Interactive Workshops

36 Workshops by New Englanders for New Englanders

The GO workshops have been created to inform, stretch, and engage the “GO” of your faith journey. You will leave each session encouraged and challenged to do justice, love mercy or walk humbly in very specific and tangible ways. You will be equipped to take the next step in exploring how Micah 6:8 is calling you to go and make disciples.

DO JUSTICE

Sexuality in a Pluralistic World – Dennis Hollinger

Dennis Hollinger
President and Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
We live in a sexually confused world that is frequently at odds with the Biblical understanding of this good gift of God. This workshop will enable us to understand God’s designs for sexuality and how we can remain faithful to God in a secular, pluralistic world.

Justice and Mercy at the Ballot Box – Bryan McCormack/Peter Wolfgang

Bryan McCormack
Executive Director
Cornerstone –Action / Cornerstone Policy Research

Peter Wolfgang
Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut
What is the biblical basis for doing justice and mercy in our voting and social action?  Why are a vast majority of Catholics and other Christians not voting?  Imagine what could happen if all Christians united in impacting society?  How can this happen?

A Crash Course on Human Trafficking – Bob Atherton

Bob Atherton
Director of Justice and Mercy Ministry
Vision New England
Human trafficking is happening at alarming rates in the cities, suburbs and rural areas of every New England state. Many Christians and churches are stepping up to take strategic roles in the movement that is addressing human trafficking at every level.  We’ll explore what human trafficking is and what it looks like in New England, the root issues that allow it to keep happening, how the different aspects of the anti-trafficking movement fit together, and why the church is uniquely equipped to make a difference.

A Different Trajectory: How Jesus Works Through His Church To Change A Prisoner’s Life – Ken Hawley

Ken Hawley
Maine State Director; Straight Ahead Ministries Maine
Founder and President; The Transformation Project
Did you know that, nationally, about 90% of former prisoners relapse into criminal activity?  It’s really no surprise, since so few supports are in place to help them succeed. What if Christians visited prisons, and connected with inmates before they were released?  What if men and women who had met Christ in prison had a church community waiting for them, inviting them in, and providing the practical support they need to build a new life? What if the Body of Christ changed the trajectory of prisoners’ lives and brought real solutions to the problem of recidivism?

Exploring Ministry to and with Refugees Locally and Globally – Sarah Blumenshine/Gregg Detwiler/Torli Krua

Sarah Blumenshine
Co-Director, Greater Boston Refugee Ministry, Emmanuel Gospel Center

Gregg Detwiler
Director, Intercultural Ministries, Emmanuel Gospel Center

Torli Krua
Co-Director, Greater Boston Refugee Ministry, Emmanuel Gospel Center
This workshop will introduce refugee ministry from a systemic perspective, both locally and globally. We will discuss how the Church can and must engage in refugee ministry all across the global refugee highway, and look at how Greater Boston Refugee Ministry is seeking to do this through the ministry of local churches.

Ministry to Orphans & Children in Foster Care – David Arruda

David Arruda
Pastor/Director

N.U.H.O.P.E and Orphan Sunday
A general look at how the church can impact the current Orphan/Foster Care crisis in the world.  Offering practical ideas and strategies for churches of all sizes to get involved with the mandate of God to “care for the Orphan.”

Living Dangerously in an Uncertain World - Clive Calver

Clive Calver
Senior Pastor
Walnut Hill Church

Rev. Dr. Clive Calver will explore radical discipleship Jesus’ way in a world pursuing the opposite direction.

Love of Neighbor and America’s Criminal Justice - Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith
Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology and Ethics
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

The ethical notion of love is pervasive in the teachings of Jesus and throughout the writings of the New Testament. We must think well about what it means to love our neighbors and who our neighbors are as this is an expression of genuine Christian discipleship. The teachings of Jesus also remind us that our love of neighbor is as radical as the grace of God on which it is based. Further, it extends to those whom we might not always think of as neighborly. This workshop explores the implications of Jesus’ teachings on the Great Command and the Parable of the Good Samaritan for how Christians might think about some contemporary issues concerning American Criminal Justice. It will reflect on what our responsibilities to love entail for both victims and perpetrators of crimes as well as systemic aspects of the problem.

Creating and Sustaining a Faith Based Response to Child Trafficking - Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller
Director of Development
Love 146
By now you probably know that human trafficking is one of the most significant human rights issues of our time. You probably even think your church should be part of the solution. Mobilizing around this issue is notoriously difficult but there are ways for local churches to fight child trafficking and exploitation and create a safer world for children. Learn and discuss how a dedicated group of volunteers can make a difference.

LOVE MERCY

Racial Justice and a Merciful Heart, Special Feature Workshop – Bryan Stevenson (Keynote)

Bryan Stevenson
Founder
Equal Justice Initiative
The racial tension in America continues to rise. Do you understand the racial justice issues behind the tension? During this workshop Bryan Stevenson will give an overview of the major racial justice issues that Christians need to engage in if we are to see long lasting systemic change.

Responding as Church in the Midst of Tragedy - Adam DePasquale

Adam DePasquale
Executive Pastor
Walnut Hill Church
Too often, local town governments, non-profits and churches are content to co-exist in communities with little to no relationship with one another.  For the town of Newtown, this all changed on December 14, 2012 when a sick young man murdered 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Over the past 36 months, the local church has had an opportunity to serve, partner and lead in the healing and recovery journey alongside government, non-profits and dedicated citizens.  In this breakout session we will unpack this journey, share lessons learned and look at the vital role of spiritual leadership during crisis.

Escaping the Tombs of Heroin - Shaun Dutile

Shaun Dutile
Counselor

Dutile Christian Counseling
Using Luke 8:26-39 as the basis for his workshop, Shaun will lead a discussion on the how we as followers of Christ can demonstrate and show mercy to those struggling to overcome their addiction to Heroin. Participants will get a unique glimpse into the world of the addict and Shaun will challenge us to think differently as to how we engage those imprisoned by this highly addictive drug. You will also come away with practical steps on how you can lead your community and shepherd others to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by heroin.

Pastor & Survivor: Making Churches Safe – Cheri Crider/Alison Pelletier/Joel Hubbard/Jasmine Grace Marino

Cheri Crider
Survivor Leader

Alison Pelletier
Pastor, Christian Life Church; Director, New England Survivor Leadership Collaborative

Joel Hubbard
Lead Pastor, Vineyard Community Church, Saugus, MA

Jasmine Grace Marino
Survivor; Leader and Founder, Bags of Hope
What could happen if our churches became safe communities where trafficking survivors could experience the healing that only God can provide? How can we love survivors in a way that’s sensitive to what they’ve been through, and becomes a significant part of their restoration? Come hear the inspiring stories of two pastor/survivor teams who have done it well and seen God work powerfully in them and in their church.

Where is Jesus when Injustice Strikes? - Ruth Calver

Ruth Calver
Pastor of Women
Walnut Hill Church
Rev. Ruth Calver will lead an interview session with Sandy Previdi and Jenny Hubbard who were good friends prior to the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook School and remain good friends today. They both lost their 6-year-old daughters during that traumatic event and will share how their personal walk with Jesus enables them to face each day and live it to God’s glory.

Pornography: The Christian Drug of Choice & The Noose of Addiction – Rick Kardos

Rick Kardos
Co-founder and Executive Director
Nathan Project
The struggle with porn exists in the mind of the Christian man. Pornography is a medication and a behavioral struggle. Roman’s 12:2 describes a solution. Porn use is of epidemic proportions. Young adults in their teens and 20’s can’t remember a day when porn wasn’t free and at their fingertips. What do we do in the church?

His Problem-Her Dilemma (Equipping the Church to meet the needs of the partner of a sex addict) – Vicki Kardos

Vicki Kardos
Co-Founder & Director of Women’s Program
Nathan Project
Though the Church is dealing with two hurting people, the partner is not responsible for her husband’s addiction and his recovery is not dependent on anything she can do to heal his compulsive sexual behaviors.  The addict is suffering, but the partner is the injured party traumatized by a disorder that spills out into every area of the relationship.  Nothing can prepare the spouse for the intense pain she encounters when this addiction surfaces in the marriage. Unfortunately, the Church is ill-equipped to minister to the repetitive trauma and losses experienced by the wife. The churches response can perpetuate her despair and sense of aloneness by minimizing her pain, spiritualizing the problem, or displacing the blame onto her. Vicki’s personal experience as the partner of a recovering sex addict and heartfelt concern for women in this dilemma carries a message of hope and healing to a Church attempting to deal with the issue of spousal recovery.

Preventing Suicide: Guidance for the Church – Karen Mason

Karen Mason
Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Churches are vital to preventing suicide. This workshop will be focused on specific ways in which churches, both clergy and lay ministers, can walk alongside suffering people and prevent suicide. The workshop will spotlight factors that confer risk for suicide and other factors that protect against suicide including faith, and how the church can be involved in building protective factors into people.  The emphasis will be on the importance of theologies of life and suffering as well as specific and concrete ideas to implement in your church.

Race and the Kingdom: How the Gospel speaks to Contemporary issues around Race - Chris Nichols

Chris Nichols
Regional Director
IVCF in New England
Race, racism, ethnic identity, conflict, complexity:  What are followers of Jesus supposed to understand when these issues come up and how are we to respond?  In this seminar we will examine the contemporary issues that are emerging around race and ethnicity and discuss the role the gospel and Jesus’ kingdom people have in both engaging these issues and being people of reconciliation and peace.

WALK HUMBLY

Speaking of Jesus with those from Different Religious and Cultural Backgrounds - Carl Medearis (Keynote)

Carl Medearis
Author
“Muslims, Christians, and Jesus”, “Tea with Hezbollah” and “speaking of Jesus: the art of not-evangelism”.
How do we speak of Jesus with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists and Secularists?  Perhaps the first step is in recognizing Christianity as its own religion and culture, sometimes reflecting the words and ways of Jesus, and sometimes not.  While cultural understanding and sensitivity is important, Jesus stands above religion and culture and invites people of all backgrounds to follow him.  Carl Medearis will help us find freedom and joy in respectfully and humbly joining Jesus in this mission.

Simply Jesus - Carl Medearis (Keynote)

Carl Medearis
Author
“Muslims, Christians, and Jesus”, “Tea with Hezbollah” and “speaking of Jesus: the art of not-evangelism”.
How often do we get tongue-tied when we seek to talk about Jesus with friends who may not know him?  Or, do we speak of faith in such a way that it is unintelligible to those outside the same tradition?  Carl Medearis will guide this group in moving away from an “I’m right/you’re wrong” way of thinking and communicating, which often comes across as arrogant, toward a Jesus-Centered way that creates opportunities for humble, open dialogue.

A More Caring Church: How to Honor God and Radically Love LGBTQIA+ People - Bill Henson

Bill Henson
Founder, President
Lead Them Home
Bill Henson will share elements of Lead Them Home’s nationally leading Posture Shift seminar demonstrating that evangelical churches can live out a “third way” in our world. Churches can dramatically enhance inclusion and care for LGBTQIA+ persons without losing biblical clarity on sexuality. It begins with living out simple justice action steps that our world has never seen from us.

Include Like Jesus: The Vital Nature of Disability Ministry in the Body of Christ - Molly Vazquez/Shauna Amick

Shauna Amick
Director; Joni and Friends, New England

Molly Vazquez
Church Relations Manager;
Joni and Friends, New England
People with physical and/or intellectual disabilities are one of the largest marginalized and thus unreached groups in our country. These people are the very same group with whom Jesus spent much of his time while in ministry on earth (John 9:3). They are the same group that we were given a mandate to go, compel and bring in to our churches (Luke 14). They are the same group that we are told are indispensible to the body of Christ (1 Cor 12: 12), yet they are largely missing from the church.  Learn more about what the Bible says about Disability Ministry and the vital role it holds in the health and vibrancy of a thriving Church.

Is God calling you to be a friend to an individual or family impacted by disability?  Is He calling your Church to Disability Ministry?  What is our biblical call to love the least and lost?  How do we care for this not only overlooked but also fast growing unreached people group with the saving message of the Gospel?  We will conclude with “next steps” to take in helping equip your church to be filled with people of every ability and to find a place of belonging in the body of Christ.

10 Days: Experiencing the Glory of God as a City-wide Church – Jonathan Friz

Jonathan Friz
National Coordinator
10 Days
What would happen if followers of Jesus in your city stepped away from the normal rhythms of “life on earth” in order to enter into the lifestyle of heaven (Rev. 4-5), centered on worship of God and adoration of the Lamb?  10 Days is an annual prayer strategy that’s been employed in over 15 cities in New England and over 40 cities around the nation.  In this interactive workshop, Jonathan Friz will share this transformative vision as well as amazing stories of how God is moving in New England and around the Nation.

A Rhythm to Release Revival: Unity through Prayer in New England - Panel Discussion

Panel Facilitator: LaTonya V. Brown
Director, The Wall
Massachusetts State Coordinator, National Day of Prayer Task Force
What would happen if prayer and worship movements across New England coordinated our efforts? We would not only encounter unity as described in John 17, but the very foundations of New England and our communities would be shaken and transformed by the unconditional love of Jesus. This panel discussion will bring together leaders from several prayer movements to explore what a coordinated prayer movement across New England would look like and explore the steps we can take now to get us closer to John 17 unity. coming soon!

Christian Unity - Jurgen Liias/Dennis Gill

Dennis Gill
President, Evangelical Network in New England

Jurgen Liias
Pastor, St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church
Jesus’ prayer for Christian unity (John 17:23) is essential in our mission to reach the world.  We are called to be humble and gentle and make every effort to keep unity in the Spirit (Eph 4:2-3).  The Catholic-Evangelical dialogue of Boston is focused on rebuilding Christian unity.  How does prayer, fellowship, and dialogue lead the body of Christ to healing and unity in mission?

Making Disciples in the Marketplace Requires Leaders that can Walking Humbly - Rick Ferris

Rick Ferris
Managing Chair / President

C12, Southern New England
Leading in the marketplace, at any level, can be very challenging to Walking Humbly and Make Disciples. In this session we will tap in to the knowledge and experiences of many Christian CEO’s that have learned how to be a CRO’s (Chief Repenting Officer) and how discipleship happens in the workplace. We will look at some first-hand case studies and process them together.

Playing Nicely in the Same Sand Box: Navigating Theological Distinctions with Humility - Panel Discussion

Ryan Howell
President, Vision New England

Larry Ward
Senior Pastor, Abundant Life Church

Steve Watson
Senior Pastor, Reservoir Church
Churches with differing theologies and practices in one community often struggle to humbly minister alongside one another in their neighborhood. Listen in as Ryan Howell, President of Vision New England, enters into a dialogue with two pastors from Cambridge, MA who are learning to have conversation and minister alongside one another without compromising their beliefs. Pastors Larry Ward and Steve Watson both profess Jesus as Lord, believe in the authority of Scripture and are attempting to bring the Gospel of Jesus to their community. By listening in on this conversation, participants will hear pastors wrestle in real time with what it means to humbly minister as part of the body of Christ alongside Christians who believe and practice their faith in Jesus differently.

MAKE DISCIPLES

Making Disciples, Special Feature Workshop – Rev. Liz Walker (Keynote)

Rev. Liz Walker
Pastor
Roxbury Presbyterian Church
Jesus’ message of love, healing and salvation is most profoundly understood through stories. Reverend Liz Walker believes story telling is not only a powerful tool in making disciples but also a critical tool in healing those in desperate need of God’s love and mercy.  In her workshop “The Power of Your Witness”   Reverend Liz will share the story of how God called her through her own healing experience of helping to build a Girls School in the war torn country of South Sudan.   Joining Reverend Liz will be members of Roxbury Presbyterian Church’s  “Community Conversations on Trauma “ a powerful ministry that opens the doors of the church to the wider community, for shared story telling; weekly gatherings that bring healing and hope to people whose lives have been traumatized by violence and loss.  The Cory Johnson Trauma Education Program is church for a troubled neighborhood, creating disciples of the broken hearted and restoring their faith in life and in one another.  Jesus commissioned his disciples to bring healing to the sick.  You will leave this workshop inspired by how we as Christians can take an active, transformative role in the healing of our broken world.

What We're Learning about Making Disciples: a Forum of Ministry Leaders in New England – Andy Needham

Andy Needham
Church Relations

Camp Berea
Join us for a lively and inspiring window in to a diverse cross-section of ministry in New England. Drawing from rural to urban contexts and sharing from failure and victory this session will expand your view of what is happening in our region and encourage you with practical ideas working in the northeast to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis and the Joy of the Gospel - Scott Brill/Dick Kiernan

Scott Brill
Assistant Regional Director for Catholic Ministries, Assumption College
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Dick Kiernan
Director of Field Ministries

Alpha New England
What is Pope Francis’ compelling vision for advancing the Great Commission?  “The Joy of the Gospel” invites followers of Christ to become “missionary disciples” and “spirit-filled evangelizers.”  This comprehensive vision includes Mt. 25 care for the least and a holistic plan for the transformation of society .

Building a Lasting Legacy – Barry Lam

Barry Lam
Assistant Pastor (Newton Cantonese Congregation), Newton Campus
Boston Chinese Evangelical Church
When you think of discipleship, what is the first thing in your mind?  Program? Discipleship materials?  Small group?  In the Bible, the first mentioned ground for discipleship is HOME.  Parents are given the mandate to teach their children to obey God’s Word and live out their faith in their walk with God.  This session will share the profound impact of discipleship in home and provide some of the key elements how to carry it out.   It will challenge ourselves as church leaders/parents to build a lasting legacy through making disciples of our next generation.

Discovering the Key to your Campus – Phil Tuttle

Phil Tuttle
Area Representative, Regional International Coordinator
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
The ministry of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is being used to impact middle schools, high schools and college campuses both nationally and internationally. Through this workshop, discover the key to unlock the doors to the hearts and minds of your local campuses. You’ll hear how FCA has done this over the last 60 years and how you can partner with them in your community as well.

Making Next Generation Disciples – Shaina Morrow

Shaina Morrow
Area Coordinator, Young Life
Student Ministries Director, Curtis Lake Church
In this workshop, Shaina will share first hand experiences of entering into the world of teenagers as well as provide helpful tools to reach students during a very influential time of life. The workshop will be focused on reaching out to middle and high school students, training a team of leaders to work with you, and how to encourage church youth to see their community as a mission field.

Making Disciples of Children & Families – Virginia Ward

Virginia Ward
Director of Leadership and Mentored Ministry Initiatives, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Pastor, Abundant Life Church
Families are the foundation blocks of any congregation. Using the Shema as a template, this workshop will empower ministries to holistically develop children of all ages, build connections with their families and provide guidelines to support their spiritual development.

Funding the Call to Make Disciples: Growing Giving in an Age of Generational Change – Sam Schreiner/Joel Mikell

Sam Schreiner
Pastor
Noroton Presbyterian Church

Joel Mikell
President
RSI Stewardship
Why pass the plate if nobody uses cash or checks anymore and pays for everything with a phone?  How will stewardship and tithing work in the next generation saddled with college debt and ignorant of the Biblical principles of stewardship?  Is it even wise for the church to take on debt to expand as it grows it’s mission?  These are some of the questions we will ask and examine together as we work to fund God’s mission in the 21st century.

Effective New England Outreach and Alpha New England - Alpha New England Staff

Alpha New England Staff
A Vision New England study in 2007 found that a caring friend, an inviting church, and an evangelizing pastor were the key factors in new conversions.  It also found that 28% of new converts came to faith through Alpha. By the end of 2015 a total of 100,000 participants throughout New England, including Catholics and other Christians, had taken Alpha.  How can you and your church introduce effective outreach in New England, “help others explore life and the Christian faith, in a friendly, open and informal environment” ?  This workshop will also include insights on outreach to youth and college students.