#CHURCHTOO Manitoba – a conference responding to sexual misconduct in the church

Click here for online registration.

Friday May 31 -Saturday June 1, 2019

Canadian Mennonite University – Chapel (South side, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd)

Cost: Students – $50; Regular – $75 (Early bird – $60 until April 30)

This conference will tackle difficult and often-avoided questions, providing theological insights, practical guidelines, and personal stories. Participants will come away from the event with a deeper understanding of the central dynamics of professional sexual misconduct within the church, and better equipped to prevent and respond to these painful situations within their own communities.

Pastors, ministry leaders, and members of the Christian community are warmly invited to join us for a time of learning together around a crucial topic.

Keynote Speakers:

  • David Martin – Confronting Ministerial Sexual Misconduct in the Church
    • Executive Minister Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

      David Martin has a deep love for the Church, serving for over 25 years as pastor in several congregations within Ontario and as Executive Minister in the MCEC office for 12 years. Over the past number of years David has been extensively involved in dealing with issues of sexual misconduct within the Church. This difficult work has resulted in an educational series entitled Sacred Trust. He resides in Kitchener with his wife, Doris, where, in the winter, you will find him in the local curling rink or traveling to spend as much time as possible with his beautiful grandchildren.

  • Carol Penner – Abuse in the Church: Sin, Accountability and Forgiveness
    • Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Conrad Grebel University College

      Carol Penner is currently on faculty at Conrad Grebel University College teaching in the area of practical theology. She has been a pastor in Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Brethren churches in Ontario and Alberta. She lives in Vineland, Ontario with her husband Eugene in a house surrounded by apricot trees. She welcomes you to visit her blog of worship resources at www.leadinginworship.com

  • Carolyn Klassen – A therapist’s humble, human, heartfelt and quite possibly flawed perspective on #churchtoo
    • Director and therapist at Conexus Counselling

      Carolyn’s experience includes working with men and women as individuals, couples and families in a counselling setting. She practices her individual and couple therapy as a subspecialty of Occupational Therapy. When appropriate, she enjoys helping people use their spiritual practices and religious beliefs in support of their growth. She regularly delivers workshops, seminars, retreats, and sermons regarding topics of grief, self-compassion, shame, depression, anxiety, intimacy, vulnerability, authenticity and wholehearted living.

#CHURCHTOO Manitoba Conference Schedule

FRIDAY:  (May 31)

6:30 p.m.         Registration @ CMU Chapel
7:00                 Welcome & Introduction
7:10                 “Worship:  A Lament over Sexual Violence”
7:50                 ABUSE IN THE CHURCH:  SIN, ACCOUNTABILITY & FORGIVENESS – Presenter:  Carol Penner
8:45                  Evening Snacks

SATURDAY: (June 1)

9:00 a.m.          Gathering in Worship
10:15               BREAK
10:45               Panel Discussion – Facilitator: Jaymie Friesen (MCC Manitoba)
11:30               WORKSHOPS (see options listed below)
12:30               LUNCH – CMU Dining Room
1:30                 “A therapist’s humble, human, heartfelt and quite possibly flawed perspective on #churchtoo” – Presenter:  Carolyn Klassen
2:30                 Response and Reflection Time
3:00                 BREAK
3:15                 WORKSHOPS (see options)
4:15                 Closing Worship


  • David Martin – Street proofing the Church
    • Sexual abuse is as much a reality in the church as anywhere else. The responsibility of church leaders is to minimize its impact and presence by proactively developing prevention strategies and fostering greater awareness. Learn how best practices and education can make a difference in street-proofing our pastors, church leaders, and participants in our congregations, camps and schools against sexual misconduct.
  • Carol Penner – Worship in a #MeToo World
    • Sexual abuse is a reality for people who attend church. There are survivors of abuse, people who have abused others, people who are tempted to abuse others, and people who have witnessed abuse in our worship services. How do we plan worship with that reality in mind? What is the good news we are proclaiming?
  • Carolyn Klassen – Building Courage to Build Capacity for Brave Spaces: Finding ways to have the important conversations in our churches
    • The discussion of sexual violation in the church is a difficult one to talk about, fraught with the possibility of saying the wrong thing, or in the wrong way and further hurting others, or opening the door to hurtful criticism. Creating a brave space where meaningful conversation can occur that can provide insight and growth, healing within and between people is important. These are vulnerable and tender conversations that are risky but necessary. The four skill sets of courage will be presented with discussion about how to implement them in the local church.
  • Elsie Goertzen – Understanding Sexual Abuse by a Church Leader
    • It seems unfathomable that sexual abuse could happen within our congregations. What dynamics make this possible? How does abuse unfold? This workshop will offer insights into typical offenders and how they groom their victims.
  • Jaymie Friesen – Responding to Disclosures of Abuse

    • Often when people learn about or hear a story of abuse they feel uncertain how to best respond. It is imperative that when victims share an experience of abuse they receive appropriate and compassionate support and guidance. This workshop will focus on how to respond to various types of stories and disclosures of abuse in ways that do not further harm.
  • Ken Warkentin & Gerald Dyck – Resources available from our denominational bodies


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