Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose

The second annual meeting will be held on December 9-11, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Please see below for workshop options. More details to follow regarding the program and travel.

Workshop Session 1 – Tuesday, December 10 at 1:00 p.m.

The Sankofa in Innovation: Activating the Past to Re-Imagine Our Future

Itahari Toure, Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference

Sankofa is connective memory work. This interactive multi-media session demonstrates, storylinking and storytelling of the past to continually connect the past and future as a function of innovation.  It posits that the “healing” work of innovation and change is to create a collective identity from temporal and relational memories.  For congregations experiencing a shift in generational ideas about faith and vocation, Sankofa is a responsive tool for community building.

Instincts, Interests, and Talents: Exploring Individual Call with the Birkman Ministry Focus

Kelly Adams, Samford University

The Birkman Ministry Focus report aims to identify the areas of interest where individuals might find their greatest fulfillment in lay ministry and volunteer capacities.  During this session we’ll share why we chose the Birkman and the materials we’ve prepared to help churches facilitate conversation around the Birkman Ministry Focus Report.

Lived Theologies of Calling: Congregational Conversations

Claire Wolfteich, Boston University School of Theology

What images and visions of calling are contemporary congregations offering? What practices of discernment do they find useful in their own particular communal contexts? This workshop will explore lived theologies of calling as they are emerging in our Creative Callings innovation hub congregations, in dialogue with selected literature on vocation. We also will invite participants to share stories of their own congregations’ emerging theologies of calling and will strategize together about ways to elicit and document these lived theologies/practices.  

One Another As Ourselves: Facilitating Mutual Partnerships & Relational Community

Joy Bronson, American Baptist College

This workshop will explore the key building blocks in engaging holy equitable relationing as a process for our ministry teams, our congregations, and our work with our various communities. We will conclude with an activity in which participants will discern beginning steps, using our own contexts as an example, as to how to “take the next reasonable step” from where we are towards and into holy equitable relationing.

Communal Discernment in Congregations

Nancy Going and Jim LaDoux, Vibrant Faith

As churches explore the impact of calling and vocation on the faith lives of their people, Vibrant Faith’s grant proposal asks them to begin to move their attention from individual to communal callings.  Join us to explore coaching tools and skills for helping your churches do just that, as well as hearing stories from churches who are in the midst of communal discernment to hear and claim new callings. 

Engaging Churches in Assessing Impact of Calling & Vocation Initiatives

John Roberto, Vibrant Faith

We are all learning how hard it is for churches to reflect much less assess while they are in the midst of an project. Explore tools and approaches for helping churches measure the impact of their Calling projects on the lives of people in their communities.

Workshop Session 2 – Tuesday, December 10 at 3:00 p.m.

The Lights of Broadway: How Film Tells a Story

Laura Aponte, Louisville Seminary; Mike Mather, pastor, Broadway United Methodist Church, Indianapolis; Josh Minogue, cinematographer, storyteller, owner of Blair Dog, Louisville, KY

This workshop will explore how an idea for a video is born, develops, and lives after extensive pruning. Some Myrtle Collaboration congregations visited Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis after reading Mike Mather’s book Having Nothing, Possessing Everything. Along with a subsequent visit and hours of audio and video five short videos were created to tell their story. How does it feel to tell someone’s story, and how does it feel to have your story told by someone else? How do you choose what to tell?

Worship: How to Preach, Praise, and Pray about Callings

Laura Fanucci, Collegeville Institute

Sunday worship remains the time and place where most people engage with the congregations in our hubs. How can we encourage churches to weave calling into their worship through song, preaching, and prayer—whether in blessing, confession, petition, or lament? We’ll explore different approaches to bring vocation into worship throughout the calendar and church year, how to bless particular callings (from lifespan stages to diverse occupations) and share practical resources for your congregations to use in worship.

Removing the armor, taking the shepherd’s bag: Being an ethnic minority community in a majority White denomination

Yoimel González Hernández, Myra Garnes, and Lisa Kimball, Virginia Theological Seminary

The reference to David´s preparation to fight Goliath (1 Samuel 17) is an invitation to explore topics of identity and self-awareness in the daily life of the Latino and African American congregations in the [Episcopal] Church. This workshop will present the experience of Latino and African American congregations participating in Baptized for Life/Vida en Abundancia (BFL/VEA), highlighting how they deal with being smaller, historically marginalized congregations. We will look closely at the dynamics unfolding as bilingual Latino congregations face issues like Anglican/Latino identity, ecumenism, stewardship, formation, and access to resources. Historic African American congregations additionally face the challenges of gentrification, building maintenance, and aging membership. We will share ways in which BFL/VEA is focusing on baptismal identity to address leadership development and communal discernment in these rich contexts and across challenging cultural divides.

Seeing It Whole: The Vocation Circle

Jane Patterson, Collegeville Institute Coordination Team

Jane Patterson has worked with individuals and congregations on processes of discerning their callings since 2005. This workshop will present a cohesive theological model of vocation that helps people gain a sense for the dynamic interrelationship of God, the person in discernment, their context, their skills, and their particular embodiment.

Making Grants to Congregations: Effective Practices and Practical Tips

Kara Faris, Indianapolis Center for Congregations

Making grants to congregations is a rewarding experience because meaningful relationships can be forged and transformational work can get done. Effective grantmaking primes grant recipients for success, and includes administrative processes that ensure integrity and accountability. Participants in this session will: (a) examine steps in the grantmaking process from proposal to final reporting and (b) discover ways to build healthy practices into the grantor/grantee relationship.

Teaching Evaluation to Congregations

Sue Weber, Indianapolis Center for Congregations

During this workshop, participants will learn how to help congregations think about and conduct their own evaluation work.  Special emphasis will be on how to simplify the concept of evaluation for congregations while helping them conduct useful and relevant evaluation work.