Workshops at the 2018 Annual Meeting

Cover your bases by spreading your church team throughout these offerings!

Download a printable list HERE    ---   View the schedule HERE


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7 Proven Ways to Increase Giving – Rev. Andy DeBraber

A United Church of Canada study showed an 82% increase in giving per capita over 6 years for churches that engaged these seven practices and, by so doing, created a culture of generosity. Come and learn how your church or ministry organization can implement these practical, high-impact actions to boost giving and grow greater gifts!




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Spirituality for Activism- Rev. Vernon Meyer

What kind of spirituality do we need as activists that will keep us engaged and keep us from falling into burnout? I will suggest that it is a spirituality rooted in the practice of Sabbath. This presentation will consider the works of Abraham Heschel, the great Jewish writer, and Walter Bruggemann and his book, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No To The Culture of Now. He writes: Sabbath is an act of resistance and alternative. It is resistance because it is a visible insistence that our lives are not defined by the production and consumption of commodity goods. It is an alternative to the demanding, chattering, and pervasive presence of advertising and its great liturgical claim of professional sports that devour all our "rest time." The alternative offer is the awareness and practice of the claim that we are situated on the receiving end of the gifts of God. A good spirituality around Sabbath would give a good framework for resistance in the current world we live in.

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Discerning the Kairos Issues - Rev. Teresa Blythe

"Discerning the Kairos Issue" will help your church take the next step on its spiritual journey of faith-rooted service to the world. Rev. Teresa Blythe, a spiritual director and discernment coach, will explain concrete and time-tested spiritual practices and tools that the Christian church has used for centuries to help congregations discover their unique call. You will leave with a basic overview, resources and encouragement for entering into your own season of discernment. 

Teresa Blythe is a spiritual director, discernment coach and author of two books on spirituality: 50 Ways to Pray and Spiritual Direction 101: The Basics of Spiritual Guidance. Both books describe discernment processes in length. Teresa works out of an office at her church, First UCC Phoenix and can be reached at 

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Grassroots Resistance and Our Congregations: Bridging the Gap - 

Nathan Watts and Organizing Friends

As the UCC we are accustomed to responding to justice issues based on our values and identity. But sometimes in our anxiety to do the next best thing we overlook the legacy of work that people of color led organizations and campaigns have been working on for years and therefore can unintentionally cause more harm than good. In this workshop we'll examine what motivates us as people of faith to participate in social change initiatives and learn more about grassroots level work that is being done in our communities outside of church structures that we can participate in and amplify.




ALICE Training – Marc Gerardis & Phil Shea


ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) Training instructor led classes provide preparation and a plan for individuals and organizations on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event. Whether it is an attack by an individual person or by an international group of professionals intent on conveying a political message through violence, ALICE Training option based tactics have become the accepted response, versus the traditional “lockdown only” approach. (*Prior registration required. To sign up, visit the ALICE Training post.

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Faith Rooted Organizing Q&A – Rev. Alexia Salvatierra

Q&A with Rev. Alexia Salvatierra - This workshop will provide participants a more intimate venue to ask Faith Rooted Organizing author Rev. Alexia Salvatierra questions following her Thursday training and Friday sermon. She might even sign your copy of her book!



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Widening the Welcome

The SWC Widening the Welcome Team Ministry workshop will discuss two important outreach programs to help congregations to become more welcoming to people who are differently abled. A2A Accessible to All offers congregations a two-step program thereby indicating a commitment to be physically and attitudinally welcoming of people with disabilities. The first step is to complete a Church Accessibility Audit and the second step is to complete the A2A checklists. This workshop will also introduce congregations to W.I.S.E. A W.I.S.E. congregation has joined the mission in being Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged in the mental health in the community and wider world.


Budget Q&A – Phil Ward & Cynthia Verduin SWC

Treasurer Phil Ward and incoming treasurer Cynthia VerDuin will answer questions and present the rationale for the 2018-2019 SWC Budget. The new SWC Endowment Policy Statement will also be presented. A line item and narrative budget are available in your annual meeting packets.


Resolutions Q&A – SWC Executive Board

Members of the SWC Executive Board will guide discussion of three items of business in advance of voting on Saturday morning. Delegates will consider the Executive Board's recommendation NOT to ratify changes to the UCC Constitution and Bylaws adopted at General Synod 31 in 2017. The Executive Board is recommending adoption of SWC Bylaws changes that clarify references to the Mission and Church Vitality Committee. And the Executive Board is recommending adopting a resolution titled "Examining, Articulating, and Resourcing the Nature, Purpose, Composition, Covenantal Autonomy and Definition of ‘the basic unit of life and organization of the United Church of Christ’ for the Twenty-first Century." Copies of these documents are available on our Annual Meeting webpage.