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Choose from over 20 Workshops!

Migrations – Immigration, Emigration, Oh Why?
Rev. Leslie Vogel, PCUSA Liaison for Guatemala and Mexico
What are the factors pushing and pulling Central Americans toward the U.S.?  How is the U.S. government responding and in what ways does that contrast with the actions of U.S. church people and community groups? How can we, as committed Christians, respond to our sisters and brothers migrating from Central America and other parts of the world? How is the PCUSA as a denomination – and how are the Presbyteries of Grand Canyon and de Cristo – addressing these and other concerns?

The Church isn’t Dying, it’s Leaving the Building
Alison Wood and Tucson YAVs

Worried that the church is dying? Join this panel discussion with alumni of the Tucson Borderlands Young Adult Volunteer program to talk about where they saw and served God during their year of service. Hear stories about how these young adults connect with their faith in community, at work, through social movements, and in many other ways. Get a different view of church, and chime in with your own!

“When ‘It’ Hits the Fan: Moderating a Meeting When Tensions Rise”
PGC Reconciliation Team
As conflict mediators, we are sensitive to the factors that predicate a meeting meltdown. Out of that experience, we will share a few principles and practices for staying cool, clear, and connected when a session, congregational, or committee meeting gets intense. We will demonstrate how to structure conversations to encourage calm, open communication so that the issue at hand can be identified, addressed and potentially resolved.

 A Clerk’s Toolkit: Clerk of Session Training (Two hours)
Stated Clerk Bob Schulz, Jeanette Miller
What is the job of the Clerk of Session?  Topics will include anything in the Handbook with emphasis on those items that generated the most questions over the last year.  Questions on reading minute reviews will also be addressed.  Clerks of session will be polled, asking for specific topics for discussion during the training session.

Migrant Hospitality
Dan Abbott, University Presbyterian Church
Churches along the border with Mexico are being flooded with asylum seekers who, having been interviewed and released by Homeland Security, are on their way to sponsors’ communities across the country. The Presbyterian Church has a remarkable opportunity to demonstrate how people of the Word, specifically Matthew 25, reach out to the frightened, the traumatized, and the marginalized at this moment in our border history. We will examine the reality of the situation, the demands on people of faith, and the possible responses available to Presbyterians.

Understanding Privilege – Why it matters and how to cultivate best Practices in your Faith Community                                                                                                    Rev. Erin Tamayo      Many of us lament that Sunday morning continues to be the most segregated hour of the entire week.  Presbyterians have dedicated much effort to racial reconciliation, gender and cultural justice as well as antiracism training.  However, until we understand the concept of “privilege” in its various forms, and work to dismantle these systems, we will continue to find well-meaning people contributing to inequities and injustice.

Farm Worker Issues                                                                                
Phebe Packer, Peace and Justice Network
In the food production chain today, some of the hands that bring our food to the table are hidden.  In the United States today there are between 2.5 and 3 million farm workers.  Based on their experience in Arizona and other states, our presenters will describe the issues and challenges facing farm workers today.

Taking Action on Hunger: Engaging Youth and YOU!
Tamara Zivic, WHEAT Advocate
Hunger continues to be a major problem for people across our country.  This workshop will provide updated information on hunger in Arizona and will focus on ways that we can make a difference.  In particular, participants will learn about the Cents-ability funds and how to apply for funds for projects in your congregation that directly serve the hungry.

An Introduction to Financial Peace University
Rev. George Saylor and Dirk Van Dyke, Emmanuel Presbyterian
Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is a Christian stewardship program for churches and their members and is an effective vehicle for meeting and serving neighbors outside the church.  The course lasts nine weeks.  Each week begins with a video presentation, followed by small group discussion.  Workbook lessons lead into the lesson weeks 2-9.   Marriages are strengthened, and anyone can benefit. Most congregations see higher and sustained rates of giving from FPU participants.

 Restoring Hope – How the church can prevent suicide                                                     Hilary Cummings, M, Ed
Suicide rates are climbing dramatically each year particularly among our young people, ages 15-24.  Yet, suicide is preventable, and the church family can help.  Building a care ministry to provide suicide prevention education and intervention skills training is an essential component to providing mental health help in our communities.  We all can help one another and ourselves with awareness, knowledge and compassion.

The Blessings and Challenges of Cross-Cultural Ministry
Clergy & leaders from cross- cultural congregations
Leaders from congregations involved in cross-cultural ministry will share and discuss some of the special opportunities, gifts and challenges these ministries experience.  Come to learn what is happening in some of our churches and to gain insights into how to bring cross-cultural ministry into your church.  Learn what it’s like to have a congregation with members drawn from nearly a dozen countries; or another with bilingual services; and yet another with Native American, Hispanic and Anglo members sharing in worship and service.  Share your own experiences, questions and insights.

Faith that Works – Service and Worship Together
RuthAnn Smithrud – Local Outreach Director – St. Andrew’s
Imagine the giving and receiving, the friendship and fellowship, the partnerships and spiritual growth, if a few times a year, instead of attending a Worship Service, you attended a Service Worship! What would happen, if in every month that has five Sundays, you set aside the 5th Sunday, and in place of regular worship services, you offered a wide variety of opportunities for service in your community for everyone in your congregation? Come find out how to put faith into action and glorify The Lord in your community!

Integrating Camp practices into the every-day life of your church                
Kellie von Borstel, Montlure Director
Montlure has embarked on a 3-year initiative, intentionally exploring sabbath practices at camp. With support of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, we have adopted five specific practices in order to help campers and staff find rhythms of rest in their life, amidst an anxious world. Come find out more about these sabbath practices and the ways your church, your youth group, or your faith community can embody these practices throughout the year. From concepts and ideas, to practical resources, we would love to partner with your community in the practice of spiritual formation.

Congregational Leader Workshop for Healthy Pastors Healthy Congregations- 2 parts
Rev. Clayton Cobb, Board of Pensions
Aimed at key Congregational Leaders (Pastors, personnel and finance elders, Clerks, and other key Session leaders) for those congregations that have enrolled in the Healthy Pastors Healthy Congregation program with the Board of Pensions.  (Those congregations and pastors wishing or are interested in enrolling in the program are invited, but need to bring the appropriate leadership in order to fulfill the program requirements.) For more information see:

 Vacation Bible School – Making A Big Impact On A Small Budget
Shannon Langston and Sheila Kyer, Peoria First
Starting a Vacation Bible School program can seem daunting. Where do I find the kids? Where do I find the money? How much money do I need? Do I even have enough money? Where can I find curriculum or resources to best fit my group and size? These are all questions that run through the minds of even the most seasoned VBS Directors and planners. Let’s add in, “I’ve planned for 60 kids, but what if we only have 35 kids show up?” We will walk you through all of these questions, planning timelines, the all-important budget question and more!

Pastor Finances 101
Rev. Clayton Cobb, Board of Pensions
Learn the basics of personal budgeting, as well as the varied benefits offered by the Board of Pensions that can help pastors address debt, increase their savings, and defray taxes and healthcare expenses.  It will also offer an overview of the Minister’s Education Debt Assistance and the Healthy Pastors Healthy Congregations Programs.

Sunday School Planning and Curriculum For the Small Church
Shannon Langston, Peoria First
Sourcing, choosing and implementing Sunday School curriculum that follows our Reformed tradition beliefs and engages our youth is a fine balance. It can be especially difficult in smaller churches with only a couple of classes with a mixture of ages. Choosing curriculum that will engage the older youth, and everyone in between is a big challenge. Learn some insider tips and ideas on how to help bridge that gap and make sure every child gets spiritually feed with the love and knowledge of our Lord.

Creative Use of Media in Worship
Rev. Steve Melde, Christ Presbyterian, Tucson
Integrating visual technology to enhance the worship experience. Making sermons and meditations come alive!

 Matthew 25 Initiative                                                                             
Rev. Rene Meyers, PC(USA) Mission Agency
Based on the General Assembly’s call to live into Matthew 25 as a church, the Presbyterian Mission Agency has established 3 focus areas for our work: eradicating systemic poverty, dismantling systemic racism, and building vital congregations.  René Myers, Mission Engagement Advisor, will discuss how we are living out the answer to, “When did we see you hungry…” and how we are working together to eradicate systemic poverty.

 Covenantal Restoration 
Phebe Packer and members of the Peace and Justice Network
Racism and oppression have a long and painful past and present. They are an open, aching human wound that reflects a fracture in our relationship with God. Understanding how this wound was promoted and is still alive and acting out in the construct of our beliefs and systems and structures is the beginning of restoration. This workshop feature one of the 12 films in a series developed by The Work of the People ( a great resource for congregations to use as they strive toward greater understanding and how to move toward God’s dream for humanity. Materials will be provided describing the full series and how it can be obtained.

Monastic Practices for Presbyterians: Staying Put, Listening Well, Being Changed by God                                                     Rev. Rachel Srubas, Mountain Shadows Presbyterian Church
For the past few decades, Presbyterians hungry for a deepened spiritual life have been retrieving practices that the historic Protestant Reformers trashed when they abolished monasteries. Monks (especially Benedictines) can teach us a lot about getting grounded in Christ and open to change—in our souls as well as our society. Presenter Rachel Srubas is a Presbyterian pastor, oblate (non-monastic affiliate of the Benedictine Order), and the author of two books on Benedictine spirituality. Join her for a lively introduction to monastic promises and practices that foster the faith even of people who will never be monks. Books will be available for purchase.

Community Ministry: Creating Connections Beyond Church Walls
Revs. Kristin and Brandon Willett
Most churches want to serve the wider community, but often find that most of their ministry targets those who are in their pews. Learn tips on how to create spaces within the community to minister to the wider population. Kristin and Brandon served PC(USA) congregations for 10+ years before stepping into the role of starting a new worshiping community in Anthem, AZ. Come learn from their last 2 years in this new ministry.

The Book of Confessions: A Source of Life for the Church                     
Rev. Gale Watkins, Westminster Presbyterian
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a great treasure called the Book of Confessions. The purpose of this workshop is to gain access to this treasure so that it can be a source of life for members, leaders, and congregations. We will survey the confessions themselves, resources that can help us understand them better, and ways that can be put to use in the life of the church.

Stephen Ministry for the Health of the Congregation                                                                Gee-Gee Smith
What is Stephen Ministry and how can this contribute to the health of a congregation? Valley Presbyterian (Green Valley) explains their structure, who they serve and how has this helped the congregation overall  If you are considering a SM program for your congregation, this will be a helpful perspective in your considerations. If you have a SM program that is struggling, we may have ideas to help you grow. And if you have a strong SM program, we would like to hear what is working for you!

Starting and Maintaining a Food Pantry
Alice Smedley, Trinity
The workshop will cover ways and reasons for starting a Food Pantry.  We will discuss the physical space required for setup and the organizational chart required to keep the program running smoothly.  There are many avenues to explore for providing the food that can be given out at the pantry.  Your knowledge and input can form the bases for a food pantry at almost any location.

Translating the Alphabet Soup of Estate Planning
Maggie Harmon, Presbyterian Foundation
CRT, RMD, QCR, DPOA, CLT, RLT, DAF – what does it all mean? And more importantly what do you really need to know to help church members with the elderhood planning and philanthropic goals? In this workshop, Maggie Harmon, Ministry Relations Officer from the Presbyterian Foundation and attorney with over a decade of estate planning work, will translate the acronyms, explain how different estate planning tools fit together, and provide examples of how these can be used to help individuals meet their goals during their life and beyond.

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