to prevent them from being apprehended and works alongside the individual to organize to stop their deportation. Participants will hear about the history, theology, and the nuts and bolts of what it means to offer sanctuary and engage in a campaign to stop deportations.

AmyBeth Willis is a national organizer for the Sanctuary Movement. Based in Tucson, she works with churches across the country to become sanctuary churches.

Toward the Purple Church

We live and minister in an age of increasingly polarized viewpoints on a host of issues, and we sense that devolving into ever more narrowly defined communities of like-mindedness will not serve us, or the gospel, well. But is there an alternative? In this workshop, two ministers will reflect on projects related to moving toward a more “purple” church on the local level. In our relationships, how might the naming of our suspicions of one another make space for the renewal of trust? In our preaching, how might a return to the God-centered story of scripture upset our settled perspectives? Learn more about this workshop on our blogThis workshop is also offered during workshop block 2 on Tuesday.

Dan Lewis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Statesboro, Georgia. His DMin project, “Stories to Bridge the Gap: Postliberal Preaching in a Changing University Town,” uses the theological perspective of Hans Frei, applied to preaching, to speak to a diverse and growing congregation.

Pen Peery is Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. His DMin project, “Identifying Suspicion as a Way to Move Forward in Hope,” challenges a large and ideologically diverse congregation to find new unity in celebrating, rather than flattening, difference.

Designing Worship with an Expansive Evangelical Impulse

In 2012, we dreamt of a new worship service. We had three. Why four? Though distinct in music, our services had similar structures and engaged churched people. We hoped for an interactive service that expected worshipers’ full participation, regardless of faith background. On launch day, our church grew and changed: we’re becoming a multi-racial, multi-faith, open-to-different-opinions church, welcoming seekers on their terms. We’ll share how we did it, what we learned and what we imagine next. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Bob Henderson, Senior Minister of Covenant Presbyterian in Charlotte, NC, has led vibrant, growing churches for more than 25 years. He enjoys curating worship that that both remains faithful to Reformed theology and speaks to contemporary people.

Jessica Patchett, Associate Minister at Covenant Presbyterian has served in church leadership for nearly 10 years. She enjoys helping people explore the way of Jesus and articulate their own commitments of faith.

Thirsting to Create – WORKSHOP FULL

Many are already using art and creativity in their worship spaces, but many find the idea of using art to be intimidating. Rooted in Reformed traditions, participants will seek new creative and fun ways to express their spirituality on their own or in their churches. This workshop, led by founders of Creation Lab NFP in Chicago, will introduce participants to different methods, practices, and ideas for engaging worship and spirituality in their communities and for themselves. This workshop is also offered during workshop block 2 on Tuesday.

Shelley Donaldson is a youth worker at Fourth Presbyterian in Chicago, and co-founder of Creation Lab. She has extensive experience with youth, in creative spiritual practices, working on interfaith initiatives, and working with churches in transition.

Creating a Culture of Generosity

Is your congregation’s approach to stewardship stuck in a rut? Are you living in a state of scarcity and longing for abundance? This workshop will outline a program that has moved churches from a four-week stewardship campaign to a year-round culture of generosity. Learn how to form your Generosity Team, how to create an activities calendar for your church’s funds ministry, how to prepare a narrative budget, and how to integrate all aspects of your church into the life of generosity. This workshop is also offered during workshop block 2 on Tuesday.

Robert Hay Jr. is the Ministry Relations Officer covering the southeast region (MS, AL, GA, FL, TN, and Puerto Rico) from the Presbyterian Foundation. He lives in Peachtree City, GA with his wife, Rev Morgan Hay, and their two young children.

Paperless Music: A Strategy for Enriching and Enlivening Worship

Explore the ancient and new practice of paperless music leadership, sharing songs as people did before music or words were written down. Experience how singing without hymnals or screens invites group learning, deepens connection to others, and helps us rediscover our innate musicality. Notice how singing by ear and by heart strengthens our ability to sing together with paper, and can become a powerful tool to empower and awaken congregational voices.

Paul Vasile is an interim/transitional church musician, consultant, and composer. A multitalented musician and dynamic worship leader, he is committed to building, renewing, and re-shaping faith communities through music and liturgy.

The Art of Being

Studies show that in the second half of life, people focus more on being than doing, on the present than the future, & on appreciating what they already have rather than seeking something new. As church membership trends older, how do we balance being & doing, care & evangelism, inreach & outreach? How do we do the work of the church while navigating the art of being? Come swap stories & ideas, & explore how ‘being’ can be generative, & not just sustaining, especially for small congregations.

Andrew Plocher is a PCUSA pastor serving a small ELCA congregation in the Upper Peninsula (MI). He’s spent ten years as a pastor, most of which have been in small congregations, & enjoys the diverse & creative opportunities small churches bring.

Conversations with Jesus and Pope Francis

Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has made a huge splash among people of faith. Using the book, “Jesus, Pope Francis and a Protestant Walk into a Bar: Lessons for the Christian Church,” by Bill Tammeus and Paul Rock, the class will discuss what it is about Francis’ faith and practices that have made his ministry so attractive to people of all faiths and no faith (and controversial) and how 21st century churches can learn from this pope and his engaging, generous orthodoxy.

Paul Rock is senior pastor of Second Presbyterian Church of Kansas City. He’s co-author with Bill Tammeus of “Jesus, Pope Francis and a Protestant Walk into a Bar: Lessons for the Christian Church,” and serves on the McCormick Seminary Board of Trustees.

Bill Tammeus, an award-winning journalist, author and Presbyterian elder, writes a daily blog for The Kansas City Star and columns for The Presbyterian Outlook and The National Catholic Reporter. He’s author or co-author of six books.

Diving into the Well: Yoga Practice and Christian Praxis – WORKSHOP FULL

What would a Christian spiritual community look like that gathered for the deep spiritual practices of embodied movement and prayer, breath work, silence, meditation, discussion and practice of energy, love, kenosis, abundance and presence? Drawing from the wisdom of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, this workshop seeks to build the capacity for transformation by exploring practices (including yoga) that give us the living water of God’s presence, and send us out to bring life to a thirsty world. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Leslie Mott, RYT is Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Philipstown, NY, a certified Spiritual Director, and yoga teacher. She directs the Pastoral Sabbath program for Hudson River Presbytery and is the Coordinator of Spirituality and Practice at Bedford (NY) Presbyterian Church.

Jen Kottler, ACC is a certified life and leadership coach and spiritual director in private practice. Ordained in the Disciples of Christ, she studies spiritual formation at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and incorporates yoga into her prayer life.

The Fruit of Spirit in a Polarized World

This workshop will consider new readings of Paul that highlight the significance of his vision for political Christian life, for overcoming divisions, and for seeking justice in a polarized world. We will engage Paul’s letter to the Galatians and how Christians are called to respond to violence (racism, homophobia, and economic injustice) with nonviolent and transformative love. We will consider how the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-24) are political virtues for daily life and practice. Learn more about this workshop on our blog.

Roger Gench is senior pastor of The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. Roger has experience in engaged spirituality or the contemplative arts for community organizers and activists.

Alice Rose Tewell is associate pastor of The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington DC. Alice is an accomplished educator and facilitator of young adult ministry.

Praying for Justice by Praying the Psalms

Doing justice and loving mercy is demanding and exhausting work. Where do we find the spiritual strength and clarity needed to persevere and not lose heart? This workshop will focus on the ancient practice of praying the psalms daily for personal renewal and as a God-ordained tool for bringing God’s justice to earth. Participants will: 1) learn the 5-fold structure of the psalms, 2) explore a daily ‘rule’ for praying the psalms, and 3) practice praying several of the justice-psalms.

Don Meeks is the senior pastor of Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Northern Virginia. His vision for ministry is to invite people to experience and express Christ-likeness in all of life. He is an avid golfer, psalmic intercessor and songwriter.

Stories That Matter: Telling God’s Stories and Our Stories – WORKSHOP FULL

As people of faith, we believe stories have power. Our sacred stories, the stories of our communities and our own stories bear witness to what we know of God. We aspire to be an inviting people who know God’s story by heart and we believe in telling stories that matter. Like any spiritual practice, this kind of storytelling isn’t performance, it’s a way of life. It takes practice. Come practice the art of storytelling. We’re not about polishing stories, but getting stories started!

Shawna Bowman works with communities and organizations to create art as an act of worship and public theology. She co-founded Creation Lab, a co-working space, arts & faith incubator. Shawna is a pastor in ministry with folks at Friendship Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Casey FitzGerald is a pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church and biblical storyteller in northern Virginia. Through her podcast, Story Divine, and her work at Faith and Wonder, Casey encourages others to tell biblical and personal stories.