Registration opens today and closes March 23rd. Cost is $17.50 and includes lunch.
A day set aside for learning about opportunities and resources for ministry in congregations, and celebrating ministries we share. There will be 13 different workshops spanning all aspects of ministry to select from this year. Please plan to join us for a wonderful day of learning.
Workshops include: All Day Workshops (one workshop in both sessions)
#1 Ministry of the Lay Eucharistic Visitor (all day workshop) - The Rev. Edward Erb -- Two-part course leads to licensing. Morning session - Biblical, theological, and historical background. Afternoon session - resources and practical considerations (ex. HIPAA rules, safety, and health concerns)
#2 Understanding and Working with ChurchPost (all day workshop) - Mr. John Goodell, Owner of ChurchPost -- A hands-on guide to using ChurchPost, our electronic newsletter platform, to communicate effectively and immediately with your members and visitors.
Session I - 9:45am to 11:15am
#3 Wardens/Vestry 101 - The Rt. Rev. Paul Marshall and The Ven. Howard Stringfellow - Introduction for new wardens and vestry members or a refresher for experienced vestry members to the roles, responsibilities, and realities of parish leadership.
#4 Bringing Financial Sanity to the Family - Mr. Dan Charney - The program, Financial Sanity, designed by Nathan Dungan, founder and president of Share Save Spend, consists of four one-hour sessions. This training helps you to become familiar with the program, and will cover session one of the program to give participants a feel for what it is all about.
#5 Transitional Formation in Parishes - Ms. Kim Rowles - In periods of individual transition it is especially important to support and lead members in our communities to an intentional life with Christ, this session will help outline a plan for individual parishes dealing with middle to high school transition, high school to college transition, and couples to family transition.
#6 - Come Let Us Worship - A Workshop for the Laity and Clergy - The Rev. Laura Howell & The Rev. John Francis - This session will explore some of the tools the Book of Common Prayer gives us for daily worship. It will provide some practical suggestions for parish prayer that may be led by the laity as well as the clergy.
#7 - Evangelism as Prayer and Faith Sharing - The Rev. Jane Bender, The Rev. Doug Moyer, and Mrs. Carol Keane - The Unbinding the Gospel series doesn't give answers as to how, when and where. Come learn how many ways this lively resource can be tailored for your use.
Session II -- 1:15pm to 2:45pm
#8 Enabling Ministries: Forward Life Planning - Mr. Charlie Barebo - Develop your parish's capabilities to deliver ministries by strengthening its approach to Forward Life Planning.
#9 Treasurers’ Workshop - Mr. Bruce Reiner -- This workshop will focus on cash receipts, cash disbursements, internal controls, and audits.
#10 - The Confirmation Conundrum - The Rev. Canon Anne Kitch - Explores the rite of Confirmation and the many questions it raises. Includes an overview of the history of Confirmation in the Episcopal Church and the theology of Confirmation as it is express in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.
#11 - Health Ministries - Mrs. Diana Marshall - Health ministry plays a unique and critical role in facilitating the health of clergy, staff and congregations. Health ministry looks different from congregation to congregation, reflecting the unique needs, interests, and resources of the faith community.
#12 - Incorporating New members into the Episcopal Church - The Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns- The course will introduce a simple, easy-to-understand, process of incorporating new members into a congregation. It will also describe various kinds of visitors and newcomers and show how to integrate the worship and theology of the Episcopal Church into our evangelism.
#13 - Training for Regional Discernment Teams - Members of the Commission on Ministry - This training session is designed to help both clergy and laity understand the purpose and structure of regional discernment as practiced in the Diocese of Bethlehem.
What makes your heart sing? by Canon Anne E. Kitch St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA April 24, 2010 I Peter 4:7-11 Matthew 16:24-27
What makes your heart sing?
I have a friend whose gift is hospitality. She and her
husband happen to run a retreat center, and you would expect such a place to be
hospitable. But what Wendy and Jon offer is something more than welcome and
comfort. It is grace and respite for travelers and strangers, imbued with a
vision of what a redeemed world might look like. Theirs is a hospitality
grounded in a holy desire for God’s justice, unrelenting in it’s endeavor to
continually grow and deepen, and embodying a love of God’s creation and the
people who inhabit it. This makes what they offer extraordinary.
I am convinced that Wendy’s gift for hospitality is part of
her spiritual formation. But the fact that she wields it so exquisitely is a
matter of honed skills, learned leadership, and hard work. She navigates all
the intricacies of providing for her guests with a sense of humor, a deep love
for God, and the seeming effortlessness that comes from being extremely well
prepared. No guest ever knows the behind-the-scenes work that goes into every
detail. This is her gift. And because she employs her gift gracefully, she
deeply embodies the love of Christ and that spreads to others just as
abundantly as her hospitality. Like a good steward of the manifold grace of
God, she serves others with the gift she has received.
This is the ministry to which we are each called. Not to run
a retreat center, or offer exquisite hospitality, or work behind the scenes.
But to recognize and use our gifts with love, and in doing so, to glorify
Christ. This is the exhortation found in the First Letter of Peter, “Like good
stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift
each of you has received.”
So, who are the ministers of the church? This is not a trick
question. The answer is right in front of you…and to your right and to your
left and behind you. You will also find the answer on page 855 in the Book of
Common Prayer. Our catechism tells us the ministers of the Church are lay
persons, bishops, priests, and deacons. And what is the ministry of the laity?
That too is readily accessible, not just because you can look it up in the BCP,
but also because it is evident here today. First and foremost, the ministry of
lay persons (and bishops, and priests, and deacons) is to represent Christ and
his Church. After this, each order has some distinct work. Lay persons are to
1) bear witness to Christ wherever they may be, 2) according to the gifts
given them carry on Christ’s work of
reconciliation in the world, and 3) to take their place in the life, worship
and governance of the Church.
According to the gifts given you. This phrase tells us at
least three things: we each have been given gifts, we do not all posses the
same gifts, our gifts are meant for Christ’s work of reconciliation. How do you
know what your gifts are? Well, what makes your heart sing? Debra Farrington,
Episcopal author, once taught me that one way to recognize your gifts is to
distinguish them from skills. A skill is something we learn to do well. We may
receive satisfaction from using that skill, but it doesn’t necessarily make our
day. But a gift is given. When we employ our gifts they energize us and bring
us joy. So what are your gifts? Well…what makes your heart sing, and brings you
joy in the doing and energy in the making? Teaching? Parenting? Exercising
administrative oversight? Budgeting resources? Creating? Healing?
I believe using the gifts God has given us to serve others
is the goal of lifelong Christian formation. You may have come here today to be
informed. I hope that has happened and continues to happen this afternoon. But
you are also being formed in your faith life today. The people you encounter,
the worship we share, the gifts offered and received can effect changes in you
that deepen your connection to God.
“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one
another with whatever gift each of you has received.” We base our life in
Christ on the assumption that God has showered grace upon grace upon us. With
this grace, we are to serve one another. Not out of a sense of burden, not out
of an attitude of limited resources, but with our gifts. The Christian response
to service is not one of burden, but one of joy. Having freely received the
grace of God, our response is to sing with our hearts, use our gifts, become
We can easily be led astray into seeing the cross of Christ
as a burden to be endured. But it is not that. It is the way of life—joyful
life, gifted life. This is perhaps what lifelong Christian formation is: to
replace in our understanding the burden of the cross with the grace of the
cross. Use your gifts, lift up your hearts to God, and let them sing!
perhaps you came here today to be informed
that may happen
if you approach what is offered with an open mind
you may not realize is that you are also being formed
if you open your soul
that is not to say you are each here like a lump of clay
waiting for some epert ot make you tinot something
you get to do the making
we are neither blank slates waiting to be written on
empty vessels waiting to be filled
from the moment we were born
created in God’s image
the moment we were reborn by water and the spirit in baptism