VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/24/18)—Pastors and lay leaders can discover ideas to jump-start and enhance their ministries from more than two dozen intellectually engaging, culturally competent workshops to be offered at American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) “Space for Grace: Thy Will Be Done” national event Nov. 14-16 at Loews Hotel, Philadelphia.
The diverse array of learning experiences, for example, includes the following and many more like them:
- “Leadership Lessons for the Good: Realizing Transformation from Oppression” — Dr. Debora Jackson, director, Lifelong Learning, Yale Divinity School, provides lessons for effective leadership from an under-represented voice—that of the African-American woman.
- “Sacred Resistance: Creating and Supporting Spiritual Changemakers” — the Rev. Dr. Diane J. Johnson, president/founder of Mmapeu Management Consulting, uses an innovative integration of techniques from Theatre of the Oppressed, dialogue, appreciative inquiry and guided meditation to allow participants to create sacred change that transforms congregations and communities.
- “When Life Doesn’t Seem Worth Living: Congregations’ Role in Suicide Prevention” — the Rev. Dr. Delois Brown-Daniels, a certified chaplain who served as an Advocate Health Care vice president, helps participants understand suicide’s warning signs and risk factors, while offering simple assessment tools as well as recommended pastoral and referral guidelines.
- “Preparing Congregations for Ministries of Advocacy and Social Action” — the Rev. Dr. Russell Dalton, professor of Religious Education, Brite Divinity School, leads a small group brainstorming session that will take a congregation from thought to action about a social issue, such as hunger, discrimination or homelessness.
- “Drama, Intimacy & Vulnerability: Spiritual Challenges of Digital Culture” — the Rev. Dr. Karen-Marie Yust, Josiah P. and Anne Wilson Rowe Professor of Christian Education, Union Presbyterian Seminary, will provide congregational leaders not only theories that explain the various roles of digital culture in the lives of young people but also practical suggestions about how to leverage digital skills for spiritual formation.
- “Music that Makes Community: Singing Together Heals the World” — Music that Makes Community’s Jennifer Sanborn, presenter, and Paul Vasile, executive director, lead practice and guided conversation about how to lead others in healing song.
- “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” panel discussion — this informative offering will apprise listeners of ABHMS’ ongoing hurricane-relief efforts on the island. Moderator will be the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, coordinator of Relations for Theological Entities at the Association of Hispanic Theological Education. Panelists will be the Rev. Salvador Orellana, deputy director of Logistics and Relationships for ABHMS’ “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” multi-year initiative; the Rev. Laura Ayala, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico; Josue D. Gomez-Menendez, Esq., president of American Baptist Churches USA; and the Rev. Edgardo M. Caraballo, executive minister of Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico.
In addition, this exciting event will offer faith-influenced art and performances, inspiring worship services, access to world-class speakers, and the opportunity to engage in compelling conversation with faith leaders, community service leaders and social justice advocates about tackling mission, developing leaders and disciples, and transforming churches and communities. Time will be built in for reflection, refreshment and renewal. Pre-conference activities—available for a nominal fee—include opportunities to volunteer with Broad Street Ministry’s Hospitality Collaborative and explore challenges and opportunities in Philadelphia’s Asian-American community.
The $299 registration fee for the 2½-day urban retreat in the heart of a top-10 largest U.S. city includes three evening receptions, two lunches and two breakfasts.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.