Here to find out more about our workshops and plenary sessions? Well, you are in the right place. See below for plenary, sacred conversation, and spiritual retreat day descriptions:
Check out the schedule of events for more information!
Monday Opening Plenary
10:00am – Noon
From Mat to Mission: MCC and Me
This conference will open with an intentional time of contemplation, reflection and expression to prepare the way for getting out in the world, to make a positive difference. Guided by the Gospel story of the man on the mat lowered through the roof by his friends to be healed by Jesus, we will journey together to address the individual, local faith community, and denominational themes of our historic movement. We will ask hard questions, share truths and look to the future. Participants will have an opportunity to address how we may let go of old ways of doing and being so healing may birth a new movement in MCC (and me). So let’s get off our dusty mats, and come together!
Wednesday Spiritual Retreat Day
On Wednesday, programming will feature a 24-hour retreat. During this time we will be led by guest facilitators and authors who will help us nurture our souls after all the ministry, activism, and service we have performed over the last three years.
Wednesday Morning Plenary: The Great Spiritual Migration
10:00am – Noon
Keynote: Brian McLaren, author of the Great Spiritual Migration, is also a speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. In the opening session of our Spiritual Retreat Day, McLaren will provide insights drawing on his book, The Great Spiritual Migration where he makes the case for the Christian story, from Genesis until now, being fundamentally about people on the move—outgrowing old, broken religious systems and embracing new, more redemptive ways of life. He suggests it’s time to move again and will challenge us to consider what this invitation means for us.
Tools for Building Resilience and Renewal
Sponsored by the Presbyterian Disaster Relief Organization
This workshop will offer the opportunity for renewal and respite, and for building resilience, grounded in three essential elements of story telling, relationships, and using and building tools for self-care. Leaders will model and teach some of these tools throughout the session, which participants will be invited to practice. The afternoon will begin with a ritual of writing down our most pressing concerns and allowing them to be placed in sacred care for the time of the program. The program includes content on understanding stress and burnout prevention with a focus on identifying the self-care practices participants already know, along with new ones.
We use a combination of journaling, group discussion and table or paired conversations throughout the day drawing on participants wisdom in addition to the leaders’ presentation of material. Participants will be invited to do some brief journaling that focuses on storytelling – the prompt we use is “This has been a time in my life when…” It allows people to define for themselves what is most pressing in their lives. A section on strengthening positive relationships and building a small network of support including an intentional listening/ vent partner is also included.
Thursday Morning Plenary: Accidental Activism
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Leah Gunning Francis
Many people come to activism by accident… they never intended to be the one out front making speeches, holding signs, marching in the streets. They come to activism because they love someone who is marginalized, harmed, killed or silenced. During this plenary, we will hear the voices of activists who are making a difference in local, national, and international human rights alongside keynote speaker Dr. Leah Gunning Francis.
As spiritual communities, we are called to respond to crisis and to the cries of injustice from the pew to the street. Our role as a leading human rights focused movement, is to respond as powerful agents for change as we seek a world where wars cease, everyone has enough, and all of creation can live in harmony. This plenary seeks to inspire us and challenge us for the ways we can be a healing presence in our hurting world through systemic change.
Thursday afternoons Workshops
For a list of workshops and presenters, click here.
Friday Morning Resource Exchange
9:00am – 10:00am
Friday morning will feature a Resource Exchange where all churches at General Conference are invited to share their one best resource (a worship resource, a class resource, a training resource for ministry leaders, etc.). This means everyone should be able to leave conference with a whole stack of MCC-tested resources (and the info of the source church, pastor, or leader to contact with any questions)!
Interested in offering a resource in the Resource Exchange? Click here!
Wait. What about Tuesday?
On Monday afternoon and Tuesday will will hold the business of the church. We will be planning alternative activities for those who are not engaged in the business portion. This could also be a great day to hang by the pool or go to a theme park if your spouse is tied up in business.