Renew I Educate I Connect 

2018 Extravaganza Workshops

We are so excited to offer nearly 70 workshops at this year's Extravaganza. We are offering workshops on leadership, youth ministry, children's ministry, ministry with young adults. 

We especially pleased to offer a number of worships focused on diversity.

There are four types of workshops that are being offered in 2018, plus the Prayer Chapel in Boardroom C (on the sixth floor):

  • Expert-led Workshops: This year our team has invited a few people who possess particular expertise and experience across a variety of disciplines to share their wisdom during out workshop times. This is not meant to reflect on the level of expertise of other presenters. Rather, the workshops designated as “Expert” represent an intentionally curated offering of opportunities to learn from a variety of experts, including many of the main stage speakers.

  • Practitioner-led Workshops: Led by “on-the-ground” leaders, these workshops combine ideas and tools/resources for ministry leaders. These workshops are separated into tracks.

  • Collective-Wisdom Workshops: These workshops provide an opportunity to have contextual conversations with others in ministry about mutual topics of interest. Led by facilitators who care deeply about the various topics, you will be invited to share your own insights and learn from others too.

  • Wellness Workshops: Grab your morning beverage and come start the day with Whole-Self Wellness practices designed just for you! With “Renew” as one of our core values, these workshop sessions will engage us in mind, body, and spirit; recognizing that God calls us into a life of well-being, freedom, and love. Led by a variety of ministry leaders, these sessions are focused on our own renewal as leaders as well as giving us tools to learn and engage in these life-giving practices. So, come explore and be well with us!

  • Prayer Chapel: Find yourself needing a quiet place to pray and reflect? The prayer chapel is the space set a part for just this. Here, you will find room to sit, pray, and reflect as well as to engage in guided options of individual spiritual expression. These options include prayer stations, journaling, and creative expressions. Instructions and supplies for these various exercises can be found in the room.
And when you come before God, … Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense God’s grace. (Matthew 6:5-6, MSG)

The prayer chapel is located Boardroom C (on the 6th floor) and is open for individual prayer and meditation from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.
  • Finding Forward Prayer Pilgrimage: You are invited to join in on a special prayer journey through this year’s Finding Forward Prayer Pilgrimage. A pilgrimage route offers space within our everyday actions and interactions to pause, pray, and notice God in our very midst. Prayer stations will be located throughout the event space to interact and engage with, including the creation of a tie dye labyrinth. A map for the journey and directions will be available in the prayer chapel as well as with the hospitality team. When you have completed the entire route, you can also enter your name in a drawing to win that very tie dye labyrinth! Come, join the journey on this prayer road together!

They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while [Jesus] was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”  (Luke 24:32, NRSV)

Here is the schedule of workshops so that you can continue to prayerfully consider how you might participate in workshops at the Extravaganza this year.

Leadership and Administration

Title Description Presenter
Having the Hard Talk: When It’s Time For A Difficult Conversation
This workshop will focus on the importance of engaging in difficult conversations and the considerations to be aware of along the way. Participants will also spend time in conversation with one another, putting these principles into practice for practical applications at home.  Ed Kay

Faithful Metrics Start with Clear Values

Measuring success starts by defining your values. Be ready for a fun, fast-paced hour workshop focused on value-driven leadership. Participants will create their own dashboard as they imagine knowing what matters most to them AND using that to influence their decision-making, time management, and metrics both in their personal life and in ministry. Peggy Hahn and David Hansen
Not Just Volun "told" I'd rather be asked than voluntold to do something. Tammy believes we need to move from having volunteers to being adult leaders. How can we do that? Join her to learn best practices in this area and develop plans to ignite your adult leaders for the sake of our young people.  Tammy Jones West
Finding God in the Midst of Storms  How do we honestly accept the assurances found in the Scriptures—when life is messy, confusing and often a struggle? In this workshop Tiger will lay his personal story of living with a chronic disease and share how he holds on to God's assurance - and he promises not to have a “Bible bow-tie” around it.  Tiger McLuen
The Leadership Mindset: Asking Powerful Questions  Based upon the work of Marilee Adams (Inquiry Institute), this workshop explores question thinking as a way to transform results in both personal and professional settings. Leaders with a learner's mindset produce extraordinary results in relationships and work. Participants will practice mindset-shifting strategies that will transform their leadership results. Jim Merhaut
It Takes a Village…but Where the @!&#$% Are They?  This workshop is for people who struggle to find and keep adult leaders. Participants will learn about creating an atmosphere that finds quality leaders and supports them as they minister with youth. This session will also tackle recruiting, training, and supporting leaders in any youth program regardless of church size or leader role. Chris St.Clair
Adaptive Leadership in Uncertain Times Are you adapting to the changing ministry landscape around you? In this time when the future of the church is uncertain, we are called to be leaders. In this workshop, participants will learn how to navigate the horizon together as adaptive leaders.  Tom Schwolert

Tools for Ministry

Title Description Presenter

The Infinite Value of Getting Out of Your Head and into Your Heart: Improv Workshop 

 

This workshop will lead participants through a series of fun and challenging group improv exercises and theater games that will show them ways to find joy, live in the moment and let the world see the true inner you! Ear to ear smiles, gut busting laughter and personal revelations are guaranteed!  Tom Booker
Peace not Walls: Engaging Young People in the Pursuit of Justice  The ELCA is working for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel through our campaign, Peace Not Walls. Through accompaniment, advocacy and awareness-raising, Peace Not Walls promotes dignity, full respect for human rights, healing and reconciliation. In this workshop, participants will learn how to connect young people, who are critical partners, with the campaign.  Karin Brown and Rozella White
 Spirit Cafe: A Journey toward Action Are you passionate about finding new and creative ways to explore faith and serve your neighbor? This workshop will be using a fun and energizing process participants can take back to their context and use with colleagues and youth. Enjoy this experience of reflection, discernment, and imagination to renew and ignite your spirit into action! Jennifer Christ
Rejoicing Spirits: A faith Community for ALL! 
We say the Church is for everyone. But do we live it? People with disabilities are often marginalized, condescended to, and, simply invisible in our churches. This workshop will offer insights and substantial tools to embrace, involve, and invite leadership to people of all abilities so that the Church might be whole.  Dave deFreese and Jim Fields
A Crash Course in Bringing Young People to a Large Event  The workshop will equip adult leaders with the information and tools necessary to bring young people to large events, focusing specifically on the ELCA Youth Gathering. Participants will leave with practical tools and resources for engaging youth in large events as well as basic information related to Houston.  Liz Fisher and Emily Norris
Confirmation @ Home Ministry 
Confirmation @ Home helps parents and family keep their baptismal promises for their children and learn with their children. Come learn more about how they practice the faith as they learn: heart, mind, action/service and are surrounded with a prayer team and an adult faith mentor.  Richard Hardell
Faith at Home in 5 Simple Steps There's a simple 5-step nightly ritual that churches around the world are embracing as a way to help families practice faith every night at home. Participants will learn about FAITH5, the most impactful way to help families grow closer to God while growing in communication with each other, even through adolescence!  Amy Kippen
Real Strategies for Parents as Partners 
We know parents are primary faith teachers. Amy worked at a church that had immense success involving parents at church and at home. From this time she discerned some solid helpful strategies and practices that she would love to share so the blessings can flow to more children, families, and churches.  Amy Kippen
The Messy Reality of Ministry to Parents 
Today’s parents are overworked, exhausted, and untrained but they’re still the primary faith shapers in kids’ lives. With insight from decades of ministry experience and as a parent, this workshop will help participants move beyond good intentions and start encouraging and caring for parents.  Tiger McLuen
Cross+Gen at the Core The wisdom of the elder and the wonder of the child are two priceless gifts you can't buy in a workbook. Join Rich, curator of the Cross+Gen movement, to explore killing Sunday school, canceling the "class" mentality and rebuilding the church one Cross+Gen GIFT family at a time. Rich Melheim
Teaching the Way to Brain Learns Best
Recent advances in brain-scan technology show how to blend attention, retention and fun into learning environments that kids can't get enough of. Invest an hour with Rich, founder of www.richlearning.com, and learn how to be a more fun and effective teacher for the rest of your life. Rich Melheim
Soul Shop: Ministering to Those Impacted by Suicidal Desperation 
Soul Shop is a national movement that trains youth workers to equip their youth group to minister to those impacted by suicidal desperation. Using a equal parts teaching and practice, this workshop will equip leaders with information, skills, and tools to create cultures of hope and social connection for the hurting. Michelle Snyder
Who Benefits? Creating Community Centered Mission Trips
This workshop will provide participants the opportunity to unpack assumptions about what makes a mission trip successful, and will enroll participants in collectively envisioning a values-centric way of engaging the communities they visit. Participants will leave with resources for effectively selecting community partners and a framework for mutually beneficial transformational trips. Bianca Vasquez and Sarah Johnson

Children's Ministry

Title Description Presenter

Engage Children and Youth on Hunger and Poverty

  

In this workshop with ELCA World Hunger, participants will learn about three new resources - a new VBS program for 2018, Act 2Day 4 Tomorrow, and a "Hunger Catechism" lesson series. Participants will have a chance to try out activities you can take back to your congregation.  Ryan Cumming and Phil LaDeur
Faith Forward then Two Step Back? Ever notice that as children grow and learn new things they also have times of regression? Children are not always growing on a linear path moving forward, even if we want them to! So what do we do? In this workshop participants will discover some tools for the daily practice of faith. Janelle Hoopers
Youth-Created VBS! Transforming VBS into a Leadership and Faith Development Lab for Teens Youth are the key volunteers for Vacation Bible School, as they are full of passion and creativity! So let’s develop them to lead. Come learn about the holy experiment they did at her congregation - have a group of youth lead VBS. Youth chose the theme, the Bible story for each day, and even wrote their own curriculum! Rachel James
Parents as Faith Formers  Martin Luther believed strongly that it was the job of parents to teach the basic tenets of the faith to their children. What does this mean to us today? In this workshop participants will explore approaches to equipping and empowering parents to be the primary faith role models for their children. Stephanie Luedtke
Talking with Children About Racism In today’s culture, it's becoming more and more pressing to give children and youth the tools to acknowledge and fight individual and institutional racism. In this workshop, Stephanie and Rhonda will discuss their own experiences with racism, and will offer tools and resources for holding powerful, but age-appropriate conversations with the children in our lives. Stephanie Luedtke and Rhonda Hill
Responding to Mental Health Challenges in Youth This workshop will provide a theological grounding for understanding mental illness, offer an overview of mental illness in children and youth, share resources, and provide opportunities for questions, role-playing, and conversation around this topic. Emily Schmidlin and Hollie Holt-Woehl

Youth Ministry

Title Description Presenter

The Youth Gathering is Coming - Are You ready?

Come hear about the upcoming youth gathering, straight from the Executive Director herself.  Molly Beck Dean
Meeting Youth Where They Are: Teaching Ministry Outside the Box Is your teaching meeting youth where they are? Are youth able to talk about what’s real for them? This workshop will address ways to create a space where youth can engage in uncomfortable conversations and incorporate Scriptures as a means for sparking interest in youth to understand God and apply faith to their every day lives.   Vianney Blomgren
Supporting Transgender and Gender Expansive Children, Youth, and Their Families  Transgender young people are a part of today’s church. What does it mean for a child to be transgender? In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of gender identity and explore how the church can support families in transition and beyond, rooting them in community and cherishing them in the fullness of their identity.  Jamie Bruesehoff
Early Teens as Leadership Teens  How can early teens be frontline ministers instead of merely learners? This workshop will review models, experience skills, and learn about Peer Ministry Leadership's training called The EveryDay Samaritan. Highlights include: Making a Friend, Welcoming a Friend, Understanding a Friend, Helping a Friend, Walking Beside A Friend.  Josh Carlson and Lyle Griner
Engage Children and Youth on Hunger and Poverty  In this workshop with ELCA World Hunger, participants will learn about three new resources - a new VBS program for 2018, Act 2Day 4 Tomorrow, and a "Hunger Catechism" lesson series. Participants will have a chance to try out activities you can take back to your congregation.  Ryan Cumming and Phil LaDeur
Connecting with Difficult Teens  Kids on the fringes. Kids you love who push you away. Hurting teens that look for healing in harmful places. All ministries have difficult teens leaders are trying to connect with. In this workshop participants will look at the profile of difficult teens, what the roadblocks are and how to dismantle them.  Tim Cyer
Not All Mentoring Works  Relationships are the most important part of any ministry, but the latest research shows that the content of those relationships can have an impact on the effectiveness of the mentoring. This workshop will take an in-depth look at effective mentoring practices based on years of experience and scientific findings.  Tim Cyer
Are Your Youth Talking to Others Who Are Considering Suicide?  It is scary to watch most youth raise their hands! NetFlix most watched series, 13 REASONS WHY graphically highlighted unpleasant teen issues. In response, participants will learn how to help youth be the frontlines ministers knowing how to talk to others, and know who and why to turn to for help.  Lyle Griner
13 Reasons Why a Sex Educator Believes You Should Watch "13 Reasons Why " 13 Reasons Why was a highly controversial show watched by many youth that involved suicide. As a Sex Educator, it was clear why I believe every adult working with youth should watch the show. This workshop will highlight those reason and together we will remedy how we can work through them.  Kara Haug

HOLY Movies! 

Do you love movies? Are your youth into movies? Do you know families in your congregation that have movie nights? Movies are great ways to help youth discern how God can and is working through the world, whether fictional or not. In this workshop, participants will learn how almost any movie can be turned into a fun Bible study and walk away with your "God lenses" to see each movie as a great discussion about God!  Kelsey Hlavac
Youth-Created VBS!  Transforming VBS into a Leadership and Faith Development Lab for Teens Youth are the key volunteers for Vacation Bible School, as they are full of passion and creativity! So let’s develop them to lead. Come learn about the holy experiment they did at her congregation - have a group of youth lead VBS. Youth chose the theme, the Bible story for each day, and even wrote their own curriculum!  Rachel James
<18> Faith for the Next Generation  In an age where churches are dwindling, less than 18% of youth are in church on Sunday. Bob has teamed up with Dr. Rich Melheim and Jenica Halula to share how to reverse this trend and pass faith on to the next generation.  Bob Lenz
Living Baptismal Promises thru Confirmation and Congregational Learning  Do you desire inter-generational learning that doesn't feel "forced"? Do you want your students' confirmation experience to stick with them long term? In this workshop participants will learn how one congregation moved away from "the way its always been done,” to a catalytic model driven by flexibility, vocation, and hands-on learning.  Dannica Olsen

Responding to Mental Health Challenges in Youth 

This workshop will provide a theological grounding for understanding mental illness, offer an overview of mental illness in children and youth, share resources, and provide opportunities for questions, role-playing, and conversation around this topic.  Emily Schmidlin and Hollie Holt-Woehl
Taking Camp Home  Evidence is building that camp experiences continue affecting young people long after the last tearful good-bye. Camp is more than fun and games, and in this workshop participants will learn how they can build on the success of these experiences in their ministry contexts by knowing the potential impacts and forging connections between camp, congregation, and home.  Jacob Sorenson
It Can't be Happening Here, right?  Human trafficking is real. What do you know about it? This workshop is a realistic look at how human trafficking can be addressed in your community.  Kristen Theile
GTS/Growth Through Service  Serving is am important dimension of ministry, yet spiritual growth does not always come with it. This workshop offers a practical guide for a youth group of any size to grow in their spiritual understanding while serving the real felt needs of your community.  Kristen Theile
Providing Care for Your LGBTQIA+ Youth As more and more youth come out as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community it is important ministry leaders do all they can to create a welcoming and safe environment. This workshop will offer ideas on how to be inclusive and celebrate all students. Come and get some answers to your questions around housing/room arrangements, bathrooms, and welcome for your LGBTQIA+ youth. Aubrey Thonvold
Emerging Trends in Confirmation

The Confirmation Project, a study of confirmation and equivalent practices in five denominations, has completed its research and discovered several things. The question is - what does it mean for the church? This workshop will share the understanding of confirmation that emerged, seven trends that emerged, five elements of vibrant confirmation, and why the research team believes confirmation has a renewed place forming faith amidst today’s contextual realities.

Terri Elton teaches at Luther Seminary, loves running and biking outdoors, and has been involved in confirmation ministry in some way for over 30 years. As the ELCA rep on the steering team for The Confirmation Project, she is eager to share the learnings from this research with the church.

Terri Elton

Young Adult Ministry

Title Description Presenter

Exploring Innovative Ministry with Young Adults 

The Riverside Innovation Hub at Augsburg University has just begun a 5-year project designed to learn from those doing innovative ministry with young adults. We will share some of our early findings, our most pressing questions, and most exciting resources. Come ready to contribute to the exploration.  Jeremy Myers and Kristina Fruge
Connecting your Youth with College Ministries: The How, Why, and So What?  Lutheran Campus Ministry is one of the largest young adult ministries in the Lutheran Church, but we often have trouble connecting our youth with them. This workshop will discuss the challenges and exciting potential in this unique ministry, explore avenues of connection, and look at brand new research on Lutheran young adults. Jacob Sorenson and Rollie Martinson

Diversity

Title Description Presenter

A Case Study in Overcoming the Monochromatic Membership of the ELCA

The ELCA is the least racially diverse denomination in the United States despite goals for diversity. Why is this so difficult to overcome? How can we take actions that match our words? In this workshop participants will hear a case study that highlights Living Water Ministries’ approach to sharing the gospel.  C.J. Clark
Love & Courage in a Time of Hate & Fear It’s a troubling world. What tools are available to prepare young leaders for the realities of our time? This workshop is an interactive experience straight out of Living Water Ministries award winning Bridge Builders program (a week of camp focused on leadership development and anti-racism training for high school youth).  C.J. Clark
Rejoicing Spirits: A faith Community for ALL!  We say the Church is for everyone. But do we live it? People with disabilities are often marginalized, condescended to, and, simply invisible in our churches. This workshop will offer insights and substantial tools to embrace, involve, and invite leadership to people of all abilities so that the Church might be whole.  Dave deFreese and Jim Fields
Life together  Engaging youth and their families from the community changes the way youth and family ministry is conducted within the church. In this workshop, participants will be equipped with tools and strategies to engage youth and families from their communities through the church.  Moses Kavishe
Dignity Revolution  Because every person has value to God, they should matter to us too, whether we agree with them or not. In this workshop, participants will understand biblical dignity as Bob looks into Scripture to search for the worth and value of each person.  Bob Lenz
Talking with Children About Racism In today’s culture, it's becoming more and more pressing to give children and youth the tools to acknowledge and fight individual and institutional racism. In this workshop, Stephanie and Rhonda will discuss their own experiences with racism, and will offer tools and resources for holding powerful, but age-appropriate conversations with the children in our lives.  Stephanie Luedtke and Rhonda Hill

Ending hunger in YOUR county 

 

  

Ending hunger is something everyone can get involved in. This workshop will encourage leaders to engage their whole community for the sake of the community. Participants will learn from what this little mission start church has discovered as they've spread across work across the country.  Matthew Martin
Disability Ministry: Every Church has the Ability Disability ministry -- the kind that is done WITH, not only FOR, is intentional and inclusive for youth of all abilities within the church. As different abilities of young people are becoming more main-stream, the church has to adapt our teaching, language, activities, and congregational outreach. In this workshop, participants will learn antic-dotes, best practices, and encouragement!  Sarah Mayer-Flatt and Rebecca Grate
How do we say "All Are Welcome" and actually mean it? What do we mean when we say "All Are Welcome"? How do we extend a gospel welcome to youth so their diverse gifts and identities are valued? Poet Joe Davis and "edutainer" David Scherer use a tool called the Intercultural Development Inventory to assess your youth ministry's intercultural competence. David Scherer and Joe Davis
Building Leaders for a Diverse Church With issues of privilege and white supremacy at the forefront of culture, it is as important as ever to develop leaders with cultural and theological competency. In this workshop participants will learn how to create experiences that create strong leaders with a heart for a diverse church and the skills to lead.  Tim Tahitinen and Rhonda Hill
Work Out of the Echo Chamber How can you and your congregation engage a diverse world, stepping out of your comfort zone to show up for human rights? Reflect on current tensions in the world in context with our history. This session will start this important conversation in small trusted groups, encouraging an open worldview and faith with empathy.  Rozella White and Peggy Hahn

Social Media/ Technology

Title Description Presenter

Telling Your Story in a Digital World - Better Ways to Use Social Media to Get the Word out about your Children's Programs 

Using Vacation Bible School as an example, participants will learn the basic principles of digital storytelling, as well as practical examples and suggestions to use digital tools to tell their congregation’s story, particularly in outreach to unchurched neighbors.  Joelle Colville-Hanson
Creating a Community for Youth Ministry in the Digital Age  500 years ago, Gutenberg’s press revolutionized how we communicate—and made possible the spread of Martin Luther’s reformation ideas. Once again we find ourselves in the middle of a communications revolution—Participants will looks at new ways to share the good news and facilitate a deeper sense of community.  David Hansen
Searching for God  The search for answers to all questions including faith questions begins at Google.com. In this workshop, participants will learn how they can add a digital component to their ministry by repurposing and digitally distributing their content online. Thus allowing them to be reaching out at the moment young people are searching for God. Christopher Harris

Collective-Wisdom

Title Description Presenter
Disability is a justice issue!  The Journal of Religion, Disability and Health found that one-third of parents with children who have a disability have left a church because their child was not welcomed. Let's talk about hidden attitudinal barriers that damage people and the Church, and focus on HOW to be a church for all.  David deFreese and Jim Fields
The Secret Sauce of Adaptive Youth Ministry Innovative, strategic leadership is more than a heart-felt call to serve or job title. Lead with courage, think differently about the challenges, and be introduced to new language and practices. No easy answers. Leadership has the capacity to leverage these changes for a very interesting and hopeful future. Peggy Hahn
Youth & Young Adult Mentorship, Trust and Leadership in the World  Grounded in Scripture, understanding how God has trusted and mentored youth and young adults into leadership, let’s have a conversation about how we need trust and mentoring from our elders, now more than ever. How might we carry this idea forward? Kendrick Hall
MYLE 2018 Representing the ELCA MYLE Youth Gathering with integrity and professionalism, and supporting the work of the team leading up to and during the actual event, help flesh out the MYLE mission for 2018. What does it mean to be ONE body different parts/gifts, ONE household many rooms, and ONE in Christ? Kinda Makini and Branden Hunt
Exploring Innovative Ministry with Young Adults  The Riverside Innovation Hub at Augsburg University has just begun a 5-year project designed to learn from those doing innovative ministry with young adults. We will share some of our early findings, our most pressing questions, and most exciting resources. Come ready to contribute to the exploration. Jeremy Myers and Kristina Fruge
GOT KIDS? Creating Space for Race Talks This session supports adults with tools and skills for talking and responding to children and youth about race and racism. Participants will be able to practice conversations that will help children and youth navigate the world in which they live,and support adults towards a deeper understanding of their own racial justice journey. Kelly Sherman-Conroy and Jia Brown
Ministry with Youth with Disabilities  According to the 2010 Census, 20% of us have a disability. Yet, folks with disabilities feel left out of churches. Disability Ministry is more than just having a ramp. We will chat about what effective youth ministry looks like when all are welcomed. Come with your questions and ideas.  Anita Smallin

Wellness

Title Description Presenter
Smooth Sailing: Becoming a Resilient Leader in Turbulent Times   Resilience is not perfection, but the ability to move forward in imperfect realities. Whether it's leading the church, dealing with difficult situations, or navigating the inevitable bumps and setbacks of life, it is possible to not just survive, but thrive. Discover how to cultivate your God-given strengths and develop healthy practices that will give you the stamina, confidence, and inner peace you need to be a resilient leader.   Andrea Arey

Finding the Road to Emmaus: Exploring the Text Through a Guided Meditation 

Take a guided meditation through the story of The Road to Emmaus! In this workshop, you will be invited to do some gentle stretches and breathing exercises as we explore this passage in Luke. There will also be some time for discussion; discerning how Christ is walking alongside you in your life and ministry.  Jamie Brieske
It’s Not About the Money …  … But when you don’t have much — thanks to student loans, life expenses, and a not-exactly-CEO-level-salary — how you manage it matters. Learn what you need to pay attention to in your own financial life so you can make the most of what you have. Grace Duddy Pomroy
Detoxing Your Body as Part of Your Spiritual Practice  What exactly is a detox? Simply put, a detox is a process in which a person makes lifestyle changes to clear their body of toxins. Toxins are any substance that can be poisonous or cause negative health effects. Join a conversation around detoxing your body as a spiritual practice. Sip a detox drink; experience some light exercise and meditation; and learn about the gift of fasting/detoxing for your spiritual health.  Nancy Lee Gauche
Exploring Spiritual Direction Spirituality in youth and children begins in ourselves. “Come out of the traffic and take a long, loving look at me, your high God.” (MSG Ps 46:10) Explore your rhythm of living your personal awareness of God through experiencing a time of spiritual direction.   Lyle and Andrea Griner
The Gratitude Workshop Gratitude creates real transformation. It was the spiritual disposition Jesus took upon himself as he prepared for the cross. He took the cup and gave THANKS! Christians are gratitude people at their core. Learn the essentials and experience the benefits of the simple and powerful practice of gratitude spirituality. Jim Merhaut
Yoga and Body Prayer Begin your day with movement and prayer. All are welcome to experience the Road to Emmaus through yoga and body prayer. We will use our body for meditation and movement as we explore the Road to Emmaus text along with daily prayer and praise. Dress comfortably and be ready to move. A yoga mat is not required. Elizabeth Schoenknecht
The LIFE of a Disciple  In this interactive bible study on The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), we will explore together how God walks with us on our life journey. Through scripture, photos, discussion, laughter & prayer we will consider how the baptismal promises connect our faith and life. Come journey with us! Jamie Travers
Wellness Walk A walk can change everything! As part of physical wellness, walking is considered a healthy form of exercise. As part of a spiritual journey, walking can provide a spiritual practice giving time for noticing, listening, praying, and being present with God, our neighbors, and creation. Come join in as we prepare, walk, and reflect together. Keith Walka
“Where am I now?” A Hands-on Workshop in Creativity and Contemplative Practice Feeling tired? Overwhelmed with busyness? Take a moment to pause, pray, and create! Using some simple rules to guide our time together, we will engage in a contemplative and creative process that focuses on our mind, body, and spirit connections. Supplies are provided. You do not have to consider yourself an artist to participate! Michelle Walka
Coaching as Soul Care:  Creating the Leadership Life You Want A coach's job is to partner with clients in thought provoking, creative processes that bring about meaningful change. If you've ever felt stuck or wondered how to achieve your goals; if you've ever had a dream that you want to make a reality, then this workshop is for you. Rozella White

Expert Led

Title Description Presenter

The Youth Gathering is Coming - Are You ready? 

Come hear about the upcoming youth gathering, straight from the Executive Director herself.  Molly Beck Dean
The Infinite Value of Getting Out of Your Head and into Your Heart: Improv Workshop  This workshop will lead participants through a series of fun and challenging group improv exercises and theater games that will show them ways to find joy, live in the moment and let the world see the true inner you! Ear to ear smiles, gut busting laughter and personal revelations are guaranteed!   Tom Booker
Supporting Transgender and Gender Expansive Children, Youth, and Their Families  Transgender young people are a part of today’s church. What does it mean for a child to be transgender? In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of gender identity and explore how the church can support families in transition and beyond, rooting them in community and cherishing them in the fullness of their identity. Jamie Bruesehoff
Spirit Cafe: A Journey toward Action  Are you passionate about finding new and creative ways to explore faith and serve your neighbor? This workshop will be using a fun and energizing process participants can take back to their context and use with colleagues and youth. Enjoy this experience of reflection, discernment, and imagination to renew and ignite your spirit into action! Jennifer Christ
Digging Deeper with Marlon  Join Marlon for a continuation of the conversation started during his mainstage time.   Marlon Hall
The Messy Reality of Ministry to Parents  Today’s parents are overworked, exhausted, and untrained but they’re still the primary faith shapers in kids’ lives. With insight from decades of ministry experience and as a parent, this workship will help participants move beyond good intentions and start encouraging and caring for parents. Tiger McLuen
Teaching the Way to Brain Learns Best Recent advances in brain-scan technology show how to blend attention, retention and fun into learning environments that kids can't get enough of. Invest an hour with Rich, founder of www.richlearning.com, and learn how to be a more fun and effective teacher for the rest of your life. Rich Melheim
Hurricane Response Panel  What’s it like to be in a disaster? What is the role of the church in disaster recovery? Bishop Mike Rinehart and local leaders will give first-hand accounts, show photos, and discuss the impact of Hurricane Harvey and the stages of recovery from a disaster. Bishop Mike Rinehart
How do we say "All Are Welcome" and actually mean it? What do we mean when we say "All Are Welcome"? How do we extend a gospel welcome to youth so their diverse gifts and identities are valued? Poet Joe Davis and "edutainer" David Scherer use a tool called the Intercultural Development Inventory to assess your youth ministry's intercultural competence. David Scherer and Joe Davis
Adaptive Leadership in Uncertain Times Are you adapting to the changing ministry landscape around you? In this time when the future of the church is uncertain, we are called to be leaders. In this workshop, participants will learn how to navigate the horizon together as adaptive leaders. Tom Schwolert
Who Benefits? Creating Community Centered Mission Trips  This workshop will provide participants the opportunity to unpack assumptions about what makes a mission trip successful, and will enroll participants in collectively envisioning a values-centric way of engaging the communities they visit. Participants will leave with resources for effectively selecting community partners and a framework for mutually beneficial transformational trips. Bianca Vasquez and Sarah Johnson

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