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Regional Assembly 2022

By July 28, 2022October 7th, 2022No Comments

Regional Assembly

We will be joining the Christian Church (DOC) Michigan Region for a joint Regional Assembly 2022 that will take place October 14-15. Friday night’s session will be Live Stream for all registrants. Friday night worship will take place from 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. CST.

A virtual Friday night “After Session” on Homebrewing and Spiritually will be presented by Rev. Eli Rolón and Andrew Guthrie. Rev. Eli Rolón will be sending out separate information and links for this. Watch for his posts.

Saturday you have the option to choose between attending the business meeting and workshops virtually or meeting in person at one of the following Host Churches: Grace Community Christian Church, Aurora.

If you choose the in-person option for Saturday there will be time for fellowship and mission opportunities, childcare will be provided during the business meeting and workshops, and lunch will be available for purchase.

Saturday will begin with the Business Session starting at 10:00 am. Afternoon workshops will take place from 1:00-3:00 pm.


Join one of the seven workshops!

Rev. Sarah Renfro

Moving From Financial Stress to Financial Wellness

According to the 2022 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey, among a group of employees surveyed across different industries, those who say that they have financial worries also say it’s had a severe or major negative impact on their productivity at work. Employees are faced with many financial challenges like saving for retirement, planning for large purchases, managing debt, and childcare expenses. Those things don’t stop while you are at work. That’s why employee financial wellness is so important.

Join Rev. Sarah Renfro, Area Director with Pension Fund of the Christian Church, as she discusses what employee financial wellness means and how to get the tools needed to achieve your financial goals. Learn how we relate to money on a personal level and how that relationship affects our management of money, especially as we encounter inflation in a post-pandemic world. You’ll come away with tangible ideas and tools to implement to get you on the road to financial wellness.

Rev. Sarah Renfro is based in Indiana and serves the Kentucky, Illinois/Wisconsin, Michigan, Mid-America, and Upper Midwest regions. She is married to a Disciples minister and mom to an 11-year-old daughter. She served congregations in Kentucky and Indianapolis before joining Pension Fund’s team. Sarah enjoys sharing Pension Fund’s mission and ministry with members, both long-time members and those new to the organization. Sarah is focused on providing outstanding customer service and helping members on The Road to Financial Wellness. In her spare time, she loves to cheer on the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

Jay Potter, PhD

Religion & the Mandalorian

Jay Potter, PhD will lead us in exploring some of the religious and theological elements encountered in the Mandalorian TV Series (Disney+, 2019-Present). Fans of Star Wars and those interested in the intersections of theology, science fiction, and culture should find this workshop of interest. All ages welcome.

Jay Potter is a former professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University with an emphasis on science and religion, especially as it pertains to ecology and how we think about ecological issues with a religious and philosophical lens. He currently works as a free-lance data analyst and is writing a book called “How to Think like an Analyst.” Jay has been in love with science fiction since first reading “The Chronicles of Norby” by Isaac Asimov as a kid and believes that science fiction is an important vehicle for how we think about our world, and especially of how we think we want our world to be in the future. Science fiction has brought us dire warnings about our paths as humans on this planet as well as lofty goals of which to dream, and as such enjoys any free time available to read and watch as much science fiction as possible.

Rev. Dr. Alex Ruth

Engaged Elders and Digital Deacons

Even before the COVID shutdown of 2020 many lay leaders were uncertain what role Elders and Deacons played in the life of the congregation. Now that many of our churches are engaging in some form of phygital ministry, many of us are asking “What role do Elders and Deacons play in the life of a phygital church?” CCIW Associate Regional Minister will explore the history of the role of lay leadership in the Christian Church and facilitate a discussion about how best to train and equip lay leaders to carry out the work of ministry in their churches.

Rev. Dr. Alex Ruth grew up in various Christian traditions, which helps him celebrate the diversity of our faith.  Alex first felt the call to ministry while working as staff at a summer camp but was hesitant to relinquish himself to that calling until later in life. Alex and his wife first encountered the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) when they began seeking a church home as they anticipated starting a family. Becoming ever more involved in his faith and the local church reignited Alex’s call to ministry. He earned a Masters of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary in 2006 and a Doctorate of Ministry in Congregational Leadership from Bethel Seminary in 2016. Alex also holds certifications in leadership coaching and uses the coaching model to help clergy and congregations to discern their calling and strive to follow God’s leading. Alex has led Elder and Deacon training sessions for several years and is part of a collaborative effort to offer inventive and engaging retreats for elders and deacons in local congregations. Alex serves CCIW as the Associate Regional Minister for Transformation and is excited to work with clergy and congregations in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan as we strive for individual, congregational, and community-wide transformation.

Jan Aerie

Revitalizing Congregations Through Older Adult Ministries

Attending to the interests and gifts of older adults in your church will revitalize your congregation! Learn what you can do to make this vitality a reality in your setting, through a step-by-step spiritually-meaningful process. Join us and invite your friends for a lively discussion and thoughtful dialogue.

We will:

  • Discuss ways your congregation can better serve older adults
  • Uncover some of our churches’ greatest gifts and challenges
  • Examine the maze of growing older… After all, everyone is aging!

Jan Aerie is a gerontologist, community health planner, and family counselor. She has initiated, directed and managed older adult programs for churches, communities, coalitions and counties including: Leadership by the Elderly for Action and Development (LEAD) in faith communities; Interfaith Volunteer Caregiver Programs in communities; senior center and nutrition programs in counties; and corporate training for caregivers by state.

Jan has authored curricula on aging, trained service providers, and presented hundreds of workshops on aging. Advocating for and empowering older adults is her passion, through working with community task forces, regional and national church councils, interfaith coalitions, and hospice.

Jan also served as Executive for Mission Education with Global Ministries, for 12 years, at the UCC national offices. She was Executive Director of the County Council of Churches in Binghamton, New York; and produced a community lecture series featuring global speakers in Western Massachusetts.

Rev. Dr. Bruce Reyes-Chow

Called to Share a Better Gospel

Without claiming that we have some claim upon THE ONE TRUE gospel of Jesus Christ, in the face of the rise of Christian nationalism, violent extremism, and divisive tactics, might we be bolder in claiming A Gospel that tells a different story? In our time we explore our hesitancy, talk tactics, and encourage one another to be Christians known for living lives of compassion, love, and justice in the world.

Bruce is an author, speaker, parent, consultant, coach, podcaster, and pastor. He speaks and writes on issues of faith, technology, race, parenting, and church culture. Over the past 25 years, he has pastored five churches in the San Francisco Bay Area serving as a head of staff, transitional, and founding pastor. He is currently a Senior Consultant and Leadership Coach with The Convergence Network and is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrengths Coach.

Bruce hosts the podcast, BRC & Friends and is the author of five books. His latest is, “In Defense of Kindness” (Chalice Press, 2021) and he is currently working on his next book, “Everything I Believe about God” (2023). He and his spouse currently live in San Jose, CA and can be found on most social networks via @breyeschow.

Caroline Hamilton-Arnold

Willing to Respond: Preparing Your Congregation for Disasters

Caroline’s passion is connecting people with the creative, re-creative power of the living God through stories and faithful action, and she believes a life of faith is about becoming part of God’s ongoing work in the world. As the Associate Director for Domestic Disaster Response, Caroline helps Disciples in the United States and Canada prepare for and respond to natural disasters. She holds a Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology and a BA from Texas Christian University.

Caroline is the author of Wonder Awaits!, a book of beautifully diverse photos encouraging children to use all their senses and curiosity to soak up the wonders of the world around them. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Week of Compassion, supporting children around the world. She enjoys rock climbing, reading, and exploring the many art galleries and museums in Houston, where she lives with her family.

Hannah Fitch

Creation Care: Where do we go from here?

This workshop, presented by Great Lakes Green Chalice, is an invitation for leaning into the Community of Creation. Together, we will root the work of Creation Care as a spiritual responsibility, explore achievable eco-conscious initiatives, and dream of new possibilities with a guided activity. As people of faith, we have a unique role in the preservation of a livable planet, and we will need the spiritual and theological grounding to live into that responsibility well. Our shared wholeness relies on us in this critical moment.

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