Wells & Walls: Well-Being in a Thirsty World

Kansas City, Missouri

March 13-15, 2017

Theme Information

The theme for the 2017 National Gathering is “Wells & Walls: Well-Being in a Thirsty World.” Our guiding scripture is John 4:1-42 – the Samaritan woman at the well.

In John 4 we are told of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, her encounter with her people, and Jesus’ words to the disciples. In the person and story of Jesus Christ we see movement across barriers, new understanding, and life-giving transformation as a consistent pattern.

As we look toward the 2017 National Gathering, as we invite local congregations and regional leadership to come together in the nation’s heartland of Kansas City, we recognize there are many walls and wells that manifest in our lives. In March of 2017 —

  • we are in the early months of a new US presidency (and after an embittered, fear-based campaign season),
  • we watch the global unrest created by the largest refugee crisis in history,
  • we continue – 9 months in – with new leadership in our highest PCUSA church offices,
  • congregational life continues to be growing slowly for some and declining for most in the North American church,
  • we continue to negotiate what it means to be a “big tent” denomination that holds space for minority voices,
  • we confess our fears that manifest in racism, homophobia, demonization, and polarization.

In thinking about this national gathering, we want to explore how we — as disciples and as the church — participate in Jesus’ pattern of moving across barriers, new understanding, and life-giving transformation. In short, finding and offering well-being.


Dr. Rodger Nishioka, Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah and Rev. Dr. Linda Mercadante are our keynote speakers for the 2017 National Gathering.

Rev. Paul Roberts, Rev. Marci Auld Glass and Rev. Alonzo Johnson are our preachers.


This year, our registration options are as follows:

Connector: $189
Sustainer: $319
Supporter: $638
Day Pass – Monday: $139
Day Pass – Tuesday: $139
Day Pass – Wednesday: $99
Evening Pass: $40

For more information about which option to choose, please see the registration form.


The 2017 National Gathering will be held at the Marriott Downtown:

200 W 12th St
Kansas City, MO 64105


The National Gathering will begin at 11am on Monday and end at 12:30pm on Wednesday.

Exhibit Hall

New this year: we are offering a space for an exhibit hall for the first time this year. Space is available on a first come, first served basis.


NEXT Church is committed to creating space for everyone to join in the national conversation, regardless of financial circumstances. We have limited funds available for seminary students and anyone else who would not be able to attend without financial assistance (i.e. a low or non-existent continuing education fund).


Childcare is available for infants through 5-year-olds at the hotel during National Gathering conference hours. Childcare hours are indicated on the schedule. You may sign up for childcare at the same time you register for the National Gathering. Please note that childcare registration ends on February 28. Please contact Jessica Tate with questions.


Please email us!