Highlights

Monday, January 20

5 p.m. Registration & Welcome Reception

7 p.m. Opening – Keynote #1
Discerning God’s Will Together
Ervin Stutzman
ONLY session free and open to public
Check out the special discount on Ervin’s book

Tuesday, January 21

8:15 a.m. Worship
9:00 a.m. Plenary Session
Finding a Way Forward
David Brubaker

11:00 a.m. Workshop #1
See workshop options here

12:15 p.m. Optional Lunch Presentation
“Mumaw at Eastern Mennonite: Contexts for Discernment”
Nate Yoder

1:45 p.m. Keynote #2
Pursuing God’s Will Together: Prerequisites
Ruth Haley Barton

3:45 p.m. Workshop #2
See workshop options here

Wednesday, January 22

8:15 a.m. Worship
9:00 a.m. Keynote #3
Pursuing God’s Will Together: Practice
Ruth Haley Barton

11:00 a.m. Elephant in the Room
Worship Team

11:55 a.m. Leadership Case Study

12:15 p.m. – Women in Ministry Luncheon

1:45 p.m. – Plenary Session
Christian Formation in the Age of Nones
Michael A. King & Lonnie Yoder

3:45 p.m. Closing Worship

Monday 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lehman Auditorium
Spiritual discernment is one of the primary ways that God’s people discover God’s preferred future for their lives. Corporate discernment shapes the future of the church through Bible study, the practice of spiritual disciplines, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the midst of a gathered group. Ervin Stutzman, Mennonite Church USA Executive, will explore these themes from his recent book to set the direction for our 2014 School and will engage a response by Dean Michael A. King.

*This is the only session of the School for Leadership Training open free to the public.

Tuesday, 9:00-10:30 a.m., Martin Chapel
Discernment processes at the three classic levels of church polity (local, regional and national) share broad similarities but also profound differences. This plenary will feature representatives of a local congregation, a regional body, and a denomination that each engaged in a significant discernment process leading to a decision. In a case study format, the representatives will describe the issue(s) that were addressed, the discernment process that was used, and the outcome(s) that resulted. Participants will have opportunities to interact with the case study representatives and to learn from both the successes and challenges of their experience. Facilitator: David Brubaker

Tuesday 1:45-3:15 p.m., Martin Chapel
Ruth Haley Barton teaches in the areas of leadership transformation, corporate discernment, and spiritual community. Her first keynote defines corporate leadership discernment and explores the foundational requirements for a group of leaders to become a community for discernment. Time for feedback and questions will follow.

Wednesday 9-10:30 p.m., Martin Chapel
Ruth Haley Barton’s second address highlights the steps church leaders may use when a matter of discernment is before them and what to consider in that process. Her input will be followed by a question and answer session.

Wednesday 11:00-12:00 noon, Martin Chapel
Discernment of the path forward in relation to same-sex issues has been tearing denominations, congregations, and families apart for a generation. Not to address this reality in a School for Leadership Training focused on discernment would be to pretend an elephant is not in the room. Yet time and again, given how passionately and differently faithful Christians view these matters, discernment efforts lead to ongoing pain. To highlight how great is our need for the Holy Spirit to weave the gifts of our perspectives into something larger than we have individually known how to achieve, we will gather for an hour of worship. During worship we will not seek discernment guidance but will simply offer our fears and hopes to God.

Wednesday 1:45-3:15 p.m., Martin Chapel
The fastest growing denomination in America, according to one survey, is the “Nones”—the 45 million or so Americans who report none of the above when asked which church, denomination, religion they belong to. It’s probably no coincidence that in turn the Auburn Center for the Study of Theological Education says enrollment across 205 seminaries in North American peaked in 2004 and has been declining since. Finding our way through this world is the adventure Eastern Mennonite Seminary and many SLT participants are navigating. Join EMS faculty for a fishbowl in which faculty engage in “live” discernment of how congregations, denominations, church leaders, and seminaries function amid pitfalls and opportunities of the Age of Nones. Perspectives of SLT participants will also be invited.

Wednesday 3:30-4:45 p.m., Martin Chapel
The SLT Worship Team, led by Les Horning, invites us to a closing corporate worship experience offering gratitude for our time together and sending us on our way with full souls.