Workshop Options – Morning Session (10:00 am – 11:15 am)

Awareness of Mission: The Mt Meru Coffee Project & More!
Come hear about the Mt. Meru Coffee Project and explore great ways of keeping your members and the larger community aware of your outreach missions.  Facilitated by Ron Bohrer.

Be Safe, Be Prepared: How to Survive an Active Shooter
Officer Jeff Wamboldt, Crime Prevention Officer with the City of Kenosha Police Department and member of Lord of Life in Kenosha, leads this workshop which will explore: Elements of Survival; See and Hear Real Life Scenarios; Fight, Flight, and Freeze; Diffusion of Responsibility; and Lessons of the Columbine and Virginia Tech Tragedies. Please note: this workshop is also offered in the afternoon session.

Beer, Bread, Bees & Beyond: Imagining New Ministry Edges
Come hear intriguing stories of innovative ministries happening in our synod: Faith Fermenters from St. Mark’s, Waukesha; Bee the Change from Redeemer, Milwaukee; and an unique ministry taking place at Spirit of Peace, Milwaukee.  You will be invited to begin stirring the imagination of your own congregation as well. Facilitated by leaders in these ministries.

Changing the Narrative: From the Tomb to the Womb
In December 2016 Ms. Valerie Kaur, a Sikh American film maker, activist and mother, gave a powerful speech that we will watch together.  She challenged us with the question, “What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?” This You Tube video encourages the possibility to move from signs of death to new life.  Join us as we discuss tools and strategies for changing the narratives of our lives, communities and the Church to claim God’s justice and power for new life. Facilitated by members of the Greater Milwaukee Synod Anti-Racism Team.

Church Treasurers’ and Administrators’ Benefits Workshop
As the benefits administrator for your organization, your pastors, rostered laypersons, and lay employees rely on you to help them navigate their ELCA benefits. In this session, discover the resources available to help you effectively sponsor your employees in the ELCA’s health, retirement, and other benefits programs through Portico Benefit Services. Facilitated by Portico’s Regional Representative, Jennifer Prinz.

Communication Insights for Congregations
Good communication is so important in congregational life. Come explore what good communication entails and how we can strengthen our communication practices to build mission ownership and capacity. Facilitated by Pastor Kristin Nielsen, Assistant to the Bishop for Congregations in Mission.

Conflict: Danger and Opportunity
The Bible is full of diversity and conflict.  In the Bible, conflict is often an opportunity to learn something new about God.   But when it happens in our church communities, we run from it!  What causes conflict in our churches?  How can we manage it, and even come to appreciate it for the gifts it offers us?  In this workshop we will explore the five basic strategies for managing conflict in our churches.  We will look at ways that conflict may bring us closer rather than separating us.  And we may even have some fun while we are doing so. . .

Facilitator: the Rev. Debra Trakel, ordained within the Episcopal Church for the past 23 years.  She has served on her Bishop’s staff working with troubled congregations and clergy.  She has also been the pastor of rural, inner city and suburban churches.  She is a licensed psychotherapist and a certified mediator in Wisconsin.  She is currently delighted to be working in transition ministry within the Greater Milwaukee Synod.

The Forgotten Luther: Reforming the Economy
While this is often forgotten today, Martin Luther was famous for his sharp rebuke of economic injustice, and the Lutheran church in Europe was at the center of economic reform during the Reformation. Believing that the economy was a gift of God for the well-being of all, Luther saw greed as idolatry and condemned practices that left so many in Europe poor and hungry. His reforms may still be felt across Europe today and can give us a fresh perspective on the church’s role in the economy in the 21st Century. In this interactive workshop, we will learn more about “the forgotten Luther,” experience resources to take back to congregations, and hear stories of ministries working toward a just world where all are fed with the support of ELCA World Hunger. Facilitated by Ryan Cumming, ELCA’s Program Director, Hunger Education.

Neighborhood Outreach: Listening and Engaging in Our Communities
Come and learn about some easy tools for first-step neighborhood outreach! Wondering how to engage those who live near, but don’t attend, the church? Do you have a story to share of outreach that really impacted your congregation? Come and share! We’ll talk about resources, ideas, and next steps wherever your congregation is at along this journey. Facilitated by Pastor Matt Short, Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelical Mission.

Radical Hospitality: Welcoming Refugees & Immigrants
Learn how Lutherans have championed welcome for refugees and immigrants across the world and across the United States. Discover how the Bible’s ongoing story of people on the move connects with our modern realities of resettling refugees and integrating immigrants into our faith communities. Find out how you and your faith community can make a difference in the lives of refugees and immigrants in our synod and across the world. Facilitated by Rev. Kelly Nieman Anderson.


Workshop Options – Afternoon Session (1:15 pm – 2:30 pm)

Be Safe, Be Prepared: How to Survive an Active Shooter
Officer Jeff Wamboldt, Crime Prevention Officer with the City of Kenosha Police Department and member of Lord of Life in Kenosha, leads this workshop which will explore: Elements of Survival; See and Hear Real Life Scenarios; Fight, Flight, and Freeze; Diffusion of Responsibility; and Lessons of the Columbine and Virginia Tech Tragedies. Please note: this workshop is also offered in the morning session.

Breaking the Chains: An Introduction to Prison Ministry
Join Pastor Mark Thompson and the Steering Committee for Breaking the Chains Church to hear stories of what’s happening at the one-year mark in this new congregation.

Call Processes & Transitions
Pastoral transition can be a time of anxiety, but it is also a time of great opportunity to explore God’s mission in the congregation. Join Pastor Kristin Nielsen, Assistant to the Bishop for Congregations in Mission, to learn about the flow of the call process and the steps along the way.  Come if your congregation is in transition now and share your questions and insights. Come if you are simply curious to know how the process works.

Congregational Treasurers’ Forum
We will be discussing topics of interest to congregational treasurers, as well as sharing best practices and a Q & A session. Facilitated by Lee D. Johnston, Financial Administrator for the Greater Milwaukee Synod.

Cross+Gen Ministry
Join members of our synod’s Cross+Gen Network to hear stories of ministry engagement across the generations. Facilitated by Carolyn Karl, member of the Network.

From Caution to Courage: Stories of Loving our LGBTQ Neighbor
In this workshop we will explore what it means to be a welcoming community.  We will explore creative ways in which we can unbind ourselves, and one another, from feeling excluded from the grace of God.  Facilitated by Pastors Rachel Young-Binter, Jessica Short & Bill Beyer.

Presidents’ and Vice Presidents’ Time with Bishop Erickson
Bishop Paul Erickson invites congregational Presidents and Vice Presidents to ask questions, discuss areas of hope and concern, and to share the blessing of ministry together in the Greater Milwaukee Synod.

The 6½ Worst Things You Can Do With Your Portico Benefits
Have you made any of these mistakes? If so, you’re not alone. (Trust us.) Join Portico’s Regional Representative, Jennifer Prinz, as she shares her top tips —and a few enlightening stories — to help you make the most of your ELCA retirement and health benefits.

Social Media & the Congregation
Join Sarah Christiaansen, Synod Communicator, as she shares her insight and guidance on using social media in the life and ministry of the congregation.

What about Stewardship?
Come and learn about annual stewardship campaigns and guiding principles. We will point you toward some fantastic resources, and some people who could coach you along the way. Learn about a larger synod stewardship strategy that could empower rostered and lay leaders alike to revitalize their ministry and stewardship messages! Facilitated by Pastor Matt Short, Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelical Mission.