Pastors & Leaders Conference

AMBS Pastors & Leaders is an annual gathering of pastors and those who hold leadership roles in local congregations, chaplaincy contexts, regional churches, denominational settings, not-for-profits and community organizations. We meet together to connect, worship, learn, and be inspired for our ministries. Our gatherings reflect AMBS’s Anabaptist orientation but are open to people from any denomination or no denomination.

Monday, Feb. 13 – Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023

How do we think about our ministry in this time of collective trauma stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice, economic uncertainty and rising polarization? Our world has changed in the past three years, and so has the church.

At this conference, we will give ideas and practices to help nurture resilience, compassion and hope in ourselves and our congregations by learning from Jesus’ ministry.

Plan to join us in-person or online!


We’re excited to host Joni Sancken and April Yamasaki as our speakers this year. Joni will speak with us from the AMBS campus and April will join us virtually.

Joni Sancken

Photo of Jodi Sancken

Joni Sancken, PhD, of Oakwood, Ohio, is Professor of Homiletics at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where she also oversees the Preaching Seminar.

She previously served as Assistant Professor of Preaching and Practical Theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Virginia. An ordained minister in Mennonite Church USA, she has served as a pastor in Indiana and Pennsylvania.

She is the author of several books reflecting a theological and interdisciplinary approach to preaching. Her recent work related to trauma and resilience includes Words that Heal: Preaching Hope to Wounded Souls (Abingdon, 2019) and All Our Griefs to Bear: Responding With Resilience After Collective Trauma (Herald, November 2022). Her interests include theological approaches to preaching, women preachers, preaching about the cross and resurrection and preaching in a context of trauma.

April Yamasaki

Photo of April Yamasaki

April Yamasaki, MA, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, serves as Resident Author with Valley CrossWay Church, a liturgical worship community in Abbotsford, and as Editor of MennoMedia’s Rejoice! quarterly devotional magazine.

After 25 years of serving as lead pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, she sensed a new wind of the Spirit to end her leadership role there and invest more deeply in her writing and speaking ministry. She continues to write on spiritual growth and Christian living both online and in print, and she is a frequent guest speaker in churches and other ministry settings.

Her published books include Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal (Herald, 2013); Four Gifts: Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength (Herald, 2018); Christ Is for Us: A Lenten Study Based on the Revised Common Lectionary (Abingdon, 2016); and On the Way With Jesus: Sermons for Lent and Easter Based on the Gospel Texts (CSS, 2019). Her next book is a collection of sermons to be published in 2023.

Call for workshop proposals

We are looking for creative proposals for workshops on how congregations and leaders are “reimagining ministry” in their own contexts. Is there a practice that you are doing communally to address trauma? How are you creatively working to address polarization or justice issues in your community? Have you found new models for Christian education? Are you seeing new ministries emerge? 

We hope workshops will be a space to hear new ideas, try out spiritual practices, and discuss with other leaders how you could reimagine ministry in your own context. 

We are looking for both online workshop proposals (to be offered in Zoom) as well as in-person workshop proposals.

Proposals are due by Dec. 1, 2022.

Registration cost

The early registration cost is $195 USD for in-person or online when you register by Jan. 7, 2023. The registration cost for those registering after Jan. 7 is $245 USD. The final registration deadline is Jan. 30, 2023.

Registration will be coming soon!

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Past Pastors & Leaders conferences

Want to rewatch a session from a past event? Want a taste of what Pastors & Leaders is all about? Learn more about past events and view video recordings.