TUESDAY – Workshop Block 3
Overcoming Our Immunity to Change – WORKSHOP FULL // Lido
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.
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” – WORKSHOP FULL // Trianon D
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.
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 – WORKSHOP FULL // Kennedy
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 // Trianon C
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 // Cathedral, Founders Hall
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 blog. This 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 // Colonial Ballroom
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 // Roosevelt
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.
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 // Hoover
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.
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 // Cathedral, Sanctuary
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 // Eisenhower
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 // Cathedral, Common Room
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 // Trianon E
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 // Trianon A
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 // Cathedral, Haden Hall
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 // Trianon B
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.