WORKSHOP INFORMATION

Workshops

Below, you will find titles and descriptions for the workshops being offered during the 2020 National Gathering. Workshop descriptions (and information about their leaders) follows the chart below. Click on a workshop name in the chart to head directly to its corresponding description.

This year, we’re offering two workshop blocks. When you register for the National Gathering, you’ll need to register for these two workshop opportunities as well.

BLOCK 1 – MONDAY

BLOCK 2 – TUESDAY

Anti-Racist Leadership in the Church
Emily McGinley

After the Call: Practical Principles for Elder-Led Congregational Change
Jenny Lansbury, Diane Walton Hendricks, & Kerry Grannis

Building a Postcolonial Feminist Hermeneutic
Michele Ward & McKenna Lewellen

Automated Sin: Algorithmic Redlining and Societal Well-Being
Annanda Barclay

Cooperative Parish Ministry: Do Something Else
Jasmine Smart & Nate Phillips

Being Theologically Creative in an Age of Polarization
Elizabeth & Lee Hinson-Hasty

Courage to Connect
Troy Bronsink & Daniel Hughes

Care for the Soldier’s Soul: What Every Pastor Needs to know about Moral Injury and the VA
Erin McArdel, Linda Conyers, & Kelly Wadsworth

Federal Chaplaincy Today – Making an Impact with Those Who Serve
Lyman M. Smith

Community, Economy, and Mutual Delight: Where Will You Focus Your Mission?
De’Amon Harges & Mike Mather

The Hopelessness of Fixing our Immigration Crisis
Miguel de la Torre

Complicated Memories, Interlocked Histories: Racial Justice and the LGBTQIA+ Community
Jessica Vazquez Torres, Alex Patchin McNeill, Shanea Leonard, & Jess Cook

If These Stones Could Cry Out: Sharing Our Theological Rocks
Diane Maloney & Keli Shipley Cooper

Dealing with Difficult People
Kelly Deutsch

Making Your Way Without a Map: Change Theory as a Navigational Tool for Church Transformation
Ann C.S. Marshall & Andrew Solovey

Getting to Know Your Neighbors
Karen Rohrer & Jane Larson

Matthew 25: A Bold Invitation
Diane Moffett

The “Little Hours” of Intergenerational Formation for a Sunday Spirituality
Liz Perraud & Jason Santos

Naïve Peaceniks and Blood-Thirsty Hawks: A Pastor-Veteran Sets the Story Straight
Kelly Wadsworth

Ministry with a Moral Imagination: The Case for Public Witness in the Church
Antonio Lawrence & Kimani Wright

New Stones for a Sacred Place
Karen Schlack

The New Parish: Connecting Faith Communities Through Place and Story
Rich Jones & Daniel Hughes, & Sean Gladding

The NEXT Generation of Youth
Shelley Donaldson, Tully Fletcher, & Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks

Pastoring While Female
Amy Miracle & Amy Starr Redwine

Resurrection from Another Angle: Interrogating Eastertide Assumptions
Kamal Hassan & Debra Avery

Talk is Cheap: Getting Serious about Anti-Racism Work in Your Setting
Debra Avery & Erin Counihan

Spiritual Practices for Activists
Christine Caton

What Do These Stories Mean? Weaving Your Faith and Reproductive Story Together
Angela Williams & Sonja Miller

Stewardship in A Preoccupied Land: How Our Giving Becomes Touch Stones
Mieke Vandersall, Larissa Kwong Abazia, & Erin Weber-Johnson

Worshiping & Singing Together
Alexandra Mauney & Katy Stenta

(OFF-SITE) River City: Towards a More Flourishing Community – Another Tale of Two Cities
Ronnie Matthew Harris

(OFF-SITE) River City: Towards a More Flourishing Community – Another Tale of Two Cities
Ronnie Matthew Harris

Workshop Block 1 – Monday

Anti-Racist Leadership in the Church

Many congregations desire to practice racial justice, but have a difficult time knowing where to begin. Drawing from CrossRoads Anti-Racism, we will examine the ways that White Institutional Values shape church life and explore ways to exchange these for Transforming Values. This workshop will bring together both critical anti-racist analysis and congregational realities to equip leaders for rigorous, thoughtful, and gospel-fueled approaches to building beloved community.

Rev. Emily McGinley is the Executive Pastor of Urban Village Church in Chicago. She has presented nationally on vocational discernment, preaching, church planting, social media, inclusive evangelism, and anti-racist church leadership.

Building a Postcolonial Feminist Hermeneutic

In this political moment of heightened racism, xenophobia, and misogyny, community leaders must build and use liberative lenses to interpret Scripture. We will explore Joshua 3-4 through personal and biblical narrative. We will engage postcolonial and feminist theorists to help us see God, the text, and ourselves more clearly. Listen to stories, tell your own, and pay attention to your body’s wisdom with us. This workshop is open to anyone who interprets the Bible; yes, that means you!

Rev. Michele Ward is associate pastor at Brown Memorial Park Ave in Baltimore. She graduated from Whitworth University and The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. She is ordained (PC)USA, an organizer, and an active clergy member of BUILD (IAF).

McKenna Lewellen works at The Center, a mission arm of the Baltimore Presbytery, and recently served as chaplain for Turnaround Tuesday, a BUILD (IAF) initiative. She holds an MDiv from BU, and her work swells from the intersection of theology and trauma.

Cooperative Parish Ministry: Do Something Else

Cooperative parishes are a creative way to honor the traditions and history of a local church while also adapting, taking risks, and having a big missional impact. From this posture of togetherness, churches often find a sense of renewed life and purpose. Pastors of all church sizes are especially invited to imagine together our contexts and how greater collaboration could serve our churches and our communities.

Jasmine Smart is the lead pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Troy, MI (average worship attendance of 50), and parish associate for congregational care at Kirk in the Hills (worship attendance of 600).

Nate Phillips is the senior pastor at Kirk in the Hills in Bloomfield Hills, MI. His vision and leadership led to successful cooperative ministry with First Pres Troy. He is the author of “Do Something Else: The Road Ahead for the Mainline Church.”

Courage to Connect

Can contemplative practice lead to justice? In July 2017, after the unrest in Cincinnati caused by a white police officer taking the life of a black man, two friends – Daniel Hughes, a black pastor, and Troy Bronsink, a white pastor – looked around for spaces to have difficult, courageous conversations about their differing experiences of their same city, nation, and world. They facilitate groups to practice sobriety toward collective addiction to privilege, and racial segregation and assimilation.

Rev. Troy Bronsink awakens and sustains spirit-led, personal and collective transformation. His is founder and director of The Hive: A Center for Contemplation, Art and Action and serves Bond Hill Presbyterian.

Rev. Daniel Hughes is lead pastor for Incline Missional Community, a diverse, loving, productive, and missional faith community transforming lives. Hughes also cares for the souls of the movement and champions citizens reentering from prison.

Federal Chaplaincy Today – Making an Impact with Those Who Serve

Federal chaplaincy is expanding – from traditional military and veteran’s hospitals and federal prisons – to other agencies and departments within our federal system. Chaplains are vetted and have access to all members of their organizations and are relied upon in ministry to both the individuals and the institution itself. Working in a thoroughly pluralistic environment, Presbyterian chaplains are often the only ones available to provide ministry to many needing the love of Christ.

Captain Lyman M Smith, CHC, USN, Retired, is the director of the Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel. His most recent pastorate was Grace Presbyterian Church – a congregation composed primarily of people of the new diaspora.

The Hopelessness of Fixing our Immigration Crisis

Why do they come? We continue to have an immigration crisis on our Southern border because we fail to explore the reasons why “they” come. Why would a family face death to migrate to a country hostile to their very presence. But this death-dealing crisis is profitable. We can never “fix” our immigration dilemma because too few people are making too much money off of the crises. This workshop will explore: 1) The historical causes of the current immigration crisis; 2) The reasons why the crisis will not be fixed; 3) And how should Christians respond to the hopelessness of the crisis.

Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre’s academic pursuit is social ethics within contemporary U.S. thought; specifically how religion affects race, class, and gender oppression. Since obtaining his doctorate in 1999, he has authored over a hundred articles and published thirty-five books (five of which won national awards). He presently serves as Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver. A scholar-activist, Dr. De La Torre has written numerous articles in popular media and has served on several civic organizations. Recently, he wrote the screenplay to a documentary on immigration which has screened in over eighteen film festivals, winning over seven awards.

If These Stones Could Cry Out: Sharing Our Theological Rocks

At our core, the values we hold onto impact everything we do. When we cannot articulate our own values, we can be misguided in our ministry, or even burn out (as both clergy and lay leaders). Understanding “what” matters to us and “why” can illuminate our own understanding of what it means to be in ministry. Participants are invited to do some hands on collaboration with others including identifying your own “theological rocks” and engaging in small group discussion based on individual contexts.

Diane Maloney serves at Falls Church Presbyterian Church in Falls Church, VA as director of children, youth, and family ministry. She is a graduate of the Center for Youth Ministry Training and Memphis Theological Seminary.

Keli Shipley Cooper serves at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA as minister for faith formation. She is a graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary and a candidate for ministry in the PC(USA).

Making Your Way Without a Map: Change Theory as a Navigational Tool for Church Transformation

This workshop will help you to assess church problems within the context of change theory. We will look at what constitutes a problem, differences that make a difference, and gaining navigational expertise to know when you are facing motion sickness, a bump in the road, or a need to reroute. We will begin with presenting concepts and end with applying the framework to specific problems that may be occurring in your church. Participants are invited to bring church problems for discussion.

Rev. Dr. Anne C.S. Marshall is PC(USA) pastor and director of contextual and experiential formation at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Anne works with interns as they figure out how to lead change. At her last call, she led a PC(USA) congregation through a redevelopment process.

Andrew Solovey, ACSW, LISW-S and ruling elder, is a behavioral health specialist and consultant at Solutions Counseling, LLC. He is coauthor of 3 books related to the unifying theory of change in psychotherapy and has presented workshops nationally.

Matthew 25: A Bold Invitation

Is the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Matthew 25 Vision just another program of the denomination? What makes it unique? Why should I be a part of it? How can I shape it? Can this vision help strengthen the work and witness of the PCUSA and 21st century disciples? These and other questions will be explored in this workshop. Participants will take a deep dive into the tri-fold mission focus on building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty. We will hear testimonies from those who are living into the Matthew 25 Vision, engage in explorative discussions on how Matthew 25 may be applied in our contexts, and gain next steps and practical tips for sharing this vision with others.

The Rev. Dr. Diane L. Givens Moffett serves as the President and Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency — the mission arm of the PC(USA). She has held this role since June 2018.

Naïve Peaceniks and Blood-Thirsty Hawks: A Pastor-Veteran Sets the Story Straight

In an age where faith communities struggle to meaningfully address our endless wars, this workshop lays out why the future of the church is single-handedly being undermined by our insatiable consumer appetite and the violence that is employed at its behest. If ‘truth is the first casualty of war,’ then our theological heritage of truth-telling might be just the antidote. Joshua 4, after all, just might be a story of checking ones privilege before moving your army into someone else’s land. Together, let’s set the story straight through four key understandings.

Rev. Kelly Wadsworth, PhD (PCUSA) is lead pastor of Alki Church in Seattle, WA. Her graduate work focused on religion and psychology with her undergraduate focus on economics and public policy. She is both a war veteran and an anti-war activist.

New Stones for a Sacred Place

Hear the story of how a pastor and congregation partnered with a community organization (IAF) to build affordable housing for disabled persons on an historic site that had been closed since 2013, where children were served for over 100 years. Learn how a church can go beyond writing checks to making a new thing possible: putting bricks and mortar in a historic place where help has been given to the poor for over 100 years.

Rev. Karen Schlack is pastor in a small (less than 150) church in a small city in the Midwest. Her education and experience lies in social work, hospital management, consulting with Ernst & Young, quality improvement, and leadership training. Her degrees include an MSW, MBA, and MDiv.

The NEXT Generation of Youth

This workshop is designed to focus on the future generations of young people. We can’t keep using the same methods and practices of past generations, but we can learn from them as we look forward. Using interactive methods and conversation, this workshop will: explore how the current generation of youth (Gen Z) interact with the world, their families, communities, and especially the Church; explore the trends forming for the generation after Gen Z; and share resources geared towards smaller churches where ministries tend to be inter-generational. This is a PWYA recommended workshop.

Rev. Shelley C. Donaldson is the associate pastor of missional engagement and ministry with youth at First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, CT. She is the co-moderator for the Presbyterian Youth Workers Association board, as well as a curriculum writer, a former camp director, and practicing artist.

Rev. Tully Fletcher is the associate pastor for youth & families in Rockdale County for three churches: Conyers Presbyterian, Smyrna Presbyterian and The Presbyterian Church of the Resurrection. He currently serves as a board member and treasurer for the Presbyterian Youth Workers Association.

Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks is director of faith formation at Fairmount Presbyterian, Cleveland Heights, OH, & is co-moderator of the board for More Light Presbyterians. Amy Kim is active within the PC(USA), serving on various committees and boards and is always looking for new ways to grow and sustain the life and work of God’s church.

Resurrection from Another Angle: Interrogating Eastertide Assumptions

Working with lectionary Eastertide gospel texts, this workshop will provide guidance in using a liberation framework as a practical tool for seasonal congregational planning. Participants can expect to work in teams to develop contextual preaching approaches and worship experiences.

Rev. Kamal Hassan is the pastor of Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church in Richmond, California, spiritual director, and community activist.

Rev. Debra Avery is a New Worshipping Community leader for Justice House in Oakland, California, an organizer, and a communication consultant.

Spiritual Practices for Activists

As activists, we are often so busy attending or planning demonstrations, vigils, and actions that we take no time to recharge. As Christians, we plug into Jesus to be renewed. This relaxed and participatory workshop will be a place to learn and try out some spiritual practices that are easy yet meaningful. This will include lectio divina, centering prayer, praying in color, and photography (bring your camera or smartphone). And be prepared to dance and sing!

Christine Caton is a Presbyterian minister and a long time peace activist. She is on the executive committee of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. Christine has served overseas in Israel/Palestine and Colombia. She lives in East Lyme, Connecticut.

Stewardship in A Preoccupied Land: How Our Giving Becomes Touch Stones

Our giving testifies to what we believe and how we concretely act. Since 2016, new donor motivations have emerged and we are changing the ministry of fundraising. Learn how to meet your congregation’s needs through donor-based strategies in the ministry of giving. Utilizing hands on research and expertise, we will present new adaptive practices, provide opportunities to apply in your own congregational context, and walk away with needed tools to support your work.

Rev. Mieke Vandersall is the principal of Vandersall Collective, begun after more than a decade of work for LGBTQ equality in the Presbyterian Church. She works in the area of fundraising and planning. She is also a church planter.

Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia was vice moderator of the 221st General Assembly and served churches throughout the United States. She is passionate about racial justice and congregational transformation. Larissa is a consultant for Vandersall Collective.

Erin Weber-Johnson is a senior consultant at Vandersall Collective. A published author, speaker and Episcopalian, she roots her stewardship work in practical theology while utilizing her years of fundraising experience when working with congregations across denominations.

(OFF-SITE) River City: Towards a More Flourishing Community – Another Tale of Two Cities

This up-close and personal walk-shop profiles the past, present and future of Cincinnati and its implications for us as a nation. Focusing particularly on local socio-economic, racial and political developments and divides, the tour takes one from the conference room chair to the recently completed riverbanks where off-main street development has attracted new residents, employers, and visitors alike; all the while subjugating its low to moderate income residents to age-old norms of inequity and exclusion.

This is an off-site workshop that will involve walking.

Ronnie Matthew Harris is gifted with an uncanny knack for connecting people, places and things, Harris invokes decades of experience to probe his greatest interest- the intersectionality between human flourishing, sustainable faith communities, racial equity, mobility and justice.

Workshop Block 2 – Tuesday

After the Call: Practical Principles for Elder-Led Congregational Change

What happens after you hear the still, small voice? How do you move through the waters of change to new ground? In one Northern Virginia church, an elder-led season of discernment led to a new vision and mission, refocused ministry areas, reinvigorated leadership, and a reorganized administrative structure to support it all. Help your session with its journey of transformation by learning the practical strategies and guiding principles we discovered from successes and missteps along the way.

Jenny Lansbury is a ruling elder at Falls Church Presbyterian. Outside of her engagement in transformative work at the church, she is a twentieth-century cultural historian working on her second book.

Diane Walton Hendricks has served at Falls Church Presbyterian Church for 15+ years as the congregation has sought to grow in faithfulness. Sometimes it takes a lot of wandering before finally crossing over to a new way of being church!

Kerry Searle Grannis is a ruling elder at Falls Church Presbyterian. She lives in Annandale, VA with her husband and 3 children. When not working on giant church projects, you can find her working at a Washington, DC think tank as an administrator.

Automated Sin: Algorithmic Redlining and Societal Well-Being

What happens when followers of Jesus encounter corporations like Cambridge Analytica? This workshop will speak to the issue of algorithm automation and data privacy as an issue of practical theology for our youth and society. We’ll introduce what automation and personal data is and how it works, and why the issues of sovereignty, forgiveness, and agency matter to practicing Christians in democratic societies. The goal is to leave the workshop having a firm basic knowledge of how these issues impact youth and society. This is a PWYA recommended workshop.

Rev. Annanda G. Barclay is the associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto. She’s a futurist thinker, a digital human rights advocate, and a full advocate for well-being through spiritual growth.

Being Theologically Creative in an Age of Polarization

In a polarizing time, the intersection of theology and practice is a creative place for transformation. Stories of resistance from around the world are a counter-narrative to our nation’s normal newsfeed. Come and explore leadership to expand the reformation here and now toward God’s imagined future.

Revs. Drs. Elizabeth & Lee Hinson-Hasty partner to navigate church, world, academy, and family in transformative ways.

Elizabeth is professor and chair of theology at Bellarmine University and is elected to the PC(USA) Mission Responsibility Through Investment committee. Her most recent book is The Problem of Wealth (Orbis 2017). 

Lee is senior director for Theological Education Funds Development at the PC(USA) Foundation. He has chaired the Forum for Theological Exploration board and now is a trustee for the Foundation for Theological Education in Southeast Asia.

Care for the Soldier’s Soul: What Every Pastor Needs to know about Moral Injury and the VA

It is absolutely critical that faith communities play a more active role in coming alongside our warriors’ healing journeys. In this workshop, participants will learn how to assess for and minister to veterans suffering from moral injury. They will also learn the basic structure of the VA, which congregants are likely to use it, and what resources are available for churches. Limitations of the VA will be covered as well as the rich opportunities for faith communities to step in.

Rev. Erin D. McArdel is a board certified chaplain serving as the palliative care and hospice chaplain at the Seattle VA hospital. Erin also serves as a parish associate minister at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, WA.

Rev. Linda Conyers serves as a staff chaplain at the Seattle VA hospital, serving on interdisciplinary care teams in both mental health and substance abuse outpatient clinics. She is endorsed by the Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel, and board certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and the National Association of VA Chaplains (NAVAC).

Rev. Kelly Wadsworth, PhD (PCUSA) is lead pastor of Alki Church in Seattle, WA. Her graduate work focused on religion and psychology with her undergraduate focus on economics and public policy. She is both a war veteran and an antiwar activist.

Community, Economy, and Mutual Delight: Where Will You Focus Your Mission?

Funders often want to know: “How many contact hours did you have? How many volunteers? How many young people were involved? How much food did you deliver?” What if we asked questions about what we really want to know? Are people healthier, is there more joy, and are we better connected? Come hear two of our National Gathering keynoters talk about how to help you gain focus for your mission around what really matters.

De’Amon is a lay member of Broadway United Methodist Church and is known around the world as “The Roving Listener.”

Mike is the pastor of Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis (since 2003). He is also the author of Having Nothing, Possessing Everything: Finding Abundant Communities in Unexpected Places.

Both De’Amon and Mike are faculty of the Asset Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University. Their friendship has been the best teacher of community development and the Gospel that they have.

Complicated Memories, Interlocked Histories: Racial Justice and the LGBTQIA+ Community

Racism and heterosexism are so deeply ingrained that many of us don’t see their impact on our lives and communities. Trusting God’s faithfulness gives us strength to move through even the roughest waters together. Join leaders doing ministry at the intersection of racial justice & LGBTQIA+ justice. Learn how racism and heterosexism function as a two-headed beast, pitting us against one another and even against parts of ourselves, and how to take action to integrate racial justice tactics in your ministry.

Rev. Jessica Vazquez Torres, B.A., M.Div. (she/her) is the national program coordinator for CrossRoads Anti-Racism Organizing and Training. A native of Puerto Rico, Jessica identifies as a “1.5 generation Queer ESL Latina of Puerto Rican descent.”

Rev. Shanea D. Leonard, B.A., M.Div. (they/them) is a pastor, teacher, consultant, community activist, and justice warrior. They currently carry out their justice mandate as the national associate for gender & racial justice for the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Rev. Alex Patchin McNeill, B.A., M.Div. (he/him) has served as the executive director of More Light Presbyterians since 2013. A coach, capacity-builder, and sought-after trainer, Alex was the first openly transgender man to be ordained in the PC(USA).

Rev. Jess Cook, B.F.A., M.F.A., M.Div. (they/them) is the program & communications manager for More Light Presbyterians. Their work is about creating spaces where all of God’s children know they are seen and loved. Jess was the first openly non-binary person ordained in the PC(USA).

Dealing with Difficult People

Why do some people in your congregation shoot down every idea, while others want to please everyone? How do you respond to staff members when they whine and play the victim, get defensive and explode, or just shut down? In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn:
– Why some people are so difficult
– 4 proven techniques that work with all difficult types
– When (maybe) you might be difficult too
This session is specifically designed for everyone who works with humans!

Kelly Deutsch is a professional coach, international speaker, and bestselling author of the book, Spiritual Wanderlust: The Field Guide to Deep Desire. When she isn’t exploring the interior life, you might find her wandering under big skies.

Getting to Know Your Neighbors

For congregations, neighborhood exegesis aims for two different things: (1) learning to be a good neighbor, which means joining itself to the cares, hopes, and passions of its neighborhood; and (2) cultivating a renewed sense of congregational identity (vocation, or calling) in relationship to what God is doing in the neighborhood. This workshop will offer broadly applicable community practices to do both.

Rev. Karen Rohrer is director of the Church Planting Initiative at Pittsburgh Seminary, and founding co-pastor of Beacon, a new church in Philly. Her joys in this work are local ministry, equipping unlikely leaders, and trying new ways to be church.

Jane Larson works with the Church Planting Initiative at Pittsburgh Seminary, convenes a community called Family Dinner, and continues to vision new ways to gather with her neighbors.

The “Little Hours” of Intergenerational Formation for a Sunday Spirituality

It’s no secret that Sundays are the best day of the week to gather all generations. Given this reality, this workshop will explore four “little hours” through which your congregation can practically integrate intergenerational formation. Framed through the idea of “intergenerational holy moments,” this workshop looks at four hours on a typical Sunday – education hour, worship, youth group and family time – that help cultivate intergenerational formation in your congregation. This is a PWYA recommended workshop.

Rev. Jason Brian Santos, PhD, is the mission coordinator for Christian formation at the Presbyterian Mission Agency. He is an ordained teaching elder in the PC (USA) and holds a PhD in practical theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Liz Perraud is the executive director of GenOn Ministries. GenOn trains, resources, and supports Christian communities for discipleship through intergenerational relationships.

Ministry with a Moral Imagination: The Case for Public Witness in the Church

This workshop presents progressive and practical ways to support community engagement as an anchor institution in society. We examine modern and prophetic examples on how to reclaim your social witness and make a positive impact at the individual, community, business, civil, and governance levels. We encourage discussion of incremental and measurable projects, programs, and ideas others have that may lead to positive, long-term, systemic change.

Rev. Antonio Lawrence earned a B.A. from Johnson C. Smith University and a Master of Divinity Princeton Theological Seminary. Rev. Lawrence is presently serving as pastor at the Faith Presbyterian Church in Goldsboro, NC.

The Rev. Kimani Wright earned a degree in management from North Carolina A&T State University and a Master of Divinity from Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary. He is pastor of Northminster Presbyterian Church of Columbia, SC.

The New Parish: Connecting Faith Communities Through Place and Story

There is a movement across neighborhoods and denominational lines, a “new parish.” Part of that movement is the Parish Collective. It offers deep support to local churches, faith-based groups, and any follower of Christ that desires to grow roots in their neighborhood and links across cities for parish renewal. Join regional leaders for an introduction to this growing movement.

Rev. Rich Jones (PCUSA) is the pastor of Fleming Road UCC in Cincinnati, and a member of the organizing team for the Parish Collective. He is passionate about connecting people to serve the common good across his city.

Rev. Daniel Hughes (UMC) is the founding pastor of Incline Missional Community, which is dedicated to elevating the Price Hill community in Cincinnati, and is a member of the organizing team for the Parish Collective.

Rev. Sean Gladding is a founding member of Communality and the Fig Tree Collective, missional expressions of the church in Lexington, KY. He is a published author, and speaks regularly on his books; missional living; and addiction, recovery and the church.

Pastoring While Female

Many congregations genuinely believe they are accepting of and ready for a female head of staff and yet the reality can feel otherwise. This workshop will identify some of the particular challenges faced by female clergy and focus on developing internal and external resources to cope with them. What does it take to survive and thrive as women in parish ministry? What are some effective strategies for discerning when challenges in the church are related to gender and for responding effectively?

Amy Miracle is pastor and head of staff at Broad Street Presbyterian Church, Columbus, Ohio. She is currently a facilitator of an all-female cohort of pastors through Macedonian Ministries.

Amy Starr Redwine is the pastor and head of staff at First Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia.

The two workshop leaders have a combined 35 years in ministry; a combined 20 years as heads of staff.

Talk is Cheap: Getting Serious about Anti-Racism Work in Your Setting

We’ve done bible studies, heard sermons, read books, had thoughtful conversations, even attended workshops. But how do we actually bring to reality all the words we’ve written, heard, spoken? Taking seriously the call to address racism in a predominantly white denomination, two white pastors share some ways we’ve tried, failed, and tried again to take some next steps with our congregations in anti-racism work. We will provide space to share and workshop practical examples and best practices for every level of engagement with the goal of taking the “us” beyond ourselves and into the community.

Rev. Debra Avery (she/they) is a small church pastor and New Worshipping Community organizer for Justice House in Oakland, California, an organizer, and a communication consultant who is committed to living anti-racism as a daily practice.

Rev. Erin Counihan (she/her) serves as pastor at Oak Hill Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, MO, where together we keep trying new ways to show wild, radical love to our neighbors and bring change in our community.

What Do These Stories Mean? Weaving Your Faith and Reproductive Story Together

Reproductive justice is one of the third-rail issues affecting our politics today. We hear noise from all over the spectrum. Rarely do we consider the issue from a faith perspective. This workshop starts with story. Your story. No matter who we are, we all have a reproductive story, even if we have never had children. These stories are our stones that weave us together in God’s story. Join us as we practice telling our reproductive stories and connecting them to our faith journey.

Angela Williams, outreach and faith organizer with Texas Freedom Network, is a queer Presbyterian living in Austin, TX. She works organizing LGBTQ equality and reproductive freedom at the state level in Texas.

Sonja Miller, a lifelong Presbyterian, and outreach and faith director with Texas Freedom Network, directs Just Texas: Faith Voices for Reproductive Freedom creating culture change by countering the toxic faith narrative around abortion in Texas.

Worshiping & Singing Together

Employing Nancy Eiesland’s seminal text “The Disabled God” as a textual guide, participants will examine the ways in which our practices of Christian worship and song can more fully seek and enact justice with and for those of us with disabilities. Participants will glean thoughtful ways to think about inclusion from a disability justice perspective, drawing on the principles of learning styles and intelligence types beyond IQ. We will look at worship bulletins and congregational songs as we think creatively about how best to craft worship with a commitment to access within our own communities.

Alexandra Mauney is a pastoral resident at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is a lifelong musician and lover of hymnody, and has written for such denominational publications as Call to Worship and The Word In Season.

Katy Stenta is pastor at New Covenant & co-founder of TrailPraisers Inclusive New Worshipping Community for all ages, faiths, ands abilities through verbal, meditational, physical, and creative worship.

(OFF-SITE) River City: Towards a More Flourishing Community – Another Tale of Two Cities

This up-close and personal walk-shop profiles the past, present and future of Cincinnati and its implications for us as a nation. Focusing particularly on local socio-economic, racial and political developments and divides, the tour takes one from the conference room chair to the recently completed riverbanks where off-main street development has attracted new residents, employers, and visitors alike; all the while subjugating its low to moderate income residents to age-old norms of inequity and exclusion.

This is an off-site workshop that will involve walking.

Ronnie Matthew Harris is gifted with an uncanny knack for connecting people, places and things, Harris invokes decades of experience to probe his greatest interest- the intersectionality between human flourishing, sustainable faith communities, racial equity, mobility and justice.

Questions? Email Jen James, our National Gathering coordinator.