November 3, 2018 @ 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Canadian Mennonite University - North Campus






Click here for online registration. Registration closes on October 30.

Theme: Mission and Vulnerability

In current news coverage in North America the church is most often portrayed in negative terms. The media focus on sexual abuse scandals, emotional abuse, and historic wrongs paints the church as a dangerous and untrustworthy place to commit yourself. How do we go about changing that narrative? Our event on November 3 will concentrate on vulnerability and mission. In vulnerability we release the need to defend bad behavior and embrace the potential of allowing God to work through us as fallen, forgiven, people of grace.

Guest Speaker: Betty Pries

Talk One: “Transforming Shame and Wrestling with Angels: Claiming and Reclaiming the Gospel of Healing and the Story of Jacob for Ministry in the 21st Century”

Talk Two: “Enjoying Old Wine while Sewing New Wineskins: Transforming the 21st Century”

Who is this for?

While the topics lean toward leadership positions in the church, all are welcome.


8:15             Registration Opens
9:00-9:20     Opening Worship
9:20-10:40   Plenary #1: Transforming Shame and Wrestling with Angels
10:40-11:00  Break
11:00-12:00  Workshops
12:00-1:00    Lunch
1:00-2:00     Workshops
2:00-3:00     Conversation and Coffee
3:00-4:10     Plenary #2: Enjoying Old Wine While Sewing New Wineskins
4:10-4:30     Closing Worship

Confirmed Workshops


Mission Workshop Part 1: Stories, Scripture and Songs of Mission and Vulnerability

As we come into a fuller understanding of the harmful effects of colonial-based mission new questions arise. How do we dismantle and break away from ideologies that harm and if we are being called to break away, where is God leading?

The ancient call of Old Testament prophets to ‘seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God’ was rooted in ten simple commandments that countered Pharaoh’s commandment to keep building more bricks – bricks that served as cornerstones for a social & economic system steeped in violence and oppression.   To get out from under this system the Israelites had to leave everything behind, enter into the wilderness and place their trust in God.     Join Phil Campbell Enns, Mark von Kampen, Judith Friesen-Epp, Mel Letkeman, Steve Heinrichs and Anna Marie Geddert for scripture, songs and modern day stories, of vulnerability and wilderness wanderings.

Experiments in Faith Formation; re-visiting and re-imaging our practices.

From Sunday school to children’s choirs, from youth groups to mentors, our congregations have had a wide variety of forms and practices when it comes to Christian education for children and youth.

This workshop will focus on both re-visiting and re-imaging some of those practices, giving an eye to current research, congregational realities and experiences.

Participants will be encouraged to exercise creativity and curiosity in the creation of congregational formational experiments.

Hosted by Kathy Giesbrecht and featured guests.

Human Resource Management

This workshop provides an introduction to creating effective protocols for human resource management. Topics include:

  • Evaluating performance and core competencies
  • Job analysis, job descriptions and talent management
  • Performance management and appraisal techniques
    • The purpose of performance appraisal
    • Who does the appraising?
    • Performance appraisal methods
    • Potential appraisal problems
    • Appraisal feedback interview
  • Organizational structure and reporting
  • Policies, procedures and handbooks
  • Actively managing talent: growth goals

Rosemary Vogt is an Assistant Professor in the Redekop School of Business at CMU. Her areas of specialty are in leadership, administration, and organizational behavior.

Church Leadership: Learning the rhythms of a new day!

Leadership within any congregation always requires a delicate dance between Pastor and lay leadership. What are the steps that are required for healthy leadership in the church? Who takes the lead in matters of leadership and what are the cadences for healthy leadership? What kind of leadership is needed for this time of the Church?

Workshop Facilitator: Henry Paetkau (Interim Executive Minister for Mennonite Church Canada). Henry brings a plethora of experiences in the area of church leadership from his years as Denominational Leader for MC Canada, President of Conrad Grebel College and his most recent role as Regional Church Minister for MCEC. His love for the Church is rooted in his love for strong leadership.


Mission Workshop Part 2: Vulnerability as “the Birthplace of Innovation, Creativity and Change” (Brene Brown)

Jesus calls us into vulnerability as we love our neighbours. In order to do this we must trust God is working and discern how we follow. Join Anna Marie Geddert in a conversation around loving our neighbour, being bold in the name of Jesus, being a faithful presence and sharing vulnerabilities as we build relationships.

What practices are we called to? How do we let go of our expectations and trust God? How do we stay when all we want to do is leave? How do we look at mission as an expression of creativity, hope and ultimately transformation?

Creating Formation/Christian Education Road Maps: one way to keep ourselves on track.

This workshop will introduce the process of creating a Road Map to guide the formation ministries, practices, events and experiences a congregation offers it’s children and youth.

Asking the question;  As our children/youth enter adulthood, what do we want them to take with them?   Creating Road Maps helps us answer this question and work toward our hopes.

Kathy Giesbrecht and featured guests.

Church Treasurer Workshop

Because of cultural norms around money, those in the congregation who are responsible to invite giving and care for finances may find it feels like “a necessary but unpleasant activity to support spiritual things” (Henri Noewen). A more helpful perspective might be that money helps us proclaim what we believe and that we have the privilege of offering to others the opportunity to participate in vision and mission with their finances. And congregations need to do this in the context of regulations regarding what we can and should be doing with receipted donations. Join this conversation of tending well this area of ministry.

Dori Zerbe Cornelson has been privileged to participate in restorative justice, pastoral leadership, and generosity/charitable gift planning. She is convinced that talking about money is an important spiritual discipline in the church. Dori is currently on staff with CMU as Director of Development.

A workshop for Council Chairs

This workshop will mediate conversation among Council Chairs about their role and that of the Council.  We will talk about the Council as a coordinating centre among the various committees and/or as a leadership body for the congregation.  This will include discussion of setting a vision or goals for the congregation.  It will also include some practical conversation about how to run meetings most effectively.

Gerald Gerbrandt taught and worked in administration at CMBC/CMU for his working career.  He currently serves as Moderator of Bethel Mennonite where he and his wife Esther worship, and of Mennonite Church Manitoba.


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