SLT Seminars

Schedule | Speakers Seminars | Keynotes and Events | Registration | Logistics |

Participants may choose FOUR seminars. Four seminars are offered on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, four on Tuesday afternoon and five on Wednesday afternoon. Seminar times are 11:00 am – 12:15 pm, and 1:45 – 3:15 pm both days.

Morning seminars

Love Over Fear: Subverting evil in the way of Jesus

Congregate Charlottesville founder, Brittany Caine-Conley shares stories from the front lines of Charlottesville, while illustrating the tenets of faithful public witness and non-violent direct action.

Presenter: Brittany Caine-Conley, Director of University Ministry at Westminster Presbyterian Church

When the Center Cannot Hold: Leadership in an age of polarization

Political and cultural polarization has been increasing in the U.S. for the last 30 years, and the phenomenon has impacted every organization and congregation in the country. This workshop will review the impact of polarization on pastors and leaders of other faith-based organizations, and introduce practices for surviving (and even thriving) in an age of polarization. Included will be an interview with Loren Swartzendruber, the former EMU president who led the university through a revision of its hiring practices regarding human sexuality.

Presenter: David Brubaker, Associate Professor in the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding, EMU

No Quick Fix for Brokenness in Self or in Others: Systems thinking as a resource for developing and bringing our best to all of life's relationships

Divisions seems to be deepening at all levels of society. Families, faith communities and their leaders are under stress. Many pastors have recognized systems thinking as a resource for more effective and faithful engagement of the many challenges in ministry. At the same time many are aware that they have integrated just a portion—“skimmed the surface” of its potential. This workshop will review the essential ideas of Bowen Family Systems Theory and introduce a nine month one-day-per-month Seminar designed to assist participants toward a deeper understanding and application of the concepts---on behalf of one’s own brokenness and for bringing one’s best to all.

Presenter: Kenton Derstine, EMS faculty

God's Word and Ours: Praying the Psalms

“The Holy Scripture is the Word of God to us. But prayers are the words of men. How do prayers then get into the Bible? Let us make no mistake about it, the Bible is the Word of God even in the Psalms. Then are these prayers to God also God’s own word? That seems rather difficult to understand.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible

The psalms guide its readers into and through prayer amidst the joys and sorrows of life. Praying the psalms is among the most universal and most ancient of Christian traditions. In this workshop, we will discuss these words that are both human and divine, reflect on Christian prayer practice with the psalms, and pray, individually and together.

Presenter: Andrea Saner, EMS faculty

Afternoon Seminars

Train Stations, Bike Trails and Bus Routes: Are our clergy resourcing/exploring/learning platforms still relevant? and sustainable?

This is an introduction to “learning communities” as an increasingly interesting vehicle for the delivery of formation, resourcing and even oversight of pastors who are serving in local congregations. At this intriguing juncture in American church history, pastors face not only a leadership complexity not seen by their predecessors, but also the perplexing task of prioritizing their own continuing education from a massive subset of available resources. Let’s talk! We will want to hear from everybody - young and old, etc. WARNING: This entire workshop will be offered in the presenter’s learning community format.

Presenter: Walter Sawatzky, Life/Work Transition Advisor & Personal Leadership Coach

Pastoral responses to racism in our community and congregation

Racism is part of the fabric of our nation. In the last two years blatant racism has become more prevalent and divisive. As pastors how can we respond in a just and loving way? We will explore possible responses using biblical narratives and role playing.

Presenter: Iris de León-Hartshorn, Director of Transformative Peacemaking, Mennonite Church - USA

Gleaning resilience from the Good News, both then and now

This workshop will focus on searching the Gospels for stories of resilience in the face of personal and societal brokenness in the 1st-century Mediterranean world. Through this search we will identify Gospel stories with which we as 21st-century North American followers of Jesus can discover (and have discovered!) resilience for the brokenness of our own 21st-century North American world. Bring your Bible and come prepared to share your own stories of resilience gleaned from and nurtured by the Good News.

Presenter: Dorothy Jean Weaver, EMS faculty

Whatever you do, just don't talk about THAT!

We minister in a world where people scream at each other with tweets and walk past each other in stony silence. Perhaps these behaviors happen in our faith communities. As leaders we have a hard path to walk. How do we stay safe, modeling openness and courage in our conversation? Join us to brainstorm being loving countercultural verbal witnesses.

Presenter: Nancy Heisey, EMS Associate Dean

Pastoring in the Landscape: Geological and Ecological Lessons

The landscape for ministry is changing rapidly--but there are lessons to be gleaned from other contexts of change. Come join in a virtual "pilgrimage" to the Yellowstone National Park to ponder insights for modern ministry from the experience of park management of wolf depopulation--and repopulation--and the realities of living and working on top of a supervolcano.  

Presenter: Meredith McNabb, Director of the Center for Clergy Excellence

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