Insight Sessions at District Conference

2020 Insight Sessions

District Conference will feature 21 Insight Sessions spread across 4 days, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Saturday of the 2nd week of November. 3 sessions will be offered in Spanish (translation to English available if needed) and Spanish translation of the other 18 can be arranged if you check the translation box during registration. You will choose your Insight Sessions during registration, and receive a special log-in link on the morning of the session.

Divide the possibilities among your church’s attendees so you can return to your congregation with a wide range of experience and information. We will try and record the Insight Sessions so you can see the ones you missed after District Conference week.

  •  (1) 5:30pm – Homelessness Ministries in the PSWD: a panel discussion — Homelessness is an issue that touches every community. Some might say that Jesus identified himself in solidarity with those experiencing homelessness: “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). There are many congregations in our district who are serving individuals experiencing homelessness, some by partnering with community organizations and others by their own ministries. Come learn about some of these ministries in hopes of inspiring your own congregation to join the movement to end homelessness in your community. (by Lauren Seganos Cohen, Pastor of Pomona Fellowship, and Mission & Ministry Board Member)(Panel: Corlan Harrison (LaVerne), Linda Williams (Modesto), Brett Yee (Restoration LA))
  • (2) 5:30pm – What’s Happening in the Churches of the Brethren around the World? — The Interim Directors of Global Mission will share some of what is happening in the 11 COB denominations around the world and entertain your questions and feedback. (by Norman and Carol S. Waggy, Interim Directors of Global Mission) 
  • (3) 5:30pm – Black Panther as Metaphor — Grossing over 1.3 billion dollars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) depiction of T’Challa, the Black Panther, is an important story for our current cultural context, and one that resonates with our understanding of seeking a way forward…peacefully, simply, together. Black Panther is a cultural phenomenon that has sparked conversations about what it means to be a chosen people, to belong to a city set apart, and to use violence as a means to a peaceful end, especially as a response to oppression. From lifelong comic book devotees to casual movie-goers, Black Panther struck an important chord in 2018 and it seems all the more relevant in 2020. Prepare to bring questions and insights as we talk about the connections between pop culture, race, and theology in this film. (by Steven Schweitzer, Academic Dean & Professor at Bethany Theological Seminary)
  • (4) 7:00pm – The Welcoming Church & Accessibility Challenges, Part 1 To most of us our churches feel as comfortable and accessible as our homes. These two sessions ask us to look at our comfortable, familiar church homes through the eyes of members and guests with physical limitations. We will seek to understand their challenges, how our church buildings can become a barrier to those with physical limitations and how they can be made more welcoming.
    The session will review common barriers to accessibility and discuss how the standards included in the law (ADA) and the building codes can be used to understand and eliminate barriers.
    This topic will be presented in two parts. The 7pm Monday session will introduce the existing codes, regulations and guides as they mandate responses. Then, the discussion will trace the path of members and guests arriving at church and entering the building. The 7pm Tuesday session will look at barriers to participating in worship and the life of the church found inside the building.
    The presenter, Jim, is a licensed architect who has participated in accessibility review and upgrade programs for new and renovated hotels, educational facilities and commercial buildings. (by Jim LeFever)
  • (5) 7:00pm – Examining the Question: “Do I Belong?” Ephesians 2:13 — A panel discussion with Darla K. Deardorff. Purpose: To encourage conversation around the subject of inclusion. Outcome: District, church and individuals to become willing to understand the essence of The Beloved Community and Neighborhood. I realize we only have an hour but this could be the beginning of ongoing conversations. (by Thomas Dowdy, Pastor Imperial Heights, and Mission & Ministry Board Member)
  • (6) 7:00pm – The Importance of the Unity Statement in 2007 and in 2020 — A panel will share the process involved in developing our PSWD Unity Statement and why it was important then and why it continues to be important today.  Opportunities for questions and reflections will be part of this session.  Those new to our district and those with many years in our district are welcome to join us in this time of sharing. (by Mary Kay Ogden, PSWD Moderator)(Panel: Susan Boyer (LaVerne), Paul Lovelace (Pomona Fellowship))
  •  (7) 5:30pm – University of La Verne: Spirituality, Diversity and Community Engagement — The University of La Verne has recently opened a new building, The Ludwick Center for Spirituality, Multicultural Understanding and Community Engagement. This workshop will include a panel of La Verne students discussing their experience and thoughts about the Ludwick Center and the how their engagement with spirituality, diversity and engagement are significant aspects of their education. (by Zandra Wagoner, University Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Religion)
  • (8) 5:30pm – Un vistazo al interior de la iglesia más nueva de PSWD / A peak Inside PSWD’s newest church facility — (by En esta ocasión se ofrecerá un recorrido por el nuevo edificio de la iglesia del Centro Ágape en Acción (Los Banos). Es posible que la remodelación no esté terminada, pero esta será una oportunidad para ver el interior de este nuevo espacio. / This time will provide a tour of the new church building for Centro Ágape en Acción (Los Banos). Remodeling may not quite be finished, but this will be a chance to see the inside of this new space. (by Russ Matteson)
  • (9) 5:30pm – Help! There’s too much month at the end of my money! — Look at cash management and budgeting from a Christian perspective, with an eye toward stewardship and simple living. Know the difference between financial planning and budgeting, and find out how to do both. (by Loyce Borgman, Assistant Director of Client Relations for Brethren Benefit Trust)
  • (10) 7:00pm – The Welcoming Church & Accessibility Challenges, Part 2 To most of us our churches feel as comfortable and accessible as our homes. These two sessions ask us to look at our comfortable, familiar church homes through the eyes of members and guests with physical limitations. We will seek to understand their challenges, how our church buildings can become a barrier to those with physical limitations and how they can be made more welcoming.
    The session will review common barriers to accessibility and discuss how the standards included in the law (ADA) and the building codes can be used to understand and eliminate barriers.
    This topic will be presented in two parts. The 7pm Monday session will introduce the existing codes, regulations and guides as they mandate responses. Then, the discussion will trace the path of members and guests arriving at church and entering the building. The 7pm Tuesday session will look at barriers to participating in worship and the life of the church found inside the building.
    The presenter, Jim, is a licensed architect who has participated in accessibility review and upgrade programs for new and renovated hotels, educational facilities and commercial buildings. (by Jim LeFever)
  • (11) 7:30pm – Bible Study from Príncipe de Paz  – (Los participantes se unirán al Estudio Bíblico en línea regular de los martes por la noche realizado por la Iglesia Príncipe de Paz (Santa Ana). Para esta sesión, se unirá a la congregación y sus pastores. / Participants will join the regular Tuesday night online Bible Study done by Iglesia Principe de Paz (Santa Ana). For this session you will join with the congregation and their pastors. (by Príncipe de Paz)
  • (12) 7:00pm – How to start a children’s program without any children and why you need to do it! — A panel discussion: Why would any family come to a church that does not have something for their children?  This insight session will talk about that question and give support, ideas, and resources to step out of your old comfort zone to start in small ways to attract families with children. (by Karleen Daniels, Modesto CoB)(Panel: Jaime Howard (Circle of Peace), Linda Williams (San Diego), Joe Vecchio (Restoration LA))
  •  (13) 5:30pm – En Busca de Obreros / In Search of Workers — (1) Tácticas para ganar almas / Tactics to win souls. (2) Como lograr que se enamoren de la Iglesia / How to make them fall in love with the Church. (3) Todos somos importantes para Dios / We are all important to God. (by Raúl y Lidia González, Renacer Pastors)
  • (14) 5:30pm – Compelling Vision: Is It Already Happening? —How is a compelling vision helpful to a congregation seeking to be faithful to the call of Christ? How difficult is it to do what the Compelling Vision is calling for? How are some congregations being Jesus in their neighborhoods, and what would that mean for others? (By David Steele, General Secretary of the Mission & Ministry Board)
  • (15) 5:30pm – So, What is Spirituality? — You have probably heard about those who call themselves “spiritual but not religious.” But you rarely hear much about Christian spirituality. Why is that? Jesus himself practiced solitude, silence, prayer, study of the Scriptures and serving others with compassion. (by Dawna Welch, La Verne CoB) (Panel: Erin Matteson, Live Oak CoB)
  • (16) 7:00pm – Serving in BVS in Nigeria:  Retirement 101 — Come along for the ride to discover what it is like joining BVS as a retiree. Moreover see what the Church of the Brethren, Bethany Seminary and EYN are doing in Nigeria today. Compare and contrast daily life in Jos and in California. (by Judy Minnich Stout, San Diego CoB)
  • (17) 7:00pm – Experimenting Our Way Forward: The Past, Present, and (Possible) Future of Worship — How did your church do worship before COVID-19? How did your church pivot to doing worship during COVID-19, without gathering in person? And what are you planning to do next? This insight session is a practical, honest, round-table discussion involving several church leaders who speak to these questions. These leaders some from a variety of backgrounds and Christian traditions, but they are all actively serving thriving congregations in the Southwest. (a panel moderated by, Jeremy Ashworth, Circle of Peace Pastor)
  • (18) 7:00pm – How your church can access the Ministry & Improvement Fund —   District Conference 2019 created this fund to support churches and pastors in several key areas: Facility Improvements, New Ministry Opportunities, Pastoral & Leadership Support, and Youth. Those funds are now ready for churches to make access to help grow their ministry. This workshop will cover how the fund works and the appliation processes. (by Russ Matteson)
  •  (19) 8:00am – Compelling Vision. Is it Already Underway? How is a compelling vision helpful to a congregation seeking to be faithful to the call of Christ? How difficult is it to do what the Compelling Vision is calling for? How are some congregations being Jesus in their neighborhoods, and what would that mean for others? (by David Sollenberger, Annual Conference Moderator)
  • (20) 8:00am – What’s Happening in the PSWD? — A time to talk with the District Leadership about the proposed budgets before district conference and other areas of focus in PSWD. (DE and Executive Board members)
  • (21) 8:00am – No place for a woman — Women and girls face many challenges around the world, and now Covid and the climate crisis are only making things worse. Join a discussion of their predicament, and hear stories of their resourcefulness and resilience. David Radcliff is a regular visitor to our district, but today comes to us virtually from Blue Ridge, Virginia, where he is director of the New Community Project, a small faith-based nonprofit organization with a big goal: to change the world. (by David Radcliff, Director New Community Project)

No information to share.