Workshops


"Be the Church" Roundtables

All Workshops take place on Saturday, July 1, 2017

Session 1 (1:30 PM - 2:30 PM)

The UCC's First Virtual Reality Church
First United Church of Christ Second Life is the first church of any denomination to have full standing as a church and exist only in virtual reality. Learn why they did this, how they did this, and how your church can become part of this exciting ministry.
Presented by: The Rev. Jerold Garber, Founding Minister and President, First United Church of Christ Second Life.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 336

Refugees, Migration, and Trafficking: Global Perspectives
The world is witnessing the highest levels of human displacement and human trafficking in history. War, economics, natural disasters, and climate change are some of the many causes. A panel of four global church partners will discuss these issues from their own context, experiences, and ministries.
Moderated by: Rev. Dr. Deenabandhu Manchala, Executive, Southern Asia, Global Ministries of the UCC and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Panelists: Ms. Marta Bernardini, Mediterranean Hope, Waldensian Church (Italy); Bishop Probal Kanto Dutta, Diocese of Durgapur, Church of North India; Bishop Ilse Junkermann, Evangelical Church of Middle Germany; Ms. Nafkot Mamuye, Evangelical Protestant Church in Morocco; and Ms. Jenny Neme, JUSTAPAZ (Colombia).
Baltimore Convention Center Room 337

From the Pulpit to the Public Square
Using his experiences with the Moral Monday Movement, which mobilizes thousands of citizens and organizations to regular and sustained protests of moral violations by local and state governments, Barber will share practical ways faith leaders and congregations can lift the moral mandates of sacred text on platforms that impact public policy.
Presented by: The Rev. William Barber, nationally known faith leader and orchestrator of the Moral Monday Movement, North Carolina.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 338

The Silence that Kills: Gender Violence and Bias in Our Church and Communities
This workshop aims to raise awareness of gender violence and inequality in all settings of our society, communities, churches, and denomination by providing a forum to discuss best practices and strategies, as well as tools for identifying and speaking out against this injustice.
Moderated by: The Rev. Courtney Stange-Tregear, Minister for Church Vitality, Pacific Northwest Conference, UCC. Panelists: TBD.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 339

Picture the Bible: Discover the Biblical Pictorial Timeline
Created by a UCC congregation, The Biblical Pictorial Timeline is a collection of 36 original paper cut images depicting Bible stories. Experience the timeline "in action" to find out what makes it so unique and how it can be used in faith formation, worship, mission, and more.
Presented by: The Rev. Stacy Johnson Myers, Minister of Christian Education, First Congregational Church, River Falls, WI.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 340

Living Across Religious Traditions: The Spirituality of Multiple Religious Participation
Multiple religious participation—individuals whose religious and spiritual practices engage more than one religion—is on the rise. Come and learn from UCC clergy and members who are seeking community as multiple religious belongers and opening wide the doors of the church to multiple religious participation.
Presented by: The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, UCC Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, other presenters: TBD.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 341

Coaching Your Way through Conflict and Change
This workshop presents a new model for conflict and change management through the use of coaching tools. This model moves away from the traditional "fact-finding" format and provides a new hands-on approach that's proven to be an effective way to manage change in any setting.
Presented by: The Rev. Dr. Felix Villanueva, Conference Minister, UCC Southern California and Nevada Conference.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 342

Experiencing the African American Spirituals
The Negro Spirituals are true American folk songs which were preserved through oral tradition and then handed down to us in the present day. You'll be introduced, through singing, to some of the Spirituals, and gain an understanding of the true meanings of the words in the songs.
Presented by: Jeannette Brown, Choir Member at Christ Church in Summit, NJ, and UCC Delegate Emeritus, other presenters: TBD.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 343

Post-Deployment Ministry with Veterans and Their Families
We give our nation's military service members the training they need to accomplish their missions during deployment, but what resources await them back home? Learn how your congregation can play a vital role in the reentry and reintegration process of service members post-deployment.
Presented by: The Rev. Dr. Zachary Moon, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care, Chicago Theological Seminary.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 344

Lessons from Standing Rock
This workshop is for all those who are concerned about issues of justice related to indigenous rights and the protection of God's creation. Designed to first orient those with limited knowledge of the Dakota Access Pipeline, it will then enter into conversations that provide a greater depth of understanding while also discussing possibilities for sustained commitment and action.
Presented by: The Rev. Brooks Berndt, UCC Minister for Environmental Justice, The Rev. Marlene Whiterabbit Helgemo of the UCCs' Council for American Indian Ministry, and The Revs. Byron Buffalo and Toni Buffalo of the UCC's Dakota Association.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 345

The GS30 Israel-Palestine Resolution: Let's Make it Happen
GS30 in 2015 acted boldly when it overwhelmingly passed a resolution in pursuit of a Just Peace in Israel-Palestine. Implementation involves all settings of the church, and this panel of experts across the UCC will assist participants with developing action plans, identifying allies, and providing up-to-the-minute information on obstacles.
Presented by: The Rev. Diane Dulin, UCC Palestine-Israel Network and individuals from national leadership, local church settings, and Conferences.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 346

How to Become an Immigrant Welcoming and/or Sanctuary Congregation
Is your congregation interested in becoming an immigrant welcoming and/or sanctuary congregation? Learn the step by step process from experts in the filed from UCC Justice and Witness Ministries and Church World Service experts who are doing on the ground community organizing.
Presented by: Noel Andersen and other individuals from UCC Justice & Witness Ministries and Church World Service.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 347

Dinner Church as Engaging Worship
The co-pastors of Open Table Dinner Church share the story of how their worship over shared dinner grew into a compelling ministry, especially for young adults, people of differing faith backgrounds, and LGBTQ people in the community. Learn how this concept can work for your church.
Presented by: The Rev. Megan Snell and The Rev. Melissa Pace, co-pastors, Open Table Dinner Church.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 348

Making the Invisible Visible: Welcoming and Celebrating Sexuality Beyond Binaries
Is your congregation welcoming to the Bs in the LGBTQ acronym? This train-the-trainer workshop will engage participants in activities where they will examine their own attitudes about bisexuality, assess their community's welcome of bisexual people, and receive concrete strategies on how to make their congregation safer and more welcoming.
Presented by: The Rev. Marie Alford-Harkey, President and CEO, Religious Institute.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 349

Engaging Faith Communities with Sustaining Creation
Using the Small Group Faith Based Resource series "Sustaining Creation," this workshop will explore how to engage faith communities in the prophetic work of responding to the Climate & Earth sustainability crisis. The series features clergy and lay contributors from the UCC and other climate justice organizations.
Presented by: The Rev. Dr. Terry Gallagher, Chair, Environmental Task Force, UCC Illinois Conference.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 350

Session 2 (3:00 PM - 4:00 PM)

Tell Your Story
First-person storytelling is an effective tool for just about any ministry, including outreach, social justice work, stewardship, and worship. Learn from seasoned storytellers about effective storytelling style and structure, and how you can use it to promote community, self-understanding and spiritual growth. This workshop will be interactive and enjoyable.
Presented by: The Rev. Vince Amlin and The Rev. Rebecca Anderson, Co-founders, Earshot; Co-pastors, Bethany United Church of Christ in Chicago; and Co-planters, Gilead Church Chicago.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 336

Entrepreneurial Ministry: Church Planting and Restorative Justice
Despite its 25-year commitment to be multiracial and multicultural, the UCC remains predominantly white. Explore ways to identify, equip, and empower emerging leaders from urban communities of color (including women and LGBT leaders) who are committed to a more open expression of the faith.
Presented by: Bishop Yvette Flunder, City of Refuge UCC, Oakland, CA.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 337

Grassroots Activism Gone Viral
Learn how to create and execute a communications strategy for a grassroots activism campaign. You'll receive practical tools that will enhance your comfort with using social media, mobile apps, and web writing to create social change. Ideal for digital communicators for churches and nonprofits.
Presented by: Marchaé Grair, UCC Digital Content Manager and Editor, NewSacred.org, and Esther Merono, contributor to digital campaigns related to The Rev. William Barber.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 338

Getting to Yes
Church leaders are frequently asked to help intervene with a loved one's addiction or substance abuse issues. The loved one often refuses to acknowledge their problem or need for help. This workshop will introduce "stages of change" and "motivational interviewing," both of which have been successful in helping these individuals re-assess their situation and accept help.
Presented by: Jim O'Brien, Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and Certified Clinical Supervisor.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 339

Cuba/U.S. Relations at the Crossroads
As part of the Global Ministries Caribbean Initiative to be introduced at General Synod, this workshop will raise awareness of the status of the relations between Cuba and the U.S. and its impact on mission, ecclesiology, and outreach on both shores.
Presented by: The Rev. Joel Ortega Dopico, President, Cuban Council of Churches; The Rev. Raúl Suárez-Baptist, Pastor and Founder, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center at Havana, Cuba; and The Rev. Angel Rivera-Agosto, Executive, Latin America and the Caribbean, Global Ministries.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 340

Rated R: Race, Religion, and Radical Inclusivity
Much like an R-rating indicates "restricted" in a film, the challenging intersections of race, religion, justice, and inclusivity are often restricted from conversations in our very own faith communities. Come create a bold space to learn ways to create or increase radical inclusivity without ignoring the messages about intersections of race and religion.
Presented by: Amy Johnson, Commissioned Minister for Sexuality and UCC Our Whole Lives Coordinator, and Elivette Mendez Angulo of UCC Proyecto Encuentras de Gracias y Bienvenida.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 341

Break Hate!
Join with the Coalition Against Hate and the UCC's OC Inc. to fight hate online and on television. You'll learn how to identify fake news and hate speech, with sensitivity to free speech concerns; hear about advocacy efforts to influence content; and become informed about media fasting and other techniques to limit the impact.
Presented by: Cheryl Leanza, United Church of Christ, OC Inc., other presenters: TBD.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 342

How the Past Can Support Our Efforts to Change the Present
Join renowned UCC historian and author The Rev. Barbara Brown Zikmund on an exploration of some key stories in UCC history that will inspire Christians today, in particular UCC members, to uphold justice and seek peace as our ancestors did!
Presented by: The Rev. Barbara Brown Zikmund.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 343

Churches, Be WISE About Mental Health!
Mental health challenges affect 1 out of 4 people in our congregations and can no longer be ignored. This workshop will take you through the 10-step process, initiated by a GS 2015 resolution, of becoming a WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, Engaged) congregation.
Presented by: The Rev. Alan Johnson, The Rev. Dr. Sarah Griffith Lund, and Amy Petre Hill, M.Div., JD.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 344

Storytelling for Transformation
Through a process called "readers' theater," the Just Peace Players will share untold stories of faith, hope, love, and courage from various women who lived through WWII. These stories will encourage participants to collect and share stories that are untold in their communities.
Presented by: The Rev. Fran Bogle, D.Min, Director of the Just Peace Players, The Rev. Nancy Reed, and Rabbinic Pastor Matia Angelou.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 345

ONA 201: Best Practices for ONA Church Growth
Open and Affirming (ONA) congregations that are bold and visible can grow in spirit and in numbers. This workshop will train participants in the best practices for ONA evangelism, marketing, communications, and advocacy. Beneficial for churches that are already ONA and those considering the process.
Presented by: Andy Lang, Executive Director, Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 346

Family Homelessness 101: What Can the Church Do?
There's a growing crisis of families facing homelessness in America. This workshop sponsored by City Mission provides multiple ways congregations can get involved, from providing shelter and services to community organizing and advocacy. Luke 10:25-37 will be explored as a basis for congregational engagement.
Presented by: The Rev. June R. Cooper, Executive Director, City Mission Society of Boston
Baltimore Convention Center Room 347

Faith and Image: Visualizing the Gospel
Sculptor and author, Rev. Dr. Charles McCollough will demonstrate, through some of his sculptures, how to use visual images in communicating faith, show new ways to teach and preach the Gospel, and acquaint participants with the radical but non-violent message of Jesus.
Presented by: The Rev. Dr. Charles McCollough, author of The Art of Parables and The Non-Violent Radical: Seeing and Living the Wisdom of Jesus.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 348

Don't Just Sit There
This workshop is designed to energize your creativity in planning worship that engages diverse congregations through word, music, liturgy, and the arts. You'll receive ideas and strategies for creating worship that seeks to actively engage the congregation and encourages participation on many levels.
Presented by: The Rev. Dr. Wesley Bixby, Senior Minister, First Congregational UCC in Sarasota, FL, and Greg Chestnut, Minister of Music, First Congregational UCC in Sarasota, FL.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 349

The UCC's Movement to Dismantle the New Jim Crow and End Mass Incarceration
At General Synod 2015, the UCC adopted resolutions to dismantle the new Jim Crow and end mass incarceration. Hear what various UCC settings have done/are doing to implement these resolutions, discuss strategies and best practices to win public policy change, and learn ways to implement the resolutions in your local context.
Presented by: The Rev. Marvin Silver, Associate Conference Minister, UCC Central Atlantic Conference.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 350