Workshops

Session 1 Wednesday (Oct 25) 10:30-11:45

Biblical & theological principles of Christian community development (Jimmy Dorrell)
Intro: Christian community development
Christian community development is grounded upon biblical principles. Understanding these fundamental beliefs are critical for community developers who may face discouragement, misunderstanding by the community, attraction to “cheap charity” methodology, and disempowerment of local neighbors. The workshop will provide basic guides and over dialogue.

The economic lives of the poor: How the poor actually live; the choices they make, the grappling constraints, and the challenges they meet (Understanding Poverty Track #1) (Javier Perez)
Intro: Understanding poverty
Think you understand the poor? During this session, we will learn about the environment and the choices that affront the poor. We will discuss the living arrangements, how money is earned, how and why money is spent, and how educational and emotional needs are met. At the end of this workshop you will have a better understanding of what it is like to live with less. (Workshop #1 of 4 of the Understanding Poverty Track.)

Getting started: Tools to launch new church-based community development ministries (Gaynor Yancey & Ali Corona)
Intro: Christian community development & mobilizing middle class Christians
If your church shut its doors tomorrow, who would care? How would your community respond? Congregations are excellent catalysts for community change, but often, congregations do not know where to start. Based on content from The Externally Focused Church by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson, the presenters will present a tool for churches to use during the beginning stages of ministry development. The tool highlights the intersectionality of how effective community ministry occurs through God’s vision for people, a community’s strengths and desires, and our churches’ capacities. All handouts will be in English and Spanish.

The great reversal.  Shifting from “needs”-based charity to asset-based development (Sonja Gee & Kathie Hartzog)
Intro: Relief and development & Christian community development
So you’d like to lead your ministry toward an asset-based, development focus, but your ministry’s years of experience and “the way we have always done things” attitude seem to be insurmountable barriers.  What’s next?
In Jesus’ stories of the prodigal son and the Pharisee and the tax collector, he turns a spirituality of climbing, achieving and perfection upside down.  In both of these parables, the characters who have done it wrong and are humble about their mistakes are the ones transformed and rewarded.  As is true for us individually, our organizational pride, established routines, entrenched programs, and entitlement can keep our ministries from growing and learning. Join us as we explore how to lead a ministry through the difficult process of discovering a new service paradigm and walking in faith toward the new vision.  We will discuss multiple factors that can make this shift a challenge – from Board education to volunteer (re)training to giving voice to the community.  Together we will share experiences and exchange practical tools.

Human trafficking: What can I do? (Tracy Hughes)
Intro: Human trafficking
As more people are becoming aware of human trafficking and its impact on our society, individuals are asking, “What can I do?” Modern day slavery is not a government, legal, or law enforcement problem to solve, it is a people issue and that is where the church is called. This workshop will not only cover the who, what, when, where and why of human trafficking, but give practical tools for individuals and churches to get involved to be a voice for “the least of these.”

Restoring community: Roadmap to lasting felon reintegration (Steve Gordon)
Advanced: Restorative justice & social enterprise
Prison is a dehumanizing experience. For a returning person to be successful in the community upon release, they have to be treated in a humane way — with dignity and respect — to “re-humanize” them. Long-term success consists of social services assistance (critical documents, housing, transportation, coaching, etc.) and employment solutions that lead to a living wage. This presentation provides very practical, proven strategies for comprehensive felon reintegration, based on nine years of front-line direct service, provided to 2,000 returning citizens.

Welcoming the stranger into our communities: Refugee 101 (Jeff Demers & Catherine Ogie)
Intro: Refugees
There is a lot being said about refugees in our society today. In this workshop, we will look at the who refugees are, the process they go through to become a refugee and enter the US resettlement program, as well as what the US resettlement program looks like. The presenters will share their experience working in different refugee programs and ministries, and how the participants can engage with the nations that God is bringing to our communities.

 

Session 2 Wednesday (Oct 25) 1:45-3:00

Asset based community development (Jimmy Dorrell)
Intro: Christian community development
One of the basic building blocks of community transformation is Asset Based Christian Development (ABCD.) “The people with the problem must be a part of the solution to the problem.” The workshop will focus on a strengths perspective and how to build empowering relationships and networks which shape the direction of community development projects.

Embracing new racial narratives (Megan Pike)
Intro: Racial reconciliation
Every person lives in light of or in the shadow of racial narratives. These narratives are influenced by family heritage, history, education, and often-times spiritual upbringing and beliefs. These narratives also play into how people view themselves and others. This workshop will encourage participants to consider the narratives that have shaped them and how these narratives impact engagement with those of other races or ethnicities. Participants will engage in interactive exercises, be provided time for discussion/debrief and take home a toolkit to empower church members, co-workers, constituents, family and friends to consider embracing new narratives to encourage healthy and honest race relations.

The five most important questions you will ever ask about your ministry: The challenge for today’s organizations (Understanding Poverty Track #2) (Diego Silva)
Intro: Understanding poverty & organizational development
What are the five most important questions you will ever ask about your ministry? We all know that helping the poor is challenging and even has the potential to hurt people. A good poverty alleviation strategy focuses on problem setting and problem solving. This workshop will help participants understand and utilize the work pioneered by Peter Drucker to create poverty alleviation solutions that is focused on outcomes and results. (Workshop #2 of 4 of the Understanding Poverty Track.)

Legal services: Meeting needs and changing lives (Kent McKeever)
Intro: Legal navigation
Undocumented neighbors, shady landlords, people with criminal records and suspended driver’s licenses who are prevented from earning a good living. With the myriad of ways in which people have difficulties accessing a complex legal system that is seemingly bent to keep certain folks locked out, do you ask, “What can we do to help with these legal issues?” This workshop will provide you with multiple levels of tools and resources, as well as a general framework necessary to begin meeting some of the legal needs of your community, starting with the basics of providing legal advice clinics in your community. Along the way, you will hear stories about how it isn’t just the people with legal problems who will be served. Legal advice clinics can become a mobilization ministry for middle-class lawyers and other volunteers as they enter the messy, yet hope-filled lives of those they meet at the clinics.

Mental health essentials for clergy (Matt Stanford)
Intro: Mental health & mobilizing middle class Christians
Do you feel equipped to serve those struggling with mental illness? You and your faith community can make a difference. It’s as simple as knowing the 4 Rs: RECOGNIZE the signs of a mental illness, REFER those struggling with a disorder to professional care, RELATE to individuals and families in distress and RESTORE lives through a supportive healing community. In this workshop Dr. Stanford will outline the 4 Rs and provide participants with practical tools to engage and serve those struggling with mental illness in our community.

Persuasive pastor: How to engage recreational Christians on the frontlines of social justice (Brandon Baker & Doree Collins)
Intro: Mobilizing middle class Christians & community listening
This workshop is designed to equip church and community leaders to move middle class Christians from lives centered on leisure and recreation to lives fully engaged in social justice work. We will explore a compelling biblical argument to a community that was silent and disengaged from God’s liberation work. Then the presenters will share some examples of how middle class Christians have begun listening, relocating, and engaging in the redevelopment of East Temple through the Impact Church and local non-profits.

Powerlift: An introduction to a platform-based social enterprise (Cheryl Miller, Stella Calzada & Summer Shine)
Intro: Social enterprise & organizational development   
Thinking about starting a social enterprise, but not really sure how or what? In this workshop, participants will learn about the guiding principles that Center for Peace uses and how the social enterprise stands on them. Presenters will share their relationship between parent organization and social enterprise. Participants will be able to create a plan of action for their next steps.

The scope, causes, and consequences of food insecurity in Texas (Erin Nolen)
Advanced: Hunger
We may have heard of food insecurity, hunger, and food hardship, but what do these terms mean, practically, for advocates in Texas? In this workshop, participants will garner a deeper understanding of the socio-economic concept of food insecurity, understand the trends in data, and explore the causes and consequences of hunger. This workshop is intended to provide facts and data and practical tools for understanding the hunger and relevant data.

 

Session 3 Wednesday (Oct 25) 3:15-4:30

Compassion fatigue is real: Strategies to give yourself permission to rest (Elia Moreno)
Intro: Self-care & spiritual health
As providers, we allow the people we serve an abundance of grace and mercy for things like not following through, not making a scheduled appointment and well the list is long. We extend grace knowing full well that poverty is full of crisis and stress. We understand the weariness they face. But in the midst of offering such grace, how often do we allow ourselves that same permission to dial back our own efforts when we too grow weary?  Sure, we get paid to work hard.  Really hard!  But as important as it is to give grace we need to recognize when we become fatigued and remember to allow this same grace to ourselves.  In this session you will learn the meaning of Compassion Fatigue and the importance of Self Care. You will leave with strategies that allow you to avoid compassion fatigue, improve your coping abilities and ways to explore the kind of self-care that best suits you and your lifestyle.  The goal is to be in a place where we can continue to offer the very best to every person we encounter in and out of the work place.

Immigration advocacy and the Church (John-Mark Hart & Chauncey Shillow)
Advanced: Advocacy & mobilizing middle class Christians
How does the Church intersect with immigration advocacy? Come learn about El Camino OKC – a coalition of churches, nonprofits, and individuals in Oklahoma City dedicated to advocating for immigration justice. In a time when immigrants are targeted and vulnerable in the United States, come explore strategies for public advocacy inspired by God’s heart of love and justice for the sojourner.

Introduction to the missional conversation (James Furr)
Intro: Incarnational living & mobilizing middle class Christians
During the past 20 years, the term missional has become an increasingly popular way to describe a wide range of Christian initiatives including evangelism, church growth, social ministries, community development, and biblical justice. Within this broad milieu, a distinct catalytic stream of scholarship and practice has attempted to amplify pioneering voices like those of Lesslie Newbigin. This seminar will highlight key features, thought leaders, and resources of the missional conversation with special implications for Christian community development.

Measuring the Church’s impact on the city (Rebecca Walls)
Advanced: Measuring outcomes & mobilizing middle class Christians

Partnering with businesses for lasting change (Matt Heath)
Intro: Social enterprise & organizational development
Need a more sustainable model for your organization? Using the proven models as case studies, we will discuss how low-income, under-served youth can develop the skills and earned confidence to successfully break the cycle of poverty.   Participants will have the opportunity to build plans for creating similar capability in their communities.

Repairing the breach: A listening session with Houston’s leaders
Intro: Christian Community Development
With the devastation of hurricane Harvey that affected hundreds of thousands of people in the greater Houston area, it is easy for people to either only provide relief during times of crisis or to try to later help in ways that are well-intentioned, yet not needed. During this listening session, we will LISTEN & LEARN to community leaders from across greater Houston about how we can best work with churches and organizations to rebuild and develop their homes and communities.

Rural Poverty (Cody Howard)
Intro: Rural poverty & Christian community development

Social enterprise: How to leverage the gifts and skills of the church (Mike Doyle)
Intro: Social enterprise

Welcome to the hood: Living incarnationally (Josh Dorrell & David Hill)
Intro: Incarnational living & Christian community development
Many people love the idea of incarnational ministry. However, when an individual or family makes that decision and chooses to live in a different community, it can be very challenging. This workshop will discuss why incarnational living is important, the benefits of living locally, how to be intentional, and how to build healthy boundaries.  Josh was raised in “tha hood” and chose to relocate to an under-privileged community where he and his family live, work and raise their children.  He will share from his personal experience and answer questions and concerns workshop attendees may have about incarnational living. David will share from his perspective as an African American church planter raising his family while living and ministering in the Third ward community of Houston, Texas.

 

Session 4 Thursday (Oct 26) 10:30-11:45

A fair chance: Collaborative and holistic advocacy in action (Kent McKeever)
Intro: Housing & advocacy
One out of every four adults in the U.S. has a criminal record, which becomes a major obstacle for these individuals when applying for jobs or securing affordable housing.  The results of unfair hiring practices that essentially prohibit people with criminal records from gainful employment harm individuals, families, communities, and our economy in significant ways.  Fair chance hiring policies seek to mitigate these harms by providing a fair chance for all in the hiring process – a win-win-win for ALL.  Our fair chance advocacy has also led to other ways we can join with our community in the call for fair systems and equal justice.  Fair Chance Waco serves as an example of what synergized social and legal services can provide in seeking community transformation.  This workshop will provide participants with the practical tools needed to implement fair chance hiring policy campaigns in their local communities, as well as a transferable framework for fair chance advocacy in other vital areas.

Addictions and the Church (Vince Hartsfield)
Intro: Mental health

Community engagement & cultural sensitivity (Jamee Rodgers)
Intro: Diversity & leadership development
We live in a time where we are more segregated than ever, whether it is by age, sex, race, sexual orientation, religion, or political views. This workshop is devoted to bridging the gaps between people in communities. We will cover practical principles about restoring true unity and equipping leaders as they quest for a stronger, unified community.

Conversations that heal: How to dialogue to bring about racial reconciliation (David Hill & Kirk Craig)
Intro: Racial reconciliation
So, you’ve been convinced that racial reconciliation is a biblical mandate, and you want to begin, but are now asking how? What concrete steps can you take?  How do you talk about such a touchy topic, and how do you converse in a way that does any good at all?  In conversations across racial lines so much healing and pain is possible.  Come hear how two men from different races have used conversations to heal the wounds of race in one another.

Fundraising and grant-writing for nonprofits (Monica & Paul Bowers)
Intro: Organizational development
The task of funding activities for those non-profits establishing themselves in a community may seem daunting. This workshop is geared for organizations or individuals at the inception of their efforts and provides a general overview of fundraising tactics, grant proposal development and funding resources.

How social enterprise is key to the restoration and rehabilitation of domestic minor sex trafficking victims (Julie Waters & Sheila Whittle)
Intro: Human trafficking & social enterprise
Having a job is one of the greatest needs of a domestic minor sex trafficking victim who has left “the life.” Lack of money is a major reason that girls will return to a life of abuse and exploitation. Through employment, job training, and support, trafficking victims are empowered to be self-sufficient and independent. By rebuilding their sense of self-worth, these teens begin to understand that their lives DO have a purpose and a future. Recidivism rates have dropped dramatically for those have been through Free the Captives’ job program, and many have gone on to find full-time jobs and become self-sufficient. Social enterprise is essential in helping the girls reintegrate into society, provide for themselves, and rebuild their lives.

The power of change theories: Why articulating, implementing and evaluating a theory of change might be the single most important step your organization takes in the fight against poverty (Understanding Poverty Track #3) (Javier Perez & Diego Silva)
Advanced: Understanding poverty & organizational development
In the race against poverty, organizations and donors are prompt to design intervention strategies based on popular, historical and common-sense approaches without evaluating whether such interventions target the root causes of poverty or bear any transformational fruit. This workshop will introduce the concept of a theory of change and why articulating, implementing and evaluating it is so crucial to the creation of effective programs. Change theories provide a conceptual road map for how an organization expects to achieve its intended impact. Because developing and utilizing a theory of change requires articulating specific and realistic answers to a series of questions, it functions as a performance management tool for the organization. Participants will receive tools to initiate the important and difficult journey of articulating, implementing and evaluating a theory of change for your organization. (Workshop #3 of 4 of the Understanding Poverty Track.)

Sustaining the church’s response to child welfare (Bruce Kendrick)
Advanced: Foster care & relief & development
The Church is willing to respond in a crisis and organize itself to address a need, but how do we sustain a sufficient response to an ongoing need like foster care?  And, how do we proactively advance our efforts so we’re reducing the need for foster care in our community? Bruce has been leading foster/adoption ministries for a decade and equipping churches across the country to think and act strategically.  Come learn how to organize a single church or coalition of churches in your community and address the continuum of care for neglected & abused children and their families.

 

Session 5 Thursday (Oct 26) 1:45-3:00

Community listening: Building strategies for the community with the community (Brandon Baca & Richard Logan)
Intro: Community listening
Many times we set out to do something good for a community, because we believe we understand or see what we think needs to be done.  So, we end up bringing in plans, resources, and programs that can often times hurt instead of help.  This workshop will help Christian Community Development practitioners listen to community members, understand local assets, and foster a shared vision for long-term transformation and growth for the community.

Community-led development: Facilitating commitment in community based organizations (Ashley & Jayson Berryhill)
Intro: Global Christian community development
Community Based Organizations (CBOs) take effort to build and nurture, but what areas within the organization are worth the extra time and investment? In this workshop, the presenters will use their shared experience of starting Roshan Learning Center — a school for urban refugees in Jakarta, Indonesia recognized by the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees for their contribution to refugee education.  This case study will serve as a backdrop to illustrate their experiences (and failures) in building ownership, developing leaders, creating buy-in, and facilitating commitment within the community being served as well as the local community in which the school resides.

Kingdom living and the urban poor: Acts 2 model (Darrel Auvenshine & Dametra Stevenson)
Intro: Incarnational living & homelessness
True Kingdom living is often desired but rarely experienced in our current church culture.  Identifying the key ingredients of the early church and implementing a model that is sound enough to provide structure yet fluid enough to allow creativity and community, cultivates Kingdom living.  Participants will hear the unique story of how God led a small, inner city congregation to open houses for the purpose of providing “home” for those who would otherwise be isolated and in most cases homeless.  True Faith Community and Southside City Church operate on a model of dependence upon God and interdependence upon one another.  The community shares in worship, teaching, prayer, serving, giving, sharing and growing together in all matters of life daily.

Living as sent people (Ken Shuman)
Intro: Incarnational living & mobilizing middle class Christians
In this workshop we will discuss the practices of missional living. Participants will learn how to live missionally as a way of life. The presenter will share stories from his 13 years of missional experiences in Tomball, Texas. Hear about establishing a mentor program for at risk students, addressing racial issues, and the establishing of a Texas Hold’em poker league as a form of missional engagement.

Transforming community: Building tools for conversation & reconciliation in a divisive world (Erin Payseur & Cheryl Miller)
Intro: Advocacy & diversity
With the national political climate characterized by bitter partisanship and sharp polarization, is it possible for people of different backgrounds and perspectives to come together in community? Is it possible for people to work together with their neighbors across difference? We think so. This session will introduce processes and concepts including how to move beyond positions to interests, break down binaries and promote productive discourse around public policy issues like immigration, education, obesity, and more. Come learn about tools & processes that allow for a different kind of conversation, one that can change the public discourse and create space for reconciliation to happen on an individual and community level.

The truth about stigma, mental illness and life with a chronic disorder (Elizabeth McIngvale)
Intro: Mental health
Life with a chronic, debilitating mental illness is often difficult to understand and accept. Using appropriate resources to find effective care can be even more challenging depending on stigma, culture, financial barriers and geographical location. This presentation will discuss the daily struggles of living with a mental illness, the power in acceptance and the relief available through evidence based (effective) care. Issues with access to care will be explored and the needed community outreach, advocacy and education will be addressed.

Urban agriculture as a catalyst for community development (Scott Truex)
Advanced: Environmental stewardship & social enterprise
Communities are extremely vulnerable to a fragile, failing, and unhealthy food system. More children go hungry than ever before and the health issues caused by our food system is appalling. This is a justice issue that needs our full attention. Communities must be self-sufficient to thrive. Food should be our number one economic trigger for creating resilient communities! The session will explain the role food can play in an overall revitalization strategy and why urban ag should be the catalyst. We’ll discuss two case studies: Jubilee Market/URBAN R.E.A.P. in Waco & Strength to Love Farm in West Baltimore, MD.

 

Session 6 Thursday (Oct 26) 3:15-4:30

Business for the kingdom: Finding and fostering income-generating vehicles in your ministry (Kelley Burd-Huss & Suri Clark)
Intro: Social enterprise & organizational development
Tired of chasing after grants to continue your transformational ministry? Empower your neighbors and fortify your program sustainability by discovering income-generating vehicles within the activities your ministry already performs. In this workshop, business and nonprofit consultants Kelley Burd-Huss and Suri Clark will demonstrate practical tools to do just that. At the end of the session, participants will leave with a five-minute ministry asset map, a model business canvas to apply to potential income-generating activities, and a resource checklist for starting a Texas social enterprise.

Creating innovative solutions to poverty for your ministry: A collaborative session (Understanding Poverty Track #4) (Javier Perez & Diego Silva)
Advanced: Understanding poverty & organizational development
During this interactive, practical session, participants will collaborate with one another and use the knowledge acquired in previous workshops to create a strategies for their ministries. Participants will leave this workshop with tremendous satisfaction as they will be better prepared to lead poverty alleviation efforts within their organizations. (Workshop #4 of 4 of the Understanding Poverty Track.)

Jericho road renewal: How the meaning of ministry changed an affluent church (Jonathon Ramsay, Rolando Flores & Colby Hamilton)
Intro: Mobilizing middle class Christians & Incarnational living
Churches want to do something about the suffering they see in high poverty communities nearby, but are usually, especially at the outset, ill-equipped to respond effectively.  Jericho Road Renewal is the story of how a well-intentioned and well resourced church has been changing its approach to ministry in the Third Ward from episodic service projects and financial gifts to empowerment of local leaders, practitioners, and partners and being changed in the process.  Though this transition is not complete, this workshop will give testimony to how applying the vision of community development is possible in a 175 year old predominantly white church and will provide some useful first steps for others from a similar context.

Prison entrepreneurship program (Harvey Mai)
Intro: Restorative Justice

Remember the prisoner: Criminal justice reform and Christian advocacy (Kathryn Freeman & Doug Smith)
Intro: Advocacy & restorative justice
Many churches operate restorative justice and prison ministries that provide valuable resources and spiritual guidance for offenders, ex-offenders, and their families. This workshop will teach ministry leaders how to advocate for systemic changes in the criminal justice system. We cover the reform landscape in Texas and beyond and offer tips for greater involvement in reform efforts.

Repairing the breach: A listening session with Houston’s leaders
Intro: Christian Community Development
With the devastation of hurricane Harvey that affected hundreds of thousands of people in the greater Houston area, it is easy for people to either only provide relief during times of crisis or to try to later help in ways that are well-intentioned, yet not needed. During this listening session, we will LISTEN & LEARN to community leaders from across greater Houston about how we can best work with churches and organizations to rebuild and develop their homes and communities.

Rethinking missions at home and abroad (Omar Garcia)
Intro: Global Christian community development & mobilizing middle class Christians

Unity lending: Organizational learning & impact from financial empowerment program model (Carmin MacMillan)
Intro: Relief & Development
Curious about moving from a benevolence model of relief to one that inspires people to take control of their finances? In 2016 our organization embarked on the ambitious goal of transitioning our benevolence ministry to a development model of empowerment. After serving nearly 400 families in our community through our Unity Lending program, we have seen the impact of having an alternative to payday & auto title lending. We’ve also learned what doesn’t work and what we’d recommend other organizations do differently.

 

Session 7 Friday (Oct 27) 9:00-10:15

The 8 key components of Christian community development (Michelle Warren)
Intro: Christian community development
The desperate conditions that face the poor call for a revolution in the church’s approach to address problems that cannot be solved without strong commitment and risky actions on the part of ordinary Christians with heroic faith. The most creative long-term solutions to the problems of the poor are coming from grassroots and church-based efforts, from people who see themselves as agents of Jesus here on earth, in their own neighborhoods and communities. This philosophy is known as Christian Community Development, which is not a concept that was developed in a classroom, nor formulated by people foreign to the poor community, but are Biblical, practical principles evolved from practitioner’s collective years of living and working among the poor. First pioneered by Dr. John Perkins, and now practiced for over 40 years, practitioners of Christian Community Development have distilled their shared philosophy into 8 Key Components. This workshop is designed to teach an overview of the importance of each of the 8 key components and join Christians around the country and world who are discovering ways to join in God’s transforming work to rebuild poor neighborhoods.

After school excellence: Practical tips to plan, run, and maintain a rigorous, effective K-5 inner city after school program (Jessie McMeans & Rene Peters)
Advanced: Youth CCD
Effective after school programming has many components. Everything from intentional planning of rigorous high-interest activities, effective classroom management strategies to parent involvement and indigenous leadership are important in creating an after school program that excels in academics, social, and emotional growth. Participants will leave this training with a list of effective classroom management strategies, ideas for a variety of rich activities, and ideas for encouraging parent involvement.

Avoiding dependency when helping (Mike & Myriam Lawson)
Intro: Relief & development
It is easy to identify needs and enter into a mentality of relief and action while unwittingly falling into a cycle of dependency. Long term dependency can be avoided with a change in thinking and intentional action steps. Join us to discuss how to move from relief to development.

Establishing a restorative eco-system:  Eradicating disparities in education, the justice system, and communities through restorative justice (Sherwynn & Kim Patton)
Advanced: Restorative justice
Do you imagine a world where racism is eradicated, communities are safe, disparities in our educational system are eliminated, law enforcement and community members interact with one another in healthy ways and mass incarceration no longer exist because we are a more restorative society?  Restorative Practices is a lifestyle that helps us build healthy relationships, address systemic problems, repair harm and more. In this workshop our BELIEFS systems will be challenged, we will explore new VALUES and we will develop a new FOCUS as we work together to build a statewide restorative ecosystem.  Learn how we, together, can live out our calling…2 Corinthians 5:16-19!

Everyday organizers: Tools for Christians to mobilize communities and engage in social change (Rucker Preston & Gerald Britt)
Intro: Advocacy & mobilizing middle class Christians
Social change is a nice idea, but can people on the ground actually make a difference? In this workshop, participants will explore tools and techniques for engaging in community organizing at the local level. The presenters will share their experiences working toward Biblical justice with constituents, communities, and city & state leaders to see Biblical justice, as well as the faith convictions that led them to do so. Participants will have the opportunity to create a social action plan to take back to their churches, organizations, and communities.

Harnessing your passion to engage, equip, and empower your community (Brandon WIlliams & Ruthie Kai)
Intro: Arts & Youth CCD
Each of us has been created with unique and extraordinary passions. What if we could use those passions to empower our neighbors and community to greatness? Come and find out how we were able to empower junior high students with no experience to put on a professional art show that raised thousands of dollars in only a few hours all by living into the passions God had given us. Maybe art isn’t your thing. Maybe it’s basketball, hospitality, or financial planning. Either way, God has given you amazing talents to use for his kingdom and we want to help you discover how! In this work shop you will learn how to create an effective game plan, shepherd the God-given gifts of your community, tap into unlikely resources and boldly live into the gifts God has given you among many other things.

Overcoming obstacles to missional living (Jim Herrington)
Intro: Incarnational living & mobilizing middle class Christians
Are you ready for missional living? From experiences while living in community with young adults in recovery from drugs and alcohol addiction, Jim Herrington will lead interactive discussions on the principles of missional living and how you can be prepared for the obstacles that will likely come your way.

Social entrepreneurship with creation care (Josh Dorrell, Ben Fontenot & Rene Alegria)
Intro: Environmental stewardship & social enterprise
Interested in creating a business that is socially and environmentally healthy? We will discuss the good, bad, and ugly of job creation & growth, and share what we have learned through Galveston Urban Ministries’ recycling business startup. Bring your questions and be encouraged to jump into a life giving initiative.