workshops

DEVELOPING YOUR LEADERSHIP MUSCLE: RESILIENCE AND PERSPECTIVE

Leaders:  Emily Anderson and Laurie Ferguson

In these times of great challenge and rapid change, women leaders need resilient attitudes and practices, and ways to get perspective for their ministry. This workshop, led by a leadership coach and a long-term senior pastor, offers practical tools for deepening spiritual and mental resilience, and creating habits that can sustain ministry over time. Using examples from congregational ministry, the leaders will facilitate discussion and reflection on how to build and nourish leadership skills and attitudes.

MINDFUL MINISTRY: BRAIN TRAINING FOR FUN AND PROPHETS

Leader:  Elizabeth Perryman

You know how it feels to be “in the zone”? Being so enthralled with a project that you lose track of time?  That enjoyable “flow state” is characterized by energized focus and full involvement in the activity – and it can be cultivated through the practice of mindfulness. On the flip side, is your mind sometimes too distracted to get much done, much less to be still and open to God’s leading?  Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain can be trained to be more focused, open, and aware – essential traits for effective leaders in ministry. In this experiential workshop, we will explore evidence-based mindfulness practices of meditation and gentle yoga (no Spandex required) that can increase focus, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. Come with your questions, your curiosity, your enthusiasm, your skepticism – it’s all welcome, and so are you.  

Back Talk:  Women Leaders and SIN 

Leader: Cynthia Rigby

I bet you were taught that you shouldn’t talk back. But a wholesale buying into this instruction can dam the flow of our creative ideas and guiding wisdom. In 1960, Valerie Saiving published her now-famous article on “feminine sin.”  In it, she argues that women tend to be less guilty of pride than of self-deprecation. The idea that women need to be healed of self-diminishing ideas so they can “talk back,” developing and sharing their gifts as leaders, is today a concern commonly addressed in pastoral care training. But contexts have shifted for many women since 1960.  Having more power, many of us are now as prone to the sin of pride as to the sin of self-deprecation.  In this workshop, we will explore the theme of women and sin, focusing especially on the question:  How do we discern, as leaders, when we are being prideful (and need to back down) and when we are being self-deprecating (and need to push back). Our discussion will include consideration of how and why Miriam was guilty of pride when she criticized Moses, and why the Syro-Phonecian woman, by contrast, was commended when she talked back to Jesus, refusing to be diminished.  

Leadership and Learning to See: An Art Workshop 

Leaders: Kathy Baker Schorr and Hannah Schorr Hammond

In art, learning to see is foundational to the creative process. In the same way, learning to see others with love, respect, and dignity is essential to leadership in our time. Using cut-paper collage as the medium (in the style of Matisse), participants in this workshop will practice seeing by reflecting on their personal fears and biases and creating a work of art that explores their hope for unity.

Leading for Change: Transforming Faith Communities in a Time Such as This

Leader: Jessica Vaughn Lower

As many faith communities struggle for vibrancy and sustainability, pastors and lay leaders often struggle with how to a) identify opportunities for change in the midst of persistently stubborn church culture, and then b) capitalize on those opportunities for effective transformations within the larger faith community. For the many women pastors and lay leaders of these faith communities, the act of leading is further complicated by socialized gender expectations and pervasive patriarchal attitudes within churches. This interactive and collaborative workshop will teach and engage skills of identifying opportunities for change within faith communities, and then leading as women toward tangible transformations of our communities.

Attending: The Plasticity and Flexibility of Vocation

Leader: Mihee Kim-Kort

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

― Mary Oliver

The language of vocation is central to our lived experience as faithful followers of Jesus the Christ, as those who are beloved of God, and bear God’s kingdom to the world. With the increasing number of creative and diverse iterations of the local church this workshop invites participants to imagine how we might frame and reframe our vocational calls. Some of our time will include attending to questions surrounding our identities in terms of passion and ambition, interests and skills, and how we might live out our vocations whether as pastor, parent, parishioner, professor, and more, including writer, speaker, mentor, social worker, counselor, teacher, etc. We’ll intentionally make space for poetry, art, literature, and theology to frame what vocation means and looks like for our individual selves. Our time together will be meditative and constructive and include tools to take with you as you discern and shape your vocation for future seasons.

Women and Wellness: Using Film to cultivate your spiritual journey

Leaders: Karen Jackson-Weaver and Aida Grace Weaver

In this workshop, we will explore how to leverage the use of film as a tool for promoting spiritual health, vitality and well-being for you and your faith community. Specifically, we will highlight the importance of self-care and how one can integrate film as a meaningful part of one’s spiritual growth and development. We will conclude the seminar with time for each attendee to reflect and create an action plan that explores where you believe God is calling you at this stage of your spiritual journey.