Bishop’s Spring Conference 2017
May 6, 2017 9:30am – 3:30 pm
Presentations by The Rev. Chris Yaw of ChurchNext, Tracy Radocevic – Biblical Storyteller and The Rev. Alberto Cutie on Talking about God in the 21st Century.
Bishop’s Spring Conference 2016
April 16 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A full day of learning and innovative ideas curated by Lisa Kimball, Ph.D
Building on our diocesan two-year theme, Know Your Story, Live It Boldly, and drawing from her extensive knowledge of Christian formation practices across the church, Dr. Lisa Kimball (Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning & Professor of Christian Formation & Congregational Leadership at Virginia Theological Seminary) will lead a day to equip diocesan leaders with confidence to strengthen Christian formation in their particular ministry settings. We cannot “teach” what we do not know, and we cannot “know” what we do not believe in our hearts. Lisa will use current research, popular culture, demographics, learning theory and sound theology to move beyond “decline rhetoric” into tangible, hopeful practices that address your real challenges as opportunities. If Sunday School isn’t working, what is? If your congregation is aging, what does thriving look like? Your neighborhood is changing, now what? Can online community really replace coffee hour? Plan to join us for an engaging and substantive day of learning. Be on the lookout for a chance to tell Lisa what you most need in your ministry #FormingFaith.
About Our Conference Presenters
Lisa Kimball is the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning, the Director of the Center for the Ministry of Teaching, and Professor of Christian Formation and Congregational Leadership. She joined the VTS faculty in 2009.
Lisa received her Ph.D. in Work, Community, and Family Education from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Her dissertation, “Being Godparent: A Dialogical Hermeneutic Study of Godparenthood” wove together her interests in human development, experiential learning, faith formation, church history, and popular culture. She earned a M.Ed. in Youth Development Leadership from the University of Minnesota in 2001, and an A.B. in Human Biology with a concentration in Cross-Cultural Communications from Stanford University in 1980.
Prior to her appointment at Virginia Seminary, Lisa was a member of the faculty in the College of Education at the University of Minnesota with dual appointments in the School of Social Work (Youth Studies) and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction where she coordinated the Master’s Program in Youth Development Leadership. Lisa also held a position as Research Scientist at Search Institute in Minneapolis, MN where she focused on adolescent spiritual development and program evaluation. While working full-time in the academy Lisa maintained a regular schedule of national consulting, conference presentations, and teaching in youth ministry, evangelism, congregational and leadership development including serving as adjunct faculty at Luther Seminary, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Before assuming an academic career, Lisa spent twenty years serving on the staff of five congregations and two dioceses in California and Minnesota.
Lisa’s published writing includes book chapters, journal articles, book reviews and regular articles for professional publications such as Vestry Papers and Giving.
The Rev. José Reyes is the Associate Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Worcester, MA. Born in the Dominican Republic, José grew up in Springfield, MA, received a BA from Williams College and his M. DIV from Virginia Theological Seminary. José is curious and creative about ways to be the church in non-traditional settings. He is a gifted teacher, and regularly teaches Spanish to medical students and guitar to people of all ages.
EDUARDO SOLOMÓN RIVERA
From a very young age, Eduardo served in children and young adult formation ministry. For over twenty years he has served in a professional capacity as a lay minister in various types of ministry from the parish to the university campus, and from regional church leadership to publishing and hospital chaplaincy.
More recently, Eduardo led the process that resulted in Forward Movement’s launch of a new Latino/Hispanic ministry ¡Adelante! at Nuevo Amanecer, 2014. He also served on the pastoral team of St. Helena Episcopal Church in Burr Ridge, Illinois.
Eduardo was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He recently moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico with his spouse of ten years, and their four sons. They are members of St. Michael and All Angels Church in the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande. He earned the Master in Divinity degree at Catholic Theological Union and the Diploma in Anglican Studies at Bexley Seabury Seminary.
Eduardo is currently the coordinator of Academia Ecuménica de Liderazgo. The Academia is an innovative Christian formation and lay leadership development program of Latino/Hispanic Ministries offered in collaboration with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Eduardo sits on the council of advice of the missioner for Latino/Hispanic ministries of the Episcopal Church.
The Rev. Kate Siberine is a team member at the Center for the Ministry of Teaching where she explores online resources and communities that help us connect with God and each other in ways that bring healing and wholeness to the world, helps ministries share the gospel visually through basic graphic design principles and platforms, and researches confirmation as a way to help young people claim their own discipleship.
Spring Conference 2015:
Click here for video, audio, presentations, printed materials and more from The Bishop’s Spring Conference.
Books and other materials by our conference leaders are available for purchase at the Trinity Cathedral Altar Guild Shop, which now features online shopping.
The U Turn Church: New Direction for Health and Growth, by Kevin G. Harney & Bob Bouwer, Baker Books, Michigan, 2011.
Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood, by Alan J. Roxburgh, Baker Books, Michigan, 2011.
We invite you to explore the following web-based resources.
Building Faith: Christian Formation Inspiration from the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at The Virginia Theological Seminary
A resource website dedicated to Christian Formation for children, youth, and adults. The website offer articles, advice, reviews, features, and resources for formation ministry with people of all ages.
My Faith, my Life: Resources for Christian Educators
Inspired by Jennifer Gamber’s book My Faith, My Life: A Teen’s Guide to the Episcopal Church, the website has grown to include resources and information supporting faith formation for people of all ages, and includes links to popular instructional videos created by Fr. Matthew Moretz of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in New York City.
A subscription service of online Christian formation courses for adults from top preachers and teachers in courses including Bishop Michael Curry’s “How to Be a Crazy Christian,” and The Rev. Dr. David Lose’s “The Gospel of Mark.” Courses range from Baptism and Bible Study to Self-Care and Personal Finance. This is a great resource for individuals and for smaller churches with limited people and financial resources.
Forma: Partnering to Inspire Christian Formation
An association and dynamic community of Christian educators, formation professionals, and their institutional partners that celebrates and upholds the diverse ministries of Christian formation across the Episcopal Church. Offers access to blogs and a variety of resources. http://episcoforma.org/
Also on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/episcoforma/
John Roberto’s organization, Lifelong Faith Associates is committed to helping congregations develop lifelong Christian faith formation for all ages and generations, increasing the capacity of leaders and communities to nurture faith growth in everyone. Contains thoughtful essays and others resources.
Lifelong Learning (Episcopal Church)
A website produced by a team of Episcopal Christian formation leaders that offers thoughts and resources for the formation of people of all ages. http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/lifelongformation/
Rows of Sharon
The website of Sharon Ely Pearson, a lifelong Christian Educator in the Episcopal Church. This site offers her thoughts and links to many resources.
a support organization of church leaders employing an action – research model to encourage experiment in addressing the changing landscape of the church – Site includes blogs by John Roberto and others as well as digital learning opportunities, books and other resourses – http://vibrantfaith.org/
Busted Halo: An Online Magazine for Spiritual Seekers
Produced as a resource for young adults, Busted Halo addresses questions spiritual seekers are asking from a Roman Catholic perspective and creatively offers old traditions in new ways. http://bustedhalo.com/
Our Conference Leaders:
The Rev. Dr. David W. Anderson is an ecumenical and international presenter, coach and author in the church. For nearly 18 years he was on staff at Vibrant Faith Ministries (Minneapolis, MN) working with congregations to help them develop effective missional outreach as well as faith formation strategies and resources. He delights in helping congregations understand that the Christian church involves a vital partnership between the ministry of the congregation and the ministry of the home. He has helped the home become a place to nurture the Christian faith and enrich interpersonal relationships. He has worked as a seminary and college instructor, editor of adult Christian curriculum at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, parish pastor and hospital chaplain. David has written numerous books and articles on partnering home and congregation in faith formation including Frogs without Legs Can’t Hear: Nurturing Disciples in Home and Congregation (co-authored, 2003); Coming of Age: Exploring the Identity and Spirituality of Younger Men (co-authored, 2006); From the Great Omission to Vibrant Faith: the Role of the Home in Renewing the Church (2009); and Vibrant Faith in the Congregation (2011).
The Reverend Angela S. Ifill is Missioner for Black Ministries in the Episcopal Church and served as a missionary in East Africa where she also studied African Christianity and completed a paper on the Revival of the Church in East Africa. In her work with congregations, Rev. Ifill has developed the New Visions Initiative for Congregational Renewal and Vitality, The Rites of Passage resource Rising Stars Experiences (RISE), an alternative to the School to Prison Pipeline, and the Values to Live By guide for young people. Rev. Ifill was Associate Rector at St. Paul’s Church in Cleveland Heights Ohio and Canon Pastor at Trinity and St. Philips Cathedral in Newark, New Jersey where she successfully launched the Mission to Dismantle Racism Initiative in the Diocese. She was instrumental in developing a Companion Relationship with the Diocese of Mozambique and led a mission trip there to help install Solar Water Pumps. She has led Church Revivals in the Caribbean and presented a paper on Leadership and Congregational Development in the Diocese of Southwark, England.
John Roberto of LifelongFaith Associates is editor of the journal Lifelong Faith, and works as a consultant to churches and national organizations, teaches courses and conducts workshops in faith formation, and has authored books and program manuals in faith formation. John works on the staff Vibrant Faith as Research Coordinator. His latest publications include Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century (2014), Generations Together: Caring, Celebrating, Learning Praying, and Serving Faithfully (co-authored, 2014), and Faith Formation 2020: Designing the Future of Faith (2010).
Moving from Membership to Discipleship to Join God’s Mission in the World by The Reverend Angela S. Ifill
The discussion will focus on communities of faith being a “sent” people. What is meant by being a sent people? How do we know we are sent? What tells us we are a sent people? Moving from membership to discipleship is a process and a journey that we all must take to become more of what God is calling us to be both individually and corporately.
Back to Basics for Discipleship Making and Outreach by the Rev. Dr. David Anderson
David Anderson’s “back to basics” presentation is rooted in Five Principles of faith formation and the Four Key Faith Practices. His presentation offers an approach to discipleship making and outreach that is cross+generational, sacramental, experiential, and rooted in a foundational partnership between home and congregation. Resources will be explored that connect the Five Principles and Four Keys with daily faith formation and significant milestone events in our lives. He will give examples and suggestions that come from over 25 years of teaching and coaching congregations. Go to www.milestonesministry.org for a more complete picture of Milestones Ministry, Taking Faith Home, For Everything a Season, the Five Principles and Four Keys. On the Home Page, see a video of one congregation’s development of Milestones Ministry as well as another video that gives a description of the design for each individual Milestone.
Reimagining Church in a Digital World by John Roberto
How can churches take full advantage of the abundance of digital media and tools to make disciples and form people in a vibrant Christian faith for a lifetime? This presentation will explore a variety of digital practices, strategies, and resources that every church can use to connect church with the home and daily lives of people and to reach people who are not involved in church life.
Formation Video of the Month (March 2015):
Our committee works hard to ensure that every church and every person in the Diocese of New Jersey has good, timely, quick information and up-to-date resources for education for all ages.
You’ll find a myriad of resources here to assist you in educational initiatives for every age in your parish, resources for learning on your own and seminars and workshops offered through the Ministry Institute, where you can join others interested in similar topics.
To create and support educational, spiritual, and vocational programs throughout the diocese for children, youth, and lay adults and clergy in order to equip the people of God for ministry.
The committee sponsors diocesan Christian Formation events and supports workshop days sponsored by Christian Education Associates and the Ecumenical Training Associates. At these conferences, Commission members serve as sponsors and presenters.
The committee also represents the Diocese of New Jersey in the Province II Christian Education Network.
Beulah Enterprises: Christian toys, Beulah Land felt figures, the Jesus doll, books and more.
Building Faith: Resources, articles and links for Christian Formation including Curriculum Comparison Charts, a down-loadable Christian Educator’s handbook, and seasonal resources.
Candle Press: Helen Barton provides a unique variety of materials for church seasons, baptism, confirmation, and family celebrations.
Church Publishing: Episcopal congregational resources.
Episcopal Relief and Development: Outreach focused curricula for children and youth which can also be adapted for Vacation Bible School or a Youth Lock-In! Also available: Ministering to Children and Teens after a Disaster.
Godly Play Resources: The official website for Godly Play.
Leader Resources: Providers of Rite 13 and Journey to Adulthood as well as many other Christian Formation curricula.
Lesson Plans That Work: Free weekly lectionary-based lessons for children, youth and adults designed for small Episcopal congregations.
Treehaus Communications: A good source of material for those who use Catechesis of the Good Shepherd or Godly Play.
Virginia Theological Seminary Center for Ministry for Teaching: Curriculum write ups, Vacation Bible School program evaluations, links and down-loadable resources, including Episcopal Children’s Curriculum lessons at no cost. Sign up here for a free on-line subscription to Episcopal Teacher, a quarterly publication for all those involved in Christian Formation.