Pastors and Leaders 2018 Workshops

Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 27 and 28

Tuesday workshops, 2:00-3:30 pm:

Complexity Theory and Praxis for Church Leaders

Presenter: Jennifer Davis Sensenig (AMBS MDiv 1998)

Complexity sciences and chaos theory help us observe complex patterns and emergence in natural systems. Human systems dynamics applies these theories to human systems (such as businesses, organizations, families, communities, congregations, and nations) and equips us for observing emerging patterns in ourselves and the world, adapting our plans and strategies under constantly changing conditions and taking wise action in seemingly intractable situations. I have found human systems dynamics tools and theories to be useful in pastoral ministry and in the multi-faith local justice coalition of 24 congregations which I helped to launch and currently lead as president.  

If you are a leader in a congregation or organization committed to learning as you go...if you sometimes feels overwhelmed by the “wicked problems” or “sticky issues” that never seem to budge...if you want to learn how to take wise action in the midst of complexity...if your organization or congregation sometimes gets stuck in “analysis paralysis”...if you want to influence patterns of injustice in the world and in our own lives which do not yet reflect the kingdom of God, this workshop offers practices that help you adapt and lead.

These tools and theories have influenced my recent reading and interpretation of the New Testament regarding the kingdom of God as emergent among human communities. The presentation portions of the workshop will include specific Biblical insights, though we'll focus more on the theories and tools of adaptive action. 

Jennifer Davis Sensenig, MDiv, is pastor of Community Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va. She has been studying Human System Dynamics with Dr. Glenda Eoyang over the past two years and will be certified in the field at the end of 2017. She has been pastoring Mennonite congregations for 19 years and teaching Bible through the Center for Anabaptist Leadership (Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference) and Eastern Mennonite University. She has been engaged in organizational leadership, most recently with Faith in Action, a multi-faith coalition of 24 congregations in Harrisonburg and Rockingham Co. focused on local justice issues.

 

Hospitality and Safety 

Presenters: Barb Good and Dwight Stewart 

Join us for a conversation on how our congregations and places of worship can offer a welcome to our neighbors and also be intentional about the safety of our congregations. What steps has your church considered or has already taken? How has your church sought to balance these important concerns in light of both violence in public and sacred spaces and our mission to reach out to our neighbors and community with God’s love in Christ? How do we express our commitment to be Peacemakers?

Barb Good, MDiv, is Pastor of Palos United Methodist Church, Chicago.
Dwight Stewart, MDiv, is Pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church, Chicago.

 

Flourishing in Ministry

Presenter: Terry Shue (AMBS MDiv 2011)

Building on the work of Matt Bloom and his team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame, we will look at the foundations of Wellbeing and the positive effect attention to this topic brings to our lives and ministry.  Participants in this workshop will consider alignment to the national average of pastors from other denominations as well as consider the six core themes the research team has identified for Mennonite Church USA pastors.  

Terry Shue, MDiv, is Director of Leadership Development, Mennonite Church USA. He has worked personally with Matt Bloom several times on the topic of flourishing in ministry and on the path forward to help increase the well-being of pastors. 

Healing the Whole Person

Presenter: Deanna Waggy

How do we manage anxiety, exhaustion, trauma, pain and fears without creating dis-ease within our body, mind, emotions or spirit?

This workshop is for anyone who has stress, anxiety or trauma impacting their well-being. When we address our own dis-ease with awareness and compassion, we open the door for deep healing.

Simple self care practices can improve health and well-being. In scripture, we see repeated examples of Jesus going away to a quiet place to rest and pray. With the current societal climate and increased demands on our time and resources, we often don’t take time for self care practices. Our spiritual practices provide the needed rest and renewal necessary for our vocational calling.

As spiritual leaders, how do we incorporate time for our own self care in the midst of the demands of our day? Can we encourage regular spiritual practices for others that promote wellness of body, mind, emotions and spirit? We will explore a number of techniques that can be incorporated into our daily practices to promote healing and wholeness. Self Care is the new Healthcare. 

Deanna Waggy, OTR, is an Occupational Therapist, Spiritual Director and certified practicioner of Zero Balancing and Soul Lightening Acupressure. She is on a quest for healing and wholeness for herself, for others and for the world. She owns a private wellness practice in South Bend, Indiana, where she incorporates her broad experience and training in various therapies to address the health and well-being of the whole person. Deanna enjoys teaching "Acupressure for Anyone" workshops, retreat facilitation and individual consultations, which allow her to equip and empower others to heal from the inside out.

7 x 7: Laments for an Age of Sexualized Power

Presenter: Jerry Holsopple (AMBS MDiv 1987)

Explore how artistic ways of knowing contribute to dialogues about difficult issues, especially when theological theories seem insufficient. The exhibit, Laments for an Age of Sexualized Power, serves as a case study for this enquiry demonstrating what is discovered when approaching the issue of sexual abuse from an artistic and storytelling approach. Themes explored include: the dualities of body and spirit and of male and female, how truth-telling and grace intersect, how a culture of objectification contributes to violence, and how laments function.

Jerry Holsopple, MDiv, PhD, is Professor of Visual and Communication Arts at Eastern Mennonite University, where he teaches photography and media-related courses. He is an artist, photographer and renowned videographer. He was the Artist in Residence at The Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary during the fall of 2015 where he created 7×7: Laments for an Age of Sexualized Power. Jerry spent the 2009-2010 academic year as a Fulbright scholar at LCC International University in Lithuania. He is the recipient of more than a dozen awards in recognition of his video, public service announcements, and websites. 

God is Here: Use Your Church Budget to Tell God's Story

Presenter: Marlene Kroeker (AMBS MDiv 2000)

In times of high stress or anxiety we feel that the only moment is the one we’re in. We forget that there was a time before and that there will be a time afterward. At these times it is critical to remind ourselves that God IS with us and working through us. Believe it or not, your church budget is a great tool for doing just that.This session will show pastors and leaders how to use the Narrative budgeting model. The model uses vision and storytelling to help congregations focus on their calling and God’s movement. BRING YOUR CHURCH BUDGET AND VISION STATEMENT WITH YOU.

Marlene Kroeker, MDiv., joined Everence in 2017 in the Michiana core market as a Stewardship Consultant. She focuses on generosity and financial stewardship. She is part of a team of representatives who offer financial products and services as well as stewardship education tools to individuals, congregations and organizations. Before joining Everence, she most recently worked as the Director of Development at Church Community Services in Elkhart, Indiana. She enjoys working with people of faith and being in conversation with them about what God is doing in their lives. Working with Everence, Marlene is excited for the opportunity to walk with people as they bring God into a place that is often thought of as separate from the rest of their spiritual journey.

Scribes for the Reign of God: The Body, Fear, and Nonviolence

Presenters: Malinda Berry (AMBS MAPS 2000) and Allan Rudy-Froese (AMBS MDiv 1992)

In this workshop 2017-18 "Scribes for the Reign of God" Allan Rudy-Froese and Malinda Berry will share about their respective research projects on stage fright and "embodying nonviolence." Allan will lead exercises for body and voice that can help participants locate and release fear, and draw on the full emotional and physical resources of their bodies when speaking in public. Malinda will then guide participants in Nonviolent Communication practices that illuminate the connections between body, empathetic communication, and peace.

The Scribes for the Reign of God is an annual collaborative research process led by the Institute of Mennonite Studies. Past Scribes themes include the Holy Spirit (2015-16) and migration (2016-17).

Malinda Berry is AMBS Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics.

Allan Rudy-Froese is AMBS Associate Professor of Christian Proclamation. Allan Rudy-Froese has 20 years pastoral experience and a Ph. D. in homiletics. He teaches in the areas of preaching, voice, storytelling, and pastoral leadership. For the last 22 years he has been taking and sometimes teaching voice classes for actors, speakers, and preachers. He is a student of Kristin Linklater’s voice method and was able to study with her recently. Most of Allan’s classes at AMBS include doing voice and body exercises as a way to connect voice, body, mind, and spirit. 

Making the Sermon Together

Presenter: Karla Minter (AMBS MACF 2012)

For the past three years, I have been "making the sermon together" with congregations through an integration of biblical storytelling and group lectio during the 25-30 minute sermon time. An Ohio pastor helped birth this tool as we talked together about how to bring the biblical story into the worshipping life of the congregation. More than twenty-five Mennonite congregations have experienced this "Biblical Storytelling with Reflection Questions" which I introduce to the congregation as follows:

"If you are interested in something other than a traditional sermon and worship format, another possibility is for me to 'tell' the scripture. This is called biblical storytelling. I learn the scripture from the NRSV by heart and then 'tell' it. What often happens in biblical storytelling is that the scripture moves from 'back then' to 'here and now.' It is wonderful to see a familiar text come alive in new ways! Following the telling of the biblical story, I can also lead the congregation in reflecting and engaging with the scripture passage using the following questions (similar to a group lectio):
• What word, phrase, or image captures my attention, interest or imagination? Meditate on this word, phrase or image in silence.
• How does this word, phrase or image speak to my life?
• How does this text call to me? What invitation does it offer?
• Offer your experience to God."

This will be a participatory workshop where pastors and leaders will be personally renewed and professionally equipped with a new tool for taking cues from scripture, by experiencing communal, liturgical hermeneutics, which empowers the faith community to speak the truth of hope, peace and reconciliation into the world God loves.

Karla Minter, MACF, is a Church Relations Representative with Mennonite Mission Network. She is a biblical storyteller, preacher, spiritual director, contemplative retreat leader and missional coach for the theological breadth of congregations within Mennonite Church USA and/or associated with Mennonite Mission Network. She has led multiple spiritual retreats, workshops and prayer experiences with congregations and conferences.

 

Choosing Words for Worship for the Future Church

Presenter: Sarah Kathleen Johnson

What frameworks guide the Resonate team as we select words for worship, both spoken and sung, to include in a new hymnal that will be published in 2020 and used in Canada and the United States in the decades ahead? We will provide participants with a behind-the-scenes look at the worship resources under development for the new collection. We will involve them in our process of choosing and shaping words for the worship of the future church, including testing resources we are considering including in the collection.

Beginning with an overview of worship resources (content that is not music or preaching), we will present a vision for eight streams of worship resources to be included in the new collection, including the types of prayers and readings, resources for central ritual practices like baptism and communion, and scripture readings arranged for congregational worship found in Hymnal: A Worship Book, as well as ways we are exploring moving beyond verbal, beyond traditional, beyond Euro-American, beyond fixed, and beyond Sunday in the worship resources the Resonate team is curating for the new collection. We will also share our Aspirations for Language Use and Criteria for Selection, frameworks that guide us in providing a range of resources that reflect the diversity of people who gather to worship a God who transcends all human language. 

Hymnal revision is of great interest to many pastors and worship leaders. This workshop will have immediate benefits for all who care for words in worship. The eight streams, Aspirations for Language Use, and Criteria for Selection are structures that can be used by pastors, worship leaders, and worship committees in local congregations as they explore how to anchor and grow their worship life. Attendees will have the opportunity to test new content and give valuable feedback to the Resonate team, drawing them into an important binational denominational effort. The discussion in this session will inform the worship resources included in the new hymnal.

Sarah Kathleen Johnson is a PhD student in liturgical studies at the University of Notre Dame. She is the Worship Resources Editor for Resonate: the Mennonite Worship and Song Collection, and has served as a pastor in Mennonite Church Canada. 

Wednesday workshops, 2:00-3:30 pm:

Contemplation as the Foundation for Sacred Presence and Action in Troubled Times

Presenter: Gwen Gustafson Zook (AMBS MDiv 1990)

Leadership in the church in these troubled and troubling days can be overwhelming. Revolutionary cultural change, political chaos, unprecedented technological innovations all combine to create contexts in which providing leadership in the church can be daunting. The challenge to create and nurture sacred space in our faith communities where people experience love, mercy and a sense of the presence of God requires that we, as leaders, intentionally ground ourselves in the love of God, saturate our beings in God’s mercy, renew our minds with the mind of Christ. This is not simply theological jargon. This requires intentional practice.

In this workshop I will present three examples of faith practice that open us to the presence of God. These faith practices, while fine to employ once in a while, are actually intended to be practiced on a consistent and ongoing basis as a way of developing connection with the Divine and being renewed each day. The practices that we will explore are Centering Prayer, Visio-Divina and the Yahweh Prayer. (If the weather is agreeable I may substitute Meditative Listening/Walking for the Yahweh Prayer). These practices are not “one more thing to add to my to-do list.” Rather, when practiced regularly, these faith practices provide the foundation/connection from which the rest of our work flows. Rainer Maria Rilke once said, “May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” I dare say that all who seek to minister in the name of Christ do well to ground ourselves in the love, mercy and presence of Christ in order to have love, mercy and presence flow freely from us in the midst of these troubled times.Presenter:

Gwen Gustafson Zook, MDiv, is a pastor, storyteller, educator and life-long learner. She is currently a student of The Living School for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, studying with Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault and James Finley and a whole host of interesting folks coming from a wide range of theological streams. In addition to more traditional contemplative practices, Gwen enjoys knitting, baking bread, walking in the woods, singing and photography as means of engaging in the creative processes of mindful living in these turbulent times.

Charlottesville ...Going Inside

Presenter: Maren Tyedmers Hange (AMBS MDiv 1993)

I will speak about undoing oppression from the lens of the August 11 and 12, 2017, events in Charlottesville, VA. While the rest of the nation has moved on in light of other disasters and tragedies, it is still front page news every day in Charlottesville.

Jesse Jackson, in a sermon preached in Charlottesville two weeks after August 12, said that "Charlottesville has joined the pantheon of places where the struggle for justice will always be remembered. You join that legion of spots for justice and liberation; you are now in the lineage of Montgomery; Little Rock; Birmingham; Philadelphia, Mississippi; and Selma, Alabama.” What does that mean? What has that looked like in Charlottesville? What have I learned and how have I connected with and engaged the issue of racism since then?

This is a struggle we face as a nation. This is a struggle that in one form or another is faced by any community in this country. How do we lean into the question Ruby Sales learned to ask, “Where does it hurt?” and how do we move toward healing and reconciliation? As pastor I ask, how do we hold the pastoral and prophetic together?

Maren Tyedmers Hange, MDiv, is Co-Pastor of Charlottesville (Va.) Mennonite Church. She is a member of the local interfaith Women's Clergy Circle, formed about a year ago to address racial reconciliation, and the Charlottesville Clergy Collective. In addition, she serves on the Mennonite Central Committee East Coast board. She is German--the country of the Holocaust and the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

The Immigrant, Racism and the Church

Presenter: Haroldo Nunes

In this workshop we will be challenging people to consider (often hidden) "white privilege" and racism in our churches.... We are affected by society around us more than we realize!  

After exploring the plan of God for the human being and why people are on the move (based on Missio Dei Immigration and the Bible by M. Daniel Carroll R.), we will talk about the present realities of race relations in our society and hear stories of churches (like Salem Mennonite of Wooster, Ohio) who are becoming more multi-cultural, and including and empowering sisters and brothers from non-white cultures.

Haroldo Nunez is Pastor of Salem Mennonite Church, Wooster, Ohio, and Executive Director of Open Arms Hispanic Ministry. 

Caring for the Church's Voice: Inspiring Congregational Song

Presenter: Bradley Kauffman

Have you dabbled in music leading in your congregation? Are you feeling a nudge in that direction, but not sure how to get started? Maybe you are a leader who wants to mentor others into leadership. Come for a workshop on strategies for meeting the challenges and joys of leading 21st century congregational song.

Bradley Kauffman is General Editor for Resonate: the Mennonite Worship and Song Collection. He is a longtime leader of congregational song and taught for 18 years in Mennonite schools where he was active in choral music programming and chapel planning.

 

Living Radical Hospitality: This Time Calls Forth Spirituality and Practices of Wide Welcome

Presenter: Carol Rose (AMBS alumna)

Grounded in God's wide welcome of each of us, we will dip into the spiritualties and calls to action of movements of radical hospitality including welcome and community with immigrants (e.g. Sanctuary Movement, congregational responses) and Mennonite LGBTQA movements (BMC/Supportive Communities Network, Pink Menno).

Carol Rose, MDiv., is Pastor of Shalom Mennonite Fellowship, Tucson, Arizona. Shalom has been joined by families from the Congo, extends hospitality in the context of immigrants under threat, and is a member of the Supportive Communities Network. Carol has long been weaving together calls to prayer, activism and pastoral ministry. She is a former MCC volunteer and the former director of Christian Peacemaker Teams. 

What is the Opposite of a Heart Song?

Presenter: Adam Tice (AMBS MACF 2007)

Many of us can readily name “heart songs” that draw us into God’s presence, into following the way of Jesus, and into deeper communion with God’s people. We may be even quicker to identify songs at the other end of a spectrum. What is the opposite of a heart song? What discussions arise when we find theology misguided, musical challenges obtuse, or cultural orientation highly obscure? Any number of factors can alienate us from someone else’s heart song. What can we learn from the songs that are hardest for us to sing? What if the songs we most trip over are actually cause for celebration as evidence of a diverse global people seeking God together in community? How do we prepare for the rich surprises and confounding disappointments of a hymnal release? We will unpack numerous ways that we hold large and small differences surrounding church music.

Resonate: the Mennonite Worship and Song Collection has been blessed with impassioned survey responses from Mennonites across North America. Predictably, one person’s essential song shows up on another’s purge list. Do we ever forget that our heart songs are likely on someone else’s purge list? After all, songs only receive enough use to become anti-heart songs if they are beloved by others in our immediate faith community. This session for pastors and leaders will explore possible conversations for congregations struggling to sing together. We will discuss the Resonate team’s approach to balancing a collection designed to have broad appeal and utility. We will discuss a sampling of heart songs gleaned from Resonate surveys. Participants will benefit from a behind-the-scenes look into the joys and complexities of curating a hymnal revision. They will gain insight into the work as they contribute meaningful questions and suggestions.

AdamTice, MA, is Text Editor for Resonate: the Mennonite Worship and Song Collection. He is a prolific hymn writer, serves as editor for the The Hymn: a Journal of Congregational Song for the Hymn Society of the US and Canada; and has served in pastoral leadership at Hyattsville Mennonite Church.

God is Here: Use Your Church Budget to Tell God's Story

Presenter: Marlene Kroeker (AMBS MDiv 2000)

In times of high stress or anxiety we feel that the only moment is the one we’re in. We forget that there was a time before and that there will be a time afterward. At these times it is critical to remind ourselves that God IS with us and working through us. Believe it or not, your church budget is a great tool for doing just that.This session will show pastors and leaders how to use the Narrative budgeting model. The model uses vision and storytelling to help congregations focus on their calling and God’s movement. BRING YOUR CHURCH BUDGET AND VISION STATEMENT WITH YOU.

Marlene Kroeker, MDiv., joined Everence in 2017 in the Michiana core market as a Stewardship Consultant. She focuses on generosity and financial stewardship. She is part of a team of representatives who offer financial products and services as well as stewardship education tools to individuals, congregations and organizations. Before joining Everence, she most recently worked as the Director of Development at Church Community Services in Elkhart, Indiana. She enjoys working with people of faith and being in conversation with them about what God is doing in their lives. Working with Everence, Marlene is excited for the opportunity to walk with people as they bring God into a place that is often thought of as separate from the rest of their spiritual journey.

Scribes for the Reign of God: The Body, Fear, and Nonviolence

Presenters: Malinda Berry (AMBS MAPS 2000) and Allan Rudy-Froese (AMBS MDiv 1992)

In this workshop 2017-18 "Scribes for the Reign of God" Allan Rudy-Froese and Malinda Berry will share about their respective research projects on stage fright and "embodying nonviolence." Allan will lead exercises for body and voice that can help participants locate and release fear, and draw on the full emotional and physical resources of their bodies when speaking in public. Malinda will then guide participants in Nonviolent Communication practices that illuminate the connections between body, empathetic communication, and peace.

The Scribes for the Reign of God is an annual collaborative research process led by the Institute of Mennonite Studies. Past Scribes themes include the Holy Spirit (2015-16) and migration (2016-17).

Malinda Berry is AMBS Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics.

Allan Rudy-Froese is AMBS Associate Professor of Christian Proclamation. Allan Rudy-Froese has 20 years pastoral experience and a Ph. D. in homiletics. He teaches in the areas of preaching, voice, storytelling, and pastoral leadership. For the last 22 years he has been taking and sometimes teaching voice classes for actors, speakers, and preachers. He is a student of Kristin Linklater’s voice method and was able to study with her recently. Most of Allan’s classes at AMBS include doing voice and body exercises as a way to connect voice, body, mind, and spirit. 

7 x 7: Laments for an Age of Sexualized Power

Presenter: Jerry Holsopple (AMBS MDiv 1987)

Explore how artistic ways of knowing contribute to dialogues about difficult issues, especially when theological theories seem insufficient. The exhibit, Laments for an Age of Sexualized Power, serves as a case study for this enquiry demonstrating what is discovered when approaching the issue of sexual abuse from an artistic and storytelling approach. Themes explored include: the dualities of body and spirit and of male and female, how truth-telling and grace intersect, how a culture of objectification contributes to violence, and how laments function.

Jerry Holsopple, MDiv, PhD, is Professor of Visual and Communication Arts at Eastern Mennonite University, where he teaches photography and media-related courses. He is an artist, photographer and renowned videographer. He was the Artist in Residence at The Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary during the fall of 2015 where he created 7×7: Laments for an Age of Sexualized Power. Jerry spent the 2009-2010 academic year as a Fulbright scholar at LCC International University in Lithuania. He is the recipient of more than a dozen awards in recognition of his video, public service announcements, and websites. 

Flourishing in Ministry

Presenter: Terry Shue (AMBS MDiv 2011)

Building on the work of Matt Bloom and his team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame, we will look at the foundations of Wellbeing and the positive effect attention to this topic brings to our lives and ministry.  Participants in this workshop will consider alignment to the national average of pastors from other denominations as well as consider the six core themes the research team has identified for Mennonite Church USA pastors.  

Terry Shue, MDiv, is Director of Leadership Development, Mennonite Church USA. He has worked personally with Matt Bloom several times on the topic of flourishing in ministry and on the path forward to help increase the well-being of pastors. 

Pastors and Leaders 2018

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