Pastors Week Workshops

2017 Workshops

Workshops will be offered Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon during Pastors Week. When you register, please indicate which workshop you are most likely to attend.

The Intercultural Leader as an Edgewalker

Presenter: Gilberto Pérez Jr., Sr. Director for Intercultural Development and Educational Partnerships, Goshen College

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The Intercultural Leader should possess requisite attitudes such as respect (valuing other cultures, cultural diversity); openness (to intercultural learning and to people from other cultures, withholding judgment); curiosity and discovery (tolerating ambiguity and uncertainty). While leaders can possess requisite attitudes what else is needed in order to have positive interactions with individuals from different cultures? This workshop will offer participants the opportunity to strengthen their edgewalking and examine how well they function at the margins and interfaces of life, where divergent ways of being and believing meet and collide.

Gilberto Pérez Jr. serves as the Sr. Director for Intercultural Development and Educational Partnerships at the Center for Intercultural and International Education and has also served as Associate Professor of Social Work at Goshen College. Prior to serving at Goshen College, Gilberto served as a behavioral therapist and administrator for Northeastern Center, Inc., where he also authored a nationally recognized mental health promotion curriculum for Latino immigrants. And, Gilberto has served as Regional Pastor for Indiana/Michigan Mennonite Conference. Gilberto lives in Goshen with his wife and three children. He enjoys running, playing basketball, and playing his guitar.


Giraffe meets Jackal: An Introduction to Non-Violent Communication

Presenter: Malinda Berry, AMBS

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In recent years, Mennonites have been lamenting that peacemaking in the form of conflict mediation and transformation seems to be a skill that we offer to the world but are not very good at practicing among ourselves. This workshop seeks to respond to that problem by introducing participants to a way of thinking about systems-level peacemaking and an approach to interpersonal relationships called nonviolent communication or NVC. Pioneered by Marshall Rosenberg and embraced by practical theologians at Princeton Theological Seminary, NVC has become a worldwide movement of people who seek to bring more compassion and empathy into the world.

Beginning with Rosenberg’s belief that “expressing our vulnerability can help resolve conflicts,” Berry’s approach to NVC grows out of her her approach to Mennonite peace theology, namely that being our authentic selves in conflict is an important part of discipleship. So join her for a theological conversation about conflict that will also give you some specific skills and strategies that encourage healing and help us build meaningful connection in our communities.

Malinda Berry is Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics.


What Does it Mean to Be Intercultural? Exploring the Intercultural Development Inventory

Presenter:  Darin Short

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Are you someone who has heard the word intercultural many times and wondered what it actually means? Many people use the word as if it has a specific and narrow meaning and as if everyone has a shared understanding of it. In reality intercultural is ambiguous in its meaning and difficult to define.
The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI™) is an online assessment tool that provides individuals, groups, and organizations an opportunity to understand their own intercultural worldview. Although the IDI™ does not provide a definition of the word intercultural, it does provide a framework for comparing and contrasting what it means to be and to not be intercultural. This framework has proven to be both empowering and motivational for moving forward in intercultural competence development.
During this workshop we will look at the various stages of intercultural development as proposed by the IDI™. By the end of the workshop you will have a basic understanding of the IDI™ and be able to use this understanding as a way to reflect on your own intercultural competence, the intercultural competence of your church in general, or the intercultural competence of any other group to which you belong


From Monocultural to Multicultural Worship  

Presenter:  James Krabill

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Many congregations have become home to people from diverse backgrounds with increasingly divergent musical and aesthetic tastes in worship expression. This is sometimes reduced to questions of “traditional” and “contemporary” forms which have shaped the so-called worship wars many congregations struggle to navigate.

But in addition to these challenges that worship planners face, growing numbers of churches have also welcomed into their faith communities people from diverse cultural and linguistic origins who are seeking to find a place to belong. These might include Asian refugee families, Hispanic neighbors, Nigerian business people or students from China. How does one tap into the “heart sights and sounds” of newcomers and move toward creating a community where multiple artistic expressions are integrated and respected.

This workshop will invite participants to reflect on their current congregational worship experience by examining five approaches to addressing this issue and moving from “inherited” to “independent,” “inclusive,” “integrated,” and “innovative” multicultural patterns. Generous time will be granted for congregational story-sharing to flesh out the implications of these reflections in the differing contexts we represent.


The Story of Joseph and its Intercultural Implications

Presenter: Safwat Marzouk, AMBS

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The narrative in Genesis 37-50 records a story of a forced migrant who prospers in a foreign culture. The workshop will explore episodes from the story that contain matrices and a spectrum of cross-cultural transactions that vary between assimilation, separation and integration. Working closely with biblical texts, the workshop hopes to provide the participants with biblical and theological insights as they seek to form intercultural communities and churches.
Safwat Marzouk is Associate Professor of Old Testament.

Seeking the Beloved Community

Presenters: Keith Kingsley, Shawn Lange, Robert Hunt, and Tyrone Taylor

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"Seeking the Beloved Community" is a monthly gathering of men in Elkhart, Ind., that seeks to build relationships, especially across race and culture, that are honest, reconciled and reconciling. Several of the group’s regular participants will share out of their experience of vulnerable engagement and growing trust, over the past three years. This workshop will also seek to facilitate interactive conversation, around themes of racism, white privilege, and trustful friendship, as an expression of God’s mission of reconciliation.

A Beautiful Mess: Sharing the joys and challenges of becoming intercultural congregations

Presenters: A panel of pastors facilitated by Mark Schloneger, North Goshen (Indiana) Mennonite Church

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As congregations increasingly welcome and encourage ethnic, racial, cultural, economic and educational diversity, these differences are a source of both beauty and frustration. Several pastors from a variety of settings in the US and Canada will share how they came to be part of diversity-oriented churches, what they’ve appreciated about their experiences, what has been difficult, and where they find hope and encouragement. Workshop participants will also be invited to engage panelists with their own experiences and questions.

I See You Are: Building Intercultural Competence and Undoing Racism throughout our Institutions

Presenters: Nekeisha Alayna Alexis and Andy Brubacher Kaethler

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Even as leaders, churches and organizations catch a vision for seeking God's justice and right relationship across dividing walls of hostility, the day-to-day work of living into that vision can be daunting. Where do you start? How do you keep it going? What does "the work" even look like?

In this workshop, Nekeisha Alayna Alexis, AMBS intercultural competence and undoing racism (ICUR) coordinator, and Andy Brubacher Kaethler, assistant professor of Christian formation and culture, will share how the process of institutional change around intercultural competence and undoing racism/oppression is unfolding in our learning community. The time will include 1) identifying the ways we think about intercultural competence and undoing racism; 2) providing specific examples of the steps we are taking on interpersonal, educational and systemic levels including use of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI); 3) sharing some of the results we have seen; and 4) and offering a few pieces of counsel based on our experiences.

We invite you to draw on the AMBS “case study” as a source of ideas and inspiration for similar efforts in your contexts..