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Workshop schedule

The full workshop schedule is still being finalized and is subject to change.

Below is the current listing of available workshops for Extravaganza 2023.
In addition to the current list, one track leader workshop will be added to each of the Workshop Sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
Check back for additional details.

Beginning in January you will be able to build your personalized workshop schedule in the Network App. Download the app today and enable notifications.


Early Bird Session #1: Friday, February 3 - 1:30 - 2:30pm

 Title  Description  Takeaway  Presenter  Track
The Losing Proposition of Authentic Evangelism: Embracing relevancy, impact, accessibility, and inclusion at all costs Evangelism isn't about getting butts in the pews or campers in cabins. It's about finding ways to make connections with people and communities that rally people together around a common cause, inviting all involved to experience one another through authentic and reciprocal relationships. This kind of approach to outreach requires a sacrificial posture that makes room for new people with new perspectives, new stories, and their own established histories. By curating the kind of space that honors each other's uniqueness, space is also made for the love of Christ to be experienced and explored in deep and meaningful ways.  Come to this workshop to share about how we might lose everything in order to gain each other so that we can explore together the power of death becoming life through Jesus Christ. C.J. Clark Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
Finding God in the Midst of Storms How do we honestly live in the tension of promises, assurances and clear confidence found in the Scriptures, with the reality of life that is messy, confusing and often a struggle? Tiger will lay his personal story of living with a chronic disease around this issue and will promise not to have a bible bowtie around it. But, you may come away with more confidence in the midst of the confusion. This is a safe place to think about storms in our life and around us--and wonder where God is in all of it. How do we honestly live in the tension of promises, assurances and clear confidence found in the Scriptures, with the reality of life that is messy, confusing and often a struggle?  Tiger will lay his personal story of living with a chronic disease around this issue and will promise not to have a bible bowtie around it. You may come away with more confidence in the midst of the confusion. This is a safe place to think about storms in our life and around us--and wonder where God is in all of it. Dennis "Tiger" McLuen
Your Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup
Seeking Sacred Space? ENOUGH of the narrative that we are alone. Are you holding grief, discernment, worry or other issues and need to be reminded that you aren't alone? Bring whatever is sitting on your heart and/or in your body to this caring space to be reminded that you are not alone. Together we will create sacred space by:
- grounding ourselves in prayer and silence,
- listening for the Holy Spirit,
- break up into triads where each person will have time to share and be listened to with confidentiality and support. You will be guided through this process, so all you need to do is show up (in person or online!).
Spiritual Direction triads can be a powerful way to seek God's comfort and guidance in your life. You can use this model with your youth group and congregation to help build community! Desta Goehner Your Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup


Early Bird Session #2: Friday, February 3 - 3:00 - 4:00pm

Title Description Takeaway Presenter Track
Sci-Fi Church One of the central roles of the Church in the discipling of God's people is to walk alongside them as they grapple with the Big Questions. From a very young age, we wonder, - Who is God? - What does it mean to be human? - How are we to act? and - What makes someone or something good or evil? We turn to the Bible as our guide on our journey of addressing these big questions. But we often struggle to find modern stories that spark our imagination as we come up with our own faithful answers to these questions.. But… Authors and screenwriters of science fiction and other speculative fictions build worlds around addressing these same questions. Sometimes the pictures they paint are exciting, beautiful, hopeful. Sometimes they're frightening and dystopian. Always, they're thought-provoking. In this workshop, we will talk about the Big Questions and look at the way those questions are answered in science and speculative fiction. We'll place these modern stories next to Biblical stories, and will discuss how we can hold both in our growth as disciples. Stephanie Luedtke How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired
Reimagining Mission: The Theory and Practice of Accompaniment

Accompaniment is the theory and practice of mission that the ELCA follows in its global relationships and is an increasingly valuable framework locally as we learn to navigate the diverse web of differences that make a difference within our congregations and among our neighbors. With its emphasis on interdependence and mutuality, it challenges conventional understandings of 'mission' and 'service' and reframes them as actions and activities best done with and among our neighbors, rather than simply to or for them.

In this workshop participants will be invited to 1) Unpack their understanding of the word mission; 2) Take a deep dive into the theory accompaniment; and 3) Explore how it might shift the way they plan, pursue, or talk about activities like mission trips and service projects. Rev. Peter Harrits Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
You Really Are Enough: How Vocation, Jesus, Your Neighbor and Creation Will Save You
Burnout has always been a significant threat to ministry leaders and that threat has grown exponentially over the last two years. We all need to establish good practices of self-care in order to thrive. We also need to change our mindsets.

We can't do it all. We don't need to do it all. We weren't created to do it all. Christ has freed you to be an agent of love toward the world and toward yourself. Come to this workshop and lets start trying to convince one another of that truth.

This workshop will build upon a Lutheran theological understanding of vocation as a foundation for reimaging ourselves and our work in more holistic, humble, and healthy ways. Jeremy MyersYour Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup


Workshop Session #1: Saturday, February 4 - 11:00am-12:15pm

 Title  Description  Takeaway  Presenter  Track
The Big Orange Splot What is it? What do we do about it? Join holy mess-maker, Nicole Meyer, and Mr. Plumbean under the palm trees for a glass of lemonade and a conversation inspired by his story. How do we leave behind the - 'neat street' of nostalgia, as we try to paint our messy churches into looking more like all God's hopes and dreams? What if we created places for children where curiosity and questions took precedent over certainty? What if instead of getting obedience and immediacy from kids we really got to know God and each other together?  Children's ministry will be the focus and participants will walk away with tangible, creative, and innovative inspiration, ideas, and tactics to take and try in their own contexts and communities. Nicole Meyer How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired
Divest from (the myth of) White Supremacy culture

Co-create a brave space to talk about how (the myth of) white supremacy culture shows up in us as leaders, our youth groups and our congregations.

Desta Goehner How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired, 
Making Your Church a Safe Place for Children and Youth,
& Your Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup
Facing our Fears: Integrating Healthy Sexuality Conversations and Practices for Ages 0-18

The conversations around sexuality tend to scare us and bring up a whole host of feelings. This is normal. Our fear around this topic can function as a way to protect ourselves, but what we are finding is that if we continue to avoid having conversations around sexuality we tend to do more harm than to protect. It's time to change this.

When we openly talk about our bodies and how God made them, which is to experience connection, pleasure, create community, and support one another, then we have a better relationship with our Creator, neighbors, and ourselves. Come and learn how this can be done within your church through each stage.

In this workshop we will spend time looking at how we can care for our young people by fostering healthy agency, body autonomy, identity, and relationships by actively talking about and incorporating practices that nurture sexuality.  Kara Haug Making Your Church a Safe Place for Children and Youth
Our Children and Youth are MORE Than Enough Fundamental to keeping our children and youth safe in our congregations is having a working theological understanding of children and youth. Yes, Jesus loves the little children of the world. But how is Jesus' embrace of young people a radical shift from other paradigms of his time and our own?  This workshop will present some ways of thinking biblically and theologically about children and youth that might help you and your congregation reevaluate or reinvigorate the policies and practices that help our young people thrive. Jeremy Myers Making Your Church a Safe Place for Children and Youth
 Until All Are Fed Learn how one congregation used Hunger Ministry and Connection which relates to a new form of outreach as Evangelical Lutherans and to be welcome to all despite their backgrounds and context. This congregation was able to build a sense of community in our area and reached out to local partners. Perhaps this may look simple in our ministry as evangelical Lutherans but the key focus of this outreach is to connect and to listen. This is the works of Christ embodied in us. To be able to place yourself in a condition that you are not privileged to have but yet you are grateful to be able to share resources and kindness to others. Pray to God for discernment and let the Holy Spirit lead you and your team to connect through genuine relationships filled with the love of Christ and grace.  Esther K. Sianipar Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
Renaming and Reclaiming YOUR Story: Filling Each Other's Cups when We Can't Fill our Own What happens when you find yourself with an empty cup and cannot move forward? How do we rename our stories & reclaim ourselves as children of God. We'll create space together to name our stories, experiences, and needs for ministry today. This includes the stories of those who are part of The Dwelling, a fully Federated Mission Community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Moravian Church in America. The Dwelling is a place where God meets God's people and lives are transformed. People on the margins who reside in Winston-Salem, NC call The Dwelling their church home. This community pours back into itself time and time again. They also pour into those who wander in on any given Sunday.  We'll give practical ideas on how to pour into each other, accompany each other, and build community when we need it most. Rev. Emily Norris & Ian Heseltine Your Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup &
Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach


Workshop Session #2: Saturday, February 4 - 3:15-4:30pm

Title Description Takeaway Presenter Track
Leading Youth Worship/Youth Leading Worship You have youth at church, but why aren't they enjoying or even attending worship? Maybe you've had a conversation with someone who asked, "Why can't the youth just be ushers and lectors?" Youth and young people are used to being content creators, and most of our worship expressions aren't meeting them where they are. I will draw on experiences leading large youth worship in a congregation and a camp to talk about how youth are perceiving worship, how to create new worship experiences geared toward young people, and how to renew old practices to engage younger audiences. Then we will explore how to use the gifts and spirituality of young people to give them an active role in leading and planning worship instead of simply filling our need for volunteers. Rev. Drew Yoos How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired
Think Like a Futurist

One of the big topics that we're going to be addressing in our Extravaganza tracks is how we might build a new kind of church (without getting fired.) And one of the first steps in building this new kind of church is to be prepared for the future that this church will live within. As the world has been changing more and more quickly, we need not only to prepare ourselves for it, but we need to learn how to see it coming. Imagine trying to drive a car purely by looking in the rear-view mirror. That would only work if either you were driving backward, or if the road never changed. Glancing in the rear-view mirror is helpful so you can see what's coming up behind you or so you can see what you just ran over. But your eyes need to be concentrated ahead. And it's even better if you can anticipate what's ahead that you can't yet see. That's what futures thinking is. It is about using what we know from our rearview mirror, and applying our current experience to prepare for what may be ahead.

  Stephanie Luedtke How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired
Bold, Loud, and Joyful: Raising Transgender and Gender-Expansive Youth in Faith The church is a better, more faithful place when transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive young people are a part of it. The debate around transgender children rages, making it more important than ever for people of faith to understand God's call to love and affirm young people in who God created them to be. In this workshop, we will talk about what it looks like to boldly, loudly, and joyfully celebrate the young people in our midst, how to advocate for them in our ministry settings and beyond, and how to create reasonably safe spaces where they can grow in their connection to God and all of God's children. We're not always going to get this right, but Jamie will help participants understand how we can show up in faith and grace for ourselves and our communities while protecting the most vulnerable.   Jamie Bruesehoff Making Your Church a Safe Place for Children and Youth
New Orleans Bound - 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering You've got Gathering questions - we might have answers. Come be a part of the conversation about new things at the Gathering, exciting possibilities, and familiar fun. Your Gathering staff and some of our Directors will be on hand to share and listen.   Tammy Jones West Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
Family Ministry Has Left The Church!

What if your community recognized your church as the source for FUN-N-FAITH FAMILY resources? What if your church was able to gift your public school's families with at home MAKE MEAL TIME FAMILY TIME conversations? What if four times a year your church hosted FAM JAMS for your whole community? What if your NURSERY SCHOOL becomes a family faith equipping, parent supporting organization? What if your YOUTH TEACH your families ways to live faith at home? What if your church becomes a LEARNING LAB for doing (not just watching) faith at home? Let's make family ministry a needed, valued, talked about and desired part of your church as well as your community!

We get to talk together, brainstorm, sample, practice and give out free starter kits! Lyle Griner Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
Enough Already! Get Out of Your Building!!! For a decade Jeremy Myers has been helping congregations discover how to become more engaged and embedded in their neighborhoods through his work with the Riverside Innovation Hub at Augsburg University. This workshop will give you an introduction in the why and how of turning your congregation inside out for the sake of your neighbors and neighborhoods. What would our congregations look like if we stopped trying to get people to come to church and started trying to make our neighbors' lives better?  Some practical ideas will be shared, but there is no recipe. So, don't expect this workshop to solve any of your problems but do expect it to inspire and get your wheels turning as you seek to follow God's spirit beyond the walls of your congregation. You just have to put one foot in front of the other. That should be enough. Jeremy Myers Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
Intersectional Faith An intersectional faith can help us gain a deeper understanding of how God is working through our lives by examining the identities we hold. We can't tell our stories without first coming to understand how our stories have been influenced based on our social realities. This coming to know ourselves makes it easier to recognize the systems that do not work for us, allowing you to ensure that you don't over-commit yourself or accept roles that cant support your intersectional identity.  In my workshop on an intersectional faith, we will explore how we can come to know ourselves and our stories more deeply to create personal, sustainable, and liberative ministries for all. We will do this by exploring practical ways to come to know yourself using the understanding of intersectionality and how it can be used with your children and youth programming. Derek Stienmetz (They/Them/Theirs) Your Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup


Workshop Session #3: Sunday, February 5 - 1:30-2:45pm

 Title  Description  Takeaway  Presenter  Track
Hearing the Wisdom of Young Adults In November 2022 a diverse community of 50 thoughtful young adults from across the country and denominations gathered at Augsburg University to wonder together what their collective message to the church could be. What are our deepest hopes? Our biggest dreams? Our most concerning disappointments? Where do we see life and joy and resurrection and hope? Where do we see death and fear and despair? The insights that grew out of this event will become the themes covered in an upcoming book authored by young adults for the church.  Come to this workshop and hear the wisdom of these young adults and get a sneak peek into what they want their church to know and do. Jeremy Myers How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired
Press Pause; Ask the Question

Acknowledging the sobering reality that for too many in the ELCA, being fired is not only a very real and lived experience but a collective trauma that, by design, replicates its harmful realities in this denomination's disconnect between intentions and outcomes. A conversation about whiteness, without centering whiteness. 
This workshop will investigate and critique case studies inspired by events across the ELCA landscape. Collaborate and network with colleagues drawn to this work. Design a lens for you as a leader that highlights professional competencies necessary to succeed in the whitest denomination in America. 

We will co-create a brave space together by asking questions, being curious and knowing that in our questions, responses and commitment to action important change can happen.

Antoine Cummings & Desta Goehner How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired
Teaching the Bible from a Middle Eastern Perspective Biblical stories are stories of humanity, but they're more specifically stories of Middle Eastern people. How can we better tell the stories of Middle Eastern people when so often our audience is made up of non-Middle Eastern folks? Together we'll talk through these complexities and get some practical tips on ways you can better illuminate the Bible for children and youth.   Danielle Dadashi How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired
Sharing Faith on the Road of Life Using a New Testament passage, Tiger will unpack some core principles of ministry that are modeled by Jesus. These principles can help you be the person God wants you to be and be more intentional in how you share the gospel with those around you. These will help you--and any adult who works with teenagers--to think intentionally about how you can share faith in comfortable, relational ways in your circle of influence.   Tiger McLuen Making Your Church a Safe Place for Children and Youth &
Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
Using the Arts to Reach

My workshop entitled Using the Arts to Reach will surround Reclaiming the E word: A New Form of Outreach learning track. Within this hands on workshop participants will work together using various forms of art to define outreach and engagement, explore ways to use other forms of art to reach and engage current and new youth, families, and community, as well as exploring ways to use art to cultivate warm lasting relationships and knowing that whatever creativity you bring to the table is enough. I want you to create more safe spaces for youth and families by using the arts to meet them where they are.

Participants walk away with resources that they can use in their congregation but also knowing that whatever creativity they bring to the table is enough. Kammeran Giggers Making Your Church a Safe Place for Children and Youth &
Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
Babies in the Building: A New Look at Early Childhood Ministry "The church has left the building." This saying is guiding many congregations into new and exciting ministries outside their walls and into their communities. But have you considered the ways that your building can be a site for ministries that serve a specific set of families in your church? Parents of little ones have endured the pandemic in ways that are unique to those caring for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. How might your church use your building and surrounding property to offer hospitality, developmentally-appropriate programming, and connection time to these families who feel burned out and disconnected?  This workshop will provide theological and neuroscientific foundations for how churches can be rich developmental contexts. Then we'll dive into all the ways your church could offer simple, appealing events designed for families of little ones in your church and surrounding community. We'll even start planning a few of these events together. Dawn Rundman Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
Living the dream: Ministry Edition When we set goals, we're often caught up in the allure of what's possible. It's fun to dream. But then reality sets in and motivation wanes. Can you even remember your ministry goals for the year? They sometimes fade as fast as New Year's Resolutions. It's also hard to stay committed and focused when everyone around you has their own goals that may or may not align with yours. Enter: Your calling. By reconnecting to the larger reasons that you are in ministry, you can stay more motivated toward your goals. Let's check in on your calling, see how it has shifted recently, and connect it to your goals in a way that actually leads to progress.   Dawn Trautman Your Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup


Workshop Session #4: Sunday, February 5 - 3:00pm-4:15pm

Title Description Takeaway Presenter Track
Working Together and With At Every Age We share a passion for working together to reach out to children, youth & families of all ages to help them know how much God loves them, and how much we all of every age in the church need each other. We've worked with youth to nurture community where everyone matters & new friends are always welcome. As we move on from the last few years, many people have become detached from their faith communities, and by building places of healing where each child of God matters, we may not look like we did before, but perhaps God has even better for us to grow into. Through the ministry we have provided we have created a space where people of all ages feel comfortable stopping in as well as spending extended time. We invite you to see your "enough-ness" and God's presence in it all. Rev. Mary Kaye Ashley and Lindsay Colwell Your Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup
On The Way Together - Pathways for Intercultural Development

When it comes to leaning into the challenging work of anti-racism and inclusion, many of us are great at talking the talk. But how effective are we, really, at walking the walk? With aspirations that often exceed our abilities, what pathways are open to us and what pitfalls should we avoid as we seek to to make change in our congregations and communities? Rooted theologically in the theory and practice of accompaniment and informed by the work of scholars like Dr. Milton Bennett and Dr. Mitch Hammer, this workshop will introduce participants to the Intercultural Development Continuum (IDC) as a framework for identifying the range of responses people have to cultural differences and commonalities.

Through discussion and exercises, participants will wrestle with their own understanding of culture and identify actions they can take meet folks where they are and build their ability to work effectively across lines of difference.

Rev. Peter Harrits Making Your Church a Safe Place for Children and Youth & Your Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup
Sharing Faith on the Road of Life Using a New Testament passage, Tiger will unpack some core principles of ministry that are modeled by Jesus. These principles can help you be the person God wants you to be and be more intentional in how you share the gospel with those around you. These will help you--and any adult who works with teenagers--to think intentionally about how you can share faith in comfortable, relational ways in your circle of influence.   Tiger McLuen Making Your Church a Safe Place for Children and Youth &
Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
Fill Your Bucket with Stories! The last few years have left us feeling like our buckets are empty. Stories fill us up again. Come and fill your bucket with stories and ways to use them in your ministry. You will learn ways to enter into God's story through your body and the five senses and the ways that children and youth experience the story from their own stages of development. You'll fill your bucket with joyful, deep, and effective ways to tell God's story in teaching and worship for all ages. You'll connect God's story with your story and learn how to tell your own faith story of why God matters to you in 60 seconds or less, a practice you can lead in your setting for all ages.   Rev. Jennifer Rome and Rev. Heather Roth Johnson How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired &
Your Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup &
Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
The Gift of Relationship: Empowering Preteens for Peer Ministry

Working with preteens is both a joy and a challenge. Emerging teenagers are tackling questions about identity and belonging. They are also navigating physical, emotional, and even mental change. As faith mentors and leaders, we can empower preteens to develop healthy relationships with their peers and equip them to love their neighbors, even during a season of transition and change. This workshop will help leaders of third through fifth graders facilitate the learning, practice, and use of peer ministry skills: caring and welcoming skills that reflect God's love. We will explore the theological and practical reasons for preteens to engage in peer ministry. We'll also explore ways to develop relational skills in preteens, including (but not limited to) empathy, listening, managing conflict, and how to have conversations with others. The content of this workshop is based on new Peer Ministry skills sessions available for use specifically with preteens.

Victoria Hoppes How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired &
Making Your Church a Safe Place for Children and Youth
Adding Sunshine to Your Ministry: A Fresh Approach to Intergenerational Worship This workshop will primarily be about an intergenerational, hands-on worship expression we presented during Covid that we called Sunshine School. The workshop will feature a lot of the practical "Hows" of what Sunshine School looked like, as well as provide hands-on opportunities for those in attendance to experience a little of what we did so they can learn how to serve the church of tomorrow. It'll be some theory about fresh new ways to worship, some practical ideas to implement intergenerational worship as churches adapt to this new landscape, and maybe even some singing. Michelle Palmer & Adam Palmer Reclaiming the E Word: A New Form of Outreach
Hearing the Wisdom of Young Adults In November 2022 a diverse community of 50 thoughtful young adults from across the country and denominations gathered at Augsburg University to wonder together what their collective message to the church could be. What are our deepest hopes? Our biggest dreams? Our most concerning disappointments? Where do we see life and joy and resurrection and hope? Where do we see death and fear and despair? The insights that grew out of this event will become the themes covered in an upcoming book authored by young adults for the church. Come to this workshop and hear the wisdom of these young adults and get a sneak peek into what they want their church to know and do.   Riverside Innovation Hub How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired


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