WOVEN TOGETHER: Stories of Dissonance, Sacrifice, and Liberation

Seattle First Presbyterian Church & Seattle Presbytery
Seattle, WA

March 11-13, 2019

Looking for liturgy, workshop materials, or recordings from the 2019 National Gathering? You can find them in the “resources” section of our website.


Tali Hairston
Jennifer Harvey
Mary Ellen Azada
Eliana Maxim
Kelle Brown
Scott Lumsden
Heidi Armstrong
Corey Greaves
Ken Evers-Hood
Suzzanne Lacey


Ruth and Naomi’s lives were woven together in a season of despair and displacement. Environmental trauma, poverty, forced migration, food insecurity, personal vulnerability, and power differentials continue to shape our shared human experience now as it did then. God interlaced the threads of Ruth and Naomi’s individual stories, each with unique messiness and unpredictability. Through God’s weaving, these women learned mutual sacrifice, found healing community, and shared liberation. Our threads – our stories – are made to be woven together on God’s sacred loom; each thread, unique and complex, spun out of God’s grace and love. Our call is to recognize the value of each thread in all its complexity, each thread’s necessity to God’s design, and our lifetime commitment to the work of freedom and faith.


Worship: Cloth Rendering
Sermon: Mary Ellen Azada
Sermon: Kelle Brown
Sermon: Eliana Maxim
Keynote: Tali Hairston
Keynote: Jennifer Harvey
Testimony: Heidi Armstrong & Scott Lumsden
Testimony: Corey Greaves
Testimony: Ken Evers-Hood
Testimony: Suzzanne Lacey
2019 NEXT Church Update

National Gathering Coverage

Want to learn more about what happened at the 2019 NEXT Church National Gathering? Check out these great articles from the Presbyterian Outlook:

We also asked a variety of people to reflect on the National Gathering on our blog. Here’s what some attendees of the 2019 National Gathering had to say:

The Energy to Keep Going

“This all sounds great, but I have to ask: how much were you working each week to make this happen?” This honest question, asked in the workshop I was co-leading on intergenerational ministry, was one that I wasn’t quite ready for.

Carefronting as True Allyship

I would encourage the planners of future NEXT Church National Gatherings to make this “Holy Time” for People of Color to gather together separately a new tradition. I would also suggest that during this time the group consider adopting the norm of “carefronting.”

Sources of New Life

Church conferences can be, lets face it, weird. Long exhausting days can overwhelm me with an even worse sense of imposters syndrome than my first few weeks of seminary. But this year, at the NEXT Church National Gathering, I had a uniquely different experience, and I’m not the only one.