2018 CRE Workshops

Below is a preliminary list of the current workshops for the March 10, 2018 Congregational Resourcing Event.

Use the codes at the right to determine the general subject matter of each workshop.

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Workshop General Subject Matter Codes

  • AC: Administration / Council / Treasurers
  • ED: Education
  • EO: Evangelism/Outreach/Hospitality
  • GM: Global / Interfaith
  • LE: Leadership
  • SJ: Social Justice
  • SP: Spirituality/Prayer/Health & Wellness
  • ST: Stewardship
  • YF: Youth / Family / Children

Please note: Workshop sessions and room numbers will be available by March 1. These are assigned after we have an idea of how many people register for each workshop, so please register early. Registering your preference to attend a workshop does not lock you in to that choice, but it helps us in making plans for sessions and room sizes.

updated 2/2  9pm

# Workshop Title Main Presenter Name Workshop Description
0 Being Church, Now & Then: what the church of the future might look like…perhaps? Rev. Nathan C.P. Frambach The presentations (and conversation) will be (hopefully) a musing, imaginative, forward-looking thought experiment about what “being church” and living God’s mission might look in the future (and the future may be now). The presentations will include material from a few provocative thinkers and writers—theologian John Caputo, poet Mary Oliver,  and essayist and poet Wendell Berry, to stimulate and inspire our thinking and imagination.
A1 Let's Talk about what the church of the future might look like: Q & A with professor Nate Frambach The Rev. Dr. Nathan Frambach, Professor of Pastoral Theology, Wartburg Theological Seminary This workshop will be a Q & A session with the keynote presenter and an opportunity to discuss in more detail the presentation entitled: Being Church, Now & Then: what the church of the future might look like…maybe?
AC1 Congregational Treasurer's Workshop Ms. June Cain, Synod Bookkeeper A review of 2018 travel allowance reimbursements, restricted and unrestricted fund accounts, and other topics will be covered with a question and answer session, if time permits. A handout on Resources for Congregational Treasurers will be distributed at this session.
AC2 Leadership Conversation with Bishop Clements Bishop Jeffrey Clements, Northern Illinois Synod A critical part of the success of our congregations' ministries comes through the work of the elected leadership, ie.e, the Congregation Council. Bishop Clements and Vice-President Bartlett will facilitate a conversation with Congregational Leaders about what it means to be an elected leader, and talk about some models for collaboration with the staff, especially the Rostered Minister. It will also be a time to talk with Bishop Clements and ask questions of him about his view of leadership in the congregation. If you wish to send a question or topic in advance, that you would like to see addressed, please go to the following link:
AC3 Rostered Ministers’ Salary Guidelines and Sabbatical Planning Pastor Tom Rogers, Jr. This workshop will be on the current Rostered Ministers Salary Guidelines, with a special focus on sabbatical planning. Following the presentation, with time allowing, there will be an open discussion to answer questions.
ED1 Growing in Faith through diakonia ™ Dr. Denise Rode, NIS diakonia™ Learn about the NIS diakonia ™ program from its students, graduates, teaching pastors, and coordinators. The diakonia™ journey is offered at several locations across the synod. Find out more about this two-year course of study that can support your faith journey. Graduates of the program are invited to come and learn about an exciting new level of diakonia planned for 2018-2019.
ED2 Ministry to young families: is preschool for your congregation? Mr. Don Gillingham, Executive Director, Rockford Lutheran Schools Preschool classrooms connected with your congregation can bring you closer to younger families to build your congregation. Investing in the lives of young families provides a growth stream for the Church.
ED3 A Wrinkle in Time: A Conversation Between Faith and Culture Pator Janet Hunt, First, DeKalb Join Pastor Janet Hunt as she considers ways to engage a congregation in conversation about ancient themes of faith as they come alive in popular culture. In particular, the group will consider the book and soon to be movie, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine Le'Engle.
EO1 Congregational Vitality Survey: A helpful tool Pastor Gary Erickson, DEM/Assistant to the Bishop The Congregational Vitality Survey helps faith communities focus on mission and ministry. Come see if this tool can assist your congregation.
EO2 Feeding a Community: Grapes, Granola & Grace Ms. Dawn MacGregor, Food Pantry Director, St. John, Joliet Serving a communuity involves providing food to the body, dignity to the spirit, and grace to the whole person. Relying on God's abundance, St. John's number of hungry clients soared from 4,040 to 38,744 (801%) in 5 years, establishing St. John as a beacon of light to a community in need. At the crossroads of hunger and poverty, St. John invites secular businesses, schools, and local organizations to serve side by side with interdenominational faith communities to offer messages of hope, help, and acceptance.
EO4 Shepherd's Table--a weekly free meal for the public Ms. Larry Cording, Shepherd of the Hills, Scales Mound Shepherd's Table is a weekly ministry offering a welcoming place for getting together to enjoy a hot free meal, conversation, and fellowship. Covers details of health department codes, volunteers, and food preparation management.
EO5 Stewarding God's Creation in your Community Pastor Scott Ralston An opportunity to engage about the current state of our planetary crises, and share real ideas for restoring the beautiful creation God has called us to watch over as stewards. If you are intereseted in learning new ways to IMPROVE your ECO-FOCUS at home, your church, and most specifically in your community... come be a part of a LIVELY discussion and leave with some GREAT ideas on how you can make an ever great difference for this beautiful creation God has given us all.
EO6 Telling Your Congregation's Story via Video & Social Media Pastor Ben Ingelson, Resurrection, Channahon Your congregation is doing great ministry! Learn how to tell this story using video and social media. The workshop will include outreach rationale, stewardship ideas, basic tech tips, and encouragement.
EO7 Sowing the Seeds of Faith Bill Niswonger, Faith, Joliet When Faith Lutheran in Joliet received a large financial gift, they discerned that God might be calling them to do something extraordinary with it. Come and hear how a gift to one church turned into an ecumenical, interfaith project that went far beyond the walls of one church, and impacted hundreds in the community.
GM1 Global Engagement with your Companions Dana Dutcher, ELCA Global Mission The ELCA's Companion Synod program is a long standing program that helps congregations engage their brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Often we struggle to understand what this means and how we can fit into the global scene. Come learn about what Global Mission's lens of accompaniment is all about and learn how your congregation can engage globally!
GM2 How Foods Resource Bank Programs Are Reducing Hunger in Nicaragua Mr. Kevin Nelson Trinity Lutheran Church in Ottawa has been part of a Foods Resource Bank Growing Project for 15 years. This growing project has funded food production programs in Malawi, Congo, and Nicaragua. Kevin visited the programs in Nicaragua in November of '14 and November of '17. He will tell how food production has increased and lives are better from Growing Project funding.
GM3 Telling Our World Hunger Stories Ms. Robin Brown, Associate Director, Disaster Appeal Want to create a video to show the whole synod how your congregation is working with ELCA World Hunger to fight hunger and poverty? Want to tell your ELCA World Hunger story? This workshop will guide you through the process, giving you hunger facts, story ideas, and how to put them together to inspire others. One lucky participant will have their story filmed during the workshop.
GM4 Music, Culture and Mission in Tanzania Randall Stubbs, ELCA Global Mission Mr. Stubbs, ELCA missionary to Tanzania since 2006, will share about the exciting developments in music ministry and capacity building at Makumira University. New opportunities exist for short term or longer term work, study, or just learning about another culture. Pictures, music, and stories included.
GM5 To be Named Rahel Mwitula Williams, Manage for Donor Relations, ELCA Global Church Sponsorship  
LE1 Ten Steps for Effective Ministry Pastor Bob Dealey This workshop will provide participants with a process to plan, develop and implement ministry in any kind of setting. Steps include such things as: defining the mission; recruiting the team; developing the strategy; setting the time-line and more. This a GREAT way to develop lay leaders and it helps everyone to "get on the same page" in terms of a planning process.
LE2 Congregational Leaders and Staff Working Together Ms. Carol Swenson, NIS Ministry Support Committee NIS Guidelines for Mutual Ministry, ideas for staff appreciation, and current Ministry Support work on Care of Staff will be discussed. This will be a participatory sharing of experiences and an exchange of possible future activities that your congregation may implement.
LE3 Creating a Culture of Appreciation Mr. Monica Proefrock, Minister of Congregational Life, GPS Faith Community, Machesney Park Maybe you've heard the saying "people who feel appreciated will always do more than expected." In this workshop, we'll be looking at the Lanugages of Appreciation and discussing specific ways you can ensure your staff and volunteers feel valued by creating a culture of appreciation in your congregation.
LE4 Fire Chaplaincy 101 Pastor Lu Cantrell, Peace, Morris, and Chief John Petrakis, Channanhon Fire Protection District A fire district's journey to implement a chaplaincy program. The basics of a fire chaplaincy from both the chaplain's and fire chief's perspective will be shared. The workshop will also provide a time for questions and answers.
LE5 Parish Evolution from Inside Out Pastor Jim Roberts Parish leaders get overwhelmed with responsibilities and bored spiritually with meetings. New life through renewed inner life and spiritual community of leaders leading to transformation of parish meetings, events, and worship.
LE6 Revitalizing Your Church and Reversing Its Decline Pastor Jeff Linman, First Lutheran Church, Monmouth & the DreamLeaders Initiative This workshop will provide some practical steps your congregation can take to reverse its decline, align more faithfully with the teachings of Jesus, and experience greater Kingdom impact and fruitfulness.
LE7 Healthy Boundaries between Congregation and Pastor: What a Congregation Needs to Know Pastor Jon Pedersen, Bishop's Task Force on Healthy Boundaries chair Healthy relationships between congregations and their leaders are essential for carrying out the mission of the church. An understanding of proper boundaries is a major part of these healthy relationships. What does a congregation need to know in order to maintain those proper boundaries so that its rostered leader is well cared for and, in turn, its rostered leader is able to care for the congregation?
SJ1 Five-Cylinder Faith Pastor Kenn Storck, Bread for the World Five Cylinder Faith: Living into Our Baptismal Promise. This presentation will focus on the 5th promise of our Baptism: "to strive for justice and peace in all the earth." Are you living fully into your baptismal promises? Are you running on all cylinders? This session will provide practical ways to live out this 5th promise both as individuals and as communities of faith. Find out what you and your congregation can do to "strive for justice and peace in all the earth."
SJ2 Caring for the Earth: a responsibility of faith - Ecology Pastor Carol Soderholm At the bend on Route 88 just past Morton Arboretum there was a magnificent oak savanna (a plantation of old oak trees). It was home not only to trees but to hundreds of bird species. Millions of insect species lived beneath and above the ground which kept the soil, air and water clean. One day the oak savanna was gone. A large industrial complex replaced it. The complex is called White Oak Industrial Park, but not one oak remains. Prairie and oak trees once covered most of our entire region. This session will delve into why prairie and oaks are so important to the local ecosystem and explore how you can begin to restore your own landscape into a more diverse and healthy ecosystem. Evey little step you take helps!
SJ3 How to Write Synod and Thrivent Grants to Fund Ministry Ms. Amy Hoening, Executive Director, Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries Do you have a passion for helping others? Are you part of an existing ministry or wanting to start something new? Come learn how easy it is to write grants to help fund God's work.
SJ4 Human Trafficking Panel Discussion Ms. Joan Soltwisch, Social Justice Chair, NIS WELCA Human Trafficking is flourishing in our cities and towns. Presenters will discuss how faith based groups can advocate, help end demand, raise up healthy boys, and help with mission opportunities. Local law enforcement, College Professors, and Shelter reps. from State and Faith based groups will be on hand to, together with NISWELCA, facilitate and create a working action plan.
SJ5 Social Ministry in the NIS: Telling Our Story Pastor Denver Bitner, Assistant to the Bishop & Social Ministry Staff Liaison Telling the stories of social ministry initiatives through congregations of the Northern Illinois Synod. Learn ways to reach out to communities of need and engage marginalized people in our local communities. Building a directory of congregational services in the NIS.
SJ6 U.S. Immigration 101--Myths & Facts Attorney Bethany Hoffmann, Dady & Hoffmann LLC Workshop to explore the myths and facts of U.S. immigration law. Exploring the history of U.S. immigration, and explanation of why laws make it so difficult to immigrate to the U.S. now, and a discussion of current immigration hot-topics such as the "travel ban" and the DREAM Act.
SJ7 When disaster strikes, how do we as a church respond? Joy Medrano, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois With the influx of disaster occurring around us, do we as a church know how to effectively respond? Join Lutheran Disaster Response in Illinois for a discussion on how best the church can respond in a disaster and how to prepare your congregation for service.
SP2 A New View - Changing the Way we see Mental Illness Ms. Tracy Brooks, Mr. Chad Brooks, & Ms. Mary Brokaw The presenters are all trained members of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Sessions 1 & 2 will cover the impact of mental illness on individuals and families and what churches can do to help. Session 3 - an individual in recovery with a mental illness will share his story and message of hope through a presentation NAMI calls "In Our Own Voice."
SP3 Caring for the Earth: A responsibility of faith. - Ecology and Faith Pastor Carol Soderholm God, in Jesus Christ, became flesh and lived among us. Jesus taught lessons and told stories using nature metaphors; vines, branches, grain, seeds, birds, soil, flowers, fish, water, mountains, deserts, etc. When he died his body became bread (fruit of the earth) for us and his blood became wine (fruit of the vine) for us. With these basic elements of the Earth (bread and wine) we remember Him and draw closer to Him. Our bond with creation in all its vastness is a part of our spiritual well being. This session will explore how the natural world can bring us closer to God. Basil the Great (a key author of the Nicene Creed) said "Imitate the character of the bee, because it constructs its honeycomb without injuring anyone or destroying another's fruit."
SP4 When Forgiveness is Difficult Pastor Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle Congregations, like other organizations, sometimes find themselves betrayed by their brothers and sisters in Christ. How congregations react to these betrayals can affect the spiritual life of both individuals and congregations for years to come. We'll discuss ways to heal even when the process of forgiveness is still going on.
ST1 Funding Christian Education, now it is less taxing Mr. Scott Dabson, Rockford Lutheran Schools The ability for many more families to take full advantage of a Christian Education in Illinois has been made possible. Learn how the new Illinois "Invest in Kids" program will help provide scholarships to your family or how you can donate to the education of our youth.
ST2 Year-Round Stewardship and New Resources Pastor Kurt Nordby, Assistant to the Bishop for Stewardship and Development Conversation will explore the question, "What is year-round stewardship?" along with sharing ideas about a year-round stewardship ministry in your congregation. We will also explore what is new in the world of stewardship response resources.
ST3 Growing Electronic Giving Mr. Steve Oelschlager, ELCA Stewardship Program Coordinator Join us for an overview of why online giving tools are valuable, and how they fit into the bigger pictue of efforts to grow giving and fund the church. We will discuss experiences and practices at specific ELCA congregtions, and look at some particular companies and tools. Please bring your finance and stewardship leaders, and your questions.
ST4 Male/Female hands on Watching/Constructing LWR Quilts Pastor Dennis Heaney, First, DeKalb DeKalb/First Lutheran R-Mission Team + Attendees will participate and share at Quilt Construction Stations. Video of New Windsor, MD Mission Trip to Lutheran World Relief Warehouse will also be shown.
ST5 Ministry Funding Plan Mr. Tim Urness, Rgional Gift Planner, ELCA Foundation A Ministry Funding Plan includes a gift policy, how to create an endowment, and planned giving. We will talk about legacy gifts and the benefits to mission and ministry of leaving a gift to the church, synod, ELCA.
YF1 "This Changes Everything"-- 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering, Houston Ms. Peg Miller This is information and questions and answers about the Youth Gathering in Houston June 27 to July 1, 2018
YF2 Faith Fix: Ideas for Strengthening Faith in the Home   **Canceled**
YF3 Second Sunday--Collaborative Youth Ministry! Pastor Neal Cannon, Christ, Belvidere In Rockford, ELCA youth leaders found they were all doing the same thing: scratching and clawing to get 2…3…4 kids to show up to youth group events, and left wondering what went wrong when only one or none show up. Now working together, we have 14 trained high school Peer Ministers and a vibrant youth group of 30+ (and hoping to grow)! Come learn about what we've done and what you can do to multiply your efforts in ministry.
YF4 Youth Ministry Summit Mr. Ryan Mackey Youth leaders and pastors from across the synod have been working on a new vision for youth ministry at the synod level. We invite you to join us for a summry of what we have been working on and to help us further explore ways to further shape our new model.
YF5 Creative ideas for all your congregation's ministries: camp isn't just for summer and it's not just for kids Russ Senti, Executive Director, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center Creative custom program design combined with God's beautiful creation makes for faith-strengthening at any age, year-round! Learn ways that Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center can partner with you to craft experiences that strengthen and grow your congregation's ministries. Hear ideas such as team-building council retreats: contemplative men's, women's, or individual overnight retreats; day-long, in-depth Bible study events; intergenerational fishing and canoeing; crafting, scrapbooking, cooking, quilting, events; cross-country skiing and zip lining. Let us plan an unforgettable event for you, or design your own!