2019 Equipping Congregations Day
February 23, 2019 - 8:30am - 3:30pm 
Vinje Lutheran Church & Bethel Lutheran Church, Willmar MN
Early Registration Ends February 1, 2019. 

We have something for everyone!
Throughout the day you will have time to attend your choice of 3 different workshops, in addition to our keynote speakers, Beth Lewis and Benjamin Winchester. 
You will be able to choose 1 workshop from groups A, B & C.
Here is a sneak peek of group A. Next week, we will highlight group B.
Enjoy the following group A:
(You will not register in advance for your workshop choices.)

Becoming an Effective Treasurer

Presenter: David Anfinson, CPA, Former SW MN Synod Treasurer
Whether you are new to church finances or a veteran, equip yourself with the best practices to help your congregation manage its financial resources. It may not be the most popular job but it certainly is important.

Cooperative Congregation(s)
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Julie A. K. Anderson, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Bismarck, ND
We are called as a body called a congregation to do ministry in a certain place and time. Doing ministry together well needs conversation, considerations and commitment. We'll explore these tools within and between congregations to learn and live out your unique ministry.

Abundant Aging: Living the Second Half of Your Life on Purpose
Presenter: Marilyn Sharpe
The Abundant Aging materials produced by Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota are the result of uncovering an "assumption" that our congregations have great expectations of our confirmands and high school graduates for their participation in and contributions back to our communities. Yet when our neighbors reach elderhood in our culture - or as we have come to call it, "life after full-time work" - we have virtually no expectations of our elders.
If you believe that older adults have a rich role to play in the community, then this workshop is for you! You will hear from the author about how this curriculum gives yours congregation an opportunity to explore these questions and encourages individuals to design their own intentional elderhood.

Building Community with Our Muslim Neighbors
Presenter: Hudda Ibrahim
Hudda Ibrahim will provide information about Somali culture, share immigration stories, and talk about how Somali immigrants and their families are adapting to their new home in Minnesota and describe the challenges they are facing. She will conclude with a discussion of her current work that aims to build bridges between cultures, dialogue, and food. This workshop will also include 15 to 20 minutes of Q&A, so participants will be able to ask questions or make comments. Hudda Ibrahim, author of From Somalia Snow: How Central Minnesota Became Home to Somalis is a faculty member at St. Cloud Technical and Community College and president of Filsan Consulting LLC, a company founded on the principles of cultural integration.

Top 10 Conversations Every 21st Century Church Must Have (Round 2)
Presenter: Rev. Chad Peterson, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, St. Cloud
Yes, we know that the fastest growing religious group in the United States are those with "NO RELIGION." Yes, we know that congregational life (especially mainline congregations) are declining, that institutions have lost trust, and that the values/beliefs of younger generations look nothing like the values/beliefs of their grandparents. Yes, we have heard that...so...now what?
Bethlehem Lutheran Church (St. Could) has been having 21st century church conversations for the last year and what it means to follow Jesus in a time where 'traditional faith communities' no longer work. We don't have the answers but we do have the questions and we believe where they will lead us is life giving. (Please note, this is an update on last year's workshop with the same name. The information presented will be new/relevant even if you attended last year).

Utilizing ACE's Changes Lives
Presenter: Officer Ned Wohlman
Officer Ned Wohlman is the Renville County Jail Administrator and recipient of the 2015 Presidents Award. He is a certified presenter for ACE's and an excellent speaker. Officer Ned will share an introduction on ACE's (Adverse Childhood Experiences) as well as how it is utilized for the people coming through the Renville County Jail. He will share stories of how incarcerated individuals lives are changed through the implementation of an ACE's childhood trauma-informed system, making a positive difference in their lives.

The Lasting Impact of Bible Camp--An Essential Piece of Faith Formation
Presenters: Mandy Severtson, Associate Director: Green Lake Lutheran Ministries and Dana Isaacson, Program Director: Shetek Lutheran Ministries
Hear from leaders at Shetek Lutheran Ministries and Green Lake Lutheran Ministries about why attendance at Bible Camp is as important and relevant as ever to today's youth and families! Hear about the latest camp research, why camp continues to be a major influence as campers grow into active adult church members, and what camps are offering today that is new and exciting. We'll also share some ideas to help get more kids and families from your congregation excited about camp attendance!

Engaging Youth in Leadership
Presenter: Emma Thompson
Want to learn ways to get youth involved in your church? This session will cover ways to get youth involved in the church, Synod, and in other ways! Learn how to reach out to teenagers via social media.
Keynote Speakers:

Beth Lewis
Grow. Hold. Fold
One of the perils of any organization is that there is no shortage of good ideas. There are, however, good ideas that outlast their usefulness! It is often very difficult to stop doing things because they get imbedded into our organizations' traditions and cultures.

Benjamin S. Winchester
Rewriting the Rural Narrative
It seems the rural story has already been told. Small towns keep getting smaller. Churches, schools, clinics, businesses, and now post offices, have closed their doors as the lucky few migrate out to the big cities. This deficit framework dominates how we discuss and envision our rural communities. However, the story of rural America since 1970 is rich and diverse, with positive trends occurring under the radar. Learn how these important
positive changes have been occurring across the rural landscape that require us to rewrite the narrative of rural community change.
Registration Information

We will be using the buildings of both Vinje and Bethel Lutheran Churches in Willmar, to accommodate up to 1000 registrants. Both locations will have the same program elements, the schedules will just be in a different order. The keynote speaker and workshop leaders will move between the two church buildings.

After filling out the online registration, your congregation's contact person will receive a confirmation email containing your event location.

If the total number of members attending changes after you register, contact Maggie Berggren at the synod office. You will be asked to confirm your registration about 2 weeks prior to the event. We do not need the names of the people attending, just a total count. Please watch your email for event details. 

ECD Childcare and Kids Day Camp!

Registration for Childcare and the Kids Day Camp is separate.
Parents will register with their children. Please do not include them in your congregation's count. Parents will attend at the same location as their children. 

Childcare and Kids Day Camp Important information:
Childcare will be at Vinje Lutheran Church. Teachers from the Loving Arms Child Care Center will be providing the care. Age group: 6 weeks to age 6/Kindergarten). Registration cap is 40 kids.

Kids Day Camp will be at Bethel Lutheran Church. Green Lake Lutheran Ministries will give the kids a fun day camp experience. Age group: K-6 grade (kids must be IN kindergarten to meet the minimum age.) Registration cap is 20 kids.

There are no drop-ins! All children must be registered. Childcare and Kids Day Camp registration deadline is Friday, February 15, 2019. 

Registration will be first come, first served. There is NO additional cost for childcare or the camp as long as your congregation is registered. Parent(s)/guardian(s) must register with their child(ren). Please do not include them in your congregation's count on the Equipping Congregations Day registration. Parent(s)/guardian(s) will attend at the same location as their child(ren).

All children attending must bring a lunch (bring a cooler if needed). Snack will be provided. A follow-up email with more details will be sent to the parents two week before Equipping Congregations Day (ECD).

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Southwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA 
PO Box 499, Redwood Falls, MN 56283
Phone: 507-637-3904