Plenary at Mid-Winter Convocation

Mid-Winter Convocation


1. Click 2 Connect: The Art and Science of Digital Ministry, Keith Anderson

Join Keith Anderson for this workshop about creative and practical ways to incorporate social media and digital technologies into your ministry and the life of your faith community. Keith will share advice and real-life stories from around the Church, as it seeks to build community, form faith and share the Gospel in this digital age. For digital novices to digital natives, and everyone in between, this workshop will help ministry leaders of all experience and abilities leverage digital tools for the sake of the gospel. 

2. Between Derision and Detachment: Martin Luther and Social Criticism in a Fractured World, Anthony Bateza
Pundits tell us that we live in a harsh and politically polarized time. Respect and common ground have given way to unhinged attacks and insurmountable divisions. But anyone familiar with Martin Luther's writings knows that bitter insults flowed smoothly from his pen. In this workshop we will wrestle with Luther as we examine his life and thought with an eye towards social criticism and political engagement. Where might Luther criticize our efforts, or lack thereof, at serving our communities? Is Luther's acerbic approach correct or does his unbridled contempt undermine the prophet's work? 

 3. The Unfinished Reformation: Fulfilling the Promise of Vocation, Dwight DuBois
One of the most familiar tenets of the Reformation is Luther’s universal priesthood; oddly, it’s also one of the most underdeveloped. Participants will explore how the priesthood of all believers can renew both leaders and members, and make congregational life both more relevant and invigorating. We will explore how to form a community that forms disciples who live out their faith, not just in the church, but in all of life.

 4. Reforming Perceptions, Theology and Language about Mental Illness, Hollie Holt-Woehl

One area in need of reform in church and society today is around mental illness. Awareness and understanding of mental illness and people who experience mental illness has grown in recent years, however, misunderstanding and unfamiliarity still persist. How might one begin to reform perceptions, theology and language about mental illness in congregations? This workshop will provide a theological framework in which to begin the reformation, ideas for conversation, resources for action and opportunities for questions.

 5. Luther the Rock Opera, (Celebrating the 500th with Fun and Flair at, Rich Melheim

Easter Sunday 2017 will unveil something strange, fun and wonderful for your congregation and families. It’s Hamilton meets Godspell meets Monty Python. It’s a Marvel Comic come to life on stage. It’s history meets comedy meets Lost and Found coming out of retirement to serve up the Reformation in Speedwood style music. And it’s a great way to bond a Cross+Gen acting troupe, celebrate our Reformation heritage and reach out to the community. Join author/producer Rich Melheim and Skype in with Michael Bridges to explore how your church can gear up for an October month-long production of Luther the Rock Opera.

 6. Reforming in Public, Jeremy Myers
A church that is always reforming is a church that is always engaged in and responsive to its context. Our call to change is not an anxious reaction to a shrinking church membership, but a hopeful response to the lives of our neighbors. How can we lead congregations into the public square as both an act of outreach and discipleship, mission and catechesis? Come and join this conversation around discipleship in the public square for the common good.

 7. Religion for Social Transformation: Key Tools and Resources, Kenneth Mtata

The last few years have seen a growing recognition of religion as a key element for sustainable development, especially in the south. This recognition is fraught with some challenges but also huge opportunities for faith communities to take an important lead in some areas of holistic development. What are some important tools and resources for maximizing the ‘use’ of religion for sustainable and holistic human development?

 8. God's Work, Our Hands—A Journey towards Witness and Reconciliation, Prairie Rose Seminole
This workshop is designed to bring awareness of the American Indian Alaska Native Ministries within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a unique history. This presentation will include AIAN world views, treaties, protocols, boarding schools, Church witness, policies (tribal sovereignty, repudiation of the doctrine of discovery) and accompaniment. We will unpack a few of these pieces to better understand an emotional history of American Indians and Alaska Natives, and open the door towards reconciliation.

 9. Loving God with All Your Mind: Then and Now, Gordon Straw
This workshop will engage participants in two areas: 1) the meaning and purpose of theological education throughout the history of the church and its significance for today’s world, and 2) look at issues around adult faith formation and how these impact learning/teaching in congregations for the sake of the communities in which they reside.

 10. Connecting the Reformation with All Ages through Milestones, Debbie Streicher

The life and work of Martin Luther was more than that of a teacher of the faith. He was a “pastor and shepherd of souls.” His work was about shaping the lives of everyday people with the grace, mercy and peace of Christ that would inform their daily actions, hopes and relationships. This workshop introduces an effective way to recognize memorable moments through milestones in our lives and connects every generation with a model for daily faith practices that affirms Luther’s approach to faith in daily life.

11. ELCA Social Teaching and Overlooked Dimensions of the Reformation, Roger Willer

This workshop explores the often overlooked social and economic dimensions of Reformation thought in relation to ELCA social teaching. As the fundamental principle of the Reformation justification “preserves and guides all churchly teaching” (Luther, but emphasis added). Its influence was evident in major shifts of moral and social thinking at the time. Where today does that preservation and guidance appear in relation to ethics and how the ELCA addresses social issues? The Reformers identified “mutual conversation and consolation of brothers and sisters” as a mark of the church. How today does that get translated? Would Luther put ELCA social statements into the mix of topics for his table talk? How do we? In this workshop we will unpack the development, role and purpose of ELCA social teaching and policy documents with an eye toward uncovering these Reformation connections.


Registration fees received by Nov. 30

$200 per person

$150 per person for retired participants

$185 per person for a group of three or more when registration is received at the same time

The cost of paid registrations includes a non-refundable fee of $50 (per person).

Registration fees received after Nov. 30

$220 per person

$170 per person for retired participants

$205 for a group of three or more when registration is received at the same time

The cost of paid registrations includes a non-refundable fee of $50 (per person).

Download a printable registration form