Lifelong Learning Workshops
Scheduled Lifelong Learning Opportunities
Date: June 20
Registration Fee: $75
While debate continues in some faith communities as to the appropriateness or permissibility of religious blessing of same-sex couples' unions, many faith communities have for years embraced the love of all couples who understand themselves to be called to a spiritual union. Few ministers, however, have had the opportunity to learn about providing pastoral support and inspirational liturgy for same-sex couples. Without such training, they borrow from methods they learned for opposite-sex couples, sometimes in ways that are effective, and sometimes in ways that undercut the significant obstacles same-sex couples continue to face. In this day-long workshop participants will be introduced to methods and resources that will enable them to minster effectively and faithfully with same-sex couples as they consider and prepare for marriage or the blessing of their union.
Date: October 25
Registration Fee: $75
Ministers can hope ministry will involve extending benevolence and care for people, to which they will respond with joy and gratitude. Often that happens. But other times people’s bile can be an unwelcome surprise. What then?
Difficult behavior occurs. It contributes to unhappy congregations and to ministers losing their jobs. This workshop aims to support ministers in handling difficult behavior, complaint, and criticism in ways that enhance the health of the minister and of the congregation.
Date: January 24
New Habits for Nones: Practicing Digitally-Integrated Ministry in the Post-Christian World with Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson
It’s been hard to miss the near-constant news media coverage of the growth in the population of so-called “Nones”—people who answer “none” when asked with what religion they most identify or affiliate. It is often assumed that Nones are atheists or otherwise unreligious (or even irreligious). But the data tell is that this is not the case. The majority of Nones believe in God or a universal spirit and many have robust spiritual practices that are not inconsistent with more progressive Christian traditions and values. The challenge for ministry leaders now is how to understand Nones on their own terms, beyond the data and often over-generalizing commentary and outside religious assumptions about being unaffiliated or unidentified with institutional religion might mean.