2020 PLC (Modified)

The NIS Professional Leaders Conference is the key yearly opportunity for synod professional leaders to experience collegiality and connect with what is going on in our Synod, as well as engage in professional development to further their competency in their congregational ministries. All NIS professional leaders (rostered leaders, seminary students, and paid professional congregational leaders) and their spouses are encouraged to come and share in this opportunity.

With the health emergency and continued uncertainty around in-person gatherings, the PLC planning group, in consultation with Bishop Clements, has made the decision to hold this year’s PLC in a modified format online with the Rev. Dr. Emlyn Ott, the scheduled speaker. The event will be held over two days only, and it will be a combination of online learning, worship, conversation with the Bishop, and fellowship activities arranged by willing volunteers around the synod, in a safe and physically-distanced way.

Dr. Ott is the CEO and Director of Healthy Congregations, Inc. “Healthy Congregations is an interfaith organization that understands the times in which we live in. We equip leaders for challenges of thinking more clearly about families, relationships, and faith communities. Our resources and training are based on seeing all communities as living systems that incorporate thinking, feeling, responsibility, and purpose. Healthy Congregations, Inc. has created educational resources and leadership development material designed with the purpose of encouraging healthier, clearer and deeper individual and community life based on the contributions of leaders in the field of Bowen Theory and congregational life.” (from the Healthy Congregations website)

With the world “shifting” around us, Dr. Ott’s presentations will be even more helpful to us as professional leaders of the Northern Illinois Synod, as we face both challenges and opportunities to serve Christ and Christ’s people, while still keeping our balance as people of God.

To volunteer to host/arrange a fellowship activity, let Deacon Cheryl Erdmann know here.

To sign up for scheduled fellowship activities, watch this space.

Keynote Speaker

The Rev. Dr. Emlyn Ott will be the keynote speaker at the 2020 Professional Leaders Conference, September 21-22, 2020. Her presentations will be offered online in real time during those two days.

Dr. Ott is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has served as a parish pastor, campus minister, pastoral counselor, leader, and seminary professor for over 25 years. She was named CEO and Director of Healthy Congregations, Inc. in 2005.

She holds a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, a Doctor of Ministry from Phillips Theological Seminary, and is a Clinical Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

She has participated for nine years in postgraduate work at the Center for Family Process and the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family and is currently part of Research Group at the Bowen Center.

Emlyn A. Ott is a native of Rochester, New York where her curiosity about life was nurtured in her parents’ truck manufacturing company.

She is an avid reader, especially of new fiction and first-person short stories. She is moving steadily toward a goal of hiking in every national park in the US. She has musical theatre and Schubert lieder on her I-pod and a pile of books are her night table.

Her family home is in Columbus, Ohio where the national offices of Healthy Congregations are located. She commutes to Chicago where she is serving as Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Leadership and Director of Doctor of Ministry Programs at Bexley Seabury Seminary, which focuses on intensive and online pastoral formation.

Emlyn is the spouse of Dr. Robert Ward, Director of Choral Studies at The Ohio State University.

The cost to attend 2020 PLC will be $33.00. Register below.

Media copyright of Othervertical, Inc. for Bexley-Seabury. http://www.Othervertical.com

Tentative Schedule

Monday (9:00 am – 1:15 pm)

  • 9:00 – 9:30 am Opening Welcome and Worship
  • 9:30 – 9:40 am Break
  • 9:40 – 9:45 am Welcome and Introduction of Dr. Ott
  • 9:45 – 10:30 am Keynote #1 – Dr. Ott – “Big Binoculars”
  • 10:30 – 10:45 am Break –Reflection on the presentation through guided introspection.
  • Questions submitted through the chat feature on Zoom.
  • 10:45 – 11:30 am Keynote #2 “Resources in the Wind”
  • 11:30 am – noon Q & A with Dr. Ott, from questions submitted on Zoom Chat
  • Noon – 12:15 pm Noon Prayer
  • 12:15 p.m. Lunch break
  • 12:45 p.m. “Conversation with Bishop Clements”
  • 1:15 p.m. Break from Zoom until Tuesday a.m.
  • Afternoon Fellowship activities – arranged by participants within conference, but open to all

Tuesday (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)

  • 9:00 – 9:10 am Opening prayer and welcome back
  • 9:10 – 9:55 am Keynote 3 – “Presence and Perspective”
  • 9:55 – 10:10 am Q & A
  • 10:10 – 10:25 am Break
  • 10:25 – 11:15 am “Barefoot in the Sand” case study of a rostered minister/congregation conflict, followed by a Q & A
  • 11:15 – 11:30 am Break
  • 11:30 – noon Closing Worship
  • Noon End of session
  • Afternoon Fellowship activities – arranged by participants within conference, but open to all.