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“Put on the breastplate of faith and love.” —1 Thess. 5:8

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Healthy Ministry Conference

Workshops will include relevant information for CPMs and COMs regarding the new Form of Government and overture 10-A if passed by presbyteries.

Friday 10:30 a.m.

Is Better EVER enough

Big Tent Common Workshop – sponsored by Healthy Ministry
Jill Hudson will explore the concepts presented in her Alban Institute book, When Better Isn’t Enough: Evaluation Tools for the 21st Century.  She will revisit the 12 characteristics of an effective leader in light of the shifting context of the church since the book was published in 2004.

Friday noon    

Opening Luncheon — “Come And See”  

Lunch is free for those listing Healthy Ministry as their primary conference at registration
Susan Andrews, former PC(USA) moderator, will speak and moderate a panel of leaders from a variety of innovative ministries.  The PC(USA) is not the church we have known and loved. God is doing a new thing… Come and See!  (Panel: Ted Hickman, CLP; Sue Pizor-York, new church pastor; Ed Hilton, tentmaker) 

Friday 2 p.m. workshops

Financial Issues for Candidates  & Ministers

Led by Charles Pye, minister and CPA  and Laura Bryan, PC(USA) Associate for Financial Aid for Studies
Candidates are digging deep holes of debts.  Ministers struggle under debt and foreclosures.  What questions should CPM, COM, seminaries ask?  How can they help?

A Taste of 21st Century Ministry

Led by Susan Andrews and panelists: Ted Hickman, CLP; Sue Pizor-Yoder, pastor; Ed Hilton, Tentmaker
Continue the conversation from lunch with former Moderator Susan Andrews and our panelists.

COMs and Congregational Matters

Led by Joyce Lieberman, PC(USA) associate for Call System
The Presbytery COM is responsible “to facilitate the relationship between congregations, ministers, certified Christian Educators, and the presbytery.” We will focus on ways that COMs can facilitate those relationships by maintaining a healthy, working relationship with congregations before a crisis or pastoral transition.

When Conflict “Comes Out of the Blue” — Resources for Transforming Anxious Church Systems

Led by Victoria Wilcox,  Lombard Mennonite Peace Institute
Conflict is inevitable and sometimes even healthy within the life of the church.  Learn ways that CPMs and COMs can handle conflict in healthy ways before it becomes a crisis, and how to respond when a conflict crisis hits.

CPM Online Resources

Led by Molly Williams, PC(USA) Preparation for Ministry and Exams Office
Everyone knows we live in a digital age. So why is there still some much paper in our process? Come explore the wide range of tools now available to help CPMs, inquirers and candidates, and their congregations to understand and navigate the preparation for ministry process over the Internet.

Inquiry: The Inquirer’s & the CPMs

Led by Tim Cargal, PC(USA) interim associate for Preparation for Ministry and Exams
The initial phase of preparation for the ministry of Word and Sacrament is called “Inquiry.” How do we assure this process is a genuine period of discernment and assessment of both calling and gifts by the inquirer and the church through the session and the CPM?

Friday 4 p.m. workshops

Creating Clergy Colleague Groups

Led by Lou Snead, Presbytery Pastoral Care Network and Quinn Fox, Director, Company of New Pastors
Research (or a candid conversation with almost any pastor) indicates that many of us tend to feel isolated in our work, and challenged by various aspects of ministry in the 21st century. This workshop addresses how presbytery clergy support groups can help amidst the challenges we face. We’ll explore ways such groups can be formed and structured, as well as practical issues to be addressed to start and sustain them.

Healthy Candidates & Ministers: Body, Mind & Spirit

Led by Mark Sundby, director, North Central Ministry Development Center
Healthy candidates and ministers help to make the work of CPMs and COMs much easier.  Discover the importance of healthy candidates and ministers and how CPMs and COMs can be proactive in helping them become and stay that way.

Bi-Vocational or “Tentmaking” Ministry

Led by Charles Pye and Ed Hilton
The first century church grew through the leadership of “tentmaker” Paul.  Many believe that new church growth in the 21st century will come through the leadership of tentmakers who serve as part-time pastors and have some other employment.  We will discuss the mission potential and how-tos for congregations and individuals exploring this model of ministry.

Small Churches-Lighthouses in Rough Seas

Led by Marcia Myers, PC(USA) director of Vocation & Ann Philbrick, PC(USA) associate for Church Growth & Transformation
The U.S. landscape is dotted with small churches with declining membership and scarce resources.  Some are finding renewal and growth in new mission in their neighborhoods.  Hear their stories and share yours.

CPMs & the Form of Government

Led by Dan Williams & Diana Barber, members of NFOG Task Force
In working with inquirers and candidates, presbyteries constantly live in the tension between national denominational standards, the requirements of the local presbytery, and the needs of individuals under their care. This workshop will explore the possibilities within the constitutional process of preparation for ministry to respond to the particular needs of both presbyteries and their inquirers and candidates.

Candidacy Could This Person Be My Pastor?

Led by Tim Cargal, PC(USA) interim associate for Preparation for Ministry and Exams
The transition from Inquiry to Candidacy in the preparation process in many ways should be the most important decision that an inquirer and CPM make together. We will explore both why this is the case and what tools are available in the process to help both the individual and the church answer this essential question regarding the ministry for which an inquirer is gifted and called.

Friday 6 p.m.  

Healthy Ministry/Elder Conference Dinner  (ticketed event)

Speaker Peter Steinke Apocalypse or Evangelical Moment?
Peter Steinke is an internationally respected congregational systems consultant who has also served as a parish pastor, an educator, and a therapist for clergy.  Drawing on the work of family-systems expert Edwin Friedman, Peter’s accessible books have helped countless congregations understand their hidden workings and use that understanding to become healthy and vital.  

Friday 8 p.m.

Ministry Through the Camera’s Lens

Perceptions of pastoral ministry are changing both within the church and within culture. Join us for a discussion of these changes as we take a look at ministry “through the camera’s lens: of some recent movies and television shows.  What new models for ministry might we see? What problems (real or perceived) do we need to address?  Popcorn provided!

Saturday  8 a.m. workshops

Congregations & Preparation for Ministry Process

Led by Quinn Fox, PC(USA) associate for Theology and CPM moderator for Pueblo Presbytery
Many congregations see their role with members in the preparation for ministry process as simply endorsing their applications to the CPM. But there is much we can do to identify persons who may have gifts for pastoral ministry, help them to understand the broader needs of the church beyond that particular congregation, and provide opportunities for developing ministry gifts of their own inquirers and candidates as well as others.  We will explore ways congregations of all sizes can move beyond the role of “rubber stamp.”

CPM Online Resources

Led by Molly Williams, PC(USA) Preparation for Ministry and Exams Office
Everyone knows we live in a digital age. So why is there still some much paper in our process? Come explore the wide range of tools now available to help CPMs, inquirers and candidates, and their congregations to understand and navigate the preparation for ministry process over the Internet.

Calling A Pastor

Led by Joyce Lieberman, PC(USA) associate for Call System
Finding the right pastor to serve a congregation is a task that is guided by COMs. We will go through the PCUSA call process with a focus on helping COMs guide congregations and search committees through the process of calling a new pastor.

Putting “Mission” in Commissioned Lay Pastors

Led by Marcia Myers, PC(USA) director for Vocation & Ted Hickman, CLP
Models for utilizing the gifts of these specially trained and commissioned elders to strengthen the mission of Christ in your neighborhood and presbytery.  Preview a new DVD, share best practices with others.

Saying “No” or “Not Yet”

Led by Diana Barber, Associate Synod Executive of Lakes and Prairies for Leadership Development
The most appropriate, faithful, and pastoral response is sometimes to “just say no.” When is “no” a helpful response?  When is it too late? Once you have said “no” how do you anticipate consequences? How do you deal with all those who feel rejected by the “no”?

The Changing Face of Seminaries

Led by Rose Niles, PC(USA) associate for Theological Education & Seminary Relations
Time was when anyone sensing a call to pastoral ministry in the Presbyterian Church moved off for three years of residential study at a Presbyterian seminary. The times, they are a changing. More and more, even denominational seminaries have widely interdenominational students and faculties—and seminaries are now even coming to students over the Internet. Come learn about these changes in seminary education and how they impact the training of future ministers and the continuing education of current pastors.

Saturday 10 a.m. workshops

Examining Ministers: Hazing, Gatekeeping, Discernment?

Led by Marcia Myers, PC(USA) director of Vocation
What is the COM doing when we examine ministers?  What is required? What policies are needed? We will discuss issues, processes, and models.

Legal Issues in Supervision Preparation for Ministry

Leader to be announced
“Negligent supervision” is one of the latest legal buzzwords making its way around the church. This workshop will explore a range of issues that impact the church’s responsibilities in preparing future ministers and placing them in supervised ministry settings, including release agreements, background checks, maintenance of records, and confidentiality.

COMs & Form of Government

Led by Dan Williams and Diana Barber, members of NFOG Task Force
COMs are often called upon to make decisions that must balance the mission and ministry needs of the presbytery within the context of constitutional mandates.  We will take a closer look at the guidance the Form of Government provides to COMs as they do their work.

Final Assessment: Preparing for the Call

Led by Tim Cargal, PC(USA) interim associate for Preparation for Ministry and Exams
Our Reformed theology and polity stress that all ordinations are always to perform specific ministry functions in specific ministry contexts. How can CPMs use all the pieces of “final assessment” both to “certify” candidates’ readiness to begin ministry of Word and Sacrament and to help them find that community which is calling them to share their gifts for ministry?

Coaches, Mentors, Spiritual Directors & Counselors

Led by  Carol Allen, spiritual director and a member of the board of Presbytery Pastoral Care Network
Effective ministry is not done “solo”. Many find companions – mentors, coaches, spiritual directors, or counselors to be very helpful in ministry development. Learn what each can provide and how to locate good ones. This workshop is designed for those who work with candidates and ministers and/or who seek to develop their own effectiveness.

Raising Up Leaders for the Mission of God; Continuing the Conversation

Led by Lee Hinson-Hasty, PC(USA) coordinator for Theological Education
Concerned about emerging leadership needs of the PCUSA, a joint task group of representatives of seminaries, the General Assembly Mission Council and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly,  prepared a report “Raising Up Leaders for the Mission of God” (available at and invited church-wide conversation. Come and share your perspective and experience about the needs, the issues, and creative strategies

Saturday 2 p.m.

Big Tent Common Workshop sponsored by Healthy Ministry and the Elders Conferences

Conversation with Peter Steinke talking about New Visions: Leadership for Mission