Workshops for Convene 2023.

Workshop Times and Room Numbers Updated September 27. New Workshop Added September 27.

Community Building Within the Neighborhood

Racial Justice Allyship: Turning Sacred Ground into Action

1:00 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 278

Interested in deepening racial justice and allyship at your parish and in your local context? All Sacred Ground alumni and folks interested in starting a Sacred Ground group are invited to join this conversation hosted by the Allies Circle (Circles of Color) and the diocesan office of Multicultural Ministries & Community Transformation. Resources will be shared for starting or facilitating Sacred Ground groups, along with further opportunities for growth. Leave inspired by and connected to others transformed by Sacred Ground as we continue building relationships and sustaining racial justice action within our communities!

Presenters: Members of the Allies Circle

Chaplains on the Harbor: Transforming People and the Land Together

1:00 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 286/288

We will present on the peer-led model of street outreach, chaplaincy, and supported employment-raising leaders from the ground up through our transformational ministries and programs. Hear the powerful stories of leaders who began their employment with COH as guests who have lived experiences of trauma through houselessness, addiction/recovery, mental illness, food insecurity, and the healing and transformation that continues in their lives as they move forward to set and meet milestone goals with the support and prayers of COH.

Presenter: Barb Weza, Chaplains on the Harbor

How to Develop Church Property for Affordable Housing

10:30 am | Gray Wolf Hall 278

Churches are stewards of property and buildings for their current congregation and as part of a vision for the future. Property development as part of the mission of the Church includes the possibility of affordable housing, child care, and other services. St. Luke’s, Seattle, is ready to break ground on an 84-unit building that will provide family-focused apartments for those who are very low-income. This workshop will provide information, principles, and what “not to do” for congregations interested in pursuing this option.

Presenter: The Rev. Canon Britt Olson, St. Luke’s Seattle

Ecumenical Partnerships

9:00 am | Gray Wolf Hall 286/288

In our current post-COVID time, when we are discerning the future of how we are Church, there are often times when we can be the Body of Christ better together with our ecumenical partners. Come learn more about current and possible ecumenical relationships!

Presenter: The Rev. Elise Johnstone, St. John the Baptist, Seattle

Evangelicalism & Episcopalianism

2:15 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 160

An opportunity to better understand evangelicalism and the intersection with Episcopalianism at this moment in history.

Presenter: Jim Schmotzer, St. Paul’s Bellingham

The Best Place to Worship

1:00 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 270

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church has been voted the “Best Place of Worship” in the Lower Columbia Region for 2021, 2022, & 2023. This is but one unique and often unused tool we use to engage in our community. At this workshop, you will learn how to utilize different community engagement opportunities to spread the Good News of your parish beyond the walls of your church.

Presenters: The Rev. Nic Mather, St. Stephen’s Longview

Go and Do Likewise: Following Jesus into Our Common Humanity

1:00 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 374

Many of us want to make a difference in this time of division and uncertainty. Where do we start? We will review some of the ways the Christian Tradition encourages us to know, honor, and work with people of diverse traditions and cultures. Discover how this makes us faithful to Jesus, better prepared to meet the challenges of our time, and ready to build a brighter future together. This session is based on Terry Kyllo’s soon-to-be-published book and Paths to Understanding’s new multi-faith program, Let’s Go Together.

Presenter: The Rev. Terry Kylo

Be a Part of the Solution: Feeding Ministries, Safe Parking, Cooling Centers, Pouches and More

10:30 am | Gray Wolf Hall 282

This workshop will show a video about one congregation’s feeding ministry. There will also be a video about Safe Parking and how one Tacoma church is finding a solution. There is also a video about the pouch program. Come see what else is going on around the Diocese and how you can help. This is also a time to ask your questions and share your stories.   

Presenters: The Bishop’s Task Force on Homelessness

Care of Creation in the Southern Philippines

9:00 am | Gray Wolf Hall 282

Join Bishop Ernie Moral and others from the Episcopal Diocese of the Southern Philippines (EDSP) to learn about Creation Care efforts in their region. We’ll hear about EDSP broadly and what has transpired with this ministry from 2012 to the present, including updates on the Carbon Offset Program for which we are active partners. Bishop Moral will also share about innovations and evolutions of this ministry, and where it may go in the future. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage while our friends from EDSP are with us!

Presenter: Bishop Ernie Moral, EDSP

Loving Your Neighbor

1:00 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 382

Several different presenters will share their “one best thing” their church does to love the neighbors in their community or how they welcome visitors and joining members into the church.

Community Building Within the Parish

Camps & Conference Centers:  A Third Place for the Diocese

9:00 am | Gray Wolf Hall 380

The word selah, repeated often in the Psalms, is as mysterious as it is beautiful. Many have concluded that selah was a musical term that meant to “pause” or “contemplate” – similar to the current rest notation used in a musical score. Instrumentalists, for instance, might have continued playing while the chorus or congregation stopped briefly. Those of us called to hospitality ministry are the instrumentalists who continue to play while the congregation pauses. We are called, in a way, to serve as a “third place” for the Diocese. “Third places” is a term coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg and refers to places where people spend time between home (‘first’ place) and work (‘second’ place). They are locations where we exchange ideas, have a good time, and build relationships. While congregations serve as “third places” for many of their members, they can also be places of work, especially for the leaders, in which too much is taken for granted. Often, what is needed is getting away together to experience a change of setting and scenery, soaking in God’s created beauty and expressing the art of intentional time apart from the tasks that, while necessary, can be draining. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the very reasons that we do the things we do until we can pause, reflect, and re-imagine the essential mission of our parish life together.

Presenters: Dan Oberg, St. Andrew’s House

Fostering Community through Pastoral Care

9:00 am | Gray Wolf Hall 270

St. John’s, Gig Harbor, has reimagined its Pastoral Care Team to be a very broad structure that creates a variety of way for parishioners to be aware of what’s happening in each other’s lives and provides practical, mindful ways for them to care for one another (without having to come to committee meetings). Their rector will share the over-arching structure that makes their team function, as well as several innovative examples of ministries that are fostering a deepening experience of community.

The Presenter: Rev. Eric Stelle, St. John’s Gig Harbor

Level Up Your Coffee Hour!

10:30 am | Gray Wolf Hall 270

This workshop is designed to help any size parish level up or restructure their coffee hour to increase fellowship with all members and community guests. There will be strategies provided to 1.) Increase participation in this ministry; 2.) Develop or deepen relationships between parish members and community guests; and 3.) Increase communication among members in the ministry along with conflict resolution.  Lastly, there will be strategies for how to align coffee hour ministry goals to the liturgical calendar of The Episcopal Church.

Presenter: Sharalyne King, St. Stephen’s Longview

Governance and Mission Planning

Mission Planning for the Coming Years

9:00 am | Gray Wolf Hall 160

An update on what’s happening in churchwide trends.

Presenter: The Rev. Canon Arienne Davison, Office of the Bishop

Connecting Money and Mission through Story Telling

1:00 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 156

Budgets are about so much more than the bottom line. Budgets are about values. They are also about the vision and mission of a congregation. How you spend your money ultimately is about the ministry God is calling you to do now.

Learn how to tell the story of your budget through the lenses of vision, mission, and values. The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson (Canon for Multicultural Ministry), Barbara Wilson (St. Luke’s, Ballard), and The Rev. Cristi Chapman (Budget and Finance chair) will share their experiences and model this budgeting approach using examples from their specific contexts. In addition, participants will have time to practice using examples from their congregational settings.

The Presenters: Rev.Cristi Chapman, Budget and Finance Committee

Hoping for the Best, Planning for the Worst: Basics of Emergency Planning

9:00 am | Gray Wolf Hall 156

Washington has beautiful forests, beaches, lakes, and other natural features. How can congregations prepare for flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, fire, power outages, and zombie outbreaks, among other things? Planning for when things go wrong can save time and energy (mental and physical) and set priorities for what should be saved before and after an emergency. This session will explore fundamental strategies for embracing and conquering emergency planning to benefit congregations and the wider community. There will also be time at the end for a Q&A.

Presenters: Erik Bauer, Diocesan Archivist

Update on Diocese of Olympia Refugee Program

2:15 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 286/288

In the past 18 months, approximately 20,000 migrants from Ukraine have arrived in Washington State. Additionally, within the last two years, refugee agencies, including the Diocese of Olympia, have provided sponsorship to around 7,000 Afghan refugees. This influx of individuals has led to substantial growth in the Diocese of Olympia’s program, which has expanded from a team of four or five employees to a current roster of over 23 members. Anticipating the years ahead, we expect a continuous stream of refugee arrivals, with numbers on the rise. To shed light on this situation, the refugee program director will deliver an informative update. This presentation will cover both the successes and challenges encountered in the process of welcoming refugees. Moreover, insights will be shared on how congregations can actively participate in and contribute to this significant endeavor.

Presenter: Greg Hope, Episcopal Refugee Resettlement Office

Moving Forward into the Post-Pandemic World

2:15 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 270

You can’t go back to The Shire. Much discussion in our churches and world is about “returning to normal,” but the post-pandemic world is different from the pre-pandemic ones. We have new challenges and opportunities. We would like to lead a conversation about living intentionally into the post-pandemic world, seizing these challenges and opportunities to make for the best possible health for our congregations.

Presenter: Jennifer Harold, St. Luke’s, Renton

The Joy of Bivocational Ministry

9:00 am | Gray Wolf Hall 278

Are you a bivocational minister serving as a clergy or lay leader? Do you work for the church part-time, with or without pay? Do (or did) you work or volunteer for other organizations outside of the church? If you said yes to any of these questions, you might be a bivocational minister and part of a thriving and growing faith community around the country. More and more churches are choosing bivocational ministries for many reasons, often because of budgets but also because of the faith needs of the community and because bivocational ministries are, by nature, flexible, creative, and responsive to change. Learn more about bivocational ministries in general, as well as in the Diocese. Share your bivocational ministry and some successes and challenges. Hear about the Iona Collaborative’s new curriculum for bivocational congregations.

Presenter: The Rev. Kim McNamara & Dr. Maeve Wyatt, Office of the Bishop

Pan African Ministries in the Diocese of Olympia

2:15 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 278

The Rev. Mary Bol will share the inspiring work that is happening in the various African congregations in our Diocese. Mary will talk about the work in the South Sudanese community and in the Kenyan community. She will lift up the work of the African priest in our Diocese. She will also highlight the international ties between the African communities here and back in the homelands. She will also update people on the work being done with orphans in the Sudan and equip people and congregations with the knowledge they need to share in this work.

Presenter: The Rev. Mary Bol, Pan African Missioner

Spiritual Formation

Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2024:  Living Justice

2:15 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 382

The Diocese and St. Luke’s, Seattle, are co-leading a pilgrimage to the historic Civil Rights sites in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee from September 30 to October 9, 2024. This presentation will provide an overview of the trip, itinerary, and cost. We will focus on how the historic events of the Civil Rights movement continue in the current work for racial justice and equity. This trip is uniquely designed by those who have experience with the places and events and is open to all members of the Diocese and their family and friends.

Presenter: The Rev. Canon Britt Olson & The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson

Crafting Prayers of the People

10:30 am | Gray Wolf Hall 160

The 1979 Book of Common Prayer shows a preference for communities crafting their own Prayers of the People. But too often, we just rely on “Forms I – VI” instead. The Rev. Eric Stelle (St. John’s, Gig Harbor) will share his methodology of crafting Prayers of the People that are relevant to the congregation, to the broader concerns of society, to the liturgical season, and that are rooted in the lectionary readings for the season. It also includes a process of refining the language to be poetic and accessible to a broad range of worshipers.

Presenter: The Rev. Eric Stelle, St. John’s Gig Harbor

Program Leadership and Planning

1:00 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 160

How to plan, organize and implement an effective ministry, Jim has over 40 years leading programs in church, campus ministry and camp settings.

Presenter: Jim Schmotzer, St. Paul’s Bellingham

The Way: Story, Gospel, Worship, Community

1:00 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 282

Before we were called Christians, we were called followers of “The Way”—a way that led through death to Resurrection, as modeled by Jesus Christ. Followers of The Way were initiated into this new, transformed life through baptism. At Good Shepherd, we use the term The Way to refer to an annual process that can lead toward baptism or some form of reaffirmation of baptismal vows. How might this process work in your congregation’s context?

Presenter: The Rev. Josh Hosler, Good Shepherd Federal Way

What Do You Think We Have to Learn from Folks Who Are ‘Done’ with Us?”

10:30 am | Gray Wolf Hall 374

3 Practice Circles is a listening practice which can be transformative for people trying to cross the divide to hear each other. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” This is a workout on being curious about people who think differently than you do, staying in the room when you sense that deep divide between you and others, and not comparing your best to other people’s worst. This is NOT trying to convince someone that you are right. It is learning to listen to another person with whom you differ.

We will use the following framing question: “What do you think we have to learn from folks who are ‘done’ with us?”

Presenter: Sarah Roskam

Youth Ministry Roundtable

10:30 am | Gray Wolf Hall 166

Join us for a discussion on the status of youth ministry locally and regionally. What does youth ministry look like in your own congregations and communities? What are you most excited about for the upcoming year? What are the challenges your congregation faces with regard to youth, and how can we support each other? We’ll feature new models in youth ministry, including regional collaborations, and look to future diocesan youth activities and events for teens and for the adults who minister to them.

Presenter: Naomi Woodrum, Special Projects Coordinator, Youth Ministry

Children & Families Ministry Leadership Roundtable

9:00 am | Gray Wolf Hall 166

No matter where your congregation is in its children’s ministry programming – looking to start, transitioning to something new, or just staying the course – join the people who are doing this good work around the Diocese. Let’s share best practices around the room but also discuss concerns, future plans, and areas where you could use support, training, and/or resources. All who spend time in support of this ministry are welcome: children’s ministry staff, clergy, volunteers, and church leaders. Optional: Bring a best practice to share.

Presenter: Valerie Reinke, Canon Missioner for Faith Formation & Sonja Lindberg, Director of Christian Education, St. Margaret’s, Bellevue

What Are Young Adults Searching For & Can They Find It in The Episcopal Church?

2:15 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 380

Hear from a panel of dynamic young adults about how their spiritual journey led them right up to the red door of the Episcopal church. Find out what drew them to the Episcopal faith and keeps them coming back. You’ll hear about their frustrations too and ways that the church has not met their needs. Ultimately you’ll come away with ideas about how you, too, can cultivate an environment where people in their 20s and 30s feel welcome and inspired.

Facilitator: Emily Meeks, Special Projects Coordinator and Interim Staff Support of the 20s/30s Ministry, Saint Mark’s Cathedral

In Support of Families: What’s Next for Christian Formation?

2:15 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 166

Join us for an open conversation about the Godly Play Foundation’s research to explore why families are feeling disconnected from churches and how they can be supported. Hear the joys and concerns that families and religious leaders shared with us through a series of “Listen and Learn” sessions. Together, we will navigate ways to meet the needs of families and help them fulfill their deep desire to nurture their children’s spirituality. Discover how you can be a part of this incredible work!

Presenter: Joy Studer, Creative Director of Everyday Godly Play

Being Intentionally Intergenerational throughout the Church Year

1:00 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 166

This workshop will highlight simple and creative ways for churches to be thoughtfully and intentionally intergenerational, taking the liturgical calendar as our guide, starting in Advent and moving through the long green and growing season after Pentecost. You are invited to share ideas that have worked well in your context.

Presenter: Wendy Barrie, St. Mark’s Cathedral


Reading Aloud Effectively: A Lector Seminar Demonstration/Discussion

10:30 am | Gray Wolf Hall 286/288

How often have you (or your lectors) been called upon to read scripture that was simply “impossible?” You know, the one with 46 names from the Old Testament or one of St. Paul’s interminable run-on sentences? And how often have you watched your congregation’s eyes glaze over during the second lesson? More often than you would like??? Now, there is a seminar that can help! Melissa Semmes-Thorne will be presenting a demonstration of the lector seminars she brings into churches. The object of these seminars is not to teach the participants how to read aloud (they already know how to do that!) but to help them read aloud more effectively for your congregation’s understanding. She will give an overview of these topics with a discussion on what will be taught and why these tools and techniques are important for lectors (and subsequently congregations) to understand and enjoy the readings.

Presenter: Melissa Semmes-Thorne. S.P.E.A.K.

Centering Prayer and Underhill House

10:30 am | Jackson Conference Center 101

This workshop begins with a brief introduction to centering prayer for those unfamiliar with the practice, followed by sitting. A contemplative offering is enriching for any congregation and a touchpoint with the surrounding community. Many groups closed or went online in recent years; this workshop can be an inspiration and model for in-person group contemplative offerings in the Diocese. Underhill House is a quiet space in Seattle for people to come in off the street for contemplative practice – centering prayer or any other form of prayer or meditation – or just to enjoy the stillness. Join Underhill House to experience the enfolding peace of centering prayer, and learn a little about this unique contemplative ministry in the Diocese.

Presenter: Phil Rose, Underhill House

The Doctrine of Discovery: The Episcopal Church, Indigenous Peoples, and the Necessity of Decolonizing Christianity *

9:00 am | Gray Wolf Hall 374

The Doctrine of Discovery historically informed the legal premise for justifying the forces of colonialism, including the enslavement of African and Asian peoples as well as the oppression and genocide of indigenous peoples. The Rev. Taber-Hamilton will share the historical development of the Doctrine of Discovery, the historical role of the Church, and real-world contemporary examples of its continuing impact. The Doctrine of Discovery remains embedded in the legal policies of the US and colonized nations throughout the world, policies that maintain the theological, political, and legal justification for continued neo-colonialism, including the seizure of land, genocide, oppression, and racism. The Episcopal Church General Convention in 2009 formally renounced the Doctrine of Discovery and urged congregations and leaders to learn about the historical trauma that informs the Church’s relationship with Indigenous peoples in our time. Come learn how allies can help deconstruct the effects of the Doctrine of Discovery as a social force in our Church, in our nation, and in our world.

Presenter: The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Trinity Everett

When Creation is Sacred: Healing the Relationship Between Indigenous Peoples and the Church

2:15 pm | Gray Wolf Hall 374

Historically, Western Christianity has provided ideological justification for the destruction of Indigenous peoples. In many ways, the Episcopal Church continues to perpetuate theological beliefs and institutional structures that obstruct the path to reconciliation and cause ongoing harm to the church’s relationship with Indigenous communities. This lecture will explore the nature of Western Christian and Indigenous worldviews and discuss theologies and practices that can empower and are even now empowering all of us to bring healing to our church and to Creation.

Presenter: The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Trinity Everett

Creation Care and Climate Justice

10:30 am | Gray Wolf Hall 380

“Love God, Love God’s World” is a nine-session, film-based Creation Care curriculum, set to be released around St. Francis Day in early October. Like Sacred Ground, this curriculum is ideal for Episcopalians anywhere on the journey with Creation Care and climate justice—from newcomers looking to take their first step to seasoned leaders active in this ministry. The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton and Adrienne Elliott are both session authors who will be sharing more about this exciting opportunity to gather a small group for transformation and action following the Season of Creation!!

Presenter: Adrienne Elliott, John Kydd, and The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Trinity Everett